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Space Travel: Best solution for mass-extinction?

Space Travel: Best solution for mass-extinction?

Running out of resources and land is one of the most underrated problem currently faced by humans. Oil will only be enough to supply the world demands for the next 42 years, Natural gas – 54 years and coal 184 years.

Why do humans with a greatest sense of responsibility and intelligence are the most hostile towards its own kind among all the animals? Even if we did know the answer; it is sure as hell there is nothing we can do about it.

You read about innocent victims of racial wars and think to yourself “why men can’t just be peaceful?”, yet you feel angry and threatened when you see the immigrant who is well off than you sucking up resources which you should be entitled. By design, we are biologically made to survive and psychologically made to strive. Further, our political opinions and religion just make it even worse.

We are running out of resources
The greatest problem humans will face in future is running out of resources and space on earth. However no substantial effort is taken by humans to find solutions because we are too busy with our opinions, wars and own lives. The best solution, maybe the only solution is to colonize other planets and utilize near-unlimited resources and space to satisfy needs of 3 billion human beings.

Busy life
Shibuya intersection in Tokyo. Busiest crossing in the world. Image Source

Things could’ve taken a much better course if humans had a common enemy or a rival. Imagine if aliens existed on Mars we would never come across Kardashians or Honey Boo Boos or better, wars between countries, races and religions. We simply wouldn’t be bothered with it when we have a competition from our neighbors.

Of course, alien invasion is the last thing we need for now. If it happens, they wouldn’t be great interstellar travelers and awful invaders as seen in Hollywood. If they can traverse solar systems and withstand adversities of heat, cold, radiation, gravity, etc., we wouldn’t even have a chance of raising a finger against them before we are blown into oblivion.

According to astronomers traveling between galaxies is near-impossible where traveling between local groups is un-imaginable. Interestingly our galaxy has 200 billion solar systems and according to SETI (Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence) there could be 100,000 earth-like planets right in our galaxy.

Scientists have found planets which are earth-like and billions of years older than ours. However they could not find any sign of intelligent life yet. Scientists say earth-like planets can contain life and have the possibility of evolving into intelligent life forms. For now, we will call this planet, Planet-X.

So where is everybody?
The Fermi Paradox tries to tackle this question by few explanations, however I will point out one which is what applicable for human beings as of now. The explanation is that no higher civilization than ours does not exist due to a something called “The Great Filter”

The Great Filter
The Great Filter is an evolutionary leap that is almost impossible to overcome for a species. It suggests that we might have already overcome the greatest evolutionary leap which could be the ice age. If not, if the great filter is ahead of us, then the great filter could be something like climate change which could drive us into mass-extinction.

Maybe Planet-X harbored an intelligent life several billion years ago, but did not make it through their mass-extinction/ The Great Filter.

Planet Earth
Even if The Great Filter is ahead of us, be it climate change, an asteroid or an alien invasion, we must increase our odds by expanding our civilization on a much larger scale. Colonizing Mars is a great start.

If humans has a good sense of urgency on not becoming extinct, the fastest jet in 2018 won’t be a jet which was built back in 1960s (SR-71 blackbird) which is now a museum piece. We had many years to develop SR-71 to be faster, efficient and better. These engineering marvels could have been the future template of inter-planetary spacecraft. Or simply we could have evolved out of jets and rockets for space travel.

An Image of Lockheed SR-71
Lockheed SR-71 fastest jet since 1960s. Image Source

We only managed evolve out from gas guzzling internal combustion engines to hybrid engines, batteries are still mainstream when hydrogen fuel-cell technology existed for more than 2 decades. Nicola Tesla discovered Tesla Coil -the key component of wireless power transmission, aka wireless charging- back in his days. But the technology caught on when we felt we can’t be bothered with connecting the charging cable to the phone. We tend to prioritize on technologies which only makes commercial sense.

The point is, most of human resource is wasted upon meaningless efforts which will be best if used to drive the human kind away from mass-extinction.

Maybe The Great Filter is not climate change or an alien invasion, it could be simply our own self greed and stupidity.

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