Aliens may destroy earth over greenhouse gases
Alarming Nasa report says aliens could be alerted by sudden increase in CO2
There is new reason to curb greenhouse gases that not even climate change sceptics can dismiss. Apparently the growing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could alert aliens to our existence, and they may decide to destroy earth as a result.
That is one of the more alarming scenarios outlined in a report from Nasa scientists and researchers at Pennsylvania State University.
Their argument goes that alien cultures will notice the presence of humans on earth by the sudden increase in CO2. "A preemptive strike would be particularly likely in the early phases of our expansion because a civilisation may become increasingly difficult to destroy as it continues to expand," says the report.
Aliens may also be enraged by the damage we are doing to our planet and decide to wipe us out to save earth.
The paper divides the types of encounter we could experience with extraterrestrials into three camps: beneficial, neutral and harmful. At the harmful end of the spectrum there is the prospect that the aliens could "eat us", "enslave us" or "attack us". There is also the worrying prospect that we could be wiped out by an inter-galactic "act of incompetence" or a physics experiment that destroys our solar system.
There are more prosaic dangers too. If and when they do arrive, larger aliens "might accidentally crush us while attempting an unrelated maneuver". They may also decide to take advantage of out kindness.
As for the "beneficial" scenarios, apparently beating an invading race that is intent on killing us would be counted as a positive contact. "Humanity benefits not only from the major moral victory of having defeated a daunting rival but also from the opportunity to reverse engineer ETI technology," notes the report.
Given the calamitous nature of much of the report the conclusion comes as little surprise. "Our analysis suggests some immediate practical recommendations for humanity. One... is that messages to extraterrestrials should be written cautiously." For example, we shouldn't tell them what we're made of.
What is notable is that many of the potential outcomes mulled over in the report, entitled Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity? A Scenario Analysis, bear an uncanny resemblance to sci-fi films. District 9, War of the Worlds, Independence Day, Contact and K-PAX all get a mention. ·
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