Earth – To Stay or To Go
By Paul Stephanus
Our minds are twisted. As individuals, and as a species, we are plagued by a typhoon inside our psyches – quibbling insecurities, an army of abstractions. Our brains are bloated to bursting point with possibilities and counter-possibilities, information and skepticism, restrictions and desires. And eventually these inner qualms and quarrels become too much, so they overflow out into the realm of humanity in general. All our madness mixes together into a sludge. And that is society – a frothing stew of confused dialectics.
And so it is no wonder that on a societal level we humans have such a hard time examining that which truly matters. The burden of our endless complexities deny us the chance, deny us the presence of mind, to simply face up to the most important existential questions. The questions that actually matter.
And here I argue that one question, simple and vast, trumps all others: should we stay, or should we go? Should we stay, and die, on Earth? Or make a spirited, longshot foray towards the habitable planets of nearby solar systems? This is not a question that should be relegated to the realms of science fiction, or dismissed as an infantile mind trip. It should be at the centre of how we manage our society and interact with our Earth.
Earth, on a geological scale is subjected to all kinds of horror. Earthquakes, volcanoes, tectonic ferocity, excessive heating and cooling. Humans have not been around long enough to really witness the full power of Earth’s mood swings, but if we survive long enough, we will. On a cosmological level, a single medium-sized meteor impact could destroy all of us, and everything we’ve achieved – without overdramatising – in seconds. And then there are the human threats to themselves – nuclear wars, non-nuclear wars, engineered pandemics, nanotechnology run amok, disgruntled armies of once-subservient A.I.
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