You’ve probably heard Elon Musk is building giant rockets to send people to mars and start a human colony there. If you are like most people, you probably think that this is a non-sense pet project from a crazy billionaire. What if I told you that this was our only chance to preserve the human species?
Elon Musk in an interview not long ago you can find on YouTube said: “The Egyptian used to build pyramids, today we have no idea how to do it. The Romans built huge aqueduct work, after the Romains, no one ever built such aqueduct. So to be able to do something at any given time does not guarantee that you’ll know how to do it in the future.”
This is why we must colonize space now.
What happen if we never go to space?
I really tried but I cannot find a positive scenario if we never leave earth. Either, a world government takes hold and at some point it turns into an authoritarian dictatorship a la 1984 or we are plunged into an endless terrorist driven drone war. Most likely, it is a mix of both.
I cannot seem to find where I read this online, but it was a medium post saying that rare events are not that rare. For example, a war big enough to affect the life of a citizen is a very common thing and you should be planning for that. In Europe, before 1939, there was a war with battles fought in that country every 50 years or so like clockwork. A period of over 100 years without is completely unseen in history. This is not normal.
The problem is that people only see what is close to them in time. We haven’t had a war in 100 years so war never happen. False! In fact we are currently living the exceptional and we should be expecting a return to the mean, which is a war, very soon.
So if you are not prepping for a war, you haven’t understood the above. How this matter with space exploration will make sense soon.
There is 4 threats that the world will face very soon.
A.I, nuclear weapons, climat change and drone terrorism/war.
Here’s the 5 scenarios explained:
Elon Musk in one interview, explain that rocket will never be able to be electric because you need too much power to exit earth gravity. It is a law of physic and it cannot be changed. So no oil = no space exploration. Oil is not infinite, so one way to never build multi-planetary species is if we run out of oil, or the price of the remaining oil makes it prohibitively expensive to go to orbit. At that point, it’s game over for space exploration.
Earth scale drone wars. Drones are becoming cheaper and cheaper and more powerful every year. Over time, either 20 years or 100 years from now, it will be cheap enough to 3D print or manufacture for very cheap a very dangerous drone at scale(millions of them in a very short period of time). The terrorist of the future will not come in planes, they will send thousands of drones at a time. Try to send a rocket to orbit when there is millions of terrorist drones roaming the earth. Sending a one off space ship would be doable, but colonizing space would require a rocket going to space every few hours. perpetual drone terrorism would make that impossible.
Just like the drone terrorism, but this time with nuclear. At some point sending a digger into earth to dig for plutonium won’t be that hard anymore. Give it 20 or 100 years, but at some point the technology will allow this. With enough patience, anyone will be able to get their hands on a nuclear device. Again, it is game over. You have world wide nuclear terrorism, the economy goes a fraction of what is is today and its is the dark age for hundreds or maybe thousands of years.
WWIII has started. You don’t need that much imagination to think of the next world war. Think China and USA. Add Russia to the mix and it is not looking good. If WWIII has started, we are lobbing at each other ICBM non-stop. No one can send into orbit anything or it is shot down mid-course. Space exploration is stopped until the end of the war. If the winner is an Authoritarian government, then he runs the world and we are doom to live under his rule. Nowhere to escape and no one to ask for help. Space exploration is still possible, but it would a Darth Vader ruled type exploration to expend the empire. Not the kind we want.
A.I becomes so powerful that it takes over the earth and kills everyone. If it decides to do it, even if we are on mars or anywhere else in space, it finds us and kill us too. There is no escaping because it is more intelligent than us. Whatever we do, we lose. Imagine playing a game of chest against A.I, he can play with you, let you ahead for a few turns, but whenever he decides, you lose. From all the threat, this is the only one we have to perpetually avoid. The other ones can happen after we are multi-planetary and we have escaped the scenario’s fate. A.I killing humanities, even if started after we reach other planet, cannot be stopped.
Those are the scenarios.
Evil World government: One day or another, a world government will be created. At one point or another, this world government will start doing things you don’t agree with. And you’ll have nowhere to go or hide. You will be prisoner of the earth. Today, you can escape to another country and ask for asylum, in 75 years from now, maybe this will be impossible. We need to be multi-planetary to have a balance. To escape this fate.
Wide spread world terrorism: Drones are becoming cheaper and cheaper. So if there is a world government, and some people don’t agree with it, they can build a resistance group like a guerrilla. They will not paint their face and buy AK-47, they will send thousands or millions of drones attack, 24/7. They will enrich plutonium or buy those from authoritarian governments and make them explode in urban center. A nuclear winter would put us into a dark age for hundreds of year most likely.
Rare events happen all the time
Am I pessimistic? No, I actually am an optimistic by nature. But rare events happen all the time. In 1939, we came close to having a world government ran by Hitler. The good guy ended up winning, but this was only luck.
Ask people in North-Korea if it’s a law of nature that the good guys always win? No, it’s not! The North-Korean dictatorship, Russian oligarchy, Chinese mass surveillance government and Saudi-Arabia women right denying country are a proof.
Bad stuff will happen. Did you though that corona virus would happen? Maybe you didn’t like the majority of people. But It is something that many virologist were thinking about for many years and said it was inevitable, just a matter of time. Bio-terrorism is not science-fiction but it is an inevitable fate in our future. There will be war, there will be bio-terrorism, there will be authoritarian government trying to take grow (think Taiwan and Hong-kong) slowly but surely this will creep up on us and maybe one day, we will wake up and it will be too late.
The Fermi’s paradox implies that with so many stars in our galaxy and with 13 billion years since the start of the universe, intelligent life is bound to have populated our galaxy. It would take only 200 million years to reach every part of the galaxy, so 12.8 billion years left to develop intelligence. But where are those intelligent life forms? No trace anywhere in the sky. Maybe it is because any intelligent life, once they learn nuclear fission and becomes technologically advanced, self-destroy themselves. This is most likely the paradox answer.
So we have to escape to space, to mars and to other planets. It is our only chance to escape our human fate.