Green Lives Matter

Why in the universe would anybody bother to visit Earth? We have no precious minerals, scientific achievements, or great wisdom and probably aren't all that good to eat.

Nothing we are, own, or have created would be of the slightest interest to anyone from elsewhere. Our technical and artistic developments would not elicit anything beyond a big yawn of indifference.

Green lives matter

We can infer several things if visitation scenarios are to be believed. The pesky speed of light problem must have another solution. Otherwise, there would be no possible way that visitors from elsewhere in the universe could show up here, let alone return home. Any culture sufficiently advanced to find a way around this supposed universal speed limit would also be more progressive in ways we can't even imagine.

Every civilization on Earth values artistic talents, so why not elsewhere? While reasons like this are appealing, I suggest they may be curious and want to see if we self-destruct. Our global situation is precarious, and they are here for a ring-side seat.

The only bang/whimper demise that would not interest others is a collision with a killer asteroid or similar cosmic catastrophe. Why not? Because accidental planetary annihilation is no doubt happening all over the universe and is hardly of interest. Earth is currently fascinating because we have created seeds of possible destruction.


There are several ways this could happen. Any one of several doomsday-ripe science fiction themes could manifest. Eminent self-annihilation could be literally true, with massive nuclear exchange leaving the planet entirely uninhabitable. We and other living things could be about to expire in our own climatic catastrophe. And so forth.

Historically, civilizations have shown up, flourished, and died with annoying regularity. The one we're in right now doesn't look all that stable; come to think about it. So maybe self-destruction is the built-in pattern that mere Earthlings are stuck with. Even so, sufficiently advanced societies may have figured out how to avoid the inevitable.


What would "advanced" really mean? Certainly not fancier gadgets, better amusements, or superior collections of stuff. What would our world be like if wars and killing were not thinkable except in the abstract? Could these concepts be as foreign to an enlightened society as cannibalism is to us?

Cyanobacteria is a simple cellular organism with a remarkable characteristic: it eats sunlight and poops pure oxygen. Not a lot, of course, but enough of these critters changed Earth's early atmosphere from toxic to oxygen-based.

The interstellar announcement was clear: our rock had created life. Other detectible channels signaling life on Earth proceeded rapidly with radio transmission, a trip to our nearest satellite, and nuclear detonation.


This escalation undoubtedly created some interest, or as Quark would say, "They irradiated their own planet?  Who are these people?"

Who indeed but a species that has created the seeds of our own destruction. And a planet that has become interesting.

Did I mention the good news? If civilizations automatically self-district, nobody would survive to visit and see if we're still here. There is a solution. We aren't doomed after all. An enlightened planet is a definite possibility worth striving for.

Let the good times roll...

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