Tags: kardashev | science | climate

Humanity's Next Step: Riches, Energy and Boundless Future

Humanity's Next Step: Riches, Energy and Boundless Future
(Sergey Khakimullin/Dreamstime.com)

By Wednesday, 28 August 2019 04:02 PM Current | Bio | Archive

The renowned Russian astronomer, Nikolai Kardashev, recently passed away on August 3, 2019.

His vision of the future of civilization stands in stark contrast to the inexplicable and manic obsession with the series of oft-repeated worldwide panics and mass-disaster predictions of the last century — none of which, of course, have come to pass.

Over the last hundred years, millions and billions have run for cover from Halley’s Comet’s tail, a population bomb, peak oil shortages, global mass starvation, ozone holes, Y2K, a coming ice age, and now are being mesmerized into imagining they’ll be undone by the very carbon dioxide they exhale.

Future historians may wonder if something happened to cloud the collective intelligence of the world’s population in the 20th and 21st centuries, since no matter how many outrageous false alarms have been set off it’s as if the memory and ludicrousness of the previous imaginary doomsday that never dawned is constantly wiped away so the next apocalyptic deadline can take its place. Mankind’s prospects, in fact expanding as never before, are completely ignored by the bizarrely fatal view of a non-future the panic mongers somehow successfully peddle. Nonetheless, the professional pessimists have it backwards, as off as wrong can be, because a true “golden age” of mankind shouldn’t be far over the horizon.

Humanity in the coming decades and centuries is set to exploit boundless, incalculably rich, never-ending panoply of new territories, energies, and opportunities. The world’s oceans — daily soaking up the equivalent of 250 billion barrels of petroleum in heat energy, and covering more than three quarters of the surface area of the planet — are one such venue which will keep mankind busy for quite some time. Even this mammoth new zone of exploration and exploitation is a baby step compared to what awaits our race in space however.

The new regions and resources to be exploited on just the low-hanging fruit of the Solar System — the Moon, Mars, Asteroid Belt, Europa and Titan — should keep countless generations not only occupied, but working non-stop for millennia just to keep pace with reaping the torrent of treasure from extraterrestrial assets sufficient to boggle the mind.

Considering the iron alone in just the Asteroid Belt, there is ample quantity for the girders to construct a ten-story skyscraper over the entirety of planet Earth. The amounts of gold, silver, platinum, copper, and every other category of metal and vital resource is there as well, and in equally staggering proportions.

Those naysayers and handwringers who wonder how long Earth’s petroleum and natural gas may last suffer from a truly monumental myopia, as just one of Saturn’s satellites, Titan, has lakes and shallow seas of methane. It literally rains methane on Titan. This moon alone possesses hundreds of times the estimated entire global quantity of natural gas on Earth.

Insofar as energy is concerned, we are on the cusp of putting that supposed worry in the rear-view mirror and forever. The greatest nations on the planet have been engaged in a furious race to get the first fusion reactor up and running over these last decades. Real progress has been made lately and more than a few sanguine experts who should be in the know are mostly in agreement that fusion reactors could be a reality around 2050 or 2060.

Those reactors would be fueled by heavy water, found everywhere, diffused throughout the world’s oceans. No one has ever calculated how long Earth’s supply of heavy water should last churning out electricity by the googleplex-watts. The ballpark figure though would be sometime around the day after forever, or the Wednesday after that.

And then, of course, there is that massive, scorching, brightly glowing orb up in the sky, shining down on all the crowds listening to the current series of sermonizers marketing terror, death, poverty, discord, decay, and failure. Humankind will one day slip a virtual bridle around even such a terrifyingly powerful dynamo as Sol.

Nikolai Kardashev categorized the types of advanced societies that can exist and scientists have adopted his scale: Kardashev I, II, and III civilizations. A Kardashev II culture will have conquered their home sun, placing a Dyson sphere around it, capturing the entire blistering energy of a star. Homo sapiens achieving that feat will put our species on the way to colonizing the galaxy, and finishing that final task, perhaps a half million years from now, becoming what fate has quite plausibly seemed to decree as humanity’s ultimate goal, a Kardashev III civilization, the greatest force in nature.

That is the spectacular and breath-taking future of the human race — not starvation, degradation, apocalypse, decline, starvation, epidemics, mass die-offs, and destruction. Those doomsayers promoting such nonsense should merit what sane societies have always given them: deaf ears.

David Nabhan is a science writer, the author of "Earthquake Prediction: Dawn of the New Seismology" (2017) and three previous books on earthquakes. Nabhan is also a science fiction writer ("Pilots of Borealis," 2015) and the author of many scores of newspaper and magazine op-eds. Nabhan has been featured on television and talk radio all over the world. His website is www.earthquakepredictors.com. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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The renowned Russian astronomer, Nikolai Kardashev, recently passed away on August 3, 2019.
kardashev, science, climate
Wednesday, 28 August 2019 04:02 PM
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