Great article, to which I can only add:
- If we can use ourselves as a basis for how aliens will behave (which the scaremongers do) then they should note the care we take with our own exploration, in times more enlightened than the 1400s. We go to great pains to avoid even microscopic contamination of other worlds, and at this point in our evolution if we did develop the technology to visit worlds with life, the mission would not be conquest; sufficiently advanced aliens would likely have gone through similar mistakes as us and learned from them.
- As much as it pains to confront it, interstellar travel for anything with mass is most likely impossible, or so difficult as to be beyond the resources of any civilisation. Absent the development of some really out there technology-and we may as well hope that magic is real at this point-even really close intelligent life isn’t going to visit us, let along make war.