Monday, October 19, 2009

Since we did so well with the first "new world"....

According to NPR and the BBC, there's a flurry of activity and excitement this week over the discovery of nearly three dozen new planets ("new" in the sense that we've never seen them before, not that they never existed before). Enthusiasm levels have been building for quite a while over this kind of stuff, and not just by Trekkers (a.k.a. Trekkies) — NASA itself has predicted that it's only a matter of time before humans on Earth discover life somewhere else. In fact, NASA has created a list of "five holy grails" that will need to be found, and after that, we're all set.

But all set for... what, exactly? To boldy venture forth into uncharted seas and discover new lands where we can thrive? Just like, oh, that time we left Europe, overcrowded and filthy, and piled onto boats to come to America — where we immediately began to turn that (largely) untouched wilderness into overcrowded filth, too?

All of the telescopes and rockets and unmanned probes on the planet, together, might be able to find the next Earth. But they'll never be able to change the basic mindset that turned life on the original Earth into an unsustainable mess.

That part, we gotta do ourselves. Here, on this planet.

Kirk out.


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