Our species are facing a critical moment in human history. We are either developing technologies to safely use the energy needed to flee our planet or kill ourselves in a catastrophic, claims new research.
However, the new paper is contradictory; if we can achieve the former and avoid the latter, we could be genuinely a species of the planet in just 200 years.
“Earth is a tiny dot surrounded by darkness,” lead author Jonathan Jiang of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory told Live Science. “Our current understanding of physics tells us that we are trapped in this small rock with limited resources.”
In 1964, Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev proposed a measurement scheme, later developed by Carl Sagan, to measure the technological power of intelligent species. It all comes down to power and how much (from any source) genre can be used for its purposes, whether those that explore the universe or play video games.
Kardashev civilization, for example, could utilize all the energy found on the animal’s home planet, including all the Earth’s energy sources (such as fossil fuels and potentially nuclear weapons) and its power. Falls to that planet from its parent star. Globally, this is about 10 ^ 16 watts.
A civilization of Type II consumes ten times the amount of energy and can exploit all the power to produce a single star. Type III species can go even further and use a lot of energy throughout the galaxy.
The human population is below the Type I limit, but our energy use grows every year. Many people use more energy per person, but that energy comes at a cost: the threat to our biosphere from carbon emissions and pollution and the risks posed by the ability to use energy-efficient methods and destructive delivery—targets, such as nuclear bombs.