It Will Take Humans 350 More Years to Become a Type 1 Civilization

The Kardashev Scale ranks civilizations depending on their ability to capture cosmic energy. The higher on the scale civilization is, the better it is at harnessing the ample power of its surroundings.

In 1964, Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev devised the Kardashev Scale to quantify a hypothetical civilization’s technological development based on the quantity of energy it can capture from the surrounding universe.

A Type I civilization may absorb the same amount of stellar energy as its home planet. Type II species can harness the power of their host stars, whereas Type III species have the ability to harness the energy of their home galaxy.

Type III civilizations, according to some experts, may already exist. For example, a team from Leiden University is hunting for infrared signals that may represent the exhaust emissions of hypothetical Dyson spheres, which are gigantic devices that harness the power of a star.

Interestingly, humans do not qualify as Type I civilizations, and these sorts are just speculative because we have yet to identify sentient species. For example, around 1016 Watts of solar energy reaches Earth, whereas humanity now uses about 1013 Watts.

The researchers looked at humanity’s three primary energy sources: fossil fuels, nuclear power, and renewable energy. Then, they calculated each of these potential development by weighing the physical constraints of each form of energy source against the need to mitigate the consequences of climate change and other environmental problems like pollution.

Even when practical constraints are taken into consideration, scientists discovered that humans could evolve into a Type I civilization. However, according to their predictions, we won’t achieve that aim until at least the year 2371.

Of course, this is a very preliminary estimate that cannot account for all of the probable advances in the following decades. However, it highlights the inextricable relationship between preventing the climate disaster and becoming a Type I civilization capable of exploring the cosmos and harnessing the vast amounts of energy that exist.

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Nitesh Padghan

Nitesh Padghan


I work with brands that operate with a healthy dose of impatience to scale fast, connect with the culture, and steal back attention from their competitors.