Jove’s Garcon — Time for humanity to move, but be realistic
If the various reports and prognostications are anywhere near accurate, the human race has a major problem ahead within a generation or two. Simply stated, we have poisoned the Earth to such an extent that we seem to be causing the Sixth Major Extinction Event of the world’s existence as a life-bearing planet.
On a par not only with the fifth such event 70 million years back but maybe with the greater one 250 million back. Each one caused by very different processes but each able to account for extinguishing life to a huge degree in all environments. It appears, then, that mankind may be the asteroid impact of the anthropocene era ….
Why should this be? The answer seems to lie with numbers through reproduction coupled with sophistication of exploitation of environment within a Closed System. This has been and remains the fundamental blind-spot for the human virus in its test tube. It’s well-enough understood that if an organism population confined within in a closed system with fixed resources reproduces and consumes and excretes within that system, eventually it poisons itself and the system.
Is putting all this right really within the scope of our diverse societies/nations working for a sustainable world? All the signs now are that we have short-fallen on all our survival targets for decades and no sign we can redress now in time to avoid mass extinction and gravest threat to our own species. Trump representing all the self-interest deniers may say this is not the case but who else now doubts the truth of the scenario? What sort of world will we and our children beyond inhabit?
The idea of leaving this planet has been one often touted as a possibility for human habitation, usually supplementary to our habitation of the Earth. Pioneering and all that. But our current science is well-short of even reaching nearer planets such as Mars (being most earthlike though fatal at this time). There cannot be a wholesale removal of population from Earth there within any foreseeable future, no ancient Martian civilisation artifacts to revive after millennia to produce a breathable atmosphere, and we have no Star Trek technology to terraform it for said purpose. Sorry about that.
Not only is the technology not here yet (at all at all), has anyone thought of the resources to ship large numbers there? It simply would beggar us and more than likely accelerate the self-poisoning by the human virus in test-tube Earth….
So is all lost re off-planet Man? Well, the answer is not, for sure, space arks to other solar systems. All that applies to planets in our solar system applies with Knobs-On, caps needed. Our redoubtable Professor Stephen Hawkings and mates have come up with a neat system to get to nearer stars within 25 years at one-fifth the speed of light, but then 4/5 years to get info back… But wait, even more pointed, he’s talking of micro/nano probes not star ships etc. The resources and energy for the latter would not only dwarf the Mars Move Express but also bankrupt Planet Earth Inc totally. Even if we knew just how.
Nasa researchers have joined forces with Stephen Hawking to build a nano-starship that can travel one-fifth the speed…www.independent.co.uk
But there is one prospect not far ahead on the horizons of possibility and resources. The Chinese (damned-clever these days) may be a pointer. They have a Cunning Plan to get hold of an asteroid and ship it to earth orbit. Why? Well those pesky little worldlets which have walloped into the Earth from time to time have, for Technological Mankind, a much more enticing prospect. They are numerous (hordes of the little buggers), small (see later) and rocky AND full of Goodies such as minerals, metals, water etc not to mention tons of water locked up in comets, as well as the Moon etc.
China reportedly has a madcap plan to "capture" an asteroid and put it into orbit around the moon within the next…www.mirror.co.uk
The required tech and energy are no way beyond our near-current means, it is low tech compared to Mars colonisation, arks to stars etc. The idea is to send a robot craft to an asteroid - take your pick - and then attach an ion engine or two, slowly accelerate and dock in Earth orbit nearby, robot mining commencing.
My proposal — it is that — is that we plan to bring in a stream of such small bodies gradually, hollow them out, convert for living quarters/ work/leisure space etc and create asteroid villages, towns and cities in close Earth orbit. Water supply plentiful but recycle. Spin on axis to create pseudo-gravity and surround with magnetic fields re radiation (maybe also shield behind the earth from the sun?) Food — start to grow, maybe on separate asteroid farms. Moon, but also if we start to implement a retreat from earth, that might ease agricultural space?
smithsonian.com Take water, carbon dioxide and microbes, add a jolt of electricity and a dash of time, and voila…www.smithsonianmag.com
So imagine a collection of near-earth space villages towns and cities. All with easy reach of one another, a short hop in small ion powered space buses or even, acknowledgment to my eldest, why not neat little cable cars pulled between these floating-in-space venues. Any more fares? Hold tight please!
The implications? Downsize of humanity and self-sustaining in air and also water as much as possible. some humans left on earth, to grow stuff but also to help its recovery.
Earth also for gravity refreshment, and respite. Holiday on Earth this year??Human total population? Not sure, but it has to be controlled and balanced for sure, or the virus poisons itself. There are a LOT of wordlets out there, we should go get them. I can envisage specialist worldlets, universities, leisure gardens, space sports, ok ok zero gravity sex …. religious communities, science parks and all btw spreading the odds when that nasty rough rogue asteroid actually clomps down in the Pacific etc ….. Hah, missed us!
Good luck, we’ll need it.