"Prepare people for the future and empower them [for they can change the outcome]."
Richard Clive Neville, futurist
THE FUTURE BEGINS TODAY
Hundreds of millions of years have past since we emerged from tiny single-celled micro-organisms to become fully-fledged large-brained creatures with two arms to manipulate the environment and create a technology, and two legs to walk the land. A true testament to the power of evolution and the passage of enough time (and a little luck knowing the Universe can throw at us a smattering of large asteroids and comets, spray us with radiation from nearby supernovas, and keep us on our toes with variations in the Sun's output and changes to the Earth's orbit). And how can we forget a little coaxing from predators and radiation from space to push us to change just that little bit more? Now, at last, the human brain has reached a level of complexity and size that has allowed us to ask the next crucial questions: Why is it that life follows this general law of increasing order and greater complexity for life? Where are we heading? And will it continue into the future? Or will our knowledge of genetic engineering keep us the way we are, or accelerate the evolutionary process for us to turn us into something far greater than natural evolution had ever intended or could ever achieve? Indeed, what is our destiny through all these evolutionary changes? And what will we become, or look like should evolution continue to change us from what we are today?
Or to put it into a nutshell: Are we heading towards an unseen goal, or is all this evolutionary activity heading us in no particular direction?
The truth is, we don't know. Not even the brightest minds in the scientific community are entirely sure of the answer. Or would it be more appropriate to ask the people in religion and the Arts for the answer? Knowing there are some exceptionally bright and well-trained R-brain people in these fields who are already applying their imagination and visualisation skills to link together known and observable patterns in the Universe and are uncovering and/or extrapolating some interesting hidden patterns not directly observable and are findings ways to explain them for the rest of us to consider, more progress might be achieved with the help of these highly talented and visual people. As we know today, science is focused on the visible reproducible patterns. Whereas the R-brain is more focussed on the invisible reproducible patterns emerging from large-scale views of known or visible patterns.
Whatever the answer, it will probably depend on the choices we make today and how we think. So long as we apply the brain in a balanced way, it may be possible to paint the likely picture of our future over a very long period of time with reasonable accuracy. (1)
Nonetheless, if we do nothing and simply enjoy our time on this planet, the universe will not stop its incessant need to change who we are. Nothing will stop this natural evolutionary work from changing us and becoming something different, and hopefully better than we are today.
Assuming the changes to occur for all of us do follow certain current trends, and the choices we make for ourselves are fairly predictable, let us begin this controversial next epoch by presenting below some of the things scientists do know will almost certainly happen in the future assuming our neck of the woods in the Milky Way continues to remain relatively stable and predictable. It will be based on current trends and behaviours observed today among humans as well as cutting-edge scientific knowledge and technologies emerging as we speak. And we will apply a realistic extrapolation of this trend and behaviour to help explain where we are going into the future.
It is clear our greatest journey has only just begun...
5 YEARS FROM NOW
Just as in the Cambrian period where life has reached up to the surface of the oceans for a better future, in the 21st century, humans will be reaching up in their own way towards the final frontier: the Universe. The answer to whether we are alone will soon be known once we apply the right technology to take us to the stars.
But before this glorious new dawn in the history of humanity begins, humans will have hopefully learned something about themselves and their technology, and the rest of life on Earth, before meeting with other intelligent creatures in the universe.
Let us not kid ourselves. Scientists are highly confident in the existence of alien life. We know they are there. It is not a question of if, but when. Indeed, the moment of our next major discovery is just around the corner, and it will involve other intelligent and technologically advanced people in the Universe. If we know anything about the principle of love, as we should by now, we will quickly come to understand why practically all the advanced aliens that are able to reach our planet are hiding from us. It will be to preserve our culture and the living things that exist on the Earth. Then among them will be some alien civilisations, mainly the closest ones, who will be keenly watching us and our technological and social developments from a distance. Others, mainly the more distant ones, will choose to stay away from us altogether until we have learned something important, if we have not done so by now.
Or, given the way things are progressing here on Earth, it is more likely humans will soon discover the electromagnetic technology that will take us to the stars, and it will be the one being applied by other civilisations to reach us.
However, before we do encounter alien life on our own, it is essential for humanity to be prepared. There is important knowledge we must remember and show to alien lifeforms especially if they are capable of reaching our planet. No doubt there will be a plethora of intelligent and highly communicative (or more introverted thinking) aliens out there. A lot of them will look sufficiently different from ourselves, others may be not so much. Guess what? Don't think we are the pretty ones. For all we know, we could be one of the ugliest creatures in the Milky Way. Yet how we look won't change the way aliens treat us. Likewise, we need to be prepared to do the same with them.
If you need a clue about the kind of creatures we need to treat well when we encounter them, make sure those humanoid beings are given the respect and kindness they deserve. You know, the ones who also have two arms, two legs and a large head, just like us. (2)
Still, despite how we look, we must all treat one another equally and with kindness. It is part of the principle of love we must follow. In fact, there is no choice in the matter. Our survival in the Universe will depend on it. The last thing we want to do is be a threat to other civilisations through our actions and thinking. Or else our proverbial backsides will be kicked so hard, we may never be able to sit down on Earth for all eternity mainly because we will be extinct. The Universe is not big enough to hold an egotistical, non-loving, and conquering attitude of a civilisation. However, there should be plenty of room for more loving creatures to exist side-by-side for all eternity.
If we have learned anything about our evolutionary past, then the time has come to show these smart people of the stars something of our understanding of what we and all living things on this planet, and on the many different Earth-like worlds throughout the Universe, have gone through and to show what was missing throughout our long and arduous evolutionary journey: love.
We need to have a deep and intimate understanding of love and to practice it everyday with all living things, whether they are still evolving on this planet, or a technically-advanced alien civilisation coming to our doorstep of our home called the Earth. What we look like, how we do things, and what our hopes and ambitions are for the future, must all be cherished and welcomed. Such diversity should not change how we treat all living things. They, as do all of us, deserve love. Love is the summation of all that we know and will ever know and should already have figured out from our long and arduous evolutionary past. There should be no holding back in terms of the love we must show to all living things. If, for any reason, we don't understand the importance of love by now after all this time, then we are truly alone in the Universe, and the time for our extinction is close at hand. Otherwise, if we, by some miraculous chance, do survive and somehow manage to go out there in our technology without the necessary love in our hearts, there will be dire consequences for humanity. And it won't be a simple slap on the wrist for being a naughty and selfish little boy. It will be the most devastating of its kind, and the word "intelligent" will have to be dropped from our vocabulary and normal scientific discourse in favour of another less flattering term to describe the human race. Nothing can stop other civilisations from putting us in our place or destroying us forever if they so choose. They have the technology and knowledge to achieve great harm to any civilisation that chooses not to show love to all living things.
With all this in mind, we need to ask, Are we ready to be peaceful?
To be peaceful means we must have a thorough understanding of the principle of love and know how to implement it in all walks of life. This includes the ability to live within our means and recycle everything we have, as well as to allow the full diversity of all living things to exist and evolve in their own unique ways. We call this the principle of non-interference, which is really a subset of the much larger concept known as the principle of love.
Are we faring well in applying this principle in our own backyard?
What will we find out there, and will we be ready for them? Or is the time for our extinction fast approaching us?
The evidence for our understanding of love and efforts to practice it with all living things (and not just with our own kind) is not exactly overwhelming to say the least. As we have seen over the past few thousand years, humans look more preoccupied with plundering and using up the available resources and throwing the waste back to nature without adequate recycling methods. We also have a remarkable tenacity of wanting to interfere with other people and other living things in order to get what we want (i.e., acquire extra resources), often at the expense of their lives or quality of life and all for the sake of satisfying our own selfish wants by making huge profits. Or else we somehow cannot be creative enough to come up with alternative, long-term and sustainable solutions that ensure the survival of everyone, so we stick to what we think is cheaper and easier to stay alive (e.g., oil in Iraq and soon the Arctic regions and in the South China Seas, and the fish in the oceans as food not to mention the freshwater on land etc.) and gives us the profit we want. On top of this, all our interference is intricately linked to the size of our population and how rich we all want to become when acquiring and selling these remaining resources even if it means increasing one's insecurity with other humans who don't have the same resources (hence the origin of a military force).
Why do humans do it?
One possibility is that we are still incredibly insecure in ourselves, our future, and what we think we need to survive on this planet. Without a sufficient understanding of love and a thorough knowledge of recycling, as well as certain insights into the grander invisible patterns of the Universe to help make us feel more secure for all time, we are hopelessly short-sighted and generally inadequate and unbalanced in our thinking skills and the knowledge we have acquired. As a result of this lack of or highly limited knowledge about love and the purpose of our existence in the Universe, we find it easier to make money, be rich, live in the here-and-now moment of enjoying what we can. And as the population increases, we have to start competing and eventually fighting with one another for the remaining resources. We are simply not able to live within our means by recycling everything, keeping things simple, and being satisfied that we are alive and well and there is so much we should be appreciative about this Universe. And our failure to think and view our future long term is virtually killing our planet and those that live in it. We rely too much on our highly developed L-brain skills of rational thinking, good memory, communication, and the development of a technology together with our heavy reliance on our eyes to make decisions and hands to manipulate the environment, that we end up believing in our short-sighted views about ourselves and everything around us. We start to believe our lives are short and nothing exists beyond death. With no true future we can rely on beyond our own current lives, we start to hoard what we think we need and want. The more we acquire, the easier life seems to get as we don't have to work hard to stay alive, and the more it make us feel secure or at least helps to get our minds off thinking about death. Do this long enough and people who acquire enough resources will develop beliefs that accumulating more is necessary for our survival. And then eventually people start to think being greedy is okay. "More is more" as they say, and so it is with people who believe in the L-brain approach to life.
Once enough things are acquired, L-brain people do not like letting go. To help them forget the inherent fears L-brain people have for the future, including the moment of our death, they tend to cling to the things they are familiar with or want to believe. It gives them a sense of stability and security. Anything to affect what they have or changes their understanding of what's familiar makes L-brain people feel less stable, and more uncertain and fearful of the future. These people will do everything possible to develop the feelings of greater security and stability and hence feel less feaful by hoarding more of the resources and protecting them through the establishment of a military force, not to mention fortifying our homes with alarm systems and security guards, and to establish borders for countries just to protect this way of life.
It is starting to look like fear is the driving force behind why certain humans, most L-brain types, behave the way they do on this planet. Totally understandable. We have our long evolutionary past to consider. As our memories and the study of fossils has revealed, our time on Earth was filled with countless episodes of experiencing fear as we tried to tackle or run away from predators and various geological cataclysmic events. We know all about fear. We are virtually experts in this field. It is an inherent part of who we are when we look back at our past. Evolution has taught us to almost constantly fear things, and we know it so well. Even today, there are enough people still living in fear. Even with a home to go to, people are still not entirely sure what the future will bring. We somehow still fear for the future, when in reality we shouldn't be.
What is there to fear in the future? Death? Or just not knowing if we will have food on the table each day? Or is someone not showing the love you deserve?
There is another side to life. There is an alternate reality through love and the creative side of the brain where we no longer have to fear. The new world we can create right now if we so choose is one where there are new solutions, and new ways of doing things. Within this new world, everyone can survive comfortably, and with plenty if we want, simply by applying the principle of love, being more creative, and learning to visualise and apply what we see to the real world. Because in the end, what we see and the actions we perform for the good of all are what brings love to the people.
And where there is love, there can be no fear.
Sure, sometimes fear can be a good thing. It has a way of forcing us to do something that ultimately changes us and helps us to solve problems. It can have a habit of making us move forward, hopefully in the direction of love, so long as we solve the problems properly and see to it that the solutions are long-term (i.e., permanent and effective). Taking action and applying the principle of love when solving problems to its fundamental level can be an important thing to do.
Problems are meant to be there to provide challenges in our lives and to keep us preoccupied and learning more. Whereas some problems will undoubtedly have a connection to our survival. Despite the range of problems we have to encounter, we can't sit back and do nothing. The problems are crying out for attention to be solved. We can't afford to ignore problems and continually fear because we can't see or know the future. Yes, we all have to find ways to stay alive and be happy, and so temporarily end the fear that lingers within us from time-to-time. It is natural. We need food and water to stay alive. Without it and we fear suffering and dying. Perfectly understandable. Whereas other things we acquire can help us to survive further into the future as well as the fact that it can help us to achieve certain things we haven't dreamt of (mainly because we fear death and we don't want to think about it, but instead we like to constantly keep ourselves preoccupied with something else as if resting and enjoying the moment is not enough or think it is a sign of being lazy). It is the fear of not knowing whether we will survive and not have to suffer and die in the future, as well as not knowing what is beyond our eyes and whether we can achieve something with our lives in order to give us meaning, which seems to be at the heart of how we behave and treat others and all living things on this planet.
Why so much fear?
It seems at some point we need to address these fears and to use love to conquer them if we are going to overcome our insecurities and paint a more positive future for all of us, while at the same time encouraging others to do the right thing.
Well, let us look at one of the biggest fears we have at the moment: the issue of death.
The fear of death is most prevalent among what psychologists describe as L-brain people. These are the ones who are totally trusting of their eyes and make rational decisions based on what they can see. So if they can't see something, then at least they try to control the situation or delay the inevitable and perhaps everything will be okay. Otherwise, fear starts to creep into their lives. Or else these people will do anything to ignore it if their technology cannot solve the problem. As a result, L-brain people who can't see what happens after death are more likely to say that nothing happens after death, it is just the end. Then the attitude to something they feel has no hope of a new life beyond death is essentially to accumulate as much as they can so they can enjoy life to the fullest extent possible in the present moment and often without due regard to the protection of other living things.
This is an imbalanced view of life.
According to the more R-brain types, death may be inevitable but it is not the end. Rather it is the beginning to a new adventure. Death should always be seen as just another experience, and it is an experience that we must all face. Why should it be an experience? Well, the grand recycling nature of the universe and the way everything comes around in circles to repeat itself and start again from the smallest scale to the largest scale is telling them that life is no different. The only thing that does not get recycled is our true selves. Like the humanoid shape of alien life for those with a technology will not change, so will our true selves. Only the mass or energy thing making up our body and the rest of the physical (or materialistic) Universe will have to go through its necessary and incessant recycling. Thus the body we reside in to live out our life is just like the clothes we wear. They eventually wear out and we need to change them. Hence this the purpose of death. Eventually we must experience the moment of our death. But once we die, it doesn't matter. It is just an opportunity to experience a new life wherever it may begin and is how we get the chance to wear new clothes in our next life.
As for our true selves, R-brain people believe it remains stable. In other words, it never disappears at the time of our death. It remains unchanging and unaffected by time and place, and whatever is happening in the Universe
There is nothing in the Universe that can ever affect our true selves.
So, for R-brain people, anything that changes, no matter how slowly, must go through this incessant life and death cycle, and will repeat for as long as the Universe is around. However, anything that does not change will never experience this life and death cycle. It will remain the one and only absolute constant for all eternity. All that will change for us will be our clothes and our experience of wearing it and to use it to help us experience the Universe. Whereas our true selves will remain untouched and unaffected by this experience.
If this is true, then how does our true self move from one body to the next at the moment of our death? Well done! You have just hit the nail on the head, and seen as the biggest mystery for R-brain types. Finding a solution to this question is extremely difficult, even for the most talented R-brain people, despite the long periods of deep contemplation by these people to find the answer. Well, we probably should not be surprised by this. Technically, no R-brain person is God. We can never know the final great answer. Yet there is nothing in this Universe to stop us from getting as close as we like to the answer. And given enough time, we should be able to get extremely close to the solution. This is why R-brain people continue to meditate and contemplate the issue to its deepest sense. More time is needed to gather more information and to visualise the observable patterns, and hopefully the creative side of the mind will uncover an unexpected new hidden pattern.
In essence, all we have to remember is that there is something far more mysterious about the Universe we live in than we can imagine, let alone can see. We know it has the ability to recycle the physical parts. That's a given. But beyond it is something that allows our true selves to continue on in this Universe no matter what happens in the physical sense.
Leaving aside how our true selves move on, another question is, why do we need to move on? What is the point of having a Universe for us to "move on" again and again? R-brain people are not one hundred per cent sure. Maybe it is a bit like the story of Adam and Eve ("the living things") and the garden of Eden ("the Universe"). Living in a perfect world free of all pain all the time and with no change (or just enough change to walk up and pick a fruit on a tree and eat it) makes us weak and bland and eventually corrupt. We need proper change to strengthen us, gives us real purpose and something to do (maybe God is bored?), and to constantly strive to find and grasp the true concept of love (maybe God needs to be loved?). It may also be the fact that there is something else that is already perfect, but no one can be God as well. There can be only one God (or maybe the sum of all of us is really God? Or is the Universe God? Either way, one individual can never be called God given something grander does exist). But being the one true God is probably lonely. It may need us to give it company, as well as something to entertain it as we go about our activities, as well as to give us a Universe from which we can learn from and improve ourselves, so that one day we can better appreciate the existence of this one true God (which is either the Universe, or is something else that has created the Universe). Whatever the truth, it is almost like we are forced here to experience and learn, to feel the love and joy, the sorrows and difficulties, and so on, as if we are being given a lesson. It is not a prison, but rather a kind of classroom of the Universe, and the Universe is like our Teacher as well. And it is also the place we practice what we learn, to show that we are learning and trying to be perfect in our love. Something or someone wants us to be here, to learn and grow and work out the purpose of why we are here and the need to have this Universe. It is like we are meant to be the eyes, ears and everything else for some Grand Creator of the Universe to help it and hence ourselves to experience more of this Universe in all its glory, and to share those experiences with others so we can all feel happy and loved knowing that our true selves will always exist forever. Then given enough time, and many countless lives we must experience, the ultimate answer and goal will become known. Until we get to this ultimate and stable goal and answer, we have to go through the natural cycles of life and death, of learning, and re-learning different perspectives in our lives until finally we see the Truth.
That is where many R-brain people are at. In the meantime, the process of moving on to the next body will always remain the hardest part to comprehend. We have not yet fully understood how and why it happens. There is still a mystery relating to this Universe, and yet it is the Universe that is somehow integral to understanding what is going on here. Until the answer is known, the question of how does life, ending in death, will come back to life again especially while still maintaining the very essence of who we are throughout the experience, is the greatest mystery of all times.
For L-brain types, all this can be difficult to understand, even to the point of thinking it is unproven and not worth discussing. Yes, it is difficult to prove, but it does not mean it does not happen or exist. This is their shortfall. They are not trained well enough to apply the R-brain to see beyond and observe the hidden patterns of the Universe. Constantly reinforced in our modern L-brain society by similar-thinking people to think in the same way and made to become fixated with materialistic things they can see and use and so expect everything else to be seen, an imbalance in the cognitive style of thinking and solving problems in the L-brain person develops. Then the L-brain types lose sight of the hidden patterns that help us to better understand why the Universe exists and the purpose of our lives.
Somehow we need to break the vicious L-brain cycle.
It is no wonder certain people in society are still behaving like children. They are constantly afraid of the things they can see if it represents some aspect of our evolutionary past (e.g., the monsters we called predators). And we continue to be afraid for the things we cannot observe because of the way we use our minds to solve problems. If it isn't the past that forces us to remember and be scared, then it must be the future for the things we cannot observe. It seems so much of the world we have created has been based on a complete trust in our eyes. And if we can't escape the fear, we live in the present and we try to forget about the past and the future if this is where the fear lies. Yet so much more about the Universe remains hidden and still holds a great mystery. Already we are seeing some of the hidden patterns of the Universe thanks to R-brain types to help offer us far greater knowledge of what will happen for all of us. All it takes is for us to look more broadly, to use our imagination, and to visualise and the invisible world will reveal the unseen patterns. Then, once we see them, we will never turn back. A new balanced approach to life will emerge.
If we can somehow balance our thinking, then we will begin to unravel and identify some of these grander and hidden patterns. nd people will soon change the way they do things. They will change the priorities and make us focus on what's important.
For example, one pattern will teach us that all things will get recycled given enough time. It happens everywhere to the point where we realise life itself is also being recycled, and whatever it is that represents our true self in our current body will continue on again and again into the next new "recycled" life of a new body in a process known as "resurrection". There is a great mystery of this Universe that permits all living things to be born, and reborn for all eternity. The time will come when the Universe will give us the opportunity to experience and re-experience more of this Universe and for us to learn just a little bit more about our purpose of why we are here and the need to have the Universe. There is nothing we have to worry about other than to do the right thing now if we are to benefit from our good actions in the next life and the life afterwards. Just let go when we die so the Universe will take care of us, and our new life will begin.
Once we understand this pattern, we will know what we must do right now to achieve whatever it is we have to do so we can ensure everyone today and those to come in the future is helped and made happy. We forget about being greedy and making as much profit as possible. The real aim should be to make sure all living things and those people who you meet are happy and are loved by helping them to have what they need and give them the knowledge and tools yo achieve great things. Because in the next life, you will benefit from all the goodness you and others have sowrf in the current life through those achievements. Then, as time goes by, you will enjoy the greater sense of security among all living things and love in a community of people and the natural world when you do the right thing. Because in the end, you will never have to be afraid again. You will have everything you need, and soon you will have the opportunities to see more of this great Universe. True security will come from this foundation of true love.
There are other things L-brain types fear too.
What about the fear of our fellow human beings and all of life on Earth having certain differences?
As a general rule of thumb, the greater the observed differences in our appearance, actions and views, the more L-brain types tend to fear their own survival. A natural reaction considering other living things tend to look quite different when they have to interfere with us in order to achieve the same goal of staying alive. And as we all know, such interference is usually not beneficial to us (e.g., getting eaten alive). Because of this possibility, we create fear and a need to remember those differences so we may quickly act on the living thing that is different, which could either be to run away or to eliminate or control the thing that might interfere with our survival needs. This is perfectly understandable.
Predators, no matter how small or large, were once herbivores fundamentally coping with a world lacking in love, especially during times of great famine. When plant-based foods were insufficient (possibly because plant-eating animals were in high numbers or volcanoes decimated the plant populations), these animals have learned to become meat eaters because meat is a source of food. If we want to stop this hunting instinct, providing food from birth and developing activities to build up concentration and memory will transform predators to become much more curious and loving creatures (a process considered more successful with females than males). Some predators may take longer over many generations to achieve this so long as the love through food as a reward is provided over a long time. But eventually a time comes when not even the presence of another animals would cause the predator to chase after it.
This is why dogs (and cats to a certain extent) have learned to live with humans as soon as the love has been provided. Dogs have learned the quickest to see humans as not a threat or a source of food, but rather a source of love through the food provided by humans and other forms of love. The same is true with the relationship between a cat and a dog when both are given love eventually even the dog and cat can learn to tolerate each other's differences.
This is how the power of love determines the future of all living things in the universe.
As a result of our long evolutionary conditioning to being fearful of different animals and the need to survive, we have come to see these differences as a general threat to our survival. In the modern world, the differences we quickly pick up on or can identify includes our language, race, culture, some physical attribute, education levels, behaviour or something else. And some of the differences may make us feel inadequate or think it is a threat to our survival.
Even today, we have yet to overcome our fear of differences.
We have observed the consequences of this fear over differences in the different groups of people that live in Africa and how they try to get along together. In times when survival is paramount, any slight differences in human appearance within a high population/low resource region (even subtle differences like a flatter forehead structure compared to another) and there is a distinct risk of ethnic cleansing and wars occurring among the groups to reduce the human numbers.
It doesn't stop there. We see evidence of this feeling of being threatened by anything that looks and acts differently to us in those science fiction films such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Deep Space Nine, Farscape, Alien, and War of the Worlds just to name a few. It was more prevalent in earlier films of the 1950s and 60s. Yet it remains to this day a fundamental issue we have not overcome.
Do we need more reminders?
But why do we need to fear differences? We have to realise that there is nothing wrong with being different. Humans need to be unique by searching for differences and seeing the Universe in a different way. We must not all travel the same beaten track. Sometimes we have to take the side route or carved out a new path and see whether it leads to a brighter future. Sometimes we have to be different in who we are and how we look because our work requires it (e.g., a painter of new artworks). Or even a business needs to set itself apart from the competition by showing a difference that is better and gives it the unique selling point needed to make greater profits. Or, for individuals, it may be because we need to solve a problem properly and permanently from a unique angle. Either way, differences have the power to achieve greater things for which being normal and indifferent can never bring out no matter how hard we try. We need differences in order to really know the true position of balance and greater harmony in society. Stay the same because it is comfortable or familiar and we never know if we are balanced and doing the right thing. We have to be different in some tiny way. That's why we all do not look the same. But we can be more different. We can be so different that we can break the traditions and ways of doing things things and move us to a different direction that is better for everyone.
Be different. Try something you have never done before, and soon you will see things you have never dreamt of before. Only when you are different will you know whether what you are doing is right, the more balanced path, and is the path with a heart.
And the only way you can do this is to use your imagination and visualisation skills to see in your mind and with practice a new reality and a new position of greater balance. Then you will understand the benefits of those differences to everyone and not just yourself. Even if we think the differences have no obvious or immediate benefit because we can't see it yet, the perspective of the person or living thing having those differences can help us to see new things we have never seen before and thus new ways of solving problems. We just have to broaden our minds to see it.
Who knows? Perhaps the differences and the different views and insights will provide a cure for cancer? Or it could help us to see a solution to the problem of travelling to the stars beyond the familiar fossil fuel-based rocket technology we have today. We will never know what we can achieve unless we nurture our imagination, learn to value differences in other people and other living things, and to protect those differences (which means giving all living things with those differences what they need to survive). It is through our imagination and understanding the differences and letting those differences grow and be put into practice to achieve great things can we push ourselves into a new direction towards something better and along a more balanced path, and with greater love for everyone.
For example, when we see young people trying to be rebellious to their elders, it is not because they don't respect their elders or are going against authority or society. Rather, it is because they can see differences that can solve problems that the elders and other people cannot see. The differences can be beneficial for them and potentially for other people. It promotes and develops their imagination, but may often lack the practical knowledge of how to make those differences work to the benefit of everyone (so other people can see it too). On the other hand, the adults probably already know they have to do different things to solve world problems and achieve other things, but are too comfortable with what they know not to change and, therefore, stick to the practical solutions they have known for a long time. Somehow there has to be a balance if we are to push things along and in the right direction of greater hope and balance.
If we only realise such differences are necessary and to accept change as a normal part of life in order to reach a more balanced existence, then we can work together to help the young people create a better and new world that will be full of genuine hope, creativity and love than we see today, and the problems created by older people will be finally solved as they should. No problem is too great to solve. Our imagination has the power to simplify the most difficult problems set before us. Just let different people with the imagination to come up with new solutions to grow and give them the practical skills they need to make the ideas work in reality. The world will be a much better place if we do.
So why are we still fearing so much today? What are we afraid of?
For a start, why maintain all the lingering fears from our evolutionary past to relive in our nightmares? Seriously. Haven't we learnt anything from our long and arduous past? Don't we know why animals are constantly frightened, why they are struggling to survive, as well as why they need to act in ways that maximises their survival? And don't we know why people are preoccupied with getting rich and the fears they have about their own lives and their future?
A quick look around us today suggests we have not learnt a great deal. We are still too fearful of so many things. And at the same time we are too rational in our thinking skills (because it has helped us to survive, develop a technology and language, and given us a relatively comfortable and stable life) at the expense of diminishing our creativity. Ignoring our technological feats (which are great in their own right), already there are millions of people still dying from starvation and countless others committing suicide or fighting against society in negative ways (i.e. war, murder, theft, terrorism, vandalism etc.) at an alarming rate. While this is happening, an increasing number of people in developed nations seem more preoccupied with conquering new worlds, exploiting new resources, selling the resources to others who can afford it at high prices, and maximising their own security so they can have what they want (i.e. be rich, powerful and even famous) at the expense of interfering and losing a few living organisms on Earth.
There is nothing "intelligent" about this behaviour.
If this is how far we have travelled, our chances of survival in the future is very slim. Maybe we have another 20 to 50 years and then it is downhill for all of us. And if we somehow find a way to travel to the stars, very few if any alien civilisation will want to associate themselves with us because of our limited understanding of the principle of love.
In that case, what will happen if we don't change our ways, be more balanced in our thinking and actions, and show true love to all living things and our fellow human beings?
Assuming we cannot solve our problems permanently and with love within a reasonable time frame, the worse case scenario for humans is that as the resources go down (usually because of high population levels and our greed) and get more expensive to purchase, more and more people who cannot afford basic things we take for granted and keep us alive will eventually have to fight for the remaining resources. And for those who can afford it, they will have to pay more and more money and other resources to those who choose the path of being rich and powerful until even the richest struggle to pay or find anyone who can afford the cost. Then the social revolution begins and a new world order must begin, if humans don't destroy themselves first through war. Otherwise disease followed by starvation and eventually death will be the inevitable conclusion for our choice as the environment gets destroyed.
True, a few people may survive. Probably the richest and most powerful with control of the remaining technology and resources to keep themselves alive. But even they will be alone and without love from all other living things. And destroy enough living things and these survivors will die a horrible death. Not even their technology will be enough to keep them alive. We can't live without other living things, nor can we live being alone forever. We need diversity. We need others. We need the creativity to solve all out problems. And most importantly, we need the love of those around us.
Forget our constant reliance on technology. In the past we needed sticks and stones and our hands to manipulate our environment. Later we found a way to use fire, and later invented spears and swords to achieve certain goals. And now we have guns and nuclear weapons. How much more efficiently can we achieve the task of, say, annihilating what we think is our enemy and eventually the planet should we feel our way of life is in jeopardy and we can't maintain it because of some difference or not being able to access the resources we need to survive? What's next? Will we continue to create such an efficient new means of killing others that perhaps people might well destroy themselves accidentally?
Think about it. Our primitive technology of fire and spears has effectively kept most humans in their own territories, and wiped-out many species of animals and plants in the last 50,000 years because of our lack of knowledge in recycling and how incredibly efficient we have become in gathering our food on a commercial quantity. And the number of these tools, in more sophisticated forms, now in the hands of so many people all trying to survive, let alone become rich beyond their wildest dreams, is starting to have a serious effect on the life ecology of this planet. Furthermore, as we destroy our planet for the sake of being rich and enjoying everything we can, we again think it is necessary to refine our technology, be more efficient, communicate more, and be cunning and devious in our behaviour in order to get what we want, only to make things worse for all of us and make our future more bleak.
Continue along this path and the eventual demise of humans will be just around the corner. If anything should survive after this time, it will be the insects who will dominate Earth, assuming there are enough plants left to grow and expand to every corner of the planet once again.
As Ronald Wright in A Short History of Progress said:
"Joseph Tainter, analysing the collapse of civilisations, described three models of collapse. These are the Runaway Train, the Dinosaur and the House of Cards. These usually act together, so they are really aspects of the same collapse.
The invention of agriculture, enabling large population growth until it hits the bounds of the food supply, is the Runaway Train. It encourages the growth of hierarchical systems, with an upward concentration of wealth, ensuring there is never enough to go round. (It is horrifying that no matter how wealthy people are today, they still claim to be unable to buy everything they need!)
The rulers' failure to tackle these problems is the Dinosaur aspect. The swift, irreparable and unforeseen (by the rulers, anyway) collapse represents the House of Cards."
There is clearly something missing in our lives.
Fortunately, we know the answer (or we ought to know by now). There is light at the end of this L-brain and highly rational tunnel. And no, we don't have to destroy ourselves through war and diseases to see this tunnel of light. There is a different light to our future. We can implement it right now while we are still alive. It is simply for us to love all things, and to be more creative while thinking about things and visualising how the ideas will work before putting things into practice in the real world.
But no matter how creative and rational we are, there is always one factor that overrides everything we do: love.
The power of love must never be underestimated.
We need to know how to love. If we don't, then no matter how rational or creative we might be, or would like to think of ourselves as being, from time-to-time, we cannot do anything great without love. We live for love. We need love. We do things to feel the love and be loved by others no matter what the situation we are in happens to be. Thus if you understand love, you will realise how important it is to know the environment of plants and animals are happy (or at least have a place they can call a home and with all the essential resources they need to survive and protect themselves from the predators well, at least give them a fighting chance, right? It is hard enough being small and living with other hungry creatures). Why? Because other living things give you the fresh air and food to keep you alive, and this in turn makes you feel happy and safe. Or to put it simply, you feel loved. That is all living things seek in life. No matter how small, from the tiniest actions such as raising our hands in the air to communicate something to the much bigger actions we perform, everything should follow the principle of love. And if you can see it and it does reveal love by others, then you know we are on the right track to long-term prosperity and a guaranteed future.
Remember, we all need love. No living thing can survive without it. Only through love does it guide us in the right direction.
With so many extraordinary and unique creatures in the history of the Earth who have, from time to time, lacked this necessary love, which has resulted in them having to find food, reproduce, fight and manipulate and/or adapt to new environments and with other creatures as quickly as their little L- and R-brains and bodies can permit them or else face the threat of being eaten or extinction. And today more and more people are increasingly feeling not much different from these living things or even other humans from prehistoric times (unless you are immune to this because you are living a comfortable, stable and rich lifestyle), it seems love will play an increasing role in the survival of all remaining life on this planet. Because it is through love that we begin to appreciate how far we have come, what we have learnt after all this time, and what we are going to do for the benefit of all living things in the future.
For example, can we call it love to continue populating the world with more human beings when the resources are already dwindling and getting expensive, and more people alive today are struggling to survive?
An example of a high population centre. This photograph taken by Karen Kasmauski shows some of the people of Bangladesh seeking employment in the city of Dhaka. Source: Parfit 1998, p.7.
Should we continue to erect massive high-rise artificial monuments by mostly males of the human species (almost like looking at a scene from "How big is my penis?") to show how rich and powerful we are?
An example of a massive modern monument (this one from Sydney) to mark the business achievements of some of our enterprising individuals in society. Source: SUNRISE.
And is it truly love to cut down so many trees in an old natural rainforest when millions of living things have already established a home and are dependent on those trees for their survival? Such differences, or biodiversity, in living things can be a great source of knowledge and insights into solving many problems for humanity such as understanding how we live, discovering new chemicals to combat cancer, and potentially help provide a reliable source of new foods. Or we may come up with a new solution where we don't have to sacrifice animals in the forest to use as food. Maybe there is another way to acquire the nutrients we need. There are so many things we can learn from our natural environment.
Indeed, why tread heavily on the natural environment to the point of literally destroying our free natural recycling systems just to satisfy our selfish wants and losing out on the benefits of those difference in living things? No, this is not the way to show genuine love. We have to do a lot more to show we really care for all living things.
For example, with a bit of love, we can help people to learn how to create their own free "recycling" fertiliser using green 'nitrogen-fixing" manure called moocoona beans. Once the green manure has reached maturity and dug into the ground, the soil becomes enriched and fertile in a matter of months to help grow a healthy and rich crop. Such a self-fertilising system is now vital not just for economic reasons where poor farmers simply cannot afford expensive artificial fertilisers (usually sold by big multinational US companies) or to buy more plots of land, but also for environmental reasons where the farmer can keep to the same plot of land without needing to cut down more trees in the natural forest just to acquire fertile areas.
Likewise, it isn't love to force families in third-world and developing countries to pay for termination seeds from companies such as Monsanto just to prop up the massive profits of big corporations and their shareholders selling the seeds and providing short-term food benefits. Should there be cross fertilisation of natural and man-made seeds, there is a risk that one day the genes for terminating the seeds may suddenly become activated again and all of the plants in that species will disappear in a matter of weeks. Then people will starve to death. This is not love. It is too risky to follow this kind of shear profit-mentality when it comes to the absolute essentials we need to stay alive and be happy. We need to let nature recycle on its own using genetically original and pure plants, and it should be done for free (the aim of all our work to produce it, especially for the needy things we all need to stay alive). Let people access the seeds for these plants, let them grow the plants, make sure there is an abundance of food, and let them show us the benefits of their efforts through those plants, from feeding people, to uncovering new chemicals to combat diseases. If we should make any changes to the genetic code, there has to be significant benefits for all living things and not just for ourselves. And that means properly testing the new genetically-modified species over a long period of time. Or better still, visit other Earth-like worlds and see the long-term testing that nature has already provided to the alien plants. Then see how the plants interact with other plants and animals. Finally visualise, and latter test on a small scale, to see if it will work at home. The aim is to make sure we are not causing harm to living things on Earth. Any new proteins or other so-called "natural" chemicals must be beneficial to the human body and all other living things.
However, for this to happen, we must think long-term. And that means, profit should always come last. This is particularly true when we are dealing with our food supply and anything else that will affect how all living things survive. That is the order it should be taken. Not the other way around as some rich people would like to think at the present time.
As for the demands of a large human population on agriculture to create enough food on the natural environment, a combination of good education, population control (including better sex education, and why not have places to lower the sexual appetite of humans for sex while ensuring the right forms of contraception are applied? Come to think of it, sexual behaviour should not be hidden or makes us feel uncomfortable should we apply enough R-brain skills. It should be out in the open, and discussed in a mature manner, as well as showing how the power of love through sex can transform societies into far more balanced entities and with better long-term solutions to all our problems, including happier people), better personal self-esteem and love, encouraging people to create one's own form of employment and be rewarded for it, and grow certain types of beneficial plants to meet our needs for quality nutrients as well as anything to help reduce our need to eat excessively. For example, it is a well-known fact that the Hoodia Cactus of southern Africa contains a special molecule capable of suppressing hunger for up to 20 hours by raising the level of the hormone leptin as needed to tell the brain to eat less. Currently the "vitamin pill" manufacture known as Swiss is making use of this plant chemical to produce its own hunger suppressant pill. Now imagine some of the benefits of this substance to Western society. There is an excellent chance for some people to eat less food and solve obesity issues. It may not help those selling the food to fatten their wallets through shear profit. Basically some businesses prefer that you eat as much as possible. That is how profit is made. But we have to focus on the long-term. And profit is at least several orders of magnitude below the real priority level of other things we should be focusing on today. In other words, better long-term health for the people and more research focus on this type of substance found in plants would result in far less impact on the environment through massive human agriculture. Who knows? It could greatly improve the public health system, thereby lowering costs substantially, through less patients needing medical help to deal with the consequences of obesity such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Now if we could develop more recycling systems and to focus more on plants like this on a grand scale, can we properly help everyone to have what they need?
Well, certainly if all the money spent in the American Defence forces could be redirected to more socially and environmentally useful causes, not only will we have the new world order established and create an environment that is far more socially useful and productive, everyone in the world can be fed several times over and still have ample left to feed the poorest people on the planet. Really, as human beings, do we not have enough love and balanced thinking within us to help every person and every living thing on this planet to have what they need through this knowledge without asking for a buck for literally everything relating to our survival just to survive? Come on now, for goodness sake!
And what's wrong with talking about population control through sex education? What? Politicians, businesspeople and certain religious people don't like it because they think more people in the world would equate to greater love from God, as well as more consumers to consume products, and more voters to keep governments in power all the time? Well, if there is nothing left to consume on this planet, and people destroy themselves through war, disease or starvation, then you can be assured of one thing. There would be no one around to vote people into political power, no consumers to buy products, and certainly no love from God. Come to think of it, there would be no religions in the world for people to promote their beliefs. People simply won't exist. End of story. And no, it isn't God who is punishing us. We have punished ourselves for our shear stupidity because we can't see any other way of doing things.
In the end, we are the ones responsible for our own demise, not God or the rest of the Universe. We can't even point the finger at the aliens too (they are too far away to come in time to stop our actions, and when they do arrive, we can only be told so much. Afterwards, it is up to us to figure it out. If we still can't figure it out, we never really deserved to live in this Universe). Let's face it. No alien is going to come down and shed an alien tear for us. Instead, it will show to its own offsprings the lesson that we have failed to take heed and learn. We will be used as the example of what not to do and the aliens will just prove once again how much smarter they are compared to any human that has ever lived.
It is as simple as that.
And now that humans are fast approaching the tipping point where we could face our moment of extinction and nature is becoming less and less able to support us and other living things thanks to our efforts to affect climate change (as there are not enough healthy trees on the planet to properly absorb the excess carbon dioxide, and soon methane gas will emerge from the oceans and permafrost regions in great quantities to raise world temperatures to phenomenal levels) because of our need to survive and make a profit, the time has truly come to show exactly what love is all about as the great religions and psychologists should be teaching us. It is our first supportive step we can make before tackling world problems using non-emotive methods of rational and creative thinking. Because love develops the necessary self-esteem, an acceptance of who we are and an acknowledgement we have everything we need, to be happy with ourselves, and to ensure others are happy too. And then we can do the right thing by everyone by taking what we need (and not what we want!), and give back whatever we take through the contributions we can make to society many times over, without having to prove to everyone and everything who we are and how much we are worth.
If this is not true, then how else are we going to guarantee the survival of the human race? With guns, money, and computers only?
We already have all the manpower, the technology, the language for effective communication, and the resources to keep virtually everyone and all living things alive without having to satisfy all our selfish wants. So why are there people still struggling and fighting to survive as we speak? And why must we continue to spend money on defence simply because we don't know how to love ourselves, all our brothers and sisters, and the living things on this planet? Is the military there to protect the rich (and perhaps to hide some great secret in the case of the US military since July 1947) and to go to war so that the rich and powerful can continue with their greedy and "extravagant patterns of consumption" attitude after the war?
In other words, should politicians, business professionals and other rich and powerful people have to feel teary-eyed whenever they see their own (or more likely other) people's sons and daughters return home in coffins or terribly deformed after a war and yet expect to see their forgiveness by getting on with what's left of their lives while the rich and powerful continue carrying on making more money and doing what they please? Or has our lust for power and money blinded us to the real aim in life? If this is true, we are truly a pathetic lot of creatures not to see it.
Fortunately there are some people who can see the futility of war. Take, for instance, the words of L. York, a citizen of O'Connor in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT):
'Marching on Anzac Day and meeting so many people who'd lost loved ones, or who'd lost eyesight or limbs, one realises the futility of war.
'When are world leaders going to learn that wars do not solve anything? For life's sake let some wise nation start a sincere conference for peace.' (3)
Why do we have so many world problems created by humans today? Perhaps the answer lies in how primate groups are formed.
In particular we know there are chimpanzees in the harsher and drier central African continent that do form groups dominated by males. In these groups, male chimpanzees get themselves into a position of power through aggression, competition and even violence. Why? Apart from the lack of creativity and an insufficient-sized brain, it is because life is easier at the top. A dominant "alpha" male will want to have easy access to a wide variety of resources acquired with the help of other members in the group, and will often use bullying tactics such as intimidation, manipulation and violence to justify maintaining this dominating position (and all because they think their survival is at risk if they don't). Also the harshness of the environment means food resources are already limited and this often means males will come to the forefront of fighting with one another for survival in order to benefit from the available resources. Thus the male-dominated groups will almost always have a pecking order (i.e., a. hierarchy), there will be specialisation in the functions of each member in the group, and there is regular and intense competition between males.
Do these male-dominated groups remind you of any other species here on Earth?
Then there is another group of chimpanzees which survive just as successfully in the food-rich jungles of Africa (i.e., in Congo). Here, female chimpanzees have reached their position of power in a group by using sex as the instrument for controlling the behaviour of individuals within the group mainly among males and in ensuring everyone has what they need to be happy (e.g.,. food, grooming, etc.). Sure, there is still a hierarchy but only when it is necessary to show it when controlling male behaviours. But it isn't based on violence. Seriously, why would violence be needed in such a group when the environment already provides all the food the chimpanzees would ever need? It is pointless to fight. Instead, because of the nature of some young males who can get a bit silly and occasionally fight each other for petty things or simply because males have too much pent up energy to expend and may get too rowdy and cause problems, it is better for females to deal with this situation in a way that ensures the males are under control and in return their position of power allows females to relax more and be happier. They are free doing whatever they like knowing the males are under control and are always co-operative in helping the group when it is needed.
When nature is allowed to do its work of providing food and there is recycling to ensure this is the case and the group learns to be happy with what they need to survive, the chimpanzees always become much more placid and peaceful. There is no war between various groups of chimpanzees in the jungles. They have learned to live with one another.
Now if we turn our attention to human society, we see a remarkably similar pattern in terms of the chimpanzees living the drier regions of Africa. How many of our human leaders are invariably male? Quite a few. And the more these humans live in the harsher and drier environments of the planet such as the deserts (e.g., Middle East and Northern Africa), the more the males behave in a manner that will get them into a position of power and control everyone and everything, including women, the animals and the environment, and do it with fear and oppression. And all because they think this is love, or at least the false feeling of love from others when the male leaders seem to get what they want with ease. And if people don't do as they are told, men are more likely to resort to violence to ensure the hierarchy is maintained at all costs. In the meantime, not enough thinking by these males to solve the problems of their own environments means things will only get worse if they continue following their own way of life.
So instead of creating natural recyclable resources, repairing the environment, and establishing the recycling systems needed,. the males have to hoard the remaining resources and fight other nations to prevent the resources from being shared (unless they can be sold at the highest price because these males think money will get them out of any problem).
Welcome to the problem of males and their L-brain way of doing things. Their actions show no sign of the true love that their own religions should be promoting to its own people.
Could this be evidence that we have far too many males leading human society and with no long-term vision of how to solve problems and so bring a brighter future for all of us?
Perhaps one day women will have to use their increasing power in developed nations to follow the road like certain female chimpanzees in the Congo and change human society forever. Or can men and women learn to work together in a balanced way and do the right thing without even needing to fight each other (either in the bedroom or elsewhere)?
Whatever our future may bring, one thing is certain. We have got to try something different (i.e., break the male domination and power struggle of this system) before it is too late. If we let males continue to dominate the leadership scene on a worldwide basis, we can be certain of one thing: they will destroy what remains of our natural environment, and eventually end up using violence through war and other means as the final solution to all our world problems.
NOTE: We should also be careful not to think that an all-female dominant society will work either. Well, it can be much better than a male-dominated society facing a dwindling supply of resources. But go to the opposite extreme will have its drawbacks and can lead to imbalances in a female-dominated society just like we see in a beehive. In this situation, we can have a queen in a beehive acting as the female leader. After a while it becomes paranoid and obsessed in being the only leader to be loved and supported. So she will try to destroy the babies of female workers to stop males emerging into society and creating extra competition for the leader. However, balance usually comes when workers discover what has happened and eventually get together to destroy the leader, allowing some males to appear and fertilise enough females until the next new female leader appears (or male leader if he can somehow successfully create a male-dominated society, but usually this is not the case when it comes to bees). Should a new leader be found, he/she will develop a new colony and the process of eventual imbalance followed by a balancing act will persist until the end of time. Unless we know where balance should lie, balance will always be the key to avoiding the negative consequences of going to either extreme cases of a male- or female-dominated society.
As the great Indian philosopher Gandhi once said, "There is enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed."
So either we learn to love all the remaining life on this planet by giving them food, shelter and a place they can call a home (and later we learn to apply language, science and the arts, interspersed with plenty of rest and quiet time to think) by changing the way we do things (i.e,. by ensuring that we are all happy and have what we need, not what we want l; even growing a new tree is a start); or we must be prepared to die through war, crime, famine and disease on a scale and speed never seen before thanks to our technology and the shear number of people living on this planet.
And if we should ever choose to take the road to human extinction (simply because we all want to have what we want and not what we need), we might as well forget about calling our new millennium a part of the Holocene epoch. It might be more appropriate to call it the Obscene epoch!
Or in the words of Australian National University ecologist Professor Breandan Mackey:
"Welcome to the Anthropocene the era of human-forcing of global change.' (Beeby, Rosslyn. "Tiny evidence of a very big problem": The Canberra Times. 23 June 2007, p.B5.)
Let us hope there is time for humans to realise this fact, or we will definitely end up joining the scrap heap of so many millions of species that have become extinct over the past 4,500 million years.
0 TO 10 YEARS FROM NOW
Whether it is because certain people in positions of power and wealth living in their mansions and spectacular gardens can't see what the fuss is about for other people living elsewhere, but it seems as if not enough action is being taken to solve world problems by world leaders (other than to rely on market forces and businesses to find solutions). Unfortunately, environmental degradation is reaching crisis levels in many parts of the world. One classic example of this has to be the massive plastic waste ending up in the oceans and killing off seabirds and fish.
Yet all this may pale into insignificance once one particular environmental problem shows its ugly face thanks to a particular gas emerging from the Earth.
Environmental problems should be a concern to all world governments. Many of the other world problems are intricately linked to the environmental problems we are creating. This includes the high human population as we can see in third-world countries. The poorer nations on Earth are acutely vulnerable to the looming environmental crisis emerging over the next 50 years where the reliance on natural resources has been excessive because of the shear number of humans trying to survive in those countries and make a profit. Not located in the tropical belt to provide the extra resources? You are surely in deep trouble. However, even if you are in the tropical regions, the rate of deletion of natural resources is phenomenally high for those countries involved in making a profit from the selling of the resources.
Apart from high population levels in third-world countries and the general greed and desire for monetary profit from all nations, another factor to complicate things is the rise in world temperatures. This is the next and biggest environmental problem to affect humanity and all life on Earth.
Certain people who have benefited from the current economic system have tried to ignore or convince others that global warming is all natural. They range from volcanoes or the Sun's output. Basically, these people think world temperature will go back to normal very soon. How wrong they were. All of our activities are contributing to global warming, and it is far greater than nature can provide at the present time. Furthermore, our contribution is not slowing down. Indeed, more and more scientists believe global warming from human activity is fast becoming the next and biggest environmental calamity anyone has ever seen.
On the positive side, there will be new opportunities for those people living in the right places on the planet. For example, people in Greenland are finally enjoying a bit of warmer weather followed by a mass migration of a greater number of fish to the far northern latitudes. No doubt the fish will support these people and potentially grow new businesses in selling fish to other nations. However, not everyone will benefit from these new opportunities.
Mind you, even if you could sneak past customs in some far northern and southern countries and live near or above the Arctic line, everyone else living in the hotter temperate and tropical zones will face such extreme stress and social conflict that it may not be necessary to live at the polar regions. A third world war against nations seeking the remaining resources on the planet using nuclear weapons would guarantee no place on Earth will be safe to live for anyone.
It is on this latter issue of global warming where the greatest concerns will come. All other problems will appear small or become a by-product of this bigger issue as time passes. And it is all because of one silly greenhouse gas we are emitting into the atmosphere: carbon dioxide. However, it isn't the only greenhouse gas we should be concerned about.
Carbon dioxide has been slowly accumulating in the atmosphere since the end of the last Ice Age. Plants on Earth have been trying their hardest to absorb this gas and break it down into carbon for storing in the trunk of the trees and the rest as oxygen for us to breathe. The process has been going on for thousands of years. However, for some reason, the plants are struggling to take up the slack over the past 10,000 years. Why? Changes in the positions of continents, mountain-building, the flow of ocean currents, and even Sun output and angle of the Earth's tilt can all affect the plants and their ability to absorb enough carbon dioxide, except we are talking about the last 10,000 years. Over that period, there hasn't been substantial changes in the Sun's power output. The Earth's tilt is relatively stable. Ocean currents can change but in recent times there has been nothing significant to change the distribution of warm waters and the displacement of cold waters to warrant dramatic variations in world temperatures. Not even the few massive volcanoes since the end of the last Ice Age have contributed more than 2 per cent of the total carbon dioxide in the atmosphere not enough to explain the continual rise in world temperatures and especially in the last 200 years where the carbon dioxide emissions have risen sharply and temperatures are just about to take a jump for the worse. Not even the continents can move enough in 10,000 years or create enough mountain building to explain the increasing world temperatures. There is only one factor that can explain it in the relatively short timeframe we are talking about here: humans, and their domestic animals. Yet for some reason, the trees and other plants are just not able to reverse the trend quickly enough. Why?
The problems seems to relate to our activities, they way people think about their environment, and what happens to water in the ground when the environment is modified by humans.
The process of modifying the natural environment by humans to something that doesn't resemble what was once there can take several thousands of years. As one human generation dies and another replaces it, certain natural resources are acquired by the human species for the purposes of building homes and burning wood to keep warm or gather food. People think that the loss of a few trees and leaving a few behind is fine. Then a few more are taken later, but everything still looks lushes or plentiful. Occasionally the odd new tree will try to sprout out of the ground from the seeds dropped from older trees. Time is needed for these young seedlings to grow into mature large trees. And trees are unaware of the impact humans are having on its population. It doesn't, for instance, shoot out more seeds every time it sees a human cutting an old tree down. And even if the trees could, there is another problem. The lack of sufficient water on the ground after some trees were felled and removed by the humans it will make it harder for the next generation of trees to grow in the ground. Increased evaporation of water from the surface becomes a reality as more trees are removed from a certain area. For humans living in that area, they can't see the difference. Lifespans are short compared to the Earth. Humans come and go, and those that replace them can only see in the current life they are in, and they think everything looks normal. They become more L-brain in their thinking as they live in the here-and-now moment. In fact, they are often too preoccupied with family life, gathering food, and protecting themselves from other humans and the predators. Whatever things were like in the past and what will happen in the future doesn't enter the minds of these people. Still nothing to do? Why not have a little more sex and make extra babies? Or try a fling or two on the side, in secret, with one or more people to see if you can get away with it, and enjoy the brief excitement. Before you know it, the population expands. Clearly we have to look after those extra mouths. Cut down some more trees, establish agriculture, find more efficient tools for the whole process of keeping so many humans alive to be maintained. As time goes by, new generations of humans arrive on the scene and become oblivious to what the environment used to be like in the past. They can only see in the here-and-now moment. They think the trees they can see, the few that exists, is still perfectly normal and has been like this always. And if not, just blame it on nature and natural climate change. Maybe point the finger of blame at those mountains in the distance for creating a rain shadow. Or for religious leaders, try to imagine the gods as being unhappy. In which case, it is time to pray more often and in greater numbers, or sacrifice something or someone to appease the gods. Then maybe the climate will improve. But humans? Nah. They are not responsible. As many will say:
"Don't look at me, I didn't do anything. That is how we found it. It must have been like this, or someone or something else must have been responsible for the less rains, and the fewer crops and trees. Must be the gods or something. But don't look at us. We are only trying to carve out an existence in this neck of the woods. And anyway, how can a few humans affect a large enough area of the environment to affect the climate?"
It is this kind of attitude that has brought humans to where they are today.
At first it was slow. Give it a few thousand years and things would warm up slightly. Just enough to place a little extra pressure on the exposed ground where trees used to exist. The environment changes bit by bit as humans modify the landscape. One tree is cut down, followed by another. Build a house or two. The family has arrived! We better build more houses as the offsprings will soon start a family of their own. Soon a community arrives, People like to stay close together. So we need more space. And where do we keep the livestock? Surely we must clear out more of the land. Then the rainfall is not quite as it was in the past. Things get a little drier. Any new trees trying to grow out of the ground find it harder to grow as the moisture in the ground is quickly evaporated into the atmosphere. Give it a little more time and soon the once lushes forest that used to exist when humans first arrived will start to turn into a desert. Trees make way for large and prickly cactuses and thorny bushes. The once thick grasslands after clearing the land and receiving the rainfall before now look remarkably patchy, and in some places looking like a dust bowl. The great rivers that once flowed like a torrent suddenly look like tricking creeks appearing sporadically at certain times of the year. What's that depression in the distance? Oh, that was where a lake used to be, but for some reason has dried up. Why did it disappear? Humans don't know why apparently. "Blame it on the Sun!" as some humans would say.
This is what happens. People can be short-sighted in the changes taking place in their environment. Our short lifespans and heavy reliance on our eyes in making all the decisions without much thinking about the past, no imagination applied to our rational skills to see the future trends, and not being educated sufficiently with the right information to know what was lost and will become the reality in the future, is just making us short-sighted. We can't see beyond our nose, let alone where we are going. We might as well by blindfolded and let us wander around aimlessly until one day we might learn that something must be done if we discover what it was like before. However, by then it may be too late. It takes a long time to fix things up once a lot of trees are removed. Everything costs, and it will be expensive to bring things back again. So what do we do? We might as well move on and find another place to survive in. And who knows how long before that place gets decimated from our actions after many generations.
As humans, we are not exactly balanced individuals. We don't, for instance, use our creativity and visualisation skills, and not just our rational skills, to see a better solution and one that lasts a very long time. We only want things to last a short-time so people are forced to buy more of the same stuff. And we don't get enough information from our elders and through the right forms of education to know what it was like before and how it all happened for us to change the situation. More importantly, we forget the principle of love in looking after all living things because we are so selfish in our wants. We keep populating, we need more resources, and before you know it, the place looks arid.
With enough human communities spread across the world, each of them have grown and affected to some extent their own natural environments. Some are worse than others, but inevitably the totality of our actions is causing world temperatures to rise, slowly and steadily at first, but now accelerating into the 21st century. Temperatures rise quicker in more recent times because humans have suddenly developed sophisticated new technologies and have started an industrial revolution to help mass-produce and sell in vast quantities to people these man-made things, of which many cannot be fully recycled. Or if it can, it usually requires the burning of more wood to melt and re-cast into new products, while anything that can't be re-used is thrown away. If there are any materials breaking down in landfill, other gases get emitted into the atmosphere, and this can have further impacts on the climate and the quality of life for generations to come.
The accelerating rise in world temperatures is not a coincidence. It truly is a marvel of human stupidity.
In the past it was a situation of not enough trees. In some areas, you could blame it on nature for the lack of trees. A classic example would have to be in Antarctica. Trees can't grow in the frozen continent. But for the most part, humans have simply kept cutting the trees down in too many areas, either for necessity or profit. And that is only one tiny problem. The other part of the problem is the insufficient amount of fresh water on the ground to support the trees in its task of properly absorbing the carbon dioxide. You can look around and say, well, there seems to be some trees over there, so surely they must be doing the job of mopping up the atmosphere of carbon dioxide. Not necessary. If water retention on the land goes down, then the trees will struggle to perform its job. Trees need enough water before they start absorbing carbon dioxide. Otherwise, trees will actually emit more carbon dioxide than they will absorb simply because they need to shed materials and let them decay or burn. And if they are still stressed because of the lack of water, they will not absorb carbon dioxide. That is why in some places of the rainforests where humans have cleared out swathes of trees in the region, less rainfall is able to support the remaining trees. The trees struggle to grow an then they must shed its material and let it rot. This rotting process helps to add more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
Again, humans living in forested regions and with their short lifespans seem oblivious to the changes they are making to the environment.
Today, a similar problem exists for city dwellers. Things quickly change in the city. Local council put in a few more roads, but hopefully this is balanced by putting in a few more trees as part of the streetscape. A park might get created (mostly with large or numerous concrete or bricked paths with places to sit under a few trees). Nothing too big, of course. Demands on the water supply to maintain the park would be too great, and naturally get very expensive in the long term. We can't afford a very big park. While these man-made changes take place, people living in the cities think the changes in terms of planting a few trees and adding a park or two is enough to help the planet. Yet beyond the immediate surroundings, the city grows, and grows, and grows, with apparently no end in sight. The never ending story of human existence. The population is expanding and we must somehow house all the new people. Therefore, places where significant trees used to grow are cut down in far greater quantities than are replaced in the cities in order to make way for new homes and high rise buildings. In the meantime, the existing humans living in the cities continue with their usual lives, blind to the amount of cutting down of trees and the reduction in water supplies taking place.
Then a few generations go by until a number of more educated city dwellers start to wonder why the cost of living is going up. Partly because of the greed of some people supplying products and services who feel getting rich is perfectly fine, but also because the remaining resources from the natural environment is going down. It is just the way things work in a not well-thought out economic system created by short-sighted humans. Not enough recycling. Not enough protection and efforts to preserve and grow the natural environment. To much focus on profit and the need for more humans to be part of the system to help others get rich and stay in power. What? Not enough of something for people to buy? Oh well. Humans will try to compensate by growing what is missing or have less of. More land has to be cleared. More resources such as fresh water has to be acquired. Or else the trees have to be removed to dig massive holes to acquire the minerals we need. Yet someone has to pay for it all. Usually it costs more as supply is initially less than demand. Or if you can hide the fact that you have plenty of something or the process of making something involved sophisticated techniques, you can keep the price high enough to ensure maximum profit is achieved. Add a "premium" or "limited edition" label on the packaging, and you will have an excuse to sell at a higher price. Soon the things we take for granted or used to be cheap or even free now looks surprisingly expensive. Water that used to come free from the clouds now has a price tag to pay, partly for the bottle to carry the water and the effort by some humans to fill it up and transport the bottles to your supermarket for your convenience, but also people need to be rich. What's wrong with tap water? Well, if the city's dam levels aren't too low and filled with dangerous bugs that require lots of chlorine to kill off, really there is nothing wrong. As for other things, why is the price going up? Must be a similar situation. So we ask employers for more money to make it easier to buy things. Businesses try to avoid this by shedding employees from their payroll and/or placing more pressure on the environment to produce more stuff and sell it at a high enough price locally and/or through exports. If people want it, then they will have to make more money by some means. Also, businesses and politicians want more consumers, and that usually means more babies. Babies are the future new consumers to help pay for everything if they can find a good, well-paying job. Not knowing how much things used to cost, these new consumers look at the current prices and think it is normal. Must have been like this all the time. In reality, it is just that the businesses are trying to ask for a little more from consumers every now and then and hopefully no one will ever notice. All part of being greedy, but then someone down the chain must have raised the price slightly for some reason, right? It must be a person who wanted to be greedy first, or else they must be struggling to grow or make enough of the stuff (we can only wonder why? Either the population is too big and/or the environment is not able to support the activity for some reason). If the prices get too high, those consumers who cannot afford certain little luxuries as they did in the past will eventually choose to focus on what's important: food, drink, basic electricity and gas, petrol to drive around, and a few cheap clothes. Still too expensive? Junk food is really cheap. Except it will raise the cost for the government to support a public health care system for the people. People must somehow pay extra taxes or force people to pay for special memberships to health insurance funds (and the premiums never seem to go down, only up) in order to receive some slightly cheaper benefits. Unless greed is kept under control and people could see how the current economic system is changing and not entirely for the better, the outcome for the system will not be good. At some point,economic recessions will come more often and eventually the economy will collapse completely. This is the expected outcome from this approach.
Prices go up and so too does world temperatures. These are just a natural response to changes in the environment caused by humans as they go about their usual and innocent activities as well as greed. Initially the changes were slow at first. Population were not too great, but people thought the natural resources were infinite. No one thought it would be limited. Then as more humans appeared on the planet (and the corresponding increase in the number of domesticated animals to support the humans), carbon dioxide slowly accumulated in the atmosphere. Today, it has accelerated thanks to our technology and need for profit. And now a tipping point has come. The slightly higher world temperatures did not seem too bad when we had those moments of rain as generations before experienced it. Now it is becoming more dramatic, and getting drier in many places. However, this is only just the beginning. The next change to come is just around the corner (and will probably occur sooner than later), and it will be far more devastating on our economies and to people trying to survive on this planet than anything we have encountered yet.
We say this because there is another greenhouse gas that is about to get emitted, and it will overtake the warming pulling power of carbon dioxide by at least 22 times.
We have seen the power of carbon dioxide in raising world temperatures slowly over thousands of years followed by an accelerated increase in recent times (believed to have started since the start of the industrial revolution in the 19th century). At the beginning of the 21st century, this gas was thought to be the primary controller of global warming. And the rate of change in world temperatures back then did not seem too significant. For these reasons, those people wanting to maintain the current economic system and enjoy all its benefits had tried all they could to ignore the problem, or think it is the only contributor to global warming and, therefore, there is still time to curb carbon dioxide emissions over the next century. Some will continue to blame the emissions on nature and not on human activity, whilst making the public think everything will be okay in a couple of decades in order to remain rich and continue on their path of ever increasing profits for their businesses. Unfortunately without enough recycling at the 100 per cent level in all aspects of our lives, the situation will only get worse. We have not done enough to repair our environment and reverse the trend in our global warming. Failure by humans to look long-term and understand all the factors that affect carbon dioxide emissions and do something about it quickly enough is revealing another major problem
There is no doubt that a number of skeptical humans mostly religious, political and business leaders, and anyone who is paid enough money will want to believe our contribution to global warming is insufficient to cause climate change. Yet they have forgotten that the Earth has been on a tipping point for some time now because of our non-recycling (or inadequate recycling) and profit-motivated activities (as well as the need to survive by so many people on this planet). Now the time is fast approaching when a certain other reserve of another greenhouse gas is about to be unleashed. The release of this gas will come as a massive burst and will have an affect on world temperatures to make all computer models on climate change look inadequate, thereby accelerating the degradation of the environment through a positive feedback system. In other words, more of this other more potent gas in the atmosphere means far more heat energy will get trapped in the air. And not just a normal heat trap from carbon dioxide.
The problem humans will be facing is in a molecule made of four hydrogen atoms and one carbon atom. Known as methane, this powerful greenhouse gas is meant to be locked away deep in the oceans and in the permafrosts of Siberia, Canada, and other parts of the world. As world temperatures rise beyond a critical tipping point with enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and sufficient melting of glaciers, it will unleash methane as a gas into the atmosphere in the form of one or more massive bursts of such devastating quantities that within a few years, world temperature will jump up unexpectedly. Not the usual gentle rise prior to the industrial revolution in the 19th century.
Methane is 22 times more potent as an effective heat trap than carbon dioxide. All this means one thing. As the world dramatically warms up, including the oceans, more of the gas will be released, slowly at first, but later in sudden bursts, resulting in sudden jumps in world temperatures in a matter of a few years. If we do nothing, this process will continue until no more of this gas can emerge and then the temperatures on Earth will be hellishly beyond anything we have ever experienced. Our neighbouring planet Venus may be described as our sister planet because of its similar size and mass combined with its thick cloud covers. Now Earth will look more like Venus with its runaway high temperatures.
The only thing we are not sure of is whether this gas has the power to evaporate the Earth's oceans. We hope it doesn't. In reality, we don't know yet because we simply do not know precisely how much methane is locked away throughout the world.
On the planet Venus, its closeness to the Sun has helped to raise ocean temperatures to the point where virtually all the methane was released resulting in a massive jump in world temperatures. Whether this resulted in the oceans evaporating or it came later is unclear. One thing is certain, more volcanoes erupted and contributed to further global warming, releasing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Any remaining liquid water on the ground would certainly be evaporated under the high heat together with the methane. The volcanoes kept spewing out other poisonous chemicals to replace much of the original composition of the atmosphere and at a thickness to reveal a very high pressure at the surface. Temperatures kept rising. The thick clouds of water vapour made way for thick clouds of sulfur compounds, such as sulfuric acid, as the water and methane escaped into space. The clouds may help to reflect a lot of the Sun energy away into space, but the few percent of the energy that gets through is trapped under the clouds. Temperatures rise further until it becomes as hot as the hottest oven on Earth (or more than 400 °C). Then the heat trickles out into space to keep the temperature stable. This is the reality for the planet Venus. On Earth, there is no reason the same situation cannot occur. Such a cataclysmic event occurring on Earth would guaranteed all life is extinguished forever.
But there is still hope. The amount of methane has not yet come out in massive bursts to accelerate the global warming process and force a runaway effect to occur on this planet. Humans can reverse this trend if we make greater efforts now.
What we do know about global warming on this planet is that the principal cause as confirmed by the majority of scientists by 2012 is from human activity. Back then the greenhouse gas of greatest concern was carbon dioxide. Between 2015 to 2018, talk of methane contributing to global warming was on the cards. Which greenhouse gas was going to win out in the end as temperatures increase? World governments were hoping neither at first. As more information was gathered by the scientists and later shouted into the ears of the politicians and yet somehow only seems to trickle down into the brains of world governments (much like the way profits from businesses trickles down to employees on stagnant salaries in what people call trickle down economics), the view was just the carbon dioxide. In which case, there is time to slowly make the transition to a carbon-free economy, so long as we act soon, kind of like within the next 50 years (when the term global warming first entered the human vocabulary, governments were thinking sometime next century to make the changes). Today, if we wait too long, we will go over the tipping point. We are not far off from seeing the first major burst in methane emissions since the end of the last Ice Age. If it happens within the next 10 years, things will get much more difficult to control world temperatures.
Looking at how global warming works on this planet, it is starting to look like methane will be the killer for much of life on Earth.
Welcome to the sixth age of extinction.
And when will it happen, and how much? Nobody knows for sure. Computer modelling suggests it should begin now. Of course, nature is never precise and on cue with our technology. It will decide the moment and the place to release its methane gas, and in what quantities. In the meantime, there are parts of the planet where extra methane is already emerging from the oceans, appearing as bubbles floating to the surface and in greater amounts in places such as the Sargasso sea. Expect a lot more of this gas to suddenly come out in a burst to enter the atmosphere in the next 5 to 10 years.
But why wait? Prevention is better than the cure. Furthermore, we can become the biggest contributor to stopping this overheating situation from happening.
One thing is certain, the contribution of greenhouse gases to global warming is considered far more significant today than at any time in the last 100,000 years thanks to our current level of technology we have created and the affect it has on the natural environment, as well as the size of the human population (now exceeding 7.1 billion as of 2015) and the need for many humans to consume non-recyclable products from businesses. Unfortunately, the amount of human intervention on this planet and the power of its technology is affecting world climate just enough that within the next 10 years, the planet's own natural reserves of methane is ready to blow away virtually all of our efforts (even with our emission targets and some controls to our emissions of carbon dioxide through industry throughout the world).
Here is where the problem lies for humanity.
In the 1990s, the first signs of global warming had been in the melting of glaciers on mountain tops and in Antarctica and Greenland resulting in a slight increase in sea levels, and occasional extreme hot/cold, wet/dry weather conditions, and more powerful cyclones and hurricanes. With fewer and less healthy trees (they need fresh water) to maintain a good covering on the surface to block out most of the sunlight and retain moisture on the ground as well as soak up the carbon dioxide to help balance the carbon cycle through the natural and safest form of sequestration of carbon in the tree trunks, the surface of the planet is forced to get hotter, more moisture is lost, biodiversity in the soil is sterilized, less plants are able to grow in the soil, remaining plants get dry and burn in massive bushfires (which release more carbon dioxide), and eventually food for humans and other living things dwindles.
Fewer plants on land to help balance the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere will create what scientists call desertification. What we think is a desert encroaching on where we live is really in fact our effort to destroy the natural plant life and natural water reserves in certain areas we used to live resulting in an expanding desert region (4). If the desert environment hasn't quite reached us, it will very soon. The conversion of dying or burnt out plant material to pure carbon and greenhouse gases through bushfires will merely amplify the global warming of the planet and make the problem worse (especially as the soot and dust settles down to the surface to allow sunlight to hit the ground and warm things up). And this is just with the carbon dioxide emissions we are producing. Imagine what will happen when the methane stored in the ground as ice gets released as gas in great bursts. A sudden temperature jump would increase the desertification process in many more places around the world, more trees will get lost to bushfires, more carbon dioxide will go into the atmosphere, and the potential for yet another methane burst would be just around the corner. This will be a dangerous time. Because then temperatures will suddenly increase in less than a decade (maybe within a year) beyond what we had expected or could have predicted. The only natural way to stop further methane from being released and to slowly re-absorb the gas back into the hydrate form is for sea levels to rise significantly (5).
We can expect sea level rises to occur. Conservative estimates by 2012 had put it at around 60 centimetres by the end of the century. However, that was before the methane emissions made its grand entrance onto the world stage. Now methane emissions and a sudden rise in world temperatures will quickly put that figure to shame. At the end of the last Ice Age, sea levels rose by 74 metres when methane gas entered the atmosphere and caused a sudden increase in temperatures of 6 to 8°C. A similar increase in world temperatures today would see a similar increase in sea level rise occurring within a decade as all the ice in the polar regions melt and the oceans warm up causing a thermal expansion of the water. That means virtually every single city and town along the coast will have to be abandoned, pushing people further inland and using up even more resources to look after them and give them a new home.
Helping the existing citizens along the coast will be just the start. What about the refugees from countries that have sunk beneath tens of metres of ocean? We can't abandon them either, or else we will face wars, further terrorism, and the works. We have to house and feed them too. One way to deal with the refugee influx is for governments to give the refugees a special deal of living in the desert environments (starting on the coast somewhere high up from the ocean) and if they transform the dry and desolate region into a paradise, they can become a permanent resident of the nation. Of course, governments will be expected to provide some industrial-scale tools, such as a desalination plant (driven by wind power), massive bulldozers to shape the land and get the water to travel inland, and some food in the initial stages, to start them off.
Latest information from computer modelling suggests about the only places on earth to be habitable without the use of technology playing a part in keeping living things alive should there be a modest burst of methane into the atmosphere will be in the far northern regions of Russia and Canada, Greenland, and the Scandinavian countries.
Computer models are getting more accurate as more data is entered. Unfortunately, the dumbing down of people in certain countries (of particular note are those in the United States) through their education systems and television programs will be blind to this information. Life in those countries will try to go on as if nothing is going on as they march towards an inevitable disaster.
People in rural communities will be the first to notice the changes (the length of time droughts persist, less water supplies, not enough fertility in the ground; the consistent and unusually high temperatures during the day and night etc.). People in the cities tend to be the last ones to know about this, and especially if they live along the coast. So long as people have jobs, can visit the supermarket and see all the food and drinks (bottles of Chardonnays, champagne, a bit of red and white wine, beer, and perhaps at the greatest extreme a bit of proper and decent pure water) on the shelves, and can afford to purchase and run air conditioners in the homes, everything will seem okay and life will go on as if nothing serious is happening in the environment. Any warnings from scientists about global warming issues will either be ignored, or be seen as an event caused by natural activity such as volcanoes or changes in the energy output of the Sun and will probably be a passing phase. Should it be the latter situation, the attitude for those maintaining the current economic system is just give it enough time and surely all things will return to normal.
The only way people will ever know how serious things are getting in the world is a sudden jump in temperatures followed by a sudden increase in the price of essential products and services. In particular, the food, water, housing, electricity and oil to name a few. Then it might be too late. Then comes the sea level rises, and the occasional extreme floods when moving between winter to the summer time depending on where you live (in Europe, this will be common). Otherwise, it will be consistently hot and very dry with only the occasional big storm.
Governments will no doubt try to do everything they can to calm the people and convince them that everything is fine and under control (cough!). For example, greater reliance on building new and expensive industrial-scale technologies to provide enough freshwater from the oceans (called desalination plants) and later grow enough foods inside massive commercial-sized glasshouses with heavy Sun blocking cloth roofs will become important. Television and the internet will be a favourite for governments to show how wonderful things are today (or to get people to reminisce about the past through endless repeats of old programs) as a means of keeping people preoccupied and happy and hopefully to ensure most people will continue to vote for whatever government of the day is present and gives them the most positive message (or use fear by R-wing types to keep to the same R-wing government). So long as enough resources can be grown by any means and people have jobs to pay for the costs of producing everything needed for survival, people will be calm. As for helping people to cope with the higher temperatures, thick walls and roofs made of concrete will be used to insulate the air-conditioned buildings inside from the heat outside. Any outside walkways entering major shopping centres will have thick concrete roofs as a means of providing adequate protection and shade from the sweltering sun. Most people may initially stay at home because of improvements to internet services and allowing them to work from home (governments might provide incentives for businesses to encourage workers to work from home if it means less cars on the road). However, as temperatures rise dramatically in the post methane burst era for the planet and the cost of electricity is too great and cheaper homes are clearly not well built and with enough insulation to cope with the incredibly high heat, many people will have to leave their homes early in the mornings to go to work or to stay in these massive concrete bunkers or buildings for relief from the heat. In fact, it is the most efficient on businesses and the government to power these buildings for lots of people to survive in. Too many homes will burden the power grid by staying at home.
Due to the rising cost of electricity, some governments may have to buy back privately-owned utility companies (probably sold off by the government thinking competition will drive prices down, but that is not how businesses really work over the long-term if you think about it). If higher taxes have not been introduced yet, it will after this buy back venture. It is either the higher taxes, or special short-term levies must be paid for to cover the costs. However, care must be taken not to ask too much. Or, at the very least, the less well off may need a helping hand. So as most people pay their taxes, the government will provide subsidies for the less well off. An essential part of avoiding a riot and an eventual breakdown of society. Either a tax cut or special government issued coupons that people use in the supermarkets to help reduce the cost of basic commodities would be the order of the day. In that way, everyone will think everything is still fine and life as we know it will continue unabated (or else give a massive tax break to the rich as an incentive to find solutions to the economic and environmental problems, so long as the people running the businesses are not too greedy by choosing to see this as a profit-increasing opportunity, since less tax means a lowering of the costs which in turn means a higher profit). With a bit of luck, all these necessary measures employed by governments might insulate the public from the looming environmental crisis. So long as people think the governments are safeguarding the future for voters and they have jobs, everyone will think the economy is okay.
Only the richest and biggest nations can afford to try the above approach, and even then, there will be heavy taxes for people to pay to cover all these costs. Smaller nations will struggle and eventually become economically bankrupt. Greater instability in share prices for various investments will be the norm. The "Mums and Dads" investments in companies will take a massive hit. Little or no dividends will return to the investors unless the companies are focussed on the needy things. Those people with presumably protected and stable superannuation funds will see negative interest rate returns. Most people will probably have to take money out and put it under the mattress, but will the money be enough to help them survive the rising costs of basic commodities? More companies that are not global giants and selling the right products and services that the population will need for survival will collapse.
All this will become the norm in many countries as temperature rises throughout the planet.
Then suddenly, the methane gas comes out in another big burst, and all the problems described above will only get magnified.
Let us hope humanity is ready for the future.
10 TO 15 YEARS FROM NOW
Not enough people in the current economic system were convinced of what has occurred beneath the oceans.
At first methane gas trapped inside water ice cages known as methane hydrate ice were under high pressure and frigid conditions beneath the oceans along continental slopes to stay stable and maintain the icy structures. However, as global warming kicked in and more ice sheets melted at a faster than expected rate, the ocean temperatures could not be kept by the remaining polar ice at a stable and safe level. The water got warmer. At a certain depth, the temperatures reached a critical level. The hydrate ice structures broke down releasing a certain amount of methane into the atmosphere, except this one will have a more devastating effect on global warming than the previous emission.
People were unaware of what has happened. Life went on, thinking the last modest increase in temperature was a once off. But then a couple of years later everyone discovers another jump in world temperatures, and this time it is much more drastic than before. A couple of more years later it sees nearly the last remaining ice in the polar regions, including Antarctica, melt. Previously it was thought the melting would occur at the end of the 21st century. Not anymore.
The lack of a temperature differentials in the oceans between the polar and tropical regions causes ocean currents to slow down and eventually stop. In places such as Europe, a lack of an ocean current to permit warm waters in the Caribbean to reach the northern Atlantic ocean near the European continent causes massive temperature swings on land between different seasons. In the winter, Europe's close proximity to the arctic regions will receive blasts of intense freezing weather from the north. In the summer, the temperatures will swing in the opposite direction. Conditions will be much hotter and drier. In spring, the melting of ice and snow in the winter will see much bigger floods.
Elsewhere on the planet, any land masses located close to the equator will only know one season, and it will be extremely hot. Whether it will also be dry or moist will depend on the amount of plant cover present on land. No plants or places where lots of plants have been cut down will reveal a much drier environment with minimal, if any, rainfall.
In temperate zones in the southern hemisphere, we will see consistently warm temperatures in winter to extremely hot (virtually unliveable at times) temperatures in the summer which may or may not also come with very heavy rains or extremely prolonged droughts, depending on the amount of plant cover on land and whether any ocean currents are still present to help affect climate over land.
Then the oceans warm up further. Expansion of the water and the extra water from the melted ice sheets causes oceans to rise by tens of metres. Predictions of around 60 cm by the end of the 21st century were woefully inaccurate. Back then the figure was based on the rate of carbon dioxide emissions from man-made activities. However, in the post methane burst era and with practically all of the ice in the polar regions melted, the maximum rise in sea levels will be anywhere from 70 metres (if just the melted ice from the polar regions reach the oceans) to 200 metres (with thermal expansion from warmer waters). Then, of course, you have tidal forces from the Moon to help raise the oceans just a little higher twice a month.
Anyone living on the coast would be well advised to move inland at this time (preferably before the sea levels rise).
Could this emission of methane have happened sooner? Quite likely. This is the unpredictable nature of the Earth. We simply don't know for sure. All scientists know is that a melting of polar ice will definitely exacerbate the problem. Once the ice is reduced enough, temperatures in the oceans will rise. Then this will be the time when methane will be released to a much greater level. However, it does not mean methane bursts will not occur before all the ice melts. All it takes is one unusually warm summer and suddenly a massive amount of methane can suddenly enter the atmosphere. Then the following year or two the temperatures will suddenly seem to be much higher, the ice will melt quicker and more significantly, and the probability of yet another methane burst taking place increases drastically. It will keep building up like this until the Earth turns into a runaway hothouse environment not seen since the dinosaur era, except we will not benefit from enough plants to protect us from the high heat and provide us with enough food and water to survive the long hothouse conditions. Humans are in serious trouble, and they don't know it yet because computer models are hoping for a gentle rise in world temperatures over the 21st century (the conservative approach recommended by world governments) and any bursts in methane will be minimal, whatever that means.
As we have seen for thousands of years after the end of the last Ice Age, temperatures have risen gently. Then the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere accelerated exponentially in the last 200 years. Many people thought there was still time to fix the problem, but more or less continued in their usual activities and hoping governments will have policies in place to deal with the problem. Still, not enough was done. Then came the first big burst in methane gas. Temperatures no longer went up gently. It jumped. History tells us that the last relatively moderate release of methane gas occurred around 11,000 years ago. The amount released into the atmosphere back then was enough to nd the last Ice Age with sudden temperature rises of 6 to 8°C in a matter of years. And that was a nice increase to make things warm again. No longer did humans have to freeze their butt on the icy floor in the winter time. Today, things are already too warm in most parts of the world, and another increase in temperatures of a similar amount would see a massive collapse in life on Earth, making the summer periods extremely dangerous for any living thing to live outdoors. Not only that, but in 2011, scientists had been hoping for a mere 2°C increase by the end of the 21st century. Not anymore. That was a serious underestimate. The scientists had not taken into account how sensitive the changes in temperature can affect the release of methane. All computer models assume a steady increase in world temperatures, mostly from carbon dioxide emissions, but not in terms of sudden and unexpected bursts of the more concerning methane and the contribution this will have on further warming the planet. People were too conservative. We have no direct and immediate experience of what will happen when the Earth suddenly warms up.
How bad have things got now?
Looking further back in history we see that nearly 55 million years ago the temperatures rose 20°C from what scientists believe was essentially the same process. (6)
At the end of the last Ice Age, methane emissions saw a sensible 6 to 8°C rise in world temperatures. Nice.
Now, in the 21st century, at around this time, the next major emission of methane gas appeared to have rivalled those of the end of the last Ice Age and even more in some places. Exactly how high the temperatures will get is not yet known. Methane gas is still circulating in the atmosphere, so the final temperatures to be reached will not be known for at least another year or two.
Should humans foolishly decide to do nothing or very little to fix the problem, more methane will come out, and it will be even worse. How much more we could get is anyone's guess. We hope it isn't too much. But that's not scientific enough to alleviate human concerns. We all like to hope, but the reality can easily be so different from what we all like to hope. The more likely scenario at this time is that world temperatures will increase to frightening levels. Scientists were predicting in 2010 a conservative increase in world temperatures of 2°C by the end of the 21st century based on carbon dioxide emissions alone, and hoping it will not rise higher than this. But that was before the permafrosts of Siberia and Canada started to melt in the summer of 2012. Now scientists are thinking an increase of anywhere between 2 to 3°C is a conservative estimate when we account for just a modest increase in methane levels. But sudden massive bursts of methane? We are hopelessly inadequate in handling this, or predicting when this will happen. Worse still, we are not in a glacial period to need such a massive burst in world temperatures. We are already in the warmest interglacial period of the last 100,000 years according to latest research.
Methane emissions could end up becoming a global killer for much of life on Earth, especially in the tropics and throughout most of the temperate zones, should world temperatures today exceed 5°C above the average.
A massive burst in methane gas could quite easily exceed the 5°C mark without any trouble. As we have seen more than 55 million years ago, a 20°C difference is certainly not out of the realms of possibility. And a temperature that high would certainly cause a massive reduction in the human population, killing off nearly all the old people, and many young children. Then the massive extinction of nearly all other animals and plants will take place. There will be a lot of comparisons to be made between us and the dinosaurs going extinct nearly 65 million years ago by the time we get through this period so long as there are humans alive to look back at what we did.
While scientists working in this area have their fingers crossed all this won't happen, the human race needs to be prepared for the expectation that it will happen. It has happened in the past. There is absolutely no reason why it will not happen again in the near future.
And just when we thought a higher temperature is all we have to contend with, another side-effect of global warming is a rise in sea levels. This is necessary side-effect for the planet to help re-balance itself and bring back world temperatures to a cooler level. For methane to be re-accumulated naturally into the soft sediments of the continental slopes beneath the oceans, sea levels must rise significantly and given time to re-absorb the gas. Far more than 10 centimetres higher is needed in the sea levels to achieve this. In a world filled with methane, oceans must rise by many tens of metres above current levels. Probably closer to between 70 and potentially as much as 200 metres.
Kevin Costner's 1995 American post-apocalyptic science fiction film Waterworld may be closer to reality than you think.
And if sea level rises cannot rise high enough to counter the methane levels and reduce temperatures quickly enough, the potential is there for a runaway greenhouse effect to make Earth look closer to its planetary cousin we call Venus.
In the meantime, let us hope methane is the only factor to worry about. In fact, humans have not yet accounted for what happens if the Sun suddenly has an outburst of radiation that could dramatically add to the rising temperatures on Earth and so help with releasing the methane in greater amounts. We are long overdue for another episode of this type.
The most likely scenario for humans is that probably as early as 2020 and no later than 2030, any sudden release of methane from the oceans will raise world temperatures well beyond what scientists have predicted in any computer model. If this ends up being the reality, suburbs around most cities will be devoid of human life by day as humans stay indoors (mainly in the large concrete shopping complexes where everything from schools, supermarkets and other services will be kept). There will be fewer trees and shrubs to cover the land, and for people who are not rich, the front lawns will look bleak and dry. The heat will cause many problems for traditional petrol-driven cars as the radiators and the rest of the cooling systems will not cope under the high heat. Cars will mostly be kept undercover inside garages or in underground car parks during the day. The poorer people will most likely not afford the cost of a new car or even electricity. So houses will be darkened and windows covered to keep temperatures down.
Humans have come to this drastic position because we could not think far enough to implement adequate recycling systems, lack of creativity, no proper application of love, and our general inaction due to the concerns about the high costs to do the right thing reveals what is essentially a greedy and selfish species living on this planet.
R-wing (or L-brain) people in a position of power and high wealth might laugh at what's been said here. "This is too extreme," they might say. "We will be okay. Just maintain the economic system and the solutions will be found."
Yes, and so did the captain of the Titanic thought the same when he decided to go full steam ahead through an iceberg infested ocean thinking the boat was unsinkable. Guess what? It sank. Can we afford to continue with this thinking for the Titanic that is the current economic system? We can't think like this anymore. R-wing people will naturally deny this possibility, but one can't help wonder whether these people are like those who once lived in the fertile valley in the Middle East laughing at Noah when he built his boat but didn't realise the new Black Sea was about to be created before their very eyes thanks to a breakdown of the wall separating the Mediterranean Sea from the valley itself. If only these people had learned and listened.
20 YEARS FROM NOW
If we thought the environment through climate change won't get us into trouble, wars will.
Of great concern at this time because of our high population levels and unequal distribution of resources is the continuing conflict in the Middle East. The continuing saga of the conflict is slowly increasing the tension between Russia and Western nations and the reluctance by these nations to properly solve the problems in the Middle East with love, rather than through the greed and power of oil, the selling of weapons to Arab dictators, and other forms of financial profit-making activities (a common trait of male Russians, and a number of R-wing people in the United States). This is made worse by the fact that many of the males in the Middle East who eventually end up as leaders suddenly feel insecure about their own futures and think that the only solution is to have more wealth, and to maintain power at all costs. Then they become what are effectively dictators with their own ways of solving problems. Among the ways these leader will employ to stay in power will be the application of fear among their people as the only means of controlling the population and accepting the leader's will and power. This is a big problem. Males in this part of the world have a bad habit of not being able to relinquish power and wealth. Bad enough when these males do not know how to wield the power and wealth in a manner that will benefit all of the people.
Then the higher world temperatures will add another dimension to the stress that many people in this part of the world will experience. This could be enough to trigger conflict on a wider scale right across the Middle East as people find ways to overcome the oppression from their leaders and the less educated will find anyone else to blame for the crisis. Thus any form of differences in religious views or the type of people living in the Middle East could be targeted, and the conflict will widen yet again. Otherwise, our inability to share what we have with neighbouring nations for true security, especially for those people who are looking to achieve peaceful and harmless aims of a better understanding of God, uncover great things in science and about this Universe, create positive social development and change, and to generally promote love for all living things will be something to take heed as we move into the future.
For example, it is time to acknowledge the anguish of the Palestinian people caught up in the Palestinian and Israel conflict. At the same time, we all have the right to choose a place where we feel secure. Therefore, we must also acknowledge the hurt caused to people in Israel by those living in Palestine and elsewhere in the Arab world who feel they have to go against the idea of allowing the people of Israel a place to call their home. It is time for everyone to accept Israel as part of the Middle East community and see this country as part of the solution to world problems and not just for the rest of the Arab world. Many people on the whole are getting tired of the conflict, especially for those in this part of the world who would rather go about their daily lives in a way that promotes peace and love while getting closer to God through prayer, learning the scriptures, and uncovering new insights about the universe.
If people knew the true principle of love as God should have taught them long ago, this long running saga would have ended long ago and everyone would by now be living side-by-side as brothers and sisters working together on a common quest for most people in this part of the world, it will be a better understanding of God. Unfortunately we don't. Clearly a new and brighter future needs to be forged by the Arab world in the 21st century. Better Arab and Israeli leaders will help, or else the people of these nations will have to do it for themselves at some point.
The intense global warming conditions would be a trigger for the people to do drastic things to change the system in the Middle East.
If we want to avoid conflict, how would the principle of love solve this conflict?
Firstly, the principle should teach us the importance of letting people have a place they can call their own home. A place where they can feel safe and can pursue their own unique work of understanding God together with all the love they can express to the world through their work without interference.
And secondly, the principle should teach us is to accept differences we see in each other. See the differences as new opportunities, and a chance to progress further along the goal of a better understanding of God, who we are, and where we are going. Different perspectives and views of the people has the potential to provide a much more balanced and deeper understanding of the core issues we are trying to solve. And it can get us closer to the ultimate Truth.
Just these two aspects alone should solve a lot of the problems in the Middle East.
If we need more confidence in the power of this concept, just imagine what is happening outside our planet (instead of being focussed on ourselves all the time and all our petty differences). Remember, we are fast approaching the moment of introducing a new technology that will take us to the stars. And when we do, imagine the sorts of living things and other "people" we will encounter on other Earth-like worlds (and no, we are not alone). Firstly, they will have a home of their own. The home will be their own planet. We would also expect, therefore, that they would not be interfered by other civilisations. This is actually a reality. If this is untrue, ask yourself, "Why are we still here?" The principle of non-interference is alive and well throughout the Universe for those able to travel to the stars. The only exception to this is when two or more civilisations decide it is okay to work together on common goals relating to science, possibly even religion, and just generally solving problems for one another. There will be an exchange of ideas and technology. But people may not living on different planets until they can overcome the issue of harmful alien bacteria and viruses. Beyond that, a way of communicating under a single language would be incredibly helpful during the exchange of ideas and helping one another. Despite all of this, the one overriding factor is that the civilisations are not there to change other civilisations. Let them grow in their own unique way. At the same time, the civilisations will not be perturbed by how everyone looks or whatever our differences might be. Aliens understand that no intelligent creature with a technology will look exactly the same. It would be unrealistic to think so. We should expect, given the planetary isolation and extensive time to evolve in unique ways for different civilisations, to have differences. This is normal and part of the reality of our Universe. So what are we going to do when we face aliens (or even our own kind from different nations) with natural differences in appearance, clothing, ideas, culture, language, and all the rest? Should we continue to be afraid of these people and start wars against them because we cannot accept the differences? Of course not. What a waste of time this would be for humanity. Apart from the reality that our backsides will be kicked so badly by other civilizations that we can easily be wiped out if we should ever take the aggressive route to handling these differences, we have no choice but to respect and learn to love one another for who we all are and the contributions we will all make in this Universe. Let everyone grow and be happy. Let every great civilization come up with different solutions to problems relating to survival or general problems. Each will have its own strengths. Such strengths should never be frowned upon. Rather we should see them as opportunities to learn and use those strengths to help us and other civilisations to reach closer to the one and true God through our work and so better understand our place in the Universe, which in term will translate into much longer lifespans, greater wisdom, a feeling of inclusiveness and acceptance like we have never experienced before, and the greater love. We will see more things like never before, and we will find solutions in the backyards of other civilisations that we can apply on our own planet to solve all world problems. There is so much we can learn from other civilisations through their strength. Just going out there and observing other civilisations will be enough to see what is possible and will inspire many of our own people to come back and change our views and ways of doing things on Earth to something far better and more longer-term for the benefit of all. That is why it is so important to travel to the stars as soon as we can. Not later. We should not postpone the inevitable. Travelling to the stars should be done as soon as possible, not just because it will improve the survival of the human race in the face of global catastrophes from big enough asteroids hitting the Earth, but also the incredible knowledge and experiences we will gather and take with us back to our home planet that will have the massive transformative powers to change everyone here on this planet. Then we can quickly forget our differences here on Earth. Even in the Middle East, religious leaders will be too busy with amazing insights into the way other civilisations go about their business and their knowledge about God. Don't worry about being invaded by aliens. It won't happen. If love is in our hearts, then we can guarantee no invasion with absolute certainty. Seriously, there is an unseen and universal law of the universe that guarantees every life-bearing planet is preserved and its species are allowed to develop, grow, and learn from its experiences. The principle of non-interference is alive and well among the stars. We have nothing to worry about, other than the choices we make today. So face the reality of what we must do. Stop the fighting. We cannot afford to fight with people having differences. If you need to know what happens if we don't do the right thing and choose to fight one another, then bear in mind what other civilisations can go to us if they so choose. If they feel in any way threatened by our presence, you can be assured that it doesn't take much for a slightly more advanced civilisation who looks different or have different views to put us in our place very quickly should we decide to be aggressive to them. There is no contest in this Universe about who will win when we go out there among the stars and discover amazing things on other planets. It is better to accept the differences, practice love with one another, and move on.
With this mind, fighting people in the Middle East based on our differences is a waste of time. Give it a break. Strive for genuine peace. Look for a common goal and work together to reach that goal. And soon you will forget the differences, or see them as new strengths. Better still, seen them as opportunities to get closer to the mystery of who or what God is. It does not matter if we are dealing with God or the Universe, or religion or science. We don't have to be totally religious or totally scientific to know we are approaching the same ultimate goal. Never try to see our differences in any negative light. There is no one perfect way of understanding God through out work. Each person will have his/her own unique strengths, and we must use those strengths to the advantage of all to bring us closer to God. It does not matter if we are not religious or spiritual not to see that our work is approaching God. Accept our differences. Even for those non-religious types, they too are approaching a unification of their knowledge. Not even science will be immune to this unifying attempt and ultimate discovery within its own knowledge of a single unifying force of nature or thing. It will happen soon for the people of science. And when it does happen, science will be able to provide a deeper insight into the nature of God for religious people and so support the work of many religious people in the end. Our aim should be to embrace people and apply all these strengths so that our knowledge and experiences will be richer and help all of us get closer to God. And since God represents the unity of all things, it is up to us to see this unity by bringing together the positive attributes of everyone and their work (religions, scientific or whatever) in order to get to the source of the common and fundamental ideas that lies at the heart of all religions, science, and our purpose in this universe. Only then, with this knowledge, will people be able to see the true religion of God (and its application to society will create the true kingdom of God), and with it a much better understanding of this ultimate God we are heading for.
Finally, going back to the issue of a home, we have to accept the fact that we don't truly own any one piece of land, even if God claims the land is yours. People of Israel must take heed of this message. The land is there as a test from God to see how well people have truly understood the principle of love. How? Simply by looking at how well we let different people have a place they can call a home on the same piece of land and to share its abundance with everyone. This is the proof that God needs to see in all of us as the firm affirmation of our understanding of the principle of love.
The true principle of love never discriminates. It never segregates people based on geography, how we look, or what we believe. Love never makes people feel like their differences are negative or inferior in any way. As it is said in the Bible, "God does not show favouritism" (Romans 2:11-16). Our treatment of one another should be the same, and it should be done with love. Yet it seems as if Israel is unable to grasp this simple fact when we see how it chooses to discriminate others by controlling the movements and locations of Palestinian people (partly to stop the harming of Israel families by adults, and now children, of the Palestinian community), and then it thinks it would be easier to build a massive concentration camp to accommodate all the Palestinians as well as a massive wall to protect its own people. Does Israel not see history is repeating at a time when the people of Israel had already experienced the same situation in the mid-20th century? Want a clue? Well, does Germany ring a bell? If this still does not wake up the people of Israel to see their own actions as not following the principle of love as expected of them by the true God, then something else may help solve this issue. Perhaps humans will realise that the God seen by those in the past in the Middle East will almost certainly come back. Imagine then what God will think when it sees what humans in the Middle East have been doing. We will discover very quickly just how God feels and thinks about this conflict when it sees the actions of Israel on other different people (and vice versa, since God does not discriminate). Now will God continue to favour Israel or even the rest of the Arab community? No it won't. Both must take responsibilities for its actions in not allowing each other to live in peace, to have their own home, to feel secure, and to grow.
Unable to fathom this concept? Then you can be assured of one thing: sea levels will rise high enough to pretty much inundate Israel, Palestine and many other places in the Middle East. Then no one will have a home. Sounds like the best non discriminatory solution to the conflict in the Middle East. Because then everyone will have to work together to create a new home somewhere. Not even God would be needed to come to Earth to help. We did it all by ourselves.
It is time to grow up as adults. Stop the conflict and learn to love one another. And be prepared to change our traditions to something that is much more balanced and helpful to building hope and a brighter future, and have that closer relationship to God that many religious people seek. Or maybe it is time people in this part of the world gain access to the new electromagnetic technology (the USAF should take heed given what it knows in this area) to help them get closer to God among the stars. Then, at last, we will properly learn the true principle of love, and live in peace forever.
30 YEARS FROM NOW
World temperatures rise beyond what scientists had predicted, and it is not pretty. A massive extinction of much of life as we know it is now a distinct and real possibility. It has come to this critical moment because R-wing politicians, business people, and those rich and powerful could not and preferred not to see it coming until it finally happened in front of their own eyes for them to acknowledge its reality. Yet even now, knowing their comfortable lifestyles may be in jeopardy, they will do everything to calm the public. They will argue until the cows come home (most will die from heat stress, so waiting will be futile) that global warming is only temporary. And they think they have enough technology to save the world from a major calamity. Unfortunately, without the sufficient R-brain development needed to properly extrapolate the trend in world temperatures and seeing on the basis of probabilities the effect on things like methane deep in the oceans on global temperatures and the effect on life on Earth and the cost of the needy things in the post methane emission era, these people will continue to march on with their "Titanic" economic system without making the substantial changes needed to prepare humans for an even bigger disaster. Now the moment has arrived to do something about it. The thing that will sway the public to get together and do the right thing for the planet will be the effect of the heat on life on Earth, more so than any high cost to buy food fro the supermarket.
No amount of setting aside portions of the ocean and land as national parks will be sufficient to save the animals and plants. They are in real danger of collapsing on a massive scale in all the areas that already experience hot and dry summers. Even the rainforests will be dealt a deadly blow from the excessive heat and reduced rainfall. As for humans, the majority living in third world countries will not survive the onslaught of the heat waves, especially in the hot summers. They will die from heat stress if starvation and thirst from the limited food and fresh water supplies don't.
For the animals and plants, it is probably better at this time for humans to extract the DNA from these animals and keep them in cold storage until such time as the planet is cooler and able to support the animals once they are revived, reproduced and able to be returned into the wild in reasonable numbers. If we are lucky to re-establish many of these animals, the entire planet must be seen as a giant national park requiring protection of all species followed by a massive expansion of new jobs to manage the environment and bring back from extinction all these animals and plants.
Not even the majority of humans in developing and developed nations will escape the heat. We should expect to see a large proportion of the elderly living in middle and lower class societies dying from heat-related stress, not to mention enough vulnerable children (mainly from low-income families) struggling to cope with the heat. Other families who are more well-off will probably choose to keep their children indoors (mind you, with their obsession with smartphones, the kids probably won't mind a bit), assuming the parents can afford air conditioners. Everyone else will have to leave early in the morning and arrive at designated large concrete-reinforced super-complexes containing a school, a place where the parents can work, and other amenities, at least for those living in the cities.
In the countryside, we can only imagine how rural people will survive. They will probably have to become the toughest and hardiest bunch. They will probably make Rambo look like a pussy once the hot conditions on land are adapted to by these people.
Humans, of which most will be kept in the dark by their governments until they ask why temperatures are so high, will face a massive population reduction of at least 70 per cent by the start of the 22nd century (or more likely much sooner) if nothing is done to curb the greenhouse emissions. And most of the deaths will not be entirely due to overheating, starvation, or a lack of water. A number of those deaths will be due to wars between nations as leaders grab from each other the last remaining natural resources in their locality. Of interest in this regard will be the far northern and southern latitudes where temperatures will likely be much more bearable to live in (probably as hot as a typical summer's day in the middle of Texas) and there are additional resources to be found underneath the polar caps.
Also the push for the biggest change ever seen will take place right across the Middle East as temperatures there will be virtually unliveable. Many people will be digging underground to create homes at night and stay underground during the day. As for dictators restricting people and forcing them to do things to support these dysfunctional leaders to maintain power and their preferred way of life while relying on old religious views could be facing significant changes in the future. Either change now, or face the wrath of the people as they fight for a new and brighter future.
The young people will definitely be affected too, even for the rich. As they enter a new world, many will see a bleak future as a number of adults continue to go on their merry way of supporting the current "non-recycling" economic system (mainly the rich and powerful) and not doing enough to curb carbon dioxide emissions. Then certain compassionate governments and health professionals in developed nations will wonder why the young people are depressed, feeling suicidal, or willing to go against society in negative ways. It really doesn't take a genius to figure this one out.
We will need to muster every kind of technology at this time if we are to cling to life, and even then populations will have to go down significantly to make things more manageable.
Much of life on Earth in the early 21st century could have been maintained if humans took on an early interest in growing vast amounts of trees and protecting available freshwater supplies under a new, long-term carbon sequestration scheme more than 30 years ago, and paid rural people to look after these resources for those who choose to live on the land.
Humans have not learned their lesson very well.
35 YEARS FROM NOW
Ordinary people on the streets have seen it all before. They know every trick in the book employed by R-wing people as the latter group of economic die-hards will do everything they can to convince everyone else that everything is under control and the hothouse that people are experiencing will be a passing phase. Well, maybe, so long as something is done about it. Still not enough is being done and, most likely, things will get much worse before things will get better (if at all). However, there is a whiff of change in the air. More and more people are questioning R-wing people and the value of the current economic system. It is likely many world leaders and most business groups will be seen by this time as too slow like the dinosaurs that walked the Earth until something came along to create great change in the environment. Not enough has been done to make the transition to a more environmentally-friendly and carbon-neutral society. Certain people have been thinking far too much for too long about making obscene profits and maintaining power at all costs that they have lost the purpose of why we are here. No doubt those controlling the economic system will do everything they can to derail the public's interest in the environmental problems by claiming terrorism is of greater concern as well as giving people any kind of job to preoccupy them and keep them busy with paying bills and looking after a family. If that is not enough, why not do as Russian leader, Mr Vladimir Putin, is doing by stopping all funding to science and research so hopefully the public will never see the problems of the environment? Nothing like creating the biggest smokescreen on Earth to hide the problems of the world.
Or how about the view that emerged on 14 July 2015 from conservative (mostly rich and influential R-wing) groups that by 2030 the world will allegedly get 60 per cent cooler leading to a mini-Ice Age just to make everyone think there is nothing to worry about for at least the next 30 years? Or why not show more extensive coverage of the Winter Olympics at places where the last remaining snow and ice is still prevalent. Then the public will look at this and think the world is still a cold place. All psychology 101 tactics from the rich and powerful to calm the population.
Regarding this view of a cooler planet, you will see the fascination of R-wing people to find any kind of pattern and with it any evidence of a link between number of sunspots and global temperature. Basically if the Sun shows a dramatic reduction in the number of sunspots, the energy output of the Sun is weakened, and this would lead to cooler conditions on Earth. To support this view, conservative groups claim the Little Ice Age experienced in England from about 1645 to 1715 was due to a poverty of sunspots on the Sun's surface. And now that the Sun is likely to have another period of reduced sunspot activity by 2030, some people wish to believe or claim another mini-Ice Age is on the cards. However, as scientists have stated, the connection between sunspots and global temperature is extremely weak and, in fact, has been disproved. As evidence, scientists stated that sunspots fluctuate in an 11-year cycle. As of 2014, the number of sunspots were at their lowest (known as the Maunder minimum). Yet despite the current cycle being the weakest in 100 years, it turned out 2014 was the hottest year in recorded history and 2015 was expected to get even hotter (which it did). If there could be anything to support such a tenuous link as the conservative groups are claiming, then technically the return of sunspots should effectively be a greater cause for concern for these people, because that would effectively mean world temperatures will rise even more. Not so for these conservative groups because it could be another 10 to 50 years after 2030 before global temperatures rise again. Plenty of time for these conservatives to presumably earn more money and hopefully by then there will be enough technological solutions to solve the global warming problem.
Or better still, why not build large-scale renewable solutions right now just to make the rich and powerful look like they are doing their bit to help the planet? Makes sense, doesn't it? Not really. All these people want to do is reduce costs as a means of maintaining their rich and lavish lifestyles while everyone else pays the bills and that's it. Anything renewable will always be seen as having a cost, and it will be seen as too much. Furthermore, people will still continue to argue renewable energy solutions will not be enough to power existing industries. Or would it be more accurate to say that industries should be the ones to change under the extreme global warming conditions, and hence could require far less energy to do their work and produce better products designed to protect the environment and by fully recyclable? However, people in the current economic system are still not thinking long-term. They prefer to stick to what they know and is cheapest even if the solutions are not the best for the environment. Not enough vision for the future. For example, the oil companies have lobbied the Australian Federal government on 13 July 2015 to change its policy to the point where the former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott wanted the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to no longer back new wind energy projects (despite places like Denmark successfully generating 100 per cent of all energy needs from wind power, and there are now new wind power technology considered more efficient and quieter), not to mention the small-scale rooftop variety of solar and other alternative energy solutions for household use. As Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann stated in a letter to the CEFC, the draft investment mandate called for "mature and established clean energy technologies...to be excluded from the corporation's activities, including extant wind technology and household and small-scale solar".
Why deny the benefits of small-scale solar solutions at the local and household level? People will pay for the product at a subsidized rate with the help of the CEFC. Actually, that's the problem. Governments don't want to subsidize consumers with a lower price for the product. It does not matter if the CEFC is producing more than $1 profit for the government for every $1 invested and had now made it possible for low-income people and retirees to invest in solar as a means of saving power bills. Mr Abbott wants consumers to pay for everything at the highest price possible. As Australian Solar Council chief executive John Grimes observed and noted:
"Tony Abbott is keeping people trapped paying higher electricity prices."
In other words, the government does not want consumers to generate their own power for free (after the technology is purchased). Instead, Abbott has asked the CEFC to support emerging large-scale energy solutions, including solar, and this should be controlled by the existing energy companies. This government decision comes as oil companies expressed concern for the future in generating profits and want to make sure the government will support large-scale renewable energy solutions so there is a chance for these dirty energy producing companies to make the transition and get consumers to pay the hefty prices for electricity set by these companies. How convenient.
Only problem is, the government is slow to establish policies needed to convince big businesses where to invest their money, and preferably in those large-scale renewable energy solutions we all need for the protection of life on Earth. The politicians who should be creating the policies are too focused on maintaining political power and in enjoying the personal economic benefits of a highly paid taxpayer's position in parliament. Thus the real aim of government these days is to encourage businesses to create any kind of job (mainly to get people to work in restaurants and to have people doing lots of toilet cleaning), and it doesn't matter how little it pays or whether it is temporary or part-time. Governments and certain businesses will assume it is enough for people to survive in the current economic system. In the meantime, winning elections in the current economic system (well, if it ain't broke, why fix it?) is considered far more important for the government of the day than the long-term survival of humanity.
Should any large-scale energy solutions get built and controlled by the energy companies, we still have the assumption for the current economic system that people can continue to afford to pay the companies for electricity, the electricity will always be supplied by the energy companies in a reliable manner (even in the event of great disasters), and the cost of other needy commodities don't rise significantly as world temperatures rise. Is this true?
Just to complicate things a little more, robotics have entered the jobs equation. Businesses are looking into robotics far more than ever before as the costs to build robots has become cheaper and their level of sophistication is allowing more things to get done. It will not be long before more and more people's jobs will be on the line and eventually vanish. The thinking for businesspeople is, "Why employ people to do the work if robots can now do the jobs quicker, better, and cheaper?" Suddenly people will find themselves out-of-a-job, new jobs are harder to come by, or the jobs have to be of a much lower paying level for things that robots can't do (usually lots of toilet cleaning, some fruit picking jobs, and perhaps working in your local supermarket stocking shelves with food products). It will be much harder to earn enough money. As a result, more and more people will try their hand at establishing a new business.
The alternative to this approach is for people to demand businesses to sell products at an affordable price for things people need. This should include food, water and electricity. Or else let the people generate their own energy and/or grow food for themselves. And if they don't, a massive social upheaval will take place. Whether it is to accept the way things are and follow the current trends in the economic system while starting up a business or else live poorly in the current system, or force a change to the system from within to make things affordable, it is likely the latter approach will take place. And if it doesn't happen, people will create a new system, and with it a new world order.
Want to maintain the current economic system? R-wing people would be wise at this time to look like they are on the side of the voters by showing a greater concern for the environment.
For example, when the environment minister Greg Hunt raises the issue of a government survey just released on 15 July 2015 showing a significant decline in Australian native birds from the loveable laughing birds known as the kookaburras to the cheeky and opportunistic magpies, and then mention on prime time television for all to see the importance of growing more trees and reducing introduced predators such as cats and foxes. R-wing people can be quick to become experts on environmental matters when it suits them and at the right times (to avoid more embarrassing electoral backlash that would stop the R-wing politicians' ambition of earn a high paying job in parliament). How else can we make these politicians seem more important and relevant than they really are to the public when it comes to tackling climate change just before an election?
Now if only R-wing people can continue to show a concern for the environment and do something to safeguard the planet and future of humanity outside of the election cycle.
What these people in government, businesses and the rich and powerful in general do not realise is that by this time it will be too late to do anything to stop world temperatures rising well beyond expectations as methane gas emerges out of the ground. They have pretty much cooked the goose that laid the economic eggs of wealth and prosperity under global warming.
It will certainly be no later than at this time that a massive social change will take place. People will be fed up with their politicians and irresponsible businesses. A new non-econonic system will begin, and rewards will not be based on money, but one relating to the building of a fresh and clean natural environment that is productive in growing food and clean water, and those who work for this aim in the new system will be rewarded with free food and water and, after a few years, live under the roof of their own modest and ecologically-responsible homes. Indeed such a system may become more necessary as robots will take over more jobs in the economic systems of various cities, leaving more and more people either unemployed or in positions that don't pay well enough. Even though businesses rely on people to be consumers, but if they can't make the products cheaply enough, businesses will go bust. Only those essential products to do with food, water and other basic necessities will thrive. But if they are still not cheap enough and global warming gets worse, the new world order will begin. Food and water will be produced at a much cheaper rate. For those who work to re-build the environment, there will be no cost. Soon more and more people will see little value in staying within the current economic system if the cost of things, including food is too high. A new system will develop in defiance of government and business aims. People will band together and support one another to build the new system.
Re-building the environment of plants and animals and safeguarding the entire ecological system while ensuring it is productive and bountiful will be the priority in the new system. Trees will be grown in vast numbers. Ingenious methods of capturing and preserving freshwater will be employed. Until governments provide the massive desalination plants and anything else people need to produce enough freshwater, people in the new system will show their cleverness, resourcefulness, and ability to recycle things to a level we have only talked about in the past, but finally practised and delivered as it should. Once the trees are established and have enough freshwater, these plants will provide the significant protection needed from the high temperatures and, in the long term, will naturally reduce world temperatures.
How will this change occur? It is not entirely clear. Hopefully it will be a bloodless revolution where most people will immediately agree to implement massive changes, such as a curfew on the use of electricity at night by switching off all electrical devices to help save on energy. The same may be true of cars as people learn to make do without them. The benefits of an early night sleep would not just be in a healthier mind and more relaxed and better thinking individuals having more creativity and learning the wider world and our interconnections, but the planet would benefit from it too. Or some days (or more likely at night during the summer), major community projects will take place to restore many open spaces to natural wilderness, wetlands around lakes, and so on. Fences and unnecessary roads surrounding people's homes in the suburbs are likely to be torn down or reduced in numbers as home owners work together to grow natural foods, establish ponds and other water reserves, and grow trees and bushes in the back and front yards with simple paths for people to do more walking (and be healthier). Greater emphasis on collecting freshwater from available rain (if there is any) will be the norm to help support the plants and as a source of drinking water.
Schools will change their education curriculum to focus more on the needy areas relating to the environment, growing food, the principle of love, the laws of electromagnetism, mathematics, and effective communication skills rather than what industry and the business world wants all the time (which is to make money in the end). The theory aspects of education will be delivered online and the practical exercises performed at specific locations, usually by way of helping on the land to improve the environment and grow food, but also to see new electromagnetic technologies employed for the benefit of protecting the planet and helping people to achieve more (and even go beyond our planet). Many businesses not doing the right thing for the environment and not providing the essential key resources will collapse. It is likely a massive economic recession will take place for anyone working in these non-recycling and profit-motivated businesses. The only option for these people is to make the transition to new jobs relating to the environment to help keep themselves alive. We can only hope massive numbers of new jobs will be created in the new world order in environmental projects or else many people will suffer and fight for the remaining resources.
People's attitude to consuming resources on this planet without limit and without implementing significant recycling processes in everything that we do will end. People will learn to forego those things we don't need. It means we have to seriously focus on only those thing we need to survive, and to recycle everything once they are used up (or else make them last a long time). Next, people's jobs will have to be transformed into ones that benefit the environment rather than working for companies motivated by shear profit and greed while producing dirty technologies for which many people will no longer see any value under the new world order. Maintaining the current economic system and not contributing enough to protect the environment is no longer considered a viable activity. It just does not work without complete recycling and a focus on building up the natural environment. And don't expect to be paid with cash in the new system. It will probably be through food and fresh water (the things to make us see how grateful we are of being alive). In the meantime, governments, in trying to make themselves relevant to the people, will have to build massive new infrastructure to transport fresh water from some reliable source into these drier regions where people will have to work on the land (mostly at night) to plant more trees and later the undergrowth to help block out the sun and start absorbing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, as well as grow enough food and retain more moisture on the ground. To further reduce the demand on oil, only a few essential vehicles will be on the road at night mostly trucks transporting essential products and tools for the new world order. If any other vehicles are on the road, they will have to be powered by electricity. Indeed, the new society to emerge from this will become a truly electromagnetic society. Electricity will be seen as the greatest energy recycler, and only this form of energy can be used to help society transform the planet if no more carbon dioxide emissions are to occur.
People power will also make the decision on what to build that is considered truly durable and totally recyclable and needed for society. Any energy requirements will be based on free-energy systems such as solar, wind, or radio waves and made available for sharing within a community. Any monetary profit will be controlled heavily and put to better use rather than let business leaders (and their shareholders) decide how they wish to spend the money for themselves.
Electricity-generating companies will be forced to find renewable sources as people won't tolerate further increases in the price of electricity. In fact, many people doing new jobs in the new society may not even be able to afford the high price for electricity from energy companies. So the companies will have to massively reduce the costs to the people, or else build the infrastructure and see electricity as a free and necessary commodity, as important as food and water. In whatever way the electricity is generated, people will demand renewable energy sources at substantially reduced costs. Furthermore, it is likely energy generation will be installed on the roofs and open spaces by the people themselves.
Oil companies will face a particularly hard time in the new world order. Many will collapse if they haven't run out of oil or made the transition to different energy solutions. The few that remain will offer what little oil will be made available in the early stages to help with essential transport of large amounts of needy products in trucks to various communities. When enough trees are grown, even less oil will be used to create plastics as wood, metal and glass will become the new building materials to create new recyclable products. Otherwise the oil companies will have to transform themselves into building and supplying renewable systems for generating energy. It will be very painful for those oil companies that are not comfortable in recycling their own energy. Profits to these companies will drop significantly. It will be the biggest wake up call the oil business world has ever seen, and many companies will quickly perish in the new world order.
The financial crisis is coming fast mainly because we were too slow to adapt to renewable energy sources and looking after the environment. There are far too many people on the planet needing to survive (and not enough of them were educated enough to know how to do the right thing). But the biggest problem are those people who wanted to be rich without applying adequate recycling of all natural resources and existing products. Thus, do not be surprised to hear people like Robert Kiyosaki, one of the world's leading entrepreneurs and financial forecasters, say:
The world is in very serious trouble I foresee a global currency crash, which will wipe out the poor and the middle class as the rich get richer.
However, the richer will only get richer if the market for what they wish to sell is there and enough people can afford to buy, and want it. Robert believes Australia is in an excellent financial position (for the rich that is) in the coming crisis "by acquiring assets – like property, resources, gold and other precious metals."
But if Australia destroys its environment, no amount of property or precious metals is going to save the Australian people. Australia is only a lucky country if the environment is well looked after. Unless there are plenty of rich people who want to sell off the environment to the highest bidder, it is more likely even the rich will face its own demise or seriously curtailed in numbers as social chaos attempts to bring balance to the system through a new world order. We hope the transition will be non-violent. When the transition is complete, the ones who will be prized more significantly than the rich in the new world order will be the farmers and anyone else who can work on the land and improve the environment while thinking on a long-term basis on what is needed for the survival of all living things.
As Robert correctly predicts, "Farmers will benefit as land and food become highly valued commodities."
As for saving animals and many plants, unless we can somehow preserve all the genetic material, it is unlikely we can save much of life on Earth as we know it today. In terms of plants, what little we can save must be kept in cold storage underground somewhere in a technological ark until such time as we are ready to re-germinate the seeds and the conditions are more conducive to growing these plants. There is nothing more we can do at this time while the methane emissions have taken place, and it has to be done as a matter of life or death. Because if we leave it too late, the cost will be too great even for developed nations to reverse the damage and no amount of money can repair what we have done. And that would mean a major revolution followed by a major economic collapse, and eventually our extinction.
The new world order is a solution humans cannot afford to procrastinate over. It will have to be done immediately at this time while global warming has reached unprecedented levels, and done on a massive scale the likes of which we have never seen before.
Forget about al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist organisations for a moment. The stuff up of the environment will ensure Mother Nature will become the biggest terrorist threat humankind has ever seen. Governments and the military may not like negotiating with terrorists. Well, guess what? There is no choice when it comes to the environment. In fact, the only negotiation is whether you want to live or die on this planet. Once you know the answer, you will know what needs to be done for the environment for the terrorist threat of Mother Nature to disappear.
If there is going to be any change in the world for the better, people must learn to take control of their own destiny and exert the necessary people power to force governments to do the right thing because many politicians and practically all the R-wing people who are rich and powerful will have to be seen as the least important people in society. They must be ignored or pushed aside. In this time of major social upheavals and creating a new world order., rural people working on the lands will be put on the pedestal of helping to solve the environmental problems, and not the business people in the cities, the government of the day, or even the military. Money and being popular are not more important than protecting the environment and ensuring there is adequate food for all living things. People learn very quickly this fact, especially when they are starving as those in third-world countries know all too well.
For example, people on the land must plant more trees, capture rainfall, shape the land to slow the speed of the water and minimise soil erosion, and give back enough land to nature for restoration, as well as grow fruit and vegetables as the principal source of food for people of a nation, and in return these people should receive some form of carbon credit or reward for their efforts. But they won't be doing it all themselves. Much of the human population will be mobilised to work on the land to help these farmers and ensure the environment is rebuilt. And there will be new non-monetary rewards. Also land may no longer be owned, but leased for portions of the land protected by one individual for the life of that individual. You live there as long as you like until you die, or you move back to the economic system.
Whatever rewards we can give to rural people and those who work on the land, it will never be enough. So let them create greater change in the environment where bigger long-term objectives can be achieved for a more stable and long-lived human society.
Better still, give people on the land access to the worldwide fund from carbon emission taxes collected from the economic systems of different countries (the ones who are more polluting) to help pay for technology such as large-scale machinery to help shape the land, collect more fresh water and preserve it, set up solar farms, plant more trees, and manage the water more wisely to ensure a healthier environment and its people. Farmers will be the new leaders in the 21st century when it comes to transforming the land and making it more productive and healthy again while ensuring enough plants are able to grow and absorb the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Not governments, military people, or business people.
Next, if businesses are to somehow survive at this time, a realistic level of profit must be set for all businesses, and they must recycle everything that they produce. No more shareholder companies trying to make obscene amounts of profit to satisfy their greedy shareholders and company directors. The new aim will be to see these profit get directed to more socially and environmentally useful programs for the benefit of everyone.
As for people in the cities, they must quickly decide what's more important: profit, or long-term survival of humanity? Once the choice is made, many people in the cities will find new job opportunities in the new environmentally friendlier economy, free of making money, but rewarded with all the food and water they will ever need. Work well in the new system for several years and you will be rewarded with a small home to live for as long as you like and manage your portion of the land using your knowledge of the environment and how to grow things. You can even lead other people, new recruits from the cities, to show the way and what needs to be done. You will be seen as the new farmer.
In the end, the new jobs must firmly encourage people to work on the land in return for great rewards, including plenty of fresh water and healthy food grown on the land and given for free for your efforts> And you won't be on your own. You will meet new friends and gain opportunities to be properly educated on the needy and broader issues of life and the Universe. And over time, you will have increasingly more free time to relax and think. Let nature do much of the work for you. Do a little maintenance in the garden to keep things going and provide the necessary helping hand. Then let it go and watch nature produce in abundance. No money will be exchanged. Clothes are made from plants grown on land, or recycled from old clothes acquired from the cities. Communal areas to access the latest information on the internet and places to sleep and rest during the day (and later work at night) will be the norm for people learning about the land and how to grow things. Only those who have worked on the land for a few years and have acquired the essential knowledge about the land and preserving the environment can be called true farmers, and hence leaders. They will benefit in becoming their own leaders on the land and receive a small home they can live in for the rest of their lives as they direct other people to working on important environmental projects.
We may also need the proper implementation of genetic engineering without profit to toughen up plants to survie the harsh conditions. And we also need to create new plants to provide the nutrients we need to survive. This is important to avoid needing to kill other animals for food, especially those domestic animals that are far too energy-intensive on the land and using up enormous amounts of environmental resources by way of water and growing grass and other plants, as well as the energy and costs to make this all happen. Eating meat-based products will probably become a thing of the past as humans learn to grow the necessary vitamins, minerals, proteins, iron, fibre and carbohydrates our bodies need from plant materials. Once enough plants are grown, it will become more efficient and less energy demanding to grow this food.
All this is just the beginning of what will become part of the third industrial revolution and the creation of a new world order. It will come for all of us, whether by force or agreement. And it will be a time when true recycling, stability and living within our means while ensuring everyone has what they need will arrive, or else humankind may not be around for much longer.
40 YEARS FROM NOW
It is amazing what can be done in less than 10 years. Due to the shear size of the human population working in the new world order, a lot has been achieved. Already huge areas of land in the countryside have been set aside to grow vast amounts of trees an other plants. We see dotted around the place small homes for the caretakers of the environment. Walking paths can be seen linking many of the homes for people to walk. A central area for a group of homes allow meet to meet, discuss things to be done, or enjoy the end of the day with a free shared meal. But it is harder to see the human activity. The trees are growing to a size to hide much of what humans are doing on the ground. Still, we cannot sit on our loins and hope the problems of the world will be solved any time soon. There is still much to get done.
The goal in the new world order is to make the big changes now so that later there would be no more excessive changes. Only minor changes would be required at the local level of planting crops and watering them. Certainly, once the trees have grown to a reasonable size, the microclimate formed underneath will help to retain more moisture to allow a fertile soil to grow other plants. New vegetable gardens will be created. Permaculture principles will be applied to ensure long-term sustainability of the garden and to ensure humans do not have to work too hard to get the results needed.
Actually, the idea of excessive changes will be kept to a minimum. None of the silly marketing hype will be accepted in the new world order. One of the reasons why we consume so much and create so much impact on the planet in a negative sense is because of constant changes in products and advertisements designed to make us think the products are better and people feel compelled to buy them. As many of these products come with non-recyclable packaging, the waste builds up. Much of the packaging is non-biodegrade. The natural environment and the living things in it suffer in this waste. The packaging and all the marketing hype will end iin the new world order. Marketing companies and businesses still relying on the wrong packaging will not be supported. As people see through the crap and decide which products are fully recyclable and benefits the planet for the long term, products will be manufactured to last the distance and made with the toughest materials which can be recycled at some point in the future. There will also not be the situation of selling multiple products for the same item by a variety of different companies all competing with one another. Everything will simplify to just one or two products and only if it is needy to people or helps to achieve worthwhile goals in the new world order. Costs to purchase these products in the new world order must go down or governments will force these businesses to lease their products for the masses at different times to different communities, paid for by the products people make or the time spent helping manufacturers to produce these more important products for society. Very little (if any) money would be available for most people to purchase such products. But if they help in the survival of humanity and the planet, there should be no cost.
As a further reward, you will be able to work less in the new world order over time. If you are smart and find efficient ways or use nature to do the work for you, you don't need to work hard. Be smart. That sort of time-saving and intelligent thinking will be greatly encouraged. You can learn to relax. Or look to help in other areas. That's fine. Generally, if anyone can have the privilege to own certain products for themselves, it is because they are leaders with experience and knowledge and are being rewarded with the right things to allow them opportunities to be more creative and explore new solutions in their field of expertise. Otherwise, the items must be easily produced and accessible to everyone.
These changes will be a true test of our love for this planet and all life.
Humans may have broken free from the shackles of being hunted or be the hunter through his tools. Now he will have to learn to stop being the predator himself, or to live in fear, or need to rely on profits to survive. We have everything that we need to survive. Humans will live a better life through recycling, co-operation and combining positive, more ethical types of solutions than any other animal in the world. Then we will ensure all living things can exist in harmony.
This will be the test of our true intelligence and love on this planet.
60 YEARS FROM NOW
World temperatures will remain too high. There is little we can do in the short-term. It will take time for the new world order and renewed interest in rebuilding the environment by most of the population worldwide to have an affect on world climate. Fortunately it won't take thousands of years. The shear size and number of people working on the land should see global warming reverse its trend in a matter of a century or two. Very quick by geological timescales. We have to remember that we have stuffed up big time several decades before by leaving things too late. By this time, there should be just enough people working on grand environmental projects to help slow down the rate of increase in world temperature and reverse it with just enough time. It seems the efforts will help. The Earth will try to do its bit to balance the situation such as a dramatic increase in sea levels throughout the world. Cities along the coast will be inundated with water unless governments build massive walls to hold back the oceans and seas. Otherwise, this must be a massive opportunity to see the influx of city and town dwellers as new recruits for the new non-economic system. Plenty of helpers to work the land before they can have a new home of their own.
As this work to repair the environment continues, scientists have predicted before 2012 that by 2030 all the world's alpine glaciers will have melted. That was based on a conservative model prior to 2012 predicting a 2°C increase in global temperatures. Under the new 6°C scenario predicted after 2012 ( a conservative figure considering no one knows how much methane will come out of the oceans and permafrost regions), glaciers will probably melt completely by 2025, if not earlier. However, after a significant amount of methane gas emerged from the oceans in great bursts, glaciers will have truly melted by now. Antarctica will show only a smidgen of ice as a reminder of our past.
It seems the only hope scientists have at this time is a widening of the orbit of the Earth around the Sun to help reduce the amount of heat being absorbed by the greenhouse gases. There is evidence to suggest this might be happening. But if greenhouse gases continue to enter the atmosphere, not even a naturally wider orbit of the Earth from the Sun will guarantee temperatures will return to normal. We are still in serious trouble.
Polar ice caps have accelerated their rate of melting. Rising oceans have swallowed low-lying areas such as Bangladesh and vast flat southern areas of the United States by this time. The richest nations on Earth will try to spend billions of dollars to build massive walls to hold back the oceans around major cities such as Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and London. However such expenditure on building massive walls will have to be justified when the planet is facing unprecedented rises in world temperature with the threat of massive extinctions, food security problems, and all the rest. The rich will try to justify it. Ordinary citizens may not. So probably in some places these walls won't be built. Most cities will be left to nature. Some humans in these cities may still live in high rise buildings and have some form of boat transport to reach various places, but only if there is a need for people to be living and working in these buildings. With a bit of luck though, these people might become very good swimmers and fishermen to collect food from the oceans while helping society in other ways from high up in their high rise rooms. However if some governments think they will have the money to afford building massive walls, even more money must be spent to house millions of environmental refugees from other nations (we are responsible for flooding their countries so we have no choice), and possibly to bolster law enforcement agencies and the military to maintain a high level of security for the richer nations. However, people power will prevail and the system will change. The new world order will mean many of these refugees will be put to work to repair the environment (if not in their own countries,. then definitely in the countries where they will ultimately be given permanent residence for their efforts). But they won't do it on their own. Most people in developed nations will be working with the refugees side-by-side in a massive co-operative show of support as they achieve a common goal of protecting the planet and growing the food.
65 YEARS FROM NOW
The governments of the richest nations would be wise at this time to stop spending trillions of dollars on Defence projects and start using the money to build major infrastructure to help transform society into an environmentally-friendly one. Or else the public will walk away from the economic system, and society as we know it will change forever.
Such a change in spending by the government will have important implications for the US military (and other military groups from other nations). The US military is particularly vulnerable in the new world order because of one thing.
As of 2015, the US military was currently trying to make itself useful to society by find alternative solutions to the energy situation, such as building a solar farm in space for generating electricity for cities, as well as finding ways to reach and colonise the Moon and eventually Mars. A very good choice, except the USAF also has the ability to go further using the electromagnetic technology it has discovered after it has reverse-engineered one crashed UFO from the late 1940s and studied various UFO reports in secret (ignore Project Blue Book as this had a different aim to educate and convince the public to see UFOs as nothing alien). After the retrieval, the relationship between gravity and electromagnetism was made by the USAF by 1959 after the U.S. government issue grants to various universities locally and in Europe for people to study this relationship. The work suddenly went quiet by 1959 once the secret was understood. Next, the USAF also discovered the importance of Thomas Townsend Brown's patented electrokinetic devices to help explain how UFOs move by 1962, but considerable efforts were made to stop the inventor from gaining the financial support to finish his work and show what else his devices could do (i.e., exponential acceleration). The inventor died a poor man, still believe his devices would bring great hope for humanity. The USAF then spent a considerable time in the 1960s and 1970s to build the world's first UFO prototype and by December 1980, a glowing diamond-shaped UFO was tested and flown in an isolated region of Texas. The pilot of this UFO-like object had decided to leave behind symptoms of radiation poisoning on three witnesses on the ground. This was achieved thanks to the emission of electrons from its negatively-charged metal surface and hitting the witnesses' stainless steel car body which in turn emitted ionizing x-rays. The object was quickly surrounded by black unmarked helicopters and escorted to a secret military base. Whether this sighting was unplanned or an opportunity to see how the public would react and compare differences between this object and other non man-made UFOs with similar glowing features on symmetrical flying objects, fortunately no one has been able to point the finger of who was responsible for the health of the three witnesses without direct proof. By 1990, the USAF tested further prototypes at Area 51, only to be observed at night these glowing objects doing some interesting high speed movements by civilians at a distance.
By the beginning of the 21st century, the USAF fully knows how UFOs work. It has the electromagnetic technology. All we have is the patent, but not the willingness to test the devices further and make the final discovery. All to the advantage of the USAF. But here lies the biggest problem for the US military. By keeping the technology to itself, it has effectively stated to the world that it is not willing to help humanity to solve the environmental crisis of global warming other than to pretend it is helping in other areas. Because the emission from an electromagnetic flying object is of radiation for propulsion and not hot air and carbon-rich waste products from conventional fossil fuels, the USAF is afraid of the implications in letting the technology out to the public and its own future of whether it can survive in the new world order. However, by doing nothing, the USAF could also be sealing its own fate as well.
The USAF may not want anyone to know about this electromagnetic technology. However, in the new world order, people will have studied more closely the laws of electromagnetism and discover what is hidden there. And what will people discover?
One of the secrets will be a way to recycle electromagnetic energy thanks to the presence of the gravitational field in the energy through Albert Einstein's Unified Field Theory. When a critical energy density is reached through a control of frequency and voltage, the gravitational field will be strong enough to bend back some of the electromagnetic energy. Furthermore, in the presence of an electrically charged surface, the emission of radiation will see similar energy recycling taking place resulting in dramatically exponential acceleration and less energy required to be generated to maintain the acceleration. The word "exponential" is critical because it will mean we can travel fast enough to reach the stars. From this concept will come the first transportation vehicle built entirely on the laws of electromagnetism. It will be the world's simplest, fastest, lightest, and easiest to build electromagnetic vehicle ever made.
In terms of the waste, the only thing that will escape the back end of an electromagnetic flying object will be electromagnetic energy. It is the kind of energy that is both a waste and a fuel, and is capable of being fully recycled with ease. As for the materials to build this object, it just needs conductors (i.e., metals) and insulators (to separate charges). Materials here can be extremely tough, lightweight, and last a very long time, and should be able to be recycled.
When people realise what is possible in the world of electromagnetism, a new dawn will definitely begin for humankind. People will have a renewed curiosity for the Universe, especially among the young who will take the technology to a new level, visit other worlds, and return with a wealth of new information and some alien samples.
And probably the next discovery to be made in the world of electromagnetism will be the ability to transmit electrical energy wirelessly in the form of radiation where an antenna on a machine can pick up this energy and transform it into electrical power. So why do we need power lines to transport electricity across vast distances, except perhaps to allow power companies a way to control how much power consumers use and bill them later? In the new world order, it is unlikely power companies can continue to supply electricity in the traditional and highly inefficient and expensive way using power lines and all the dirty forms of power generation to the people. Like the food and water, electricity will be the third essential commodity to be made available free to people in the new world order.
Human civilisation will enter what is effectively the fourth industrial revolution this time focussing on the building of new and environmentally-friendly electromagnetic technologies.
But before the revolution begins, the people will already have built their own prototype of an electromagnetic flying object for testing.
It would be at this time that more and more people will recognise the similarities in the technological design and side-effects of these "electromagnetic" vehicles to those formerly unidentified flying objects (or UFOs) described in the reports by people in the past, even as early as the late 1940s and possibly even going back to Biblical times when Moses and his people were guided by a glowing cloud he called God. And they will learn about the work done by the USAF throughout the latter half of the 20th century in understanding and building their own UFO in secret. This can only mean one thing. The biggest cover up in human history regarding UFOs will be blown sky high by this time. Not even the US military can pretend the whole situation is bogus with new UFO studies to educate the public in the way the military wants. There will be nothing the military can do to stop the progress. More importantly, rumours of a crashed flying disc in the possession of the USAF with the right kind of extreme lightweight and tough materials will be given special focus by the people. In particular, any support by the scientific community that the electromagnetic spacecraft can be brought down by a lightning strike, exactly as the witnesses reported hearing in July 1947 in the New Mexico desert followed by the recovery of remarkably-advanced materials, means the military are hiding the evidence.
The USAF would be wise at this time to release everything it knows about UFOs, including the crashed disk and bodies it has recovered and kept quiet after all this time well before the first electromagnetic vehicles are ever built by the public. In fact, it is highly recommended that the USAF release what it knows about UFOs well before global warming kicks in at a more devastating level for the planet. If the USAF refuses to do the right thing, people will realise when the truth does come out that as Rome burns (or the planet heats up and the environment gets more difficult to recover from the global warming) the USAF did nothing. Soon the US military will be increasingly seen as irrelevant in the new world order. The refusal by the US military to release the technology well before the environmental crisis began will effectively seal the fate of the military and all defence spending. And when we see how alien civilisations survive in the Universe and how peaceful they are, there will be no use for the military in any nation on Earth.
Why keep the electromagnetic technology secret from the public? Are certain people in the know trying to gain economic advantages by releasing some technologies acquired from the retrieval of crashed UFO materials, but not the whole technology? Or do they think the public will never discover the secret? It is either that, or the USAF could be trying to be the first to travel to the stars. However, alien civilisations in meeting up with these American military personnel will have a few harsh words to say to these idiots for not sharing the technology with the rest of the world. A world what was dying due to extreme global warming conditions and the decision not to share the technology it had with the world and alleviate much of the carbon dioxide emissions that would have prevented methane emissions from taking place as well as push society to transition more quickly to a better self-recycling civilisation will not be seen favourable by other civilisations in the Universe. If anything, other civilisations will probably send the military packing back to their own planet. If the Earth is already destroyed, the military will be forced to survive on some dead world around a red dwarf. Now here is where the military will learn the true meaning of love and living within its means.
Before travelling to the stars or allowing the world to get to this serious environmental degradation, the U.S. military had better release the knowledge and technology that it has acquired about UFOs with the rest of the world. Other people will find out. Better to do it now if it wants to see itself as relevant to society and hence increase the likelihood of receiving money from taxpayers.
75 YEARS FROM NOW
In terms of cheaper and more powerful space flights in the late 21st century using these electromagnetic technologies, there will be some unexpected benefits to be had on the environment for those travelling to the stars. The biggest of which would be the mass of the pilots and for those passengers wishing to participate in the journey.
According to Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, when you participate in these flights, journey times are significantly reduced because of another law of physics namely, the length along the direction of motion is contracted. People on Earth might wait for years to get the results, but those who participate in the flight will experience a quick and painless visit to distant worlds and back again depending on how far they wish to travel. But if you want to travel further, there is another law to follow in the Special Theory of relativity. It concerns the mass of pilots and passengers.
In a nutshell, the closer you approach the speed of light, the more massive everything in the spacecraft and those participating in the flight will get according to an outside observer. For the person participating in the flight, it just means getting a fraction closer to the speed of light will get much harder. Yet every tiny fraction of a percent you can somehow get to the speed of light can make the difference in time of reaching a distant star of within a month or a week to under an hour. It means every ounce of mass that can be shed in the journey will make an enormous difference to journey times.
To achieve the kind of difference in journey times needed to reach the more distant stars, electromagnetic vehicles built by the late 21st century must be made of the strongest, lightest and toughest materials ever conceived by humankind. The materials will be extremely durable. The whole entire spacecraft will be fully re-usable for a very long time using these materials. Newspaper thin metal skin for carrying the oscillating electric charge for emitting radiation for propulsion on the surface will be the norm. Electrical insulators to separate charges on the hull from the internal cabins will be flexible, yet very strong and unburnable. Electrical generators will be compact and lightweight as possible and able to generate millions of volts at minimal amperage as needed to generate powerful oscillating electric charge on the surface. Directing the charge to one side and reaching a higher energy density to produce a high recoiling force of the emitted radiation will be controlled by curvature of the hull. As all this takes place, the other thing to face the same weight loss challenge will be the pilots themselves. For interstellar travel, lightweight and thin adults (with the wisdom to understand the principle of love) will participate on these flights to see what lies beyond our solar system.
Having no head or body hair would also be seen in a favourable manner for very long journeys to distant stars.
There are other advantages in being lightweight. A pilot with this desirable lightweight characteristic can withstand greater inertial forces. Clearly an important requirement when getting the spacecraft to a high enough speed in a short timeframe to that the journey times can seem quick. There are other ways to reduce inertial forces (e.g., using a symmetrical metallic box for the spacecraft to reduce radiation inside and with it the gravitational field). Whatever technique is applied, having lightweight and thin pilots will be an absolute must if they are to reach more distant stars.
A low mass and hence lightweight body is no longer the stuff of science fiction. A clip of the finger and toe nails, removal of body hair, and a good laxative to blow everything out could reduce the time to travel to an extrasolar star from say a few months to maybe an hour or less. Or why not go to the extreme of removing unnecessary organs in the body such as the reproductive regions and to have smaller breasts? Indeed, through effective and well-thought out genetic engineering, the nutrients required by the human body can be concentrated in plant materials to the point where it is unnecessary to have a long gut. Eventually the whole digestive tract can be simplified to help reduce mass.
And why stop there? There is no reason why we could not remove the digestive tract altogether and use special skin patches to deliver the nutrients directly into the blood stream. It is certainly not beyond the realms of science to achieve. (7)
Certainly biological scientists of the future will be looking at extreme ways to minimise body mass for long interstellar flights. At the same time, we will have a team of electromagnetic engineers and material experts working together to look at ways to further minimise weight and maximise strength, maximise power output of electrical generators, construct with durability and reliability, and keep everything safe for the occupants to use throughout the long interstellar travels.
A slender and lightweight body might indicate a desire by an advanced civilisation to travel to the stars. Or it could could also be a natural consequence for those idiotic civilisations that are nearing the end of exhausting their natural resources on a planet causing the cost of food for the people to become phenomenally high a clear sign of a major catastrophe looming for the people of those civilisations. We can only hope it isn't ours. Otherwise, the benefit of a slender body will be to minimise impact on the environment by taking out only those resources needed to keep the body alive and functioning well. People who are slender will tend to eat less compared to overweight or muscular people.
90 YEARS FROM NOW
Our environmental and social chaos should stabilise by this time. Well, we don't have any choice. The survival of the human race depends on it. It requires our environment to be returned to its pristine and protected state, and people returning to a reliable source of natural and low-cost foods and energy while forever embracing recycling as nature intended if we are to avoid another serious environmental catastrophe and social conflict by this time.
It seems enough people may have finally heeded the warning and have been working hard on environmental projects to improve the situation just in a nick of time. Nevertheless, we are still not out-of-the-woods as yet. Sea levels are still too high. It will be a long time before sea levels fall again to what they were at the beginning of the 21st century.
Still there is hope for humanity.
Signs of a stabilising planet will have other positive benefits for our world community. For example, we want the first humans travelling to the stars to know there is a stable and peaceful place called Earth to come back to to share their knowledge and bring back alien samples.
Assuming stability will prevail on Earth, which should be the case under the new world order, it will also be the time when the first of our human-made "electromagnetic" vehicles reaching the nearest extrasolar stars (e.g. the triple star system known as Alpha Centauri) will return with a wealth of amazing information. We will discover once and for all exactly what kind of life exists beyond our solar system. Because latest astronomical data suggests planets up to the distance of where Mars is in our solar system can exist with great stability around the two closest and most Sun-like stars we know of (the third star is a red dwarf moving around the other two stars much further away). This star is Alpha Centauri, lying a stone's throw away (well, at least, compared to the size of the Universe) at 4.3 light years.
Among the discovery humans will make at this triple star system will be the meeting up with another intelligent and almost certainly more technologically-advanced civilisation(s). Remember, we will not have to travel far to see another advanced civilisation. The closest star system after our own is older than our Sun. And there is no reason planets will not exist around both stars. The chances of an Earth-like planet around one or both stars is extremely high. There will be more civilisations for us to encounter. The stars we consider suitable for supporting life on a planet within 12 light years from our Sun are already older than our Sun. We are really the new kid on the block so to speak. Assuming aliens are smart enough to have solved their world problems, the majority of advanced alien civilisations will be already experts in controlling climate change and knowing how to apply the principle of love. And sure, their technology will be truly amazing and something we can aspire to have if the benefits are great to humanity.
This naturally leads us to the next important question: Will these advanced civilisations be dangerous? In other words, will civilisations capable of travelling to the stars be hell-bent at protecting their own kind by resorting to warfare and showing their aggression towards us? Or will they be peaceful, curious and friendly?
Most scientists are firmly coming to the view based on sound sociological arguments that these ET civilisations will have to be peaceful, curious and friendly. Yes, they could always choose to behave the opposite. We all have the power to choose one of two opposing paths to take through life: to show love, or to not show love. However, in a Universe filled with other star-faring and advanced civilisations, you have to make the right choice. Yes, you are given a choice, but, technically speaking, you have no choice once you are out there with the potential to meet other intelligent and technically-advanced aliens. Make the wrong choice and you will pay dearly for this with the likelihood that you will become extinct. Make the right choice, and there is no reason why you cannot exist forever in this Universe so long as people are vigilant and able to handle whatever the Universe throws at them such as asteroids, comets and exploding stars.
Actually, there is no choice once you have the technology to travel to the stars. Any aggressive star-faring civilisation in the universe wanting to harm other life for their own selfish reasons (e.g. plundering resources) cannot survive the onslaught of more advanced and peaceful civilisations that may be forced to deal with the aggressors in their own way.
John D. Rummel, Planetary Protection Officer at NASA
Of course, there are some scientists who believe life on other planets will not be friendly. A classic example would have to be John D. Rummel, the Planetary Protection Officer at NASA's headquarters. In his words, Rummel said:
"Well, my guess, is that if there's life out there, it would be interesting, it might even be compelling in its lessons but it wouldn't be dangerous. But that's just my guess. And one of the things that I have to acknowledge is that ignorance is not bliss. I'm not going to be able to guarantee anybody that life out there isn't dangerous." (Quote obtained from the BBC Horizon documentary titled We Are the Aliens.)
When we read this quote, we need to be more specific in the kind of potentially unfriendly life we are talking about here.
When Rummel talks of life being dangerous, he is referring to life that is still struggling to survive predators and other creatures throughout the standard early part of the evolutionary process. And yes, evolution will take place on other worlds. We are not unique. No living thing appears on a planet is God. It must learn to adapt, understand and learn. In the meantime it has to acquire nutrients and the simplest solution is to develop a digestive tract and to eat food, whether from plants, animals or both. Until such time as truly advanced and intelligent creatures can learn to do away with the digestive tract altogether or rely more significantly on plant-based materials as a source of food, any alien animal must find ways to survive. Evolution on Earth will not be unique. It is a universal law. In this situation, we should be prepared to encounter some dangerous alien life that simply doesn't know if you are a threat or not.
However, what we are talking about is intelligent, technologically-advanced life that have already dealt with its own predators after millions of years and can now travel to the stars. This is a totally different kettle of fish we are dealing with here.
When we speak of friendly and curious alien life, we are talking about creatures travelling to other stars, not necessarily those who stay behind on a planet with primitive technology or are still trying to evolve to overcome other predators and issues to do with their own planet and whatever the Universe throws at them from time-to-time..
Don't want to be friendly? Fine. Stay on your own planet and don't interfere with alien life. But be careful when you do get out there among the stars and start to see alien life. Any attempt to affect other life in the Universe in a detrimental way, especially those who are intelligent and technological, without carefully thinking about the actions and whether it follows the principle of love, will have dire consequences from the more advanced civilisations in the Universe.
If you cannot comprehend this fact, then imagine what it would be like to send a human today back in time to when the Romans were using spears, swords and battle armour. How successful would these Romans be against a modern human carrying a machine gun, grenades and perhaps a portable nuclear bomb in his backpack? Surely the Romans would be shitting themselves if they knew what was coming for them.
We should, therefore, expect an advanced alien civilisation seeing this "aggressive" behaviour in another star-faring civilisation not to sit down and do nothing. It is reasonable to consider the likelihood that the more advanced civilisation will act in the most efficient and effective way to deal with the problem. And it may not have to show its face to achieve it. (6)
Still not convinced? Let us put it this way. Should any creature in the Universe choose the aggressive approach to solving problems will almost certainly risk the survival of itself and its own species. All it takes is a slightly more advanced civilisation (let alone a really advanced civilisation) to notice what is happening and before long they will introduce, say, an incredibly contagious and deadly genetically engineered virus capable of reeking havoc to the aggressors.
Perhaps some of you might be thinking, "Well, we will just blow these little critters out of the sky with our sophisticated guns and missiles if they try to do that to us!" In fact, in 2015, former U.S. President Bill Clinton was asked whether an alien attack would unite the world in fighting them. His response? He said it would unite the world. Talk about stating the bloody obvious. Why wouldn't it? It would be a matter of life or death for humans. So if humans want to live, everyone will have to work together to deal with the situation. It would be exactly like the situation with the environmental degradation and climate change where people around the world will unite to change the current system and create a new world order just to ensure humans survive on this planet. However, the real question people should be asking is, "Would we survive an alien attack even if we are united?" Not a hope in hell. The extraordinary ability of aliens to use their electromagnetic spacecraft to enter the Earth's atmosphere and bypass our defence systems will make a mockery of our attempts to defend ourselves. Furthermore, once aliens land on the surface of the Earth, all they have to do is introduce an incredibly contagious virus into the air or water with the right genetic code to specifically target the human species and we would have absolutely no way of handling the virus within reasonable time. Certainly we will try, hence the effort to unite the world. But by the time any solution is found, probably more than 99 per cent of the human population would be wiped out by the virus. And if we think we can retaliate and do the same to the aliens, you first have to know which civilisation was responsible for devastating the human race. And that would be like searching for a needle in the haystack.
Assuming aliens are in the business of attacking other civilisations, do you think you can defend yourselves against an alien attack? Yeah right. Think again! Our technology, not even nuclear power, will be advanced enough to protect the 'aggressors" (i.e. ourselves) from the kind of surreptitious biological warfare aliens are capable of throwing at us.
Protecting ourselves from (let alone attacking) advanced aliens will be a completely hopeless task. Apart from not knowing which alien civilisation is responsible and where they might be located (really advanced civilisations may live very far away), it'll be like what we see on television with the US military annihilating the Taliban government in Afghanistan, but many times worse because no one will know exactly how dangerous this virus might be until it has infected a large number of people in a very short space of time (and then it might be too late).
Or to put it another way, should the aggressors become infected, the time for their extinction would be near, and all done by an advanced alien civilisation that does not have to show its face to the aggressors. It is simple, quick and highly effective. And the aliens can just go back to whatever they are doing and humans will be long forgotten in this Universe.
Don't think this is possible? Well, already the technology for creating a deadly virus (to the aliens the virus would be as harmless as "chicken pox" in their own society) is now in the hands of terrorists and are ready to cause havoc to one or more developed nations of the world thanks to the Internet and readily available biochemicals. As newspapers have reported in July 2002:
"WASHINGTON, Friday: Following a recipe downloaded from the Internet and using gene sequences from a mail-order supply house, researchers have assembled a man-made version of the polio virus to prove how easy it would be for terrorists to make deadly biological weapons.
'Researchers at the University of New York at Stony Brook assembled the virus and then injected it into mice to show that it worked. The animals were paralysed and then killed." (8)
In 2010, Dr J. Craig Venter has successfully combined an artificially developed genetic code with the genetic complexity of a natural bacterium to produce the world's first synthetic self-replicating bacterium. Now Dr Venter is seeing a future where bacteria can be tailored-made to perform any kind of task, even the sinister kind.
Of course, aliens will be a whole lot smarter than this. They certainly won't be going around injecting whatever deadly virus they may create into humans. That's too obvious and time-consuming. Aliens will be much more quieter and energy efficient in their actions. It will be true guerilla warfare "alien-style" to its ultimate extreme. You think the US military is having a hard time dealing with guerilla-tactics of terrorists in the urban environment of Baghdad, Iraq, today? This is nothing compared to what aliens are capable of doing to us.
If you think about it, it would be very easy for an alien to attach extra gene sequences to help create a virus that floats around in the air, or use another organism as the host carrier to move through say the water. And once the virus enters the human body by breathing it in, or drinking the water, we would easily suffer the consequences. Add a few more gene sequences and the aliens can build a custom-made virus designed specifically to target a particular weakness or common characteristic of humans.
Basically if you should ever make an alien angry because you have not learnt how to control your aggressive behaviours, you might as well put down your guns and start kissing your ass goodbye.
As Dr Eckard Wimmer, co-author of the study conducted by the University of New York, said:
"This approach has been talked about, but people didn't take it seriously. Now people have to take it seriously. Progress in biomedical research has its benefits and it has its down side. There is a danger inherent to progress in sciences. This is a new reality, a new consideration." (9)
The implications for humanity are clear: If you want to go to an alien planet, then shape up (quite literally by showing how big your brain is as well as how well you can control consumption and don't waste resources unless you recycle them, and learn to love) or ship out. Start learning to solve your aggressive behaviours now or you will face the consequences of your actions later from more advanced alien civilisations that will put you in your place very quickly.
Remember, we may think we are overly confident in doing whatever we like in this universe. A look around Earth may give this impression. But we can't do anything to stop aliens from achieving the same goals if they get really p*ssed off with us.
Now let us reverse this situation. Should we think other civilisations will be a threat to us? If we have love in our hearts, absolutely not! We must not think for a moment that technologically-advanced 'star-faring' ETs are going to be a threat to humankind. The day we start travelling to the stars will be the time when humans (and, by implications, all other intelligent and technically-advanced 'star-faring' creatures) learn to put away their weapons of mass destruction and all our negative differences to one side, and start to be curious and loving with all life in the universe. Forget the science fiction movie Independence Day. That's all first-class crap (seriously, we all need to think independently of many of these Hollywood producers that want to continually think technically-advanced aliens reaching our planet will be bad asses to us). Not even Star Wars is anywhere near the true reality of what's happening out there. It will be closer to Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Now that is a more realistic film to watch.
As much as the astronomer and science fiction author Dr David Brin from Encinitas in California likes to think it is possible for ETs to harm us (of course they can, but would they even dare when they know there are more advanced alien civilisations that can kick their pathetic example of an alien ass into smithereens?) when he said in 2007:
"Physical harm is a possibility. A bomb sent through space is much easier to send than a starship full of colonists. There have been many science fiction in which intelligent bombs can be sent to a new civilisation that is broadcasting into space in order to prevent them from becoming competitors." (Calling All Aliens Part 2: Contact in Space. A television documentary and film by Christian Schidlowski © Vidicom 2007)
Dr David Brin
The reality is, ETs who venture out into space will have to make a choice. However, there is only one choice once we encounter other intelligent beings. Basically, ETs must be kind to all living things when we meet with other people. Prove your understanding of love and compassion first and then you will meet up with many other civilisations.
As for sending machines into space as Dr Brin argues, why would this occur? The argument given is that these machines can be built to outlast the lifetime of its biological creators, have a simple objective it can follow (i.e. do not think for itself), and can be easier to manufacture and copy itself in large numbers by the machines themselves utilising the raw materials on other planets in the Milky Way. Dr John von Newmann was the first to look at this possibility in the 1950s and he claimed mathematically such a machine could exist and would be easier to achieve for its creators.
Scientists call it the von Neumann machine.
Dr Brin is not saying that our Milky Way has millions of these machines ready and waiting to pounce on Earth if they receive a signal from us. Rather he claims "there is no proof that there are not". That's just a naturally L-brain response to what his eyes are telling him.
The R-brain approach and the one that provides the simplest and most common sense scenario tells us differently and shows the bigger reality of what must be happening in the universe today. There is a grander pattern we must acknowledge even if we don't have the direct proof as yet. And from a sound application of sociological principles, the answer should be clear. We can safely discount the likelihood of any von Neumann machines flying around through space ready to stumble on or target a life-bearing planet such as our own, even if we decide to make ourselves known. If you need further re-assurance, we have been broadcasting our television, radio and radar signals into space for quite some time now. Such signals would have reached advanced alien civilisations at a distance of more than 100 light years since the present time. Astronomers are already convinced that the nearest star after our Sun called Alpha Centauri at 4.3 light years away have two Sun-like stars older than our Sun and far enough apart to have a stable planetary system up to the distance of Mars in our solar system. If there is a planet lurking in this system and supporting life, it is likely intelligent technological life at 4.3 light years would exist, have picked up our signals, and would have done something to us a long time ago (10). The reality is that they haven't. Why? It has to be because an alien civilisations with the technical knowhow to reach our planet must be friendly. The evidence for this is all around (i.e. why are we still here if it isn't true?).
Still not convinced? Well, if there were machines ready to visit the Earth and any other planetary world and use the resources to build more machines, why would advanced alien civilisations allow such machines to go about interfering with alien lifeforms on other planets without due regard to the principle of love? To an advanced alien civilisation it will be just a game of space invaders and they will blast every one of those machines out of existence. In the same way an aggressive civilisation hellbent at conquering resources on other planets containing life can be put in its place, advanced aliens will quickly deal with the machines by ensuring they do not exist. The machines would be wiped out.
This really is a no brainer.
Remember, technogically-advanced aliens are not inherently bad creatures. There is no need to be afraid. You are guaranteed under sound sociological principles that any kind of life travelling to the stars in some kind of a technology must be friendly. There is no choice really.
Likewise there is no choice for us as well, especially in the long-term and when we do start venturing out to the stars. We have to be friendly and show our love for all living things once we are out there. You have to be good-natured and kind. By practising and making it your life's work to be good, it will feel natural to be good. Then you will know how natural the law of love is being applied throughout the universe among advanced civilisations travelling to the stars.
You don't have to be religious (or even a great psychologist) to see how important the natural law of being good is. It should be natural. For us, and eventually for all living things in the universe, the aim for our existence is to bring out the good in the universe and others and show there is a purpose and meaning to our existence even if we can't directly prove it.
It may not make for exciting Hollywood film blockbusters and get bums on cinema seats by showing cities or whole planets getting blown up by violent alien civilisations in a form of intergalactic warfare. But then again, the people who participate in these real life interstellar flights will probably find it more exciting than anything we have seen on the big screens with all our fancy CGI graphics. There will be far greater things to see and be amazed in the real Universe than movies can ever portray.
In the end, when people of the stars meet up with other similar people, including our own, we can be certain of their friendliness. Sure, take care in the event of some aliens still in the survival mode while evolving on an alien planet if you wish to visit their world. For advanced life exploring the Universe, relax. You are in good company.
And you will not be alone in this Universe.
Indirect evidence, if we may call it that considering how hard it is for scientists to meet up with ETs at the present time, for supporting this benevolent view of ETs can be seen in certain high-quality UFO reports. In virtually every alleged abduction experience (including unhypnotized witnesses who could recall the events as if they were just another experience) and officially mentioned to the authorities by humans (so long as humans do not take the option to shoot first and ask questions later), aliens were universally observed to be curious and friendly.
Another thing to have been observed is that some aliens can have a similar appearance to us (often described as Scandinavian with their blonde hair, large eyes, pale white skin, tall and thin) and tend to be very friendly and communicative with humans. The more exotic variety of aliens with unusually large eyes, large heads, and very short and thin bodies, tend to conduct themselves more like a scientist with a guinea pig. However, at all times the humans were treated with respect and kindness. To further reinforce this positive feeling, it is not unusual for the latter variety of exotic aliens to use their large eyes to communicate this feeling of kindness and love to their human subjects because of the difficulties aliens seem to have in expressing a similar emotion or communicating through their small mouths.
Or perhaps aliens are being careful not to smile in case it might be interpreted by the human subjects as meaning, "I want to eat you!"
At any rate, we do see in a few extraordinary UFO cases where certain aliens looking more like us are likely to engage in some form of sexual intercourse with the abductees. This astounding discovery may not be unusual if we think about some of the reasons why aliens are prepared to go this far with humans.
A closer look at these 'sexual encounter' cases suggest that the aliens are interested from a scientific perspective in obtaining high quality genetic material from humans for their own scientific work (e.g. the use of a glass vial to collect sperm samples) possibly to prove the existence of alien life from their perspective. However, this is not the only reason.
For example, the encounter (if the abductees' are allowed to consciously recall the event) can provide a form of indirect public education through UFO reports of what is really happening in the universe between space-faring civilisations and how war is an unlikely scenario in space. Could aliens be alleviating our fears of them in an indirect manner?
Also, the genetic material may be used to improve the stock of an otherwise isolated civilisation (in this case, the alien civilisation). As Dr Alexander Leaf, chief of medical services at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA, said:
"...we generally expect that too much interbreeding in one group produces a deterioration of the species."
Some biologists may disagree due to the significant differences in our DNA with the DNA of the aliens. The only argument against this is to say, how do we know? Until we venture out to the stars to study alien DNA, we will not know for sure just how different we really are from genuine humanoid aliens.
As for further support for the former reason, we do know how in times of war when two nations are at each other's throats, the male species forming the armies of each nation will fight each other to reduce male populations. On certain occasions, some males will successfully win some battles. As a result, the surviving males experienced in fighting and killing more than love and peace are likely to engage temporarily in raping and pillaging of enemy towns as a form of balance.
As time goes by, the women of both nations having experienced this situation will soon bear the children of the male enemies who fought during the war. It will only be a matter of time before the people of both nations soon see the pointless nature of war when they observe their own children being brought up in another nation.
Where once two nations were at each other's throats, it is not unusual for the nations to suddenly unite strongly after a serious conflict because of the children and how adults finally learn to think about what they are doing deeply enough. And these children will have a better chance of understanding the views of both nations in a balanced way and so avoid conflict between the nations in the future.
Would humans do the same if we knew our children were being brought up on another world?
As for proving from the alien perspective of having visited our planet and seeing hopefully intelligent life, this approach is virtually impossible to fake a visit to another planet when you have genetically-rich samples of blood, fresh hair or skin, and/or sperms from a human sitting inside a vial. The spacecraft has to be lightweight and will not be carrying sophisticated technological tools to recreate a new DNA. Nor will they need to bring home a fully-grown "human" for scientific study.
DNA on its own is more than enough to achieve everything an alien scientist would need to convince him/her on the existence of alien life.
These observations have been gleaned from quality and genuine unexplained UFO cases where the witnesses have not required hynopsis to recall their alleged alien abductions. Classic examples of this include the Antonio Villas Boas case in Brazil in 1967, and Alfred Burtoo of Aldershot, England, in 1980.
NOTE 1: A similar behaviour can also be found in cases where witnesses were required to be hypnotised. However, because hynopsis can embellish some imaginative information with real experiences (whether this is a deliberate attempt by aliens to obscure the events for humans is unclear at the moment), it is more difficult to ascertain the genuine nature of the reports from hypnotised witnesses. It is better to go for the cases where no hypnosis was required. Fortunately there are cases of this kind to warrant further scientific study.
NOTE 2: The ability for the more exotic aliens to disrupt human memory during an abduction could also be necessary to reduce stress and shock to the abductees. It is as if aliens have understood humans have a fear of seeing dramatic differences in the appearance of intelligent life in the Universe. So any method to force humans to forget is more likely to be employed by the aliens.
250 YEARS FROM NOW
This will be the time when our brains will have learned many new facts about our Universe. It will naturally evolve and acquire more patterns as it thinks and learns more about this great Universe and other living creatures. Not surprising there will be differences in other life forms and the places we will visit, and we must take note of those differences. We will have many interesting patterns to consider. As we know, differences means new insights, ideas and solutions. Yet at the same time we should expect to see similarities too considering gravity does play a universal role. So don't be surprised to observe creatures emerging with a humanoid shape to their bodies and with two hands to manipulate their environments. Otherwise, any other differences we have not seen before will capture our interest and we will try to understand why they exist. Even so, eventually we will find solutions for these differences that may not be too dissimilar from our own experiences here on Earth. Or we may discover some life forms in the universe have stumbled upon certain unique solutions that no animal here on Earth has discovered as yet.
As we learn, we should expect to see another trend for certain animals. We should see for curious human-like creatures an increase in the brain size over time. We will be no different in this respect. Our brains will get larger while our bodies will get thinner and possibly shorter, especially when travelling to the stars.
As French orthodontist Marie-Joséphe Deshayes studying the skulls of ancient and modern humans said:
"As far as the immediate future is concerned, the construction and number of neurons is multiplying. That's happening now. On a cognitive level, the neuronal wiring seems to be happening right now, and fast. So cognitive and neuronal evolution in young children is something we can be sure of in the very near future." (Homo Futurus, a documentary film by Thomas Johnson and produced by Hind Saih in 2005, televised on SBS 6 May 2007)
A continually evolving brain that is learning from its environment and gathering numerous patterns means that our heads will get bigger.
The L- and R-brain will also work in tandem to simplify the patterns as much as possible to only those that are essential and will help to explain all the other patterns we can see. Until then, a lot of patterns will have to be remembered as well as kept on a recording device. If humans continue to use their brain, the frontal cortex will almost certainly push our foreheads slightly forward to show the tremendous thinking and problem-solving skills our brains will be able to perform.
There will also be an adjustment of our eyes (our most important sensory organ in the human body) to the darker environment of space. This may result in the eyes getting larger and possibly more wrap-around (and especially if regular protection to the brighter objects and high-frequency radiation is provided through large hi-tech sunglass shades). Becoming more sensitive and potentially processing more visual information may require the back of our heads to expand slightly as this is the region visual information is processed.
Other features such as a smaller mouth may be important to increase our attractiveness, although a smaller mouth may also be a natural consequence of reducing our demand for eating food in order to achieve a more slender and lightweight body (essential for travelling to the stars). Perhaps scientists will find a way to eliminate the need for a digestive tract in favour of absorbing nutrients through the skin through special patches. Whatever the case, this may result in a dramatic narrowing of our chin and jawline. A more triangular-shaped face will be apparent. Our mouths might be nothing more than a slit in the end with very small teeth in a matter of a few centuries from now.
Speaking of the possibility of eliminating the digestive tract, we have always needed food to keep us alive throughout our evolutionary past. Why? It is because the nutrients we need to stay alive are found in the food, including water. It is the way we live longer and achieve certain things in our lives. Obviously, one goal is life is to reproduce, although hopefully there will be other goals we can reach for too. Therefore, understandably, after hundreds of millions of years, evolution has provided us with a simple, but incredibly effective digestive tract for extracting the essential nutrients we need from our foods. However, questions arises as to what kinds of foods should we be focussing on in the future to acquire these nutrients? And do we really need to eat food to get the nutrients we need? There will be changes to the type of food we will eat (if we should maintain our digestive tract). More specifically, will humans need to rely on other animals as a source of food to get all our nutrients? With genetic engineering having advanced significantly by this time, proteins and other nutrients will almost certainly be obtained by other means, such as using plants.
However, if food is to be eliminated and nutrients obtained directly through the skin, then there is technically no reason why we should have a digestive tract. If we ever need to find evidence to support this sort of thing is possible, we already know certain drugs can now be administered directly through the skin rather than ingested orally. So at some point, nutrients in food should technically be able to be absorbed in the same way. And if further evidence is needed to prove this claim, in the near future, when we do visit the more advanced alien civilisations, we will discover just how thin the bodies of some intelligent aliens will be and its benefit to reducing the mass of spacecraft carrying people when travelling to distant new worlds. The reason? No digestive tract. Until then, we can expect that with smaller amounts of nutritionally dense and high quality foods, the digestive tract will reduce in size. For those humans who have not adapted to eating less quantities of food, extra fibre intake will remain a necessity to maintain a healthy gut.
In some ways, the physical characteristics we will evolve over time will not be too dissimilar to a number of humanoid aliens visiting other planets. Our goal to be lightweight will achieve the same results as other star-faring aliens out there.
A larger brain will also create problems during natural childbirth. It is likely that in the future, to allow the brain to grow properly, babies will need to be grown in artificial wombs providing all the nutrients babies need to be healthy and to allow the brain to expand beyond what could ever be achieved by nature inside a real womb.
Our noses will probably reduce in size not just because it reduces body mass, but also the quality of the air will be improved in a new environmentally-friendly society. Before, a large nose was necessary to filter out most of the air pollutiony, and with enough similar noses out there, the trait has been carried over in our genes. But this will likely change in the future.
Speaking of looking attractive, this raises another complicating factor in determining how we will look in the next few centuries and beyond the concept of love.
Love one again comes to the forefront, and this time in the way we will look. The changes we will see at this time and in the future will be designed not only to help some of us reach for the stars by minimising mass and adapting to the environment of space, but also to feel loved by those who want to see these features as attractive. Our bodies will, therefore, change to support the way people see us. Because we all want to be loved and to know it from others.
Love shapes evolution.
True, we have heard creative stories from science fiction writers suggesting humans may become cyborgs a creature half human and half robot. Why? Because machines can apparently extend the capabilities of humans thanks to medical science combining artificial materials with human tissue. However, one factor might determine whether humans do actually follow this path love. Given how we all want to be loved by someone else, to be loved often means asking, "Are we attractive?" If the answer is no, it is unlikely humans will ever look like a machine. We may receive artificial joints and other additions to the body to help overcome clear medical problems or following an accident. But they will be designed to blend in or be hidden. The aim is to enhance who we already are. In essence, the human body is already a remarkable machine in itself. It is the most compact and lightweight machine ever produced. Beyond that, humans want to make sure their bodies remain attractive to their own kind in the future no matter what changes take place superficially. In other words, images of a camera lens sticking out of a person's eye, for instance, is a highly unlikely scenario for humans. Otherwise, the lack of love could see these individuals turn into something we may not like. You see, the biggest problem with making people unattractive using machines to enhance the body is that we risk turning these people into dangerous members of society who may have little regard for living things and other human life. Then we will have a situation we see in Star Wars where the least attractive people have the most machines integrated into their bodies to live a long life and not done in a manner that makes them attractive. As a result, their actions and thinking when they are not properly loved are not exactly in keeping with the principle of love once they go about their daily activities. Hence the reason the science fiction film is called Star Wars. There is expected to be a war where love is not equally applied to everyone. People need love no matter who they are and what they look like. If you don't, other people will receive the same treatment in return, and that may mean affecting society in negative ways. Always treat everyone well by giving them love no matter what they look like if for any reason we cannot maintain their attractiveness. This is another crucial test for society in its understand of the principle of love. In essence, we need to learn to accept our differences and be kind to one another.
It is clear. Our bodies will probably change. Soon we will have many of the same physical characteristics seen previously in those humanoid-like aliens travelling in their own electromagnetic vehicles. We will be just like any other humanoid in the universe. We will become a large-brained creature walking on two feet, having two arms and two hands, will carry only one head on its shoulders, will see through its two eyes, and so on. Sure, there will be some superficial differences, but there will be a common design for such intelligent and technologically-advanced creatures with a technology to manipulate and use. As Moses said, God wanted to make man in his image. If God is an ET, one can appreciate why. The forces of gravity and creatures surviving on land and finding solutions to survival-based problems eventually sees the emergence of two-legged, large-brained creatures capable of manipulating the environment and building a technology. It will be a natural expectation to see such creatures in their humanoid form just like us. So behold the revelation of how common the humanoid form will be among intelligent and technologically-advanced creatures.
800 YEARS FROM NOW
US scientists detected an asteroid on the outskirts of our solar system heading towards the Earth. Known as 1950DA, the rock is 1 kilometre wide and will either hit the Earth or come extremely close to the planet in roughly 800 years from now (i.e. 2880 A.D.).
If the asteroid does hit the Earth's surface, it will unleash the energy of 100,000 megatons of TNT, or roughly 10 times the energy of the most powerful nuclear bomb known to humankind in the 20th century the hydrogen bomb.
A normal 20 megaton nuclear weapon will not stop it. A direct impact of a nuclear weapon with the asteroid will only shatter it and create many small nuclear bomb-like explosions over many continents.
Or better still, scientists could remotely manoeuvre a number of self-accelerating electromagnetic vehicles and gently place them on the surface of the asteroid. Then, by using the energy in the light to reach a certain critical density at one end of the vehicles, the electromagnetic vehicles can exert a constant physical force on the asteroid over a greater period of time until it is deflected to a safer trajectory. The aim is for a more gentle and continuous pushing action (perhaps lasting several years or decades) until the asteroid is thrown off course and away from its likely intended target of the Earth.
Sounds like it is time for humans to get cracking on building these electromagnetic vehicles. It can only serve as another useful tool in our arsenal of solutions for keeping humans alive for longer on this planet and give us the future technological Ark we need for carrying on life should anything happen to the Earth. Otherwise we are sitting ducks in a Universe that could declare open season to killing off any Earth-like planet in our vicinity.
Before this asteroid has any chance of affecting life on Earth, there will be other catastrophes to worry about. Apart from global warming, the next biggest issue will be the expected eruption of the next supervolcano. In the past we have seen the great Toba volcano erupt nearly 74,000 years ago. We are now overdue for the next one.
There are a number of places where this could come. Probably somewhere in Indonesia. Or it could take place in the unstable Yellowstone National Park in the USA. Should a supervolcano erupt, enough dust will be thrown high into the atmosphere to blanket the planet and reduce sunlight for many years. The subsequent mini Ice Age would see agriculture collapse and many people starve. (11)
Our antiquated and truly dumb means of distributing electricity through wires on poles will not carry the weight of ice forming on them. The electricity network will be serious damaged or completely collapse during a mini Ice Age. Many homes will be without electricity. People who don't have the right technology and knowledge will do everything to stay warm, including burning wood, books and finding preserved foods to last the cold period. Hopefully governments at this time will be long-term thinking and provide a safeguard to all food and electricity supplies.
Essentially any vestiges of an economic system for making profit at this time would definitely collapse unless it can take take a much longer view of how life should survive even in the event of certain global disasters. If we are lucky to think long-term, there should be new technologies capable of maintaining the power we need even when sunlight levels are seriously reduced and can grow the food under some form of shelter to help support a sustainable population.
Or maybe people will be able to grow food in space and distribute it on Earth?
Let's hope humans think far enough into the future to have the right solutions for all living things.
1,000 YEARS FROM NOW
Further stabilising and simplification for humankind will probably take place. Initially it was with the laws of electromagnetism in the 21st century that helped physicists to re-align all of physics into a simple and elegant unified field theory that anyone can understand and explain.
This work to simplify will not stop with science. Efforts to standardise world languages into one will probably be made by this time (if not sooner). In 2013 there are over 7,000 different languages spoken by people far too many for everyone to learn (despite the large population of over 7 billion people to remember these languages). If society is stable and with people having plenty of time to think about things and learn extra languages to retain them, that's fine. But something suggests time is of the essence and many of the more obscure languages rarely used will not provide benefits to other people who have learned one of the more widely spoken languages. And with other civilisations to speak to, having a single common language may help other civilisations to communicate with us in our native tongue.
In 2013, it is estimated 2,400 languages have been classed as being in danger of disappearing forever. For example, in Mexico, there is a language known as Ayapaneco. It has been spoken among reasonable numbers of people in the past. However, as of 2013, only two people in the world can speak the language and is now facing extinction with the two individuals at an age where they will not be around for much longer. And neither speakers are willing to talk to each other or record their knowledge. As a result, approximately one language dies every two weeks.
The trend will not stop. As a result of the globalisation of so many facets of people's lives thanks to modern technology, more and more people are seeing the benefits of just learning one principal language. It saves on paper, time and effort by everyone. There are more important things people can be doing with their time than to learn a multitude of different languages.
It is likely by this time, everyone will learn one principal global language, and those wishing to maintain certain traditions and cultural identity in their specific locality (formerly known as a country or province) can learn a second language if they so choose (most probably the languages will be recorded digitally for anyone to learn).
By having one principal world language, it will make it easier and quicker to communicate all our knowledge throughout the world with everyone using the least amount of resources and effort. And it helps to get more quickly to the solutions to various world and personal problems so we can move on and progress to higher levels of knowledge and understanding about ourselves, life and the universe.
2,000 to 10,000 YEARS FROM NOW
Much of human activities we perform (breathing, and burning things for heat as well as our old forms of chemical propulsion systems of burning fossil fuels) as well as the natural activities (e.g. bushfires) may lower the levels of oxygen in the atmosphere. A point will come where oxygen levels need to be replenished. Replanting trees and keeping the environment in pristine health and with adequate fresh water supplies may not be enough. It is likely that humans may have to allow natural Ice Ages to dominate the Earth's landscape for literally tens of thousands of years. Over these glacial periods, natural sunlight can do its job of converting water ice into hydrogen peroxide. Then, when the ice melts to end another Ice Age, the hydrogen peroxide can react with water to release oxygen into the atmosphere, thereby topping up our oxygen levels for the benefit of life on Earth.
Or will there be a technological solution to this problem?
0 TO 100 MILLION YEARS FROM NOW
If by incredible luck we are smart enough not to create conflict with ourselves and other great civilisations in the Universe (let's hope our brains are big enough to show how smart we are), we will have to yet again focus our attention towards the heavens. Why? Because this will be the ultimate test of our ability to survive.
Our future is still highly dependent on what happens in the Universe.
It is here where our seemingly stable and safe planet we call Earth will experience many more impacts from asteroids and comets (and perhaps from other stars dying too soon while our Sun travels around the edge of the Milky Way). Certainly they won't be quite as great in numbers as they did nearly 6 billion years ago. But they will come. When? Nobody knows for sure. It could come tomorrow, or we may have to wait for 1000 years before it happens. But it will happen!
Because we don't know what the universe will throw at us or where it will land (we have yet to find and track the paths of cool non-reflective dark matter existent outside our solar system), it would be prudent for scientists and peaceful world governments to at least have some kind of a program in place to look for such marauding rocks and ice flying through space in virtually any direction.
Why? Space debris will collide with Earth. This is a veritable fact of life. Most will probably hit the equatorial and temperate zones if they are not absorbed by the other planets in the solar system. Some space debris may come perpendicular to the plane of the solar system and could collide in the polar region.
Then there is the size of the rock or ice to consider when they hit the Earth - they could be the size of small moons!
When space debris do hit the Earth, they could land in the oceans, creating massive tidal waves ranging anywhere from 20 metres to 2,000 metres in height (a 2 kilometre-wide asteroid hitting the oceans can create a 600 feet tidal wave) when they reach the continents. Others may hit the land masses, creating severe wintery conditions for up to 10 years throughout the planet as the dust is thrown high into the upper atmosphere by the impact and reducing the amount of available sunlight reaching the ground.
In the worse case scenario, the Earth and all its inhabitants could be destroyed by a big enough asteroid. And all that would be left is a bunch of rocks and ice forming another more spectacular asteroid belt around the Sun (or, with a bit of luck, icy comets flying into deeper space will be ready to fertilise another new Earth-like planet with our bacteria and hopefully harbour more intelligent beings than ourselves). Now wouldn't that be an absolute bugger for all life on Earth; and all because we were too preoccupied with making money and/or still resolving conflicts with our fellow human beings!
We do need to get our priorities right.
Among the rocks needing careful mapping and analysis are those known to the scientists as the Keiper Belt just beyond the orbit of Pluto and Neptune. Here the collisional family of rocks range from specks of dust to over 275 kilometers. The biggest piece we know of is 2003EO61. There could be other bigger pieces. We really don't know as yet. Until we finally venture out to these places in some kind of appropriate technology, we are merely guessing and hoping nothing is heading our way.
More of a reason for us to be travelling into space to see what's out there. (12)
100 MILLION YEARS FROM NOW
The rings of Saturn will disappear after the bombardment of countless meteorites passing through the rings.
In another part of the solar system, Neptune will have its moment of potentially affecting life on Earth when it gravitationally tugs on the largest known piece in the Keiper Belt known as 2003EO61. If this massive piece of rock hasn't been affected before this time, the planet will definitely change its orbit. There are three possible outcomes to arise from this situation. If Neptune does not grab hold of the piece and keep it in orbit around the planet, or absorb the rock, or fling it out into the universe, 2003EO61 will definitely be flung into the inner solar system. Should this happen, scientists at this time will have plenty to worry about. The biggest question is determining where the rock will go.
215 MILLION YEARS FROM NOW
Africa merges with Europe to form a supercontinent.
250 MILLION YEARS FROM NOW
Geologists believe all continents of the world will eventually join together into another large supercontinent at this time known as Pangea Ultima. It will probably be a long time before it splits again. Perhaps another series of massive volcanic eruptions will break through the crust and force the land mass to move apart again?
Earth in 250 million years into the future. Image © 1997 Christopher R. Scotese.
450 to 500 MILLION YEARS FROM NOW
The Sun grows in size. Temperatures on the Earth rise to unprecedented levels. Much of life on Earth will struggle to survive under the extra heat without some form of protection. Despite our efforts to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the sun will ensure no more ice ages appear on Earth.
This scenario assumes humans have not gone through another period of plundering the Earth's resources to such an extent that life is nearly extinguished except for perhaps a few humans living in the deserts of the world. Or if we are smart enough and can remember the reasons why we need to control global warming, more likely our greater concern for looking after the environment will see a thick canopy of large and tall rainforest trees blocking out most of the sunlight, thereby protecting animals on the ground. Should it be the latter case, life on Earth should continue to exist relatively intact and undisturbed for the next 750 million years. Of course, all this depends on whether humans have learned anything about the principle of love in preserving all life on Earth by ensuring there are adequate plants and fresh water supplies. Could visits to other planets and watching what happens to alien life elsewhere will provide greater impetus for us to apply love to our own planet?
1 BILLION YEARS FROM NOW
The moon known as Triton will break up and collide into the planet Neptune. A new and more spectacular set of rings compared to Saturn in the 21st century will form around the planet.
1.75 BILLION YEARS FROM NOW
The Sun has grown to such an extent that Earth is no longer habitable for life. Just prior to this time, certain extremely hardy lifeforms will try to survive inside caves and under the oceans. However, by this time, the oceans will have boiled away. The plant life we have protected for so long and allowed nature to maintain will finally dry up, burn and disappear, followed by most of the animals. Perhaps a few humans might use technology to continue living on some mountain tops in the far northern and southern latitudes. However, by the time volcanoes start spewing poisonous sulfur and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere where the Earth's crust is thin, such as where the oceans used to be located, humans will leave the planet for good. Give it about 10,000 years after the volcanoes erupt and the Earth will look like the planet Venus in the 20th century with its thick and poisonous gases and high atmospheric pressures.
5 BILLION YEARS FROM NOW
The Sun will expand dramatically in size and turn a distinctly dark orange to almost a reddish colour. Our once reliable long-term stellar partner in sustaining life on Earth with seemingly endless heat and light will finally close the chapter on our planet. It will reach the orbit of the Earth, thereby forever destroying our humble planet.
Not long after that, the Sun will eject its outer layers of material into space. The ejection of matter will not be as great as the ancient star that created our Sun over 6 billion years ago (actually 11 billion years ago from this moment in time). It is more likely the ejection of matter will create what is known as a ring nebula.
Before that time comes, hopefully humans will have successfully learned to live with one another, with other great civilisations in the Universe, and in dealing with the asteroids and comets flying through the Universe. Who knows? We may need the help of an alien civilisation somewhere in the Milky Way to help us find a new place to live after the Earth is destroyed. Actually, this might explain why some aliens could be interested in our genetic material as this would allow better adaptation to the Earth if we are welcoming of them in case their own planets get destroyed. Are we ready and willing with open arms to help other civilisations? If so, then expect he law of Karma to apply here.
Whatever will happen to us in the future, humans by this time will probably not look anything like we do now unless these people choose to use their technology of genetic engineering and the possible intermingling of humans with other similar-looking humanoid-like alien people in our Milky Way to have a particular set of physical characteristics which we might still describe as "human". Possibly the only thing that will give these future "humans" some connection with us would probably be in the shape of their bodies (i.e. humanoid form) and the memories recorded on their highly advanced technological storage mediums of where they originally came from (i.e. the Earth).
Don't think humans will look anything like we do in the 21st century. Humans will look more like the aliens by this time.
For an idea of what we might look like, what we do know is that assuming our species is not sent back to the dark ages through some kind of global war or big enough asteroid impact, we should be able to continue to develop our intelligence and retain adequate knowledge and technology. Furthermore, the power of love and identifying useful physical attributes and traits from other alien civilisations will decide the features we look for and wish to have in future generations. So, whether we end up having large eyes and large sensitive "Mr Spock" like pointy ears, for instance, or use our technology to take up the shortfall and, therefore, not require any earlobes and so on will be our choice.
Another thing that might happen to us by this time is the development of a larger head. Exactly how large will depend on the advantages the human species will find in having a large brain and the trade off we must make to support a species with a larger head. For a start, a larger brain has the potential to hold a more powerful set of problem-solving functions and memory to record and process more patterns. However, store too many patterns and the brain will get larger even though your ability to solve problems will potentially be very fast and effective. Also, a lot more energy and other nutrients are required to power a large brain. So you need the resources by way of food (or enough nutrients and water) for much of the life of the individual to power the brain, and a highly supportive environment to nurture a large growing brain in early life. Sure, the L- and R-brain will work together to try to simplify the number of patterns to just a few well thought-out ones that explains all the rest. But if not, you can be certain the brain will get larger. Should that happen, future generations will have increasing trouble coming into the world via the natural biological approach. Either extensive use of surgery must be applied on every mother to allow each new child to come into the world, or our technology must take over the work of the natural womb in growing new humans.
Or the next best solution is to rely more on technology to record everything we need to know and so keep our brains simplified, and this should keep brain size to a more manageable level and make it easier during natural childbirth.
The advantage of natural childbirth is that no technology is required to bring new life into the Universe. It is already available in a portable size. On the other hand, using technology to provide the artificial womb will have the advantage of allowing head size to grow to whatever is needed to handle various problems likely to be encountered in life (and females will never have to bear children ever again). The only slight risk in this approach is that if anything happens to the technology and there is not enough time or the tools to re-build it, the species could have trouble reproducing itself. The problem could be made worse if females also evolve a body with hips that are not wide enough to accommodate the large head of a new offspring if they get used to not having natural childbirths.
Again it will be our choice. Who knows? Maybe humans will go both ways?
Beyond that, there are good reasons why humans will also want to maintain a thin and lightweight body. Less resources to use up, the ability to travel to more distant planets, and a longer lifespan. Or else one must build a highly efficient and powerful electromagnetic spacecraft to travel just that little bit closer to the speed of light for journey times to be dramatically reduced. Then travelling to the closer stars will be a cinch even for moderately overweight people. Or else for longer journeys, the spacecraft will need to be quite large to carry enough things for survival and maybe large people can participate in the flight (somehow we think not thin people will probably be the norm).
When the Earth is finally destroyed, humans at this time will likely survive and continue our legacy in some distant part of our Milky Way galaxy.
3 to 5.1 BILLION YEARS FROM NOW
According to researchers T. J. Cox and Abraham Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, the Milky Way will merge with the much larger Andromeda galaxy.
Apart from the Milky Way, the Andromeda galaxy is the only other galaxy visible to the naked eye (appearing as a faint fuzzy ball of light in the northern sky). At a stone's throw distance of 2.5 million light years (well, anything you throw in space will travel far if you give it enough time), the Andromeda galaxy is the closest neighbouring galaxy to our own. So close, in fact, that in about 3 billion years from now, the night sky in whatever part of the Milky Way we will end up living or choose to live at this time will be filled with the spectacular view of the Andromeda galaxy.
The Andromeda galaxy is definitely heading our way at an estimated speed of 120 km (75 miles) per second. Latest information on the sideways motion of the Andromeda galaxy a notoriously difficult figure to calculate for galactic objects has been finally measured with reasonable accuracy at the end of May 2012 by the Hubble Space Telescope. Scientists are certain a collision will take place in 4 billion years. As Roeland van der Marel, an astronomer with the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore that operates Hubble, said.
"Astronomers have tried to measure the sideways motion for over a century. However, this was always unsuccessful because the available techniques were not sufficient to perform the measurement.
For the very first time, we've been able to measure the sideways motion &151; in astronomy, also known as proper motion &151; of the Andromeda galaxy using the unique observational capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope."
Dr van der Marel dubs the impending collision as "the big smash-up".
What will happen in the collision?
In 4 billion years, the Andromeda galaxy will have its first close fly-by with our galaxy causing the Milky Way to distort and stretch one or more of its spiral arms out into space and towards the second galaxy. Computer modelling suggests that there is a 50 per cent chance (in other words, science doesn't have enough data to know for sure what will happen, but we do know two events are expected to occur) that what's left of our solar system where the Earth once existed will be dragged into a long "tidal tail" extending out from our galaxy. Or we could stay within the Milky Way depending on which spiral arm we happen to be on at this time. If we are moved further away from the Milky Way by the tidal forces of the other galaxy, our Sun will probably become part of the Andromeda galaxy.
In 5.1 billion years from now, the Andromeda galaxy would have encircled and merged with our Milky Way on the second close encounter forming a much larger galaxy in space.
The kind of merging described above is considered the better of two scenarios. The second scenario, and the worse kind according to the scientists, is that the galaxies could have a direct head-on collision causing all the stars to be flung out into galactic space with no massive central black hole (or super "fast spinning" star with the necessary powerful gravitational field) to keep enough stars together. Should this happen, one can only hope a highly refined electromagnetic technology based on the Abraham-Lorentz solution will be available by then for us to travel even closer to the speed of light and to carry more people and essential equipment to help permit intergalactic space travel. Or else we will have to learn to live on an Earth-like planet around a Sun-like star and stay there for long enough until the star is in within range of another galaxy to make the intergalactic hop with our electromagnetic technology. One would imagine only the most advanced civilisations in the two galaxies (hopefully we will be among them) will probably survive such journeys to neighbouring galaxies, assuming, of course, other galaxies will be close enough to allow for this.
Further details about this merger between the Andromeda galaxy and our own can be found in the research journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society of May 2007.
100 BILLION YEARS FROM NOW
Researchers T. J. Cox and Abraham Loeb have pushed the boundaries of current scientific thinking yet again to the point where the limits of observations right to the edge of the visible universe and the interpretation scientists have made of those observations as of the beginning of the 21st century is producing one type of picture, and currently the most preferred, of what might be happening to the Universe (or visible universe if we think it is finite and its edge is visible to our scientific instruments). In reality, the Universe is like God. It will throw up a paradox of its own to keep scientists busy. Thus two possibilities of what might be happening to the Universe does exist. And the ability to see both pictures depends on how effective our imagination is to make two interpretations for the same observations. Scientists in the 20th and early early 21st century may not be aware of it, but it is possible we could be living in one of two realities:
- The boundaries of the visible universe may not be where we think it is (i.e., at the limits of our observation) and could well be the Universe for all we know, and hence for all intensive purposes we could be living in an infinite Universe.
- The visible universe is finite and behaving in a way that suggests it is expanding forever (presumably into the larger Universe), and its very edge is just so happens to be observable with our instruments at the present time.
The preferred cosmological model to explain what might be happening in the Universe (or visible universe) at the present time and based on the currently accepted interpretation made in the 20th century is to go for the latter. In other words, the visible universe is thought to be finite and expanding. However, it would not be too surprising if one day a new breed of scientists in the late 21st century with a more balanced mind (using both rational and imaginative skills) will decide to go the opposite way to the traditional approach once another interpretation is found for the same observations. For now, let us assume that the Universe is going in the way scientists predict is happening as of 2018.
According to the researchers, it is believed the only thing we will watch in the visible universe at this time will be our Milkomeda the new name given for the galaxy formed after the merger of the Andromeda galaxy with the Milky Way and a few Local Groups. Why are we so alone at the galactic level? Scientists of the early 21st century are fairly sure other galaxies will disappear from sight. Observations in the 20th and 21st century is showing a red-shifting of the light emitted by these other galaxies (but not for our own (obviously since we are moving with the Milky Way) and the Andromeda galaxy (which has been found to be moving towards the Milky Way)). So the assumption is that none of these other galaxies are heading in our direction. The interpretation we have given to the red-shifting of light from these other galaxies is that they must be receding from us. In other words, the galaxies are moving away. As there seems to be so many galaxies all doing the exact same thing (how odd?), scientists are interpreting a finite Universe that is expanding. And to make sure our galaxy (or Earth) is not at the centre of the Universe, clever mathematics have been employed to imagine the Milky Way as sitting on the surface of an expanding balloon, thereby making us like any other ordinary galaxy in the Universe, each sitting on their own balloon surface.
Furthermore, further observations of the light from exploding supernovas in other galaxies are also being interpreted as the galaxies receding from us more significantly than previously thought the further away they are located. In other words, scientists now think the expansion of the Universe may actually be accelerating. If this is true, then with no evidence of any other matter or energy, dark or otherwise, that can counteract the expansion of the Universe as far as we can tell, we are assured by the early 21st century scientists that the Universe will expand forever.
Is this true?
The future kind of looks bleak through this picture. Makes us wonder why we bother doing the right thing n our lives if eventually after countless lifetimes we are going to end up very lonely and probably frozen out of existence.
If we were to accept this current cosmological model for the Universe, then as the galaxies accelerate away from us, we will eventually be sitting in a pitch black Universe except for our new galaxy and a few local groups of stars caught in the gravitational field of our new galaxy. But even all this will fall apart. According to the laws of thermodynamics, all highly ordered states return to greater entropy, or a more disordered state, where energy is lost to the surroundings. With nothing to spark our part of the Universe to rebuild and re-order itself, scientists believe that give it enough time, everything will slow down. Objects will move away. Even the atoms will slow down and fall apart. Everything will disappear including the matter composing our bodies as well as the galaxy itself as the temperature of the universe reaches absolute zero kelvin the coldest temperature known to science. This is the point at which all oscillating electromagnetic energy comprising ordinary matter and in the free energy form when moving through space suddenly stops oscillating, and matter literally explodes (i.e. no gravitational field exists at this coldest temperature to keep matter together). Every known particle in the universe will literally disappear in a big flash of light and away into space. Eventually, the universe will no longer have a shred of radiation flying around (or it will be so small at the quantum level that we can't measure it, so we can only speculate on its continued existence depending on the size of the Universe). No life will survive the great freeze leading to total breakdown of matter. The end of the Universe as we know it will be reached at this point. And then death will be like what the L-brain people in the 21st century have been saying in that they believe there is nothing but emptiness and total blackness and no where to go. Then the purpose of life will be meaningless.
And we have come to this grand ending to everything because we think the Universe is the visible universe and is expanding according to our interpretation of the observations, including the red-shifting effect of light from distant galaxies.
But what if there is a different interpretation for the same observations? Would it be possible to show another future that doesn't have to end as described above and yet still be scientifically feasible and valid? Could we view the Universe in a different way, and so reveal the paradox that is the Universe (in other words, we cannot be God to know what is really happening).
According to current scientific thinking, the light from distant galaxies is said to be red-shifted. Based on known scientific knowledge of the 1930s, this observation is thought to be key evidence of distant objects receding from us.
It began in 1932 when Dr Edwin Hubble saw consistent evidence in his observations of the red-shifting effect of light. However, as with any scientific endeavour, Dr Hubble also had to find a reasonable scientific explanation for what he observed. After much effort to come up with an explanation, he realised one theory seems to fit the observation: the Doppler theory. As the theory states, when an object is moving towards us, the frequency of light or sound emanating from the object and reaching us will be compressed as if the frequency has gone up. Scientists call this frequency shift as blue-shifted because blue visible light is at a higher frequency compared to, say, red light. On the other hand, if the object is moving away from us, the energy stretches out. The lowering of the frequency is then termed red-shifted. Given that Hubble kept seeing the red-shifting effect in the light of nearly all galaxies (except for the Andromeda galaxy and our own Milky Way) and would red-shift even more the further the galaxy is from our Milky Way, it seemed logical at the time to interpret the observation as galaxies moving away from us. Generally, the further away the galaxies are from us, the faster these galaxies are said to be moving away from us. And if the galaxies are moving away, there must have been a time when all the galaxies were much closer together.
Does this mean the Universe began from a Big Bang? Sounds like a reasonable scientific explanation based on the interpretation provided by Hubble.
The explanation is not without a few teething problems. The biggest headache at the time the idea was introduced was the way the theory smacks bang with the idea that we are at the centre of the universe. Seriously, how could virtually every single object in the universe be moving away from us? Does this mean something started in our neck of the universal woods many billions of years ago to cause all objects to be suddenly flung out into space? It sounds a little too convenient. In fact, we all know how much scientists loath the idea of us being at the centre of anything after hearing stories in the distant past of the Sun and other planets revolving around the Earth. But then Einstein came along with his General Theory of Relativity and it predicted a stretching of the fabric of space-time for the universe. Scientists now have a new tool to re-interpret this expansion of the universe idea. Using appropriate mathematics, we can imagine our Milky Way as like sitting on the surface of an expanding balloon. No need to worry about us being at the centre of the universe. While the balloon expands, everything else around us appears to move away from us. So the problem seems solved. The theory that everything is expanding has allegedly been vindicated.
Or is it?
The Andromeda galaxy might be an unusual exception to the "expanding universe" rule only because it is travelling fast enough in our direction and close enough to our Milky Way galaxy to make the reading of an approaching galaxy possible. But so far, scientists are not expecting more distant galaxies to be moving anywhere in our direction.
But what if the interpretation is completely wrong? Could it be that the red-shifting effect is masking another phenomena?
As an example, we know in quantum theory the collision of radiation with a solid particle such as an electron causes the frequency of the radiation to red-shift by a certain amount depending on how direct the collision has been. This is a familiar observation to scientists of the 20th century known as the Compton effect. Yet remarkably no scientist in the 21st century has dared to apply this observation to the red-shifting effect of light from distant galaxies. Why not? What's wrong with, say, radiation colliding with other radiation to create the same familiar red-shifting effect? This is the question posed by the great theoretical physicist, Dr Albert Einstein. When he made the decision to create his Unified Field Theory, he had to assume light is like any other ordinary matter. Not only can light move uncharged matter, it can also generate a gravitational field of its own. In classical science terms, light is made to look like ordinary matter. We know this because experiments have proven time and time again the particle-like effect of radiation. In other words, when radiation collides with any kind of matter, it moves it. And like throwing a tennis ball through the air to see it bend down by the gravitational field of the Earth and eventually hit the ground as it loses energy, light too bends in a gravitational field and loses energy too. The only slight difference is that light never slows down. It always travels at the highest speed possible as dictated by the density of radiation in space (and slows down the higher this density gets, such as when entering the atmosphere of the Earth, or passes through glass or water). So the way light loses energy is not by slowing down, but by red-shifting (i.e., the frequency goes down, or the wavelength has increased). Einstein decided that he never wanted to see radiation as any different from ordinary particles. Therefore, the same should be true when light collides with light. So why should we ignore this Compton effect leading to a red-shifting of light from distant galaxies when it collides with other light in space?
The process is not unlike the way radiation generated and coming out of the core of the Sun will make countless collisions and take millions of years to eventually reach the surface of the Sun. When it does emerge, the radiation has been significantly red-shifted into the lower frequencies. That is how we get the heat, visible light and ultraviolet rays from the Sun. Yet the very same process is happening as light travels the immense distances between galaxies. The space we see is not totally empty. It has energy, much of it by way of oscillating electromagnetic waves. The particle-like effect of all this radiation is colliding with the light emitted by distant galaxies, thereby reducing its frequency (or red-shifting it).
Each collision is like a stone thrown on the surface of a pond. Energy is lost to the surroundings. In the case of light, a collision with one photon sees some of the lost energy sent off in one direction. Repeat the process for many photons and it would appear as if the light is losing energy around it. And the more it collides, the more the light is like the water waves in the concentric circles around the source reducing its amplitude the further away it is from the source. The light is reducing its total energy, but ever so slightly. Give it enough distance and the overall cumulative effect of losing energy through countless collision will result in a measurable red-shift in the light. The further light has to travel, the more it red-shifts.
So how can we be certain the red-shifting is not caused by countless collisions of light with itself as it moves through empty space?
A question was put to two NASA scientists named Michael Loewenstein and Amy Fredericks about the speed of light iand the red-shifting effect of light with other light:
Scientists say the speed of light can be made to slow down when light passes through a dense transparent material. For example, light moves slowly through a diamond, than in glass. Generally this is because the electrons of atoms are temporarily excited by the energy of the light and there is a time delay before the energy is released again. In the vacuum of space, we have some electrons, protons and free moving positively charged particles such as hydrogen and helium. However, the most abundant particle is the photon. Photons are said to be ordinary particles as Einstein believed and can collide with each other, causing light to red-shift, bend etc. Speed of light might be 300,000km/s in this vacuum, but what's the speed in a perfect vacuum containing no radiation?
Thank you for your question. The constant that is usually referred to as the speed of light *is* the speed of light in a vacuum. As you note, the Universe is not empty, but the chances of a photon colliding with an atom along the way is exceedingly small. Photons are much more numerous (by more than a factor of a billion), but the probability of interaction between two photons is very small unless the photon energies are much higher than is the case for those contributing to the cosmic microwave photon background. For that reason the actual speed of light in the universe is indistinguishable from that in a vacuum.
But no one has actually wrote down a mathematical result to explain how likely the photon-to-photon collision leading to the red-shifting effect can explain the observations of distant galaxies. Loewenstein basically dismisses this by claiming that at low frequencies (or photon energies), the probability of interaction is exceedingly small unless the photon energies are much higher. At high frequencies (or high photon energies) the effects of such interactions are observable (e.g., Brodsky, Stanley J., "Photon-Photon Collisions — Past and Future". November 2005. SLAC-PUB-11581, downloadable from https://www.slac.stanford.edu/cgi-wrap /getdoc/slac-pub-11581.pdf). However, the probability of such interactions occurring in the natural "vacuum of space" (which we know is not a true vacuum while the radiation still exists) above the Earth's atmosphere is low due to the number of these high energy photons in the cosmic microwave photon background. Even if the volume of space for photons to travel through is made very large, such as the distances between galaxies, the effects of such interactions with both low and high frequency photons in space resulting in light bending and loss of energy allegedly do not multiply the effects over time with each successful interaction. Or if they do, the effects are imperceptible. As for the speed of light, it is generally not thought of as capable of changing to a different value. Only collisions with atoms can give the impression of light slowing down.
However, the following article indicates that the speed of light can be increased, and quite dramatically:
Light hits near infinite speed in silver-coated glass
17:33 07 January 2013 by Jeff Hecht
A nano-sized bar of glass encased in silver allows visible light to pass through at near infinite speed. The technique may spur advances in optical computing.
Metamaterials are synthetic materials with properties not found in nature. Metal and glass have been combined in previous metamaterials to bend light backwards or to make invisibility cloaks. These materials achieve their bizarre effects by manipulating the refractive index, a measure of how much a substance alters light's course and speed.
In a vacuum the refractive index is 1, and the speed of light cannot break Einstein's universal limit of 300,000 kilometres per second. Normal materials have positive indexes, and they transmit at the speed of light in a vacuum divided by their refractive index. Ordinary glass, for instance, has an index of about 1.5, so light moves through it at about 200,000 kilometres per second.
No threat to Einstein
The new material contains a nano-scale structure that guides light waves through the metal-coated glass. It is the first with a refractive index below 0.1, which means that light passes through it at almost infinite speed, says Albert Polman at the FOM Institute AMOLF in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. But the speed of light has not, technically, been broken. The wave is moving quickly, but its "group velocity" – the speed at which information is travelling – is near zero.
As a feat of pure research, Polman's group did a great job in demonstrating the exotic features of low-index materials, says Wenshan Cai of the Georgia Institute of Technology, who was not involved in the work.(New Scientist, 9 January 2013.)
If the speed of light can be infinite in a true vacuum, what would this mean for the red-shifting effect of light through photon-to-photon collisions? Can we assume there are no multiplying effects with each supposedly imperceptible collision?
Just to complicate things, Einstein's Unified Field Theory provides further insights into the nature of the gravitational field. According to the theory, the oscillating electromagnetic field (or radiation) can perform the same basic gravitational effects. In other words, there is no reason why we can't use the electromagnetic field to replace the gravitational field and use our imagination to see alternative electromagnetic explanations for common gravitational effects. All we need to do is magine the Universe in a purely electromagnetic (i.e., no gravitational field), create the new picture, and confirm with mathematics or experimentally the expected magnitude of the collisions using light as the fundamental force of nature.
If we should find the gravitational field is the electromagnetic field, then the collisions of light against ordinary matter would have to be more significant. For example, the cosmic background radiation falling from the sky at night and during the day should be able to push uncharged matter such as a tennis ball to the ground on Earth to the same level of force to match the gravitational force measured by experiment. Only when we electrically charge objects will this force vary slightly between night and day and the presence of the Moon as the object becomes more sensitive to variations in the amount of light hitting the object. Radiation actually moves charged matter, which in this case are the electrons, and nothing else. There is no such thing as uncharged matter. All uncharged matter is composed of charged matter. Radiation only moves the charged particles leading to the perception of uncharged matter moving. So when we have more charge added to the object, it means more pick up of the radiation to move it, and this will be sensitive to variations in the amount of radiation coming from the Sun and anything blocking the cosmic radiation from the Universe (e.g., the Moon).
So, if we are living in a purely electromagnetic Universe, there must be something causing the red-shifting in the light from distant galaxies. One way is to see the galaxies moving away from us. Or we could see the galaxies as moving as usual in any direction, it is just that the light travelling through space must be losing energy sufficiently to support the observation. Somehow the photon-to-photnn collisions may not be quite as insignificant as the scientists might think.
It is probably not unlike the way two mirrors facing each other can cause light to bounce back and forth and with each collision with the atoms in the mirrors and the radiation and air molecules between the mirrors, the radiation bouncing away will naturally red-shift until the frequency falls below the visible range. Then everything is pitch black right at the centre of the mirrors. This is essentially a red-shifting effect. Extend the distance between the mirrors to the edge of the visible universe, and the blackness of the Universe can be explained in the same way.
If we don't do the necessary experiments to test this alternative idea out, then we must assume the Universe started from a Big Bang.
Of course, this hasn't stopped many Christian religious leaders from jumping onto the bandwagon of current scientific thinking because of how the idea of a Big Bang hints of creationism. Well, let's face it, how could the universe appear out of nothing in the Universe as some scientists would describe? What do we mean by nothing? Some scientists say nothing is really just a bunch of quantum fluctuations in space where the changing and dynamic nature of it over time can create particles out of what appears to be nothing. This is not unlike the way the electromagnetic particles we call the photons in radiation can appear and disappear over time as it moves and oscillates its energy. So, technically, we can see photons are created out of nothing. So perhaps the Universe somehow created not only from these photons, but also various other particles out of one almighty quantum fluctuation of great energy density?
However, in the current scientific theory supporting the Big Bang, the very beginning was allegedly a place where no space and time existed. Just some mysterious point in space where all the energy suddenly spurted out of nothing and created the particles and the universe as we know it. Either that, or this point was a bundle of mass and energy shaped like a sphere, or perhaps Donald Duck? We really don't know. Whatever shape it was, one thing does stand out like a sore thumb in this theory: no space-time had presumably existed outside of this mysterious blob or point in space. By space-time, we mean radiation. Or if there was something, it must be so small at the quantum level that no one can measure it. In which case, any kind of mathematics can be applied to imagine a universe emerging from this quantum level and for a Universe big enough to hold all the energy we see in the Universe today to make it happen.
But why would the visible universe suddenly appear out of apparent nothingness? Are we to assume this was a random event caused by quantum fluctuations? Or is this evidence for God if the Universe was a perfect vacuum?
Either way, we have a problem with the Big Bang theory. A perfect vacuum, or something very close to being perfect (because there were quantum fluctuations), has the infinite (for a perfect vacuum) or incredibly great power (in the presence of quantum fluctuations) to draw out the energy from any confined volume either instantaneously (in a perfect vacuum) or very quickly (certainly much faster than 300,000 km/s where quantum fluctuations exist). In a perfect vacuum, radiation travels at infinite speeds reaching whatever distance the Universe is at, which could quite easily be infinite. If not, there is no reason to believe the visible universe we can observe today is the size of the Universe. It is clearly expanding into something much bigger, but the speed of light at the moment of the Big Bang was so fast that it should have gone well beyond the 13.8 billion light years where we think is the edge of the universe today. And if the universe does go beyond what we can see, how would scientists know precisely how big the universe (or grander Universe) is at the present time? Might as well consider the infinite Universe as a real possibility.
Okay. So let us imagine we did have a perfect vacuum. Mathematically on paper we can do this. In reality, the Universe will not allow any region of space to have a perfect vacuum. Any attempt to confine all the energy to one spot and leave behind a perfect vacuum outside of it would be an impossibility. At the mathematical level, sure it is possible. Such a beginning could be created and lead to a Big Bang. In reality, the Big Bang would never occur. The energy and all the particles would have already existed in their current positions for potentially eternity. In other words, mass and energy has to be spread out everywhere and instantaneously to ensure no perfect vacuum can exist. The visible universe we see must, therefore, be the grander Universe, most likely infinite in size, and has always been here.
If we need evidence of this, just ask yourself, "Why is it that scientists can never reach absolute zero kelvin?" As we know, absolute zero kelvin actually means no radiation of any kind, not even any other particle that could emit radiation, or keep radiation confined at a point to form the particle itself. Hence this has to represent the perfect vacuum.
So why can't we reach absolute zero kelvin? The explanation is simple. As quickly as we pump out the electromagnetic energy to reduce the temperature inside a specified volume, the Universe fills up the near perfect vacuum volume with electromagnetic energy. The faster we try to do this, the faster the Universe will fill in the space with energy from the universe. It doesn't matter how dense the walls of the container might be or how much energy in the Universe we throw at the experiment to force the energy out of a confirmed volume of space, radiation still seeps into the region as quickly as we pump it out thereby preventing it from ever reaching absolute zero kelvin, and hence a perfect vacuum.
One of the physical laws of the Universe we cannot violate is "never create a perfect vacuum". It does not exist in reality. Mathematically we can create it and imagine what happens in this perfect Universe. But not in the real Universe.
Not even the biggest black hole in the universe can survive by keeping its energy to itself in the presence of a perfect vacuum around it.
Therefore, it is highly unlikely a Big Bang could have ever occurred in reality.
And even with quantum fluctuations, the power to draw out the energy from a confined region would still be incredibly large. The near perfect vacuum would ensure a massive expansion rate of the visible universe at a speed we can only imagine. May not be quite infinite speed, but potentially very close to it. In which case, wherever the edge of the visible universe actually is, it can't be the edge we can observe today, It must go much further than we can observe.
Again the paradox of the Universe is starting to reveal itself: it can be either infinite, or finite. If it is finite, it is unlikely to be the size of the visible universe we can observe today.
Even if some scientists can't accept this view (well, show us the results of the experiments for testing the new idea and let's see if it is wrong), one thing we can all agree on is how the field of cosmology is extremely young and with so much to learn. It has only been around for 100 years since Albert Einstein published his General Theory of Relativity in 1916. And we still haven't even touched upon Einstein's final great theory known as the Unified Field Theory, which is a natural and logical extension of the General Theory of Relativity to take into account the effect of the electromagnetic field on the gravitational field and how the two fields actually relate to one another in a very simple way.
And in case scientists are still not aware of it, there are simple tests we can perform to prove the final great theory from Einstein.
So what happens now?
Until scientific knowledge is advanced from Einstein's final great theory linking gravity and light, and if we are to accept this "ever expanding universe" idea without taking into account Einstein's work, not even the Milkomedia will stay together. Eventually all matter will split apart and evaporate into pure electromagnetic energy only to disappear into the Universe in which our visible universe is thought to be expanding into (presumably infinite, but no one really knows). Should the radiation in space drop low enough to be so close to absolute zero kelvin, there will be nothing left in the visible universe. And, so naturally, it seems pointless to evolve to any degree of complexity as we do now.
It would put a serious dampener on all those religious people wanting to give greater meaning for our existence. In fact, even scientists will be hoping God exists to make the universe come back and emerge from complete nothingness.
Sounds pretty grim?
Or we can use our imagination to see an alternative interpretation for the same evidence gathered from our visible universe. Then it should be possible to see an alternative reality, and one that is much brighter and gives meaning to our existence.