Considering the vastness of our universe, the billions of stars and planets it holds, it is highly probable that earth like or even more advanced life forms should exist in planets other than ours. Yet, we have never made contact with any one of them. Why is that? Where is everybody?
This is the Fermi Paradox & there are many theories around it. You can exhaustively read about them here(highly recommended) while I delve deep into the one explanation I find most appealing: we’re fucked.
This line of thought suggests that we aren’t aware of any intelligent beings other than what’s inhabiting earth simply because they do not exist. At some point between the development of that first sign of life on a planet & it transforming into intelligent, self aware organisms capable of making intergalactic contacts, there’s an evolutionary wall, called the great filter, which is nearly impossible to crack. Further, the civilization on earth is yet to face this wall.
What this means is that at some point in our future, we’re going to face this great filter which is so impossible to come out of alive, that all of the civilizations before us have tried to battle it and failed. And we are headed for the exact same outcome. Hence, sooner or later, we’re fucked.
Now, there are many theories on what this great filter could be, the winner for me though, is Self Destruction. Think about it, the way we are violating our planet: causing extreme climate changes, imbalance in the ecosphere, how long will the precious living conditions on the planet last? The way we are fighting among ourselves, fighting for our countries, religions & what not, instead of fighting for our survival as a species… How long before a nuclear bomb explodes?
The way our life is progressing, it is increasingly becoming difficult to sustain itself. We are exploiting resources constantly, polluting our way into the future, without any regard of the consequences. Only consumption is on our mind.
I live in Bangalore, and one of the biggest problem the city is facing presently is waste management. Everyday the city generates tonnes of garbage which has absolutely no where to go. Landfills and setting piles of garbage on fire, are the two “solutions” most commonly applied, causing even more damage. There are so many alternatives out there, to be more sustainable, to be more environment friendly, but most among the intelligent species are busy being lazy and not giving a fuck. They are happily drinking their bottled water and discarding the plastic after single use because carrying your own water is such a pain!
I do not know whether there’s still time or have we gone too far on the self destructive path. But I do feel it will be justice when we fail at the great filter and doom ourselves, simply because most of us are not actively working towards a different outcome. I wonder though, what will happen if more among us actively tried to change this.
If more people became self aware and worked towards advancing the species & sustaining the planet, will we be able to delay our self destruction? Will we be able to buy enough time for our species to become smart enough & beat the great filter?
I’d at least like to try. To be one of those who care. Will you?
P.S. If you are looking for some inspiration try this. 🙂