Categories: climate change

Fermi Paradox Faith: Human Civilization

Has anyone wondered why we haven’t found any advanced civilization like the present Human civilization in our universe? This kind of question comes to mind is because our observable universe is around 13.5 billion years old and our planet Earth is around 4.5 billion years old. In our universe there are around more than quadrillion galaxies(let’s assume about 10% of galaxies in the entire universe are like Milky Way in which life can be supported) and in our Milky galaxy there are about 20 billion stars like our Sun, as per rough estimates there are almost 1/5 of them have an earth-like planet in the habitable zone. The region where life can flourish.

How have Humans evolved and will evolve?

Initially, humans invented the wheel and discovered fire for its usage using tools made of stone, and after some time humans started using metals like copper and the iron to make life easy when humans came to know about its extraction from their ores. Recently humans also started utilizing nuclear energy, in terms of being nuclear only nuclear fission is only being used for peaceful purposes but nuclear fusion is in the research and development phase for making it controllable. At the same time, humans have also invented nuclear weapons which serve only one purpose i.e. a mass destruction device, which was only used during World War 2, whole world came to know about the scale of mass destruction. During the Cold War, there were numerous nuclear tests conducted which were several times powerful than the one being used in World War 2, so these kinds of devices were used only as a deterrent which holds that the threat of using strong weapons against the enemy prevents the enemy’s use of those same weapons on basis of Nash equilibrium. The short conclusion being made is there will be no longer experience any kind of war among nations. Apart from that due to globalization and world trade it is almost impossible. 

In the future, due to space exploration being carried out it is no longer a distant task of achieving space travel and space tourism when a trip being carried out to the Moon will be just like visiting another country as it is present today.  

During the whole course, it has been observed that energy consumption by humans has increased almost exponentially in terms of not only per capita but also total by human civilization because the human population has also increased over time so for not only energy but other metallic and non-metallic resources humans also need to explore outer space. If Human civilization can make settlements on other planets of our Solar System then Human civilization will become a complete Type 1 Civilization.

Kinds of Civilization

Classification of civilization was first carried out by USSR astronomer Nikolai Kardashev, so any kind of civilization can be put in Kardashev Scale as follows:

Type 1 Civilization:

This kind of civilization can harness the energy being obtained by its host star but will be able to make colonies in entire planets of its host Solar System. This type of Civilization is known as interplanetary civilization. For this kind of civilization, an asteroid will serve as a mineral reservoir and will use it and won’t be fearful of an asteroid impact with its planet.

Type 2 Civilization:

This kind of civilization can harness the energy obtained by many stars, and can make settlements in many solar systems. This type of civilization is known as inter-stellar civilization. For this kind of civilization terraforming, a given planet is not an impossible task.

Type 3 Civilization:

This kind of civilization can harness the energy sources of many galaxies to sustain itself and also be able to make settlements in other galaxies. This type of civilization is known as intergalactic civilization. 

Presently many scientists have put human civilization between 0.7 to 0.8 on the Kardashev scale. Till now it is pretty much sure there is no type 2 civilization in our galaxy and also there is no type 3 civilization in our galactic group. Kardashev Scale has been even extended further but right now stick to only 3 levels because Nikolai Kardashev has put forward only 3 levels of civilization based on its energy usage. It will take human civilization around 100 years to be complete Type 1 Civilization, around a thousand years to be a complete type 2 civilization, and around million years to be a type 3 civilization at the present rate of development and progress being made.


Unable to find Intelligent Alien Civilization?

One of the arguments being made regarding this kind of question is that any kind of intelligent civilization as it develops further and after reaching a certain point takes up the path of self-destruction and eventually causes its self-destruction. This is per Fermi’s Paradox(named after Enrico Fermi who invented Nuclear Reactor), so we are unable to find any kind of alien civilization. As any advanced civilisation develops itself it has to pass through Great Filter and once it encounters it, gets eliminated. This elimination stage can be the stage where any civilization can take control over all the resources of its host planet which makes it closer to self-destruction because it is unable to use it(resources of host planet) properly. It seems probable that human civilization has reached the same stage where we have started using resources of the planet in such a manner that it is causing harm rather than a benefit. The same circumstances are being faced by any form of advanced alien civilization where they seem to ignore the problems of climate change caused by industrialization ultimately causing a kind of mass extinction. Many scientists have even started calling the present era the period of the sixth mass extinction event also known as Holocene Mass Extinction. Mass Extinction events are notable events where there is about more than 50% extinction of all species in a few million-year time scale. These kinds of mass extinctions also happened earlier on planet Earth and the most recent one being the meteorite impact which caused the extinction of all dinosaurs on planet earth.

Climate change disaster is going to be much more severe than precedented. There are several pieces of evidence that climate changes are caused by human activity which is affecting several natural cycles of planet Earth. These changes are also hindering human progress in every aspect.

Conclusion 

It seems to appear that we are the only advanced intelligent civilization in the universe which have dominated the planet and has the potential to access the other planets of our solar system but were there any other advanced intelligent civilization in the universe that have met with any kind of apocalypse. No doubt apocalypse can be of any form. There are countless possibilities associated with it i.e. not being able to find any kind of civilization in the universe or there is also a tiny possibility that any kind of advanced alien civilization has also encountered a similar faith of rapid climate change and has met with mass extinction. But presently the threat due to climate change is immense that it is driving a mass extinction. There are still countless threats but climate change is presently the biggest threat and has the potential of becoming a great filter, which has a high probability that it is ahead of us where human civilization can meet its doom. But still, there is a ray of hope as we are reversing the growth of the ozone hole we can reverse the climate change and avoid the associated threats associated with it.

 

Shaleen Rawat

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Shaleen Rawat

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