On top of all the bad things that come with global warming, we now have to add the fact that we can't contact alien life because of it.
How big is the universe? A question many of us have asked ourselves at some point in our lives. The answer to this simple yet enormous inquiry is so complex that it requires the smartest astrophysicists in the world to work together to find out. But even they can’t put a number on it. What we do know is that the universe is 13.8 billion years old and that getting out of our galaxy would take about 50,000 light years, but no human technology has been able to build a spaceship fast enough to reach light-speed. That being said, there are a few things to consider here. One, that Earth is just a tiny particle inside the massive dark pool that is the universe, which raises the possibility of the existence of life in other planets. Two, it will take a couple hundred years for humans to physically explore the universe outside the Milky Way. Three, we might need to get there due to the threat of climate change.
This debate over if the universe is so big, where are the aliens? is called the "Fermi Paradox." It was named after physicist Enrico Fermi, who first came up with the concept in 1950. It has forced scientists to come up with all sort of hypotheses to answer his question. Some have proposed that other alien civilizations didn’t last very long or just disappeared. Others suggest that they might just be a couple years behind our “advanced” civilization. But the possibility of alien life out there is very high. In December 2017, NASA’s Kepler telescope made an astonishing discovery. The team of scientists on the mission spotted a solar system with a planet similar to ours 2,500 light years away from Earth in the constellation of Draco. This shows that we won’t be able to confirm if aliens do exist or not, unless we get out there and start doing some scouting ourselves. But, we might have to postpone this task since we have to save our species from global warming.
One possible reason for the lack of alien communication in our "advanced" society, is an idea proposed by Robin Hanson in 1998 known as “The Great Filter.” Basically, it states that civilizations that are not traveling around the universe are being held back by a more concerning factor. In our case, this factor would be climate change. According to the Third National Climate Assessment Report, the long term consequences of global warming will continue for another century and longer. It also depends on how much carbon dioxide we keep producing, but the way things are looking right now, we are not making any progress. Thus, the global warming threat will result in rising temperatures, causing the extinction of some species, longer periods of warmer and colder weather, an increase in precipitation, rising sea levels, droughts, heat waves, and hurricanes. The "Fermin Paradox" seeks an answer, but all we can think about right now is survival.
Perhaps, if we survive in this world by saving our planet from the devastation of climate change, our civilization will get the chance to experience alien interaction at some point in the future. Or maybe, some advanced and sophisticated alien civilization will find Elon Musk’s Tesla and be so puzzled about it that they decide to pay us a visit and share their knowledge on technology with us. Meanwhile, all we can do right now is reduce our carbon dioxide emissions, so we can live long enough to meet our intergalactic neighbors. Who knows? Maybe other planets are struggling with the same issue as us.
Images by: @scifi.daily
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