• Kinshuk Aggarwal

Why global warming is a bigger joke than Mars

We've always assumed that humans are natives of the Earth and have forever been in search of extra terrestrials. But our behavior as a civilization does not support such presumptions.

Probably the most popular theme among Hollywood science fiction writers has been the invading alien race that mysteriously appears on humanity’s doorstep, threatening it’s annihilation with the intent of sucking up the planet’s resources for their own prosperity, and the human race fighting them off to protect their “home”. However, the ignorance of an intrinsic conundrum embedded in this generic plot is surprising, to say the least. Where is the conundrum here, you ask? The assumption that this earth is humanity’s “home”. No, this is not a scientific discussion of the theory of human evolution. It is merely a logical one.

As far as we’ve come to understand intelligent life, we’ve come to believe that every complex intelligent life form has some attachment and belonging towards what it understands to be it’s ‘home’ and it’s ‘own kind’. That is what drives it’s survival instinct, protection of it’s home and family. This social construction of intelligent life formation is the foundation of the alien versus human showdown where humanity considers itself to have come so far in evolution that it can not only perceive and comprehend other interstellar life forms but even triumph over them.

Although, let us deconstruct this conflict of civilizations. One is what we call an ‘alien’ life form, that has violent intentions of taking over the earth, utilizing it’s resources for their own growth and development with complete disregard for other native inhabitants, and moving on to another planet once the earth is completely exhausted. The other is humans, an intelligent evolved species that fights for it’s home and defends it’s own to the very last breath. Now look at the real world outside and try to justify how the first description does not fit our own civilization. Does it look like this planet is our home? Consider the realities of our time and it’d be hard to say that it does. Trace our history and humanity’s collective behavior through it’s evolution and you’d come to realize that the ‘alien’ life form that we defend the earth against is merely a projection of our own selves.

How, you ask? Consider this, the planet today is in distress. We’ve depleted it’s resources at an alarming rate, more so since the industrial revolution, in the quest of our development. Pollution and global warming are pending global catastrophes that threaten all life forms inhabiting the earth. The forests are diminishing, the ocean currents and levels have been disturbed, entire species of wildlife have been destroyed either through displacement or purely hunted to extinction, we’ve managed to pollute land, water and air to unrecoverable levels, disturbed the planet’s weather cycle by damaging the atmosphere and much more. When we began to realize that we’ve damaged this planet beyond viable recovery, instead of mending our ways we began exploring the space for other viable habitable planets and are already fostering dreams of someday living on the moon or mars or some other godforsaken planet. Moreover, our hostilities have not been confined to the planet or other life forms, we’ve been hostile to each other as well for control of resources. All wars ever fought have essentially been for control over resources, and continue to be so.

Does this sound like the behavior of a species that belongs to this planet? It’s hard to suggest that it does not. Our incessant greed for prosperity and development has shown complete disregard for this planet’s limitations and laws, and there seems to be hardly any cognizance of the disrespect that we bring to what we so superficially call our ‘home’. Humanity has somehow come to understand this planet as a commodity that belongs to our civilization, when in fact we are a mere speckle on the timeline of this planet. To put this in perspective for easy comprehension, if the multi billion year existence of the earth till date is considered to be a day of 24 hours, then humanity has inhabited it for a mere 3 seconds! We’ve been quite efficient, to say the least.

But perhaps this was our purpose. Maybe we were never meant to inhabit the earth for a long period. The most fortunate scenario for mother earth is that humanity is just a transition life form, which is meant to hand the planet over to a more advanced and responsible “artificial intelligence”. Think about it, we are the ones giving birth to a new form of life that is more intelligent, capable of making decisions that we don’t expect ourselves to make and in a much smaller time interval. This life form is exponentially more efficient at managing our resources, our systems, our cities and even our social lives. Yes, you must be thinking that this is just another doomsday scenario, not unlike the one presented by The Terminator series. But in fact, it is not that hard to understand how this might really be happening. In contemporary discourse, we’re increasingly looking up to technology to make our lives more efficient and sustainable. From energy generation, to urban systems’ monitoring, to social media and even transport. We’re giving all the micro and macro knowledge to a soft-core entity that it needs to survive and proliferate within the confines of the earth. And it does not need water and/or oxygen! Sustainable and efficient has become synonymous with technological autonomy. As of now it’s meant to make our lives easier through it’s “smart” decisions. But at some point we’ll be forced to consider that if that consciousness, the “AI”, is making all the decisions for us then who’s living the life and who is the slave?

Clearly, if we need a software entity to make us drive safely, use our energy most efficiently, manage our cities in the most optimum manner and even stay connected to each other then we have failed as a life form. We’re basically telling a Siri or a Cortana or a Jarvis or a Google that hey, we’re not able to live our lives decently enough, please make the right decision for us. And in doing so, we’re giving up on the earth. We’re sending a clear message that we’ve taken what we needed from here, we’re out looking for another planet now and will leave at the first chance that we get. And nobody does that to their home! Scientists and historians would find the answer to human genesis if they would just examine our behavior. We were clearly not born on the earth.

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