More news today from China. No, not about the UFO wave (although there are updates on that front. Check the comments section of the corresponding post.) This time it is yet another oil spill. Here are a few photos from it.
Looks like something from Dante's Inferno, doesn't it? Or perhaps one of William S. Burroughs' more fevered trips. It hijacked my emotional status and turned it to one of exceptional pessimism.
Sure, I'll give you a moment to recover from the shock of reading that.
The end of the world. Unless you're a hardcore survivalist or a religious whackjob, most people don't like to think about it. In fact, they'll deny its very inevitability or claim that we are a very smart species (due to Divine mandate they usually assert) and that somebody will eventually figure out how to repair all the damage we've done. There may indeed be things we can do, ranging from altruistic "green" efforts to quirky new concepts such as "hacking the planet," reprogramming the Earth's "source code" as it were and getting geology under our thumbs. There might even be an eco-disaster on the scale of 9/11 in terms of social impact. Then these environmental efforts would get kicked into overdrive and you'd really start to see things happen.
For a while. But just how much longer can our world support a greedy, short-sighted, warlike species such as ourselves? That is to say nothing of the external dangers. There are any number of asteroid bodies that could slam into us (although there may be an app for that one day or so they say) or a new strain of virus could emerge to which we have no defense against. What to do?
I'm often asked about UFOs and why aliens would want to come here. I reply that there are a few schools of thought on that subject, but in reality I don't know. What I do strongly suspect is that these aliens are unlikely to intervene in our struggles in either of the Hollywood extremes. We will not awake one day to saucers capping our major cities before laying waste to them like Independence Day. We will not be contacted by messianic figures like in The Day the Earth Stood Still, who will have a message of peace for us and give us technology beyond our most intricate designs, thereby ushering in a neo-utopian era. Whatever they want from our planet, be that DNA, surveillance, or satisfaction of their anal fetishes, they will likely take it and then leave. To those who view the UFO phenomenon as a sort of "spiritual contact" with those who may deliver us, I say "don't expect any handouts." We, to them, must appear as a hopeless cause. And they must be quite content to leave us to our little contaminated sandbox and perhaps even take steps to make certain we never escape from it and bring our stench out into the cosmos.
Except that's exactly where we need to be. When a duck's pond becomes grimy and polluted, that duck will pick up and find another pond. That is what humans will need to do as well if our species is to survive. Our "ponds" will have to be Mars, the Moon, perhaps even asteroids or the moons of the gas giants. There are a growing number of scientists who have expressed this, among them Stephen Hawking. It will mean a herculean amount of research and an even greater amount of money. We will have to determine how to most feasibly get out there, then how to not just survive but to prosper, and perhaps even how to technologically augment our bodies and evolve completely into the posthuman form, taking our soft, squishy selves and transforming them into survival machines. Life down here must move out there. It's that simple.
The question is when the mainstream public will realize this. As I mentioned it will take a great deal of money. Given the actions of Wall Street in the past few years, this isn't the sort of "profit venture" they'd go in for. Really makes me wish we could somehow get all the money back that was spent on the senseless invasion of Iraq and through Cheney-like prestidigitation, fund colonization research. Wistful thinking, I know, but still...If nothing else, just think of the opportunities we'll have in colonizing another planet. We can now completely screw up someplace else altogether. Viva variety.
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