In high school I was once tasked with writing a paper with ideas to reduce or resolve the national debt. Being the forward looking individual I was (and not wanting to do any *real* research), I boldly declared that eventually the world would become so densely populated that our countries would have no choice but to merge into a single unified government. At that point all the debts we have to other countries would simply cancel out, so whatever happened in the mean time wasn’t worth worrying about (such naïveté).
Of course this idea went over like *balls*.
Someone asked me recently “What do you imagine of the future (that doesn’t end in destruction from world war, global warming, or zombies)”
Really I’m hoping we can find a way to expand beyond the planet before any of those fates befall our race. Yeah, Agent Smith (of Matrix fame) is probably right; we’re like a virus that needs to spread, but it seems like there’s lots of room for that in the universe.
Maybe it’s a cop-out just like my high school national debt paper, but honestly it seems like a requirement in any long-term (as in geologic time) scenario. Roughly 5 billion years from now our sun will most likely expand into a red giant and melt whatever is left of our little blue-green home planet (assuming this *is* our home planet).
I realize of course that is a *very* large amount of time, but one must always consider the long-game (skip to the end of the argument so to speak). I know there’s also a ton of stuff to figure out (and prepare for or prevent) in the mean time. Potentially imminent things like destruction from world war, global warming, and zombies.
Thankfully, there are a lot of people working on the space problem. Though some might say they should instead be focused on fixing the above and other problems with our current planet, instead of running off to find another to trash.
I agree to an extent, but also think we still need to figure out this space colonization thing (human population expansion alone is a problem without any of the other things even taken into account). So hopefully some day in the not-too-distant future we’ll have successfully expanded our footprint a bit, even if we just end up with a ‘B’ ark out there somewhere (populating a planet with telephone sanitizers and hairdressers and such…there are worse ways to start).