Shark Jumping: Scientists Tell Us They Know How Aliens Solve ‘Climate Change’

There’s shark jumping, which the Cult of Climastrology does daily, then there’s Shark Jumping

One would really think this was a parody site, but, no. Seriously, just look at the headline and subhead in that tweet

(The Atlantic) The universe does many things. It makes galaxies, comets, black holes, neutron stars, and a whole mess more. We’ve lately discovered that it makes a great deal of planets, but it’s not clear whether it regularly makes energy-hungry civilizations, nor is it clear whether such civilizations inevitably drive their planets into climate change. There’s lots of hope riding on our talk about building a sustainable civilization on Earth. But how do we know that’s even possible? Does anyone across the cosmos ever make it?

Remarkably, science has now advanced to point where we can take a first step at answering this question. I know this because my colleagues and I have just published a first study mapping out possible histories of alien planets, the civilizations they grow, and the climate change that follows. Our team was made up of astronomers, an earth scientist, and an urban ecologist. (big snip, which I recommend reading)

So, what did the model tell us? We saw three distinct kinds of civilizational histories. The first—and, alarmingly, most common—was what we called “the die-off.” As the civilization used energy, its numbers grew rapidly, but the use of the resource also pushed the planet away from the conditions the civilization grew up with. As the evolution of the civilization and planet continued, the population skyrocketed, blowing past the planet’s limits. The population, in other words, overshot the planet’s carrying capacity. Then came a big reduction in the civilization’s population until both the planet and the civilization reached a steady state. After that the population and the planet stopped changing. A sustainable planetary civilization was achieved, but at a high cost. In many of the models, we saw as much as 70 percent of the population perish before a steady state was reached. In reality, it’s not clear that a complex technological civilization like ours could survive such a catastrophe.

These people

As I explore in my new book, Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth, our dawning realization that we are profoundly shaping Earth’s future provides us with the impetus to stop acting like cosmic teenagers with power but little wisdom. From that perspective the true narrative of climate change isn’t some small, local drama of Democrats vs. Republications or business interests vs. environmentalists. Instead, it’s a cosmic test, one that gives us a chance to join those who successfully crossed this burning frontier—or the chance to be consigned to the scrap heap of civilizations too shortsighted to take care of their own planet.

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2 Responses to “Shark Jumping: Scientists Tell Us They Know How Aliens Solve ‘Climate Change’”

  1. formwiz says:

    James Tiberius Kirk begs to differ.

  2. dachs_dude says:

    It’s funny how the author of the book Adam Frank states, ” our dawning realization that we are profoundly shaping Earth’s future provides us with the impetus to stop acting like cosmic teenagers with power but little wisdom “.

    This profoundly and accidentally describes the most fervent of the Climate Change Kool-Aid drinkers in that they are usually younger people with thousands of dollars of college debt, thousands of dollars of Tattoos and piercings, thousands of dollars of “Mumford and Sons” and the like concert stubs, yet have done none of the “grown up” things that would enable them to live the middle class lifestyle that they are jealous that others have. It’s this jealously, and their opinion that “someone ELSE should have to pay for this” is the entire Liberal and Left political argument today.

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