I'm actually in the "Save Pluto" camp, not just because it's big enough by some of the standards being ping-ponged about but simply because - and this makes me something of a Johnny No Mates, I know - of tradition and history. I know, they're "dirty words" to some people who live their lives in the sterilised, digital scientific world and have no time for such concepts, and my reasoning isn't exactly scientific I know, but we've all grown up with it as a planet, most of the men and women in the street think of it as a planet, and... oh, I don't know... in my gut it just feels wrong and hideously
disrespectful to Clyde Tombaugh to demote Pluto just on a scientific principle, you know?
I mean, don't forget, 70 years ago, before the luxury of automated searches with computerised telescopes, in the days when people actually took those great fat photographic plates of the sky, the guy laboured for what must have been hundreds of hours, sweating over those plates in his clunky cyberpunk blink comparator, with absolute dedication. No lazy digital surveys or computer programs in those days... hunting was done with the good ol' Mark One Eyeball!. He found Pluto basically manually, extending the solar system by a magnitude, and we're going to sweep that away just because it's inconvenient for us and possibly confusing for the astronomers of the future? I just feel uneasy about that.
I'm absolutely sure there's a good scientific case - with many points - against Pluto retaining its planetary status. Many very knowledgeable people have made some great arguments for that here, but in my mind this issue is just as much about personal respect as it is about astronomical facts and figures. Just leaving Pluto alone, giving it unspoken honourary planet status, would hurt no-one, would it? I mean, we'd all know
it's an anomaly, but we'd just acknowledge it sneaked into the planetary party without a genuine invite but now it's in just Let It Be. Would that really be so awful? In doing so would not be dismissing or disrespecting the work of a wonderful observer who gave the world a strange a distant planetary outpost on the frontier of the Deep Dark. And with Pluto sitting happily in the corner, content to just sip its drink and not make any trouble, we could draw up new entry rules for the planetary candidates we now all know the names of, unhindered by preconceptions about Pluto. ( But maybe that's just me being naive and romantic, and I'm sure some people here will have a little sneer at that. But hey, I can live with that.
To many people "out there", the oft-quoted "men and women in the street" this seems very petty and pointless, astronomers tinkering with things just for the sake of it. I know this because I have had conversations with many of them about it, at work and literally in that street. Keeping Pluto a planet just because it's thought of as a planet isn't a good enough reason in itself, I know, but we should have more respect for that view because if we don't we're - that's the astronomical community, the people who "do" and care about this stuff every day - going to come across as rather pompous and uncaring, I fear.
If it was decided to keep Pluto as a planet, then admitting that part of the reason for that was honouring the planet's history and the common man's conception of it would go down very well, I think, make us seem more human at a time when scientists and those who have a passion for science are not viewed very generously "out there".
We really could just leave Pluto sat over there in the corner enjoying the music. Besides, for purely selfish reasons, I want Pluto to remain a planet because I haven't seen it yet, and when I catch my first glimpse of it I want to be looking at a planet, not a "Pluton" or an "icy dwarf" or whatever.