What lies ahead for planet Earth and the entities that live upon it? For centuries Science Fiction has had a quality about it that somehow foretold the future of mankind, with some predictive promises for future generations of humans! Two scenarios seem to top the list, from at least an entertainment venue, that either paints a really good picture for our future, or a really grim one!
The entertainment industry shows us in the form of movies and or books, that mankind is either headed for a bustling future out there in space, or a world where our species is thrown back into the cave dwelling days with survival being limited to only a few! Truly how close to one or the other are we?
As science describes our times with the image of a Doomsday clock ever clicking closer to midnight, one certainly must wonder what will come first, the colonization of another planet or nuclear war. Last I viewed the Doomsday clock it was something like 2 min. to midnight! When last I viewed our space efforts, we are most certainly not anywhere near having the capacity to build a colony on another world. Hell we no longer even have a way to land men or woman on the Moon! That does not bode well for a bright future in space. Short sojourns to the Moon, along with robot minions on Mars, does not guarantee our survival in any way!
Presently both NASA and SpaceX are leading the way forward in our efforts to gain a more solid ground out there beyond our planet, but both are still at a stage where any talk of colonization is pure fantasy! NASA talks about landing a woman on the Moon, but what happens after that? NASA is even presently re-evaluating its commitment to SLS, as cost overruns continue to soar and delays prove a constant problem! SpaceX talks of sending men and woman to Mars, but truly how close to fulfilling that dream is Elon Musk? Mr. Musk hopes to orbit a Starship later this year, but success remains to be seen! Both are indeed working on very large rockets capable of delivering big payloads to other destinations in our solar system, but as yet not one, neither SLS nor Starship has even made it to orbit (In today’s news, Elon said he would like to orbit a Starship by July of this year!}. Also it seems that on the government’s side of things, pinching money from space activities seems to be in their minds, the goal they are setting for America’s space program! SpaceX does appear to be spending the money for its drive to operate reusable space hardware for cheaper access to space, but again a totally complete interplanetary spaceship is only still in the realm of SCI-FI!
Let’s now take a look at the war side of the picture and how it demonstrates a much scarier scenario for the near future! Today we constantly hear of countries around the world developing new more deadly weapons that can totally eliminate life from vast areas of our planet with just one war-head! Today most missiles carry more than one, and have the ability to hit multiple targets, leaving the image of a world desolate and void of any life whatsoever!
Some countries even have ominous names for their weapons like Lucifer, with the apparent drive to instill complete fear in its enemies. Also smaller less developed countries only push for more modern military and weapon systems, and do not give one consideration for their people. It seems today that everyone wants nuclear weapons. All of this goes along with mounting tensions on the global scale due mostly to political systems indifference to each other’s diversities and requirements! Much, much more money is spent on military advancements then on space! Many in the military blatantly talk openly about space as the new ground for warfare. The space war machine is starting to grind out its own Weapons of Mass Destruction capable of hitting any spot on planet Earth.
Will we colonize before we annihilate ourselves, thus losing all life to the dustbin of past history? Many ask if we are alone in the Universe, and if so that puts a great strain on us to demonstrate that we are truly survivors and not a hap-hazard accumulation of animated space dust and gases! The big question is can we survive the nuclear age, and can we avoid a SCI-FI scenario that depicts a world war III? Colonization of another planet would at least give us a chance at allowing a vibrant life-form like we inquisitive humans, the ability to survive our dysfunctional ways of trying to get along here on planet Earth.
Which SCI-FI scenario do you want to see happen a Star Trek future or The Day After?
I want to thank Alan Craddock for the great space art!
I think the human race will be extinct by the end of this century, taking most of life on Earth with it. The idea that colonizing the moon or Mars can mitigate that is preposterous. Even Carl Sagan admitted we’d populate Antarctica long before we establish a base on Mars because the conditions there are far less hostile. The reality is worse:
Right now we’re caught in a vise between psychotic politicians like Putin and Trump, who would rather rule over smoking ruins than take the steps necessary to survive, and ignorant, optimistic idiots who are convinced that, in some form, mommy and daddy are going to come home, change our diaper, clean up our mess and make everything all better.
The friendly, superior aliens aren’t coming to save us. Neither is a hyper-intelligent AI nor any other deus ex machina. All the tipping points have passed. Our ecosphere is dying. The people in power who might be able to mitigate some of the worst of it are sitting on their thumbs, fatuously satisfied that the rest of us keep voting for them.
At this point, going to Mars or even the moon is a waste of resources that could be better spent at least trying to keep the planet marginally livable. There is nowhere else to go.
There’s one critically important factor in war that didn’t fully exist until 1945. The most powerful weapons since then are destructive enough, including leaving deadly radiation, that using the most destructive weapons means what’s hit isn’t usable to anyone.
I am not an expert on warfare, but I remember talking to someone who was. I asked him if America had ever, in its entire history, initiated a war that people behind it didn’t think would make a profit. He didn’t even have to stop to think about it; he said, “Never.”
Any reasonable person knows that using the “best” weapons available since 1945 is virtual suicide. You may destroy us, but before your missiles hit us, our missiles were launched that will hit and destroy you.
Frankly, much of the world was shocked even by Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine. While using less than the most powerful weapons doesn’t destroy as much, it still destroys much that the victor might want to have. Hopefully, the end result to the world will say: War is no longer profitable. Maybe we can all try to get along.