A surprising potential future for our planet was raised by a joint study conducted by Penn State and NASA: an Earth invaded and protected by aliens. Researchers speculated the current climate change problem is so large, it might be noticeable from space, and could signal to aliens the Earth is in trouble. If the aliens were conservation-minded enough, they might see fit to start reducing the human population, which is the dominant species and cause of most environmental problems, if not all. “Humanity may just now be entering the period in which its rapid civilizational expansion could be detected by an ETI (extraterrestrial intelligence) because our expansion is changing the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, via greenhouse gas emissions,” said the report, titled “Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity? A Scenario Analysis.” (Source: IBTimes.com)
Connecting climate change with an alien invasion of beings that might actually benefit the Earth, is a scenario not often discussed because so far there is no evidence that extra-terrestrials exist in a form capable of space flight, could survive entry to Earth and have the capacity to subdue the human population. Perhaps the report relies on ideas from science fiction, such as War of the Worlds, or is in part an attempt to draw attention to the lack of checks and balances on human-generated damage to our planet. If publishing an alien invasion paper seems like a trivial way of drawing attention to the most pressing global problem for all species on the planet, consider how much more press celebrities without talents like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton get at times, than climate change.
Consider how much Big Oil spends lobbying Congress to protect their profits, while the mass media reports about Casey Anthony or the Tiger Woods scandal. Meanwhile wolf hunts are back on in Idaho in Montana, not because sound science says their populations are stable, but only due to politics. In about the same time frame oil drilling in the Arctic was approved, though there are no established ways of cleaning up an oil spill there. These are just a very small number of the destructive things taking place.
It’s almost as if the alien invasion scenario is the only single hypothetical event that could halt all of the destructive activity at once, and yet it exists only on paper. Perhaps it is just wishful thinking, at least from the point of view of halting climate change and protecting wildlife and wild habitat in one momentous blow. Is there anything else, other than an Act of God, that could instantly stop what seems to be an inevitable course?
Image Credit: Patty D. and Jim G.