"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 two-legged and large-brained creatures living on land. A true testament to the power of evolution and time (and with enough stability in the universe and our Sun to allow all this to happen). And, of course, a little coaxing from predators and radiation from space to push us to change all apparently helps too. Now, at last, the human brain has reached a level of complexity and size that has allowed us to ask the all-important question, Why is it that life follows this general law of increasing order and greater complexity? Will it continue into the future, or will our knowledge of genetic engineering keep us the way we are? Or will our ability to modify our genes accelerate the evolutionary process to turn us into something far greater than natural evolution could ever achieve? What is our true 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 more simply: Are we heading towards an unseen goal? Or is all this evolutionary activity heading us in no particular direction?
This is a difficult question to answer at the present time. Not even the brightest minds in the scientific community are entirely sure of the answer. Perhaps a question of religion and the Arts rather to solve given how certain R-brain people are already applying powerful imagination and visualisation skills to link many more of the known and observable patterns in the universe together and trying to uncover and extrapolate the hidden patterns they can observe in the mind to the extreme. As we know today, science is focused on the visible reproducible patterns. Whereas the R-brain is more focussed on the invisible reproducible patterns.
Whatever the likely truth, it will depend on the choices we make today, and this in turn will help humans to apply their brain to paint the likely picture of our future over a very long period of time.
Nonetheless, if we do nothing and enjoy our domination 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, then 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 and more secure future, very soon, in the 21st century, humans will be reaching up in their own way towards the final frontier: the Universe, and with it the opportunity to see other life forms. Before this happens, humans will have hopefully learnt something about themselves and their technology before meeting with other intelligent creatures in the universe.
Let us not kid ourselves. Scientists are virtually certain alien life does exist. It is not a question of if, but when. Before we do encounter alien life, it is essential for humanity to be prepared and have the right knowledge of what to do when we do go out there and meet with these aliens. No doubt there will be many intelligent and highly communicative aliens out there. And many will look sufficiently different from ourselves. Therefore, we need to show to these very smart "people" something of our understanding of what all living things on different Earth-like worlds have gone through and to show what it is that was missing from all of us: love. Or else the consequences for humanity in taking the opposite approach will be far more devastating than we can dare to imagine, 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.
To understand what we mean by this, let's ask ourselves, "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 things like the ability to live within our means and recycle everything we have, as well as to allow 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.
So how are we faring in this regard? Do we have a thorough understanding of the principle of love? And are we showing it through our actions?
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 knowledge of recycling. 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 certain 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 (let alone the universe). Without sufficient love and knowledge of recycling and the grander invisible patterns of the universe to help make us feel more secure, we are hopelessly short-sighted and generally inadequate in our thinking skills to realise there is something else beyond death for us to enjoy and experience if we do the right things now and make sure our future is bright and full of hope. As a result of this lack of knowledge, we find it easier to make money, be rich, live in the here-and-now moment of enjoying what we can and not fully understand the true principle of love as we go about our non-recycling ways, as well as competing with one another for the remaining resources. We are simply not able to live within our means and be satisfied. We seem to do this easily by applying our highly developed L-brain skills of rational thinking, good memory and communication together with our eyes and hands to manipulate the environment and 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. Do this long enough and people who acquire enough resources 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.
Then, once we acquire the resources, we like to enjoy stability and to maintain things we are familiar with. Why give up the wealth we have accumulated? It gives us too much pleasure and enjoyment. What we understand and makes sense to us and gives us stability we do not fear. Anything to change our understanding and make things less stable makes us feel uncertain and fearful of the future and what will become of us. So we need to develop greater security by hoarding more of the resources and protecting them through the establishment of a military force, not to mention fortify our homes with alarm systems and security guards, and to establish borders for countries just to protect our way of life.
It is starting to look like fear is playing a major role in the way we behave on this planet. Totally understandable. Our evolutionary past is filled with countless episodes of fear as we tackle or run away from predators and various geological cataclysmic events. We know all about fear. It is an inherent part of who we are.
Evolution has taught us to fear. However, at the end of the day, all living things need to take action to survive. We can't fear all the time. We all have to find ways to stay alive and be happy. It is natural. We need food and water to stay alive. Without it and we suffer and die. Whereas other things we can acquire can help us to achieve things we haven't dreamt of or make us feel happy in the present moment. It is the fear of not knowing if we will survive and not suffer and die in the future, as well as not achieving something with our lives to give us meaning, which seems to play an important factor in how we behave and treat others and all living things.
It seems we need to address these fears head on if we are going to overcome our insecurities and paint a positive future for all of us, while doing the right things for all living things on this planet.
Firstly, let us look at the biggest fear we have: death.
The fear of death is most prevalent among what psychologists describe as L-brain people. The L-brain people are the ones who are totally trusting of their eyes and make rational decisions based on what they can see. Already here lies the first major problem. If they can see something, then at least they can try to control the situation and perhaps everything will be okay. However, if they can't see something, then they don't know what to do. Fear starts to creep into their lives once again. So it is better to ignore it, and even avoid the issue of death as much as possible. 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. Consequently, 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 in the present moment and often without due regard to the protection of other living things.
This is an imbalanced view of life.
Somehow L-brain people need to be comforted by more balanced knowledge from genuine R-brain people to help balance the thinking of L-brain types.
According to the more R-brain types, death may be inevitable but it is not the end. Rather it is the beginning of a new adventure for all of us. Why do R-brain people think this way? The grand recycling nature of the universe and the way every thing 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 very essence of who we are will remain absolutely stable. Only the thing that make up our bodies and the rest of the universe will go through its recycling. Thus bodies are just like clothes. Eventually the clothes will wear out and we need to change them. Hence the purpose of death. So once we die, it doesn't matter. It is just another experience as we begin to wear new clothes and life will begin once again.
There is something mysterious about the Universe for this recycling of life and our bodies to happen, and we have not yet understood how and why it happens. For example, how does life, ending in death, come back to life especially when it comes to the very essence of who we are within our own mortal bodies? And what will we become in our next life? Will our journey continue as we head to a grander goal? Or are the decisions we make on this planet determined to some extent what we will become depending on how we apply the principle of love?
We just don't know yet. R-brain people are not God. They still need more time and quite relaxation to see through all the patterns of the universe for the likely answer. Nevertheless, already there are tantalising insights being made in this area.
Unfortunately, for the more L-brain types whose beliefs are reinforced in our modern L-brain society and continually fixated with materialistic things they can see and use, the thinking leads to imbalances in our thinking and belief systems. These people can't see far enough beyond what they can see with their own eyes to realise this simple grander hidden pattern of life and the universe. So, for these people, any thought of the unknown including death brings immediate fear. In which case, it is easier to ignore it, and without the knowledge of these grander hidden patterns, we become greedy for everything we can acquire and keep to ourselves just to help us forget the inevitable. If we are to ever change this view, we need to see the invisible world of patterns. And that requires more R-brain skills to be developed.
It is no wonder we are still behaving like children afraid of monsters in our nightmares (a representation of our evolutionary past) and can never grow up and do the right thing as adults (because we have not looked to the future and seen the light). We just can't see beyond what our eyes can tell us. It seems so much of the world we have created has been based on a complete trust in our eyes. Yet so much more about the Universe remains hidden and still a great mystery to all of us. And already we are seeing in our minds some of the hidden patterns of the Universe to offer us far greater knowledge. All it needs is for us to open our imagination and visualization skills and let this invisible world reveal the unseen patterns.
If we can somehow balance on minds in this way, we will begin to unravel and identify some of these grander and hidden patterns.
For example, one pattern will teach us that all things do get recycled given enough time. It happens everywhere to the point where we realise life itself is being recycled and whatever it is that makes us who we are and reside in our current body will continue on 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 again and again to re-experience this Universe and for us to learn just a little bit more about our purpose of why we are here. 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, and just let go when we die so the Universe will take care of us.
So achieve whatever it is you can do now to help everyone experience more of life and the universe, but don't be greedy. Make sure all living things and those people who you meet are happy by helping them to have what they need and have the knowledge for them to achieve great things. Because in the next life, you will benefit from all the goodness you have managed to sow in the current life through the great achievements of others and not just yourself. In the meantime, enjoy the greater security and sense of belonging in a community of people and the natural world when you do the right thing for all living things. Because in the end, you will never have to be afraid again. You will have everything you need, and the opportunities to see more of this great Universe. True security starts within yourself.
There are other things we fear too, especially among L-brain types.
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 differences, the more we tend to fear our 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 these 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), 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 and the need to survive, we have come to see these differences as a general threat to our survival. The differences we quickly pick up on or can identify can be in our language, race, culture, some physical attribute, education levels, behaviour or something else.
Even today, we have yet to overcome our fear of differences.
We have observed the consequences of this fear in differences in the different groups of people in Africa and how they try to get along together. 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.
Do we need more reminders?
So how do we overcome our fear of differences?
Simple. We have to realise that there is nothing wrong with being different. Humans need to be unique by searching for differences. 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 that being normal and indifferent can never bring out. 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. Be different and try something you have never done before and you will soon see things you have never dreamt of. Only then will you know whether what you are doing is right, the balanced path, and is the path with a heart for all. You have to try something else from the norm to be able to see this new and more balanced path of greater love and amazing insights. And the only way to do this is to use our imagination and visualisation skills to see in our minds and practice it in reality a new position so we can better understand the benefits of those differences. 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.
Who knows? Perhaps the differences will provide a cure for cancer? Or maybe it will 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 learn to value those differences in people and other living things and protect them (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 be put into practice to achieve great things can we push ourselves into a new direction towards something better.
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. Rather, it is because they can see differences that can solve problems that the elders cannot see. The differences can be beneficial for them and potentially for other people, 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). The adults, on the other hand, 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 amazing new realities.
If we just realise such differences are necessary and the need to change is 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 are finally solved as they should. No problem is too great to solve. Our imagination can make mince meat out of the most difficult problems set before us. Just let those people with the imagination to come up with solutions and give them the practical skills so they know how the ideas will work in reality.
Unfortunately as we are seeing today, not everyone knows how to deal with these fears.
It looks like we have so much to fear. Yet we do not look far enough into the future to realise there is a positive way of living just waiting for us. It is just that we just don't know it yet.
Why maintain all this lingering fears from our evolutionary past? 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 many things, and too rational in our thinking skills (because it has helped us to survive, develop a technology, and give us a relatively comfortable and stable life) to be described as truly "intelligent", creative and balanced. Rationally intelligent, maybe. But not creatively intelligent as we need to be to become more balanced, see better solutions, and set a new course for a brighter future. 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 appear more preoccupied with conquering new worlds, exploiting new resources, selling the resources to others 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 permanent and with love within a reasonable time frame, the worse case scenario for humans is that as the resources go down and get more expensive to purchase, more and more people who cannot afford basic things we take for granted and keeps us alive will 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 to help protect the rich and powerful until even the rich struggle to pay these people. Then the social revolution begins and a new world order is created, if humans don't destroy themselves first. If by some miraculous chance there is no war, disease followed by starvation and eventually death will be the inevitable conclusion as the environment gets destroyed.
True, a few people may survive. These are the richest and most powerful with control of the remaining technology and resources to keep themselves alive. But they will be alone and without love from all other living things. And if anything happens to the technology or remaining resources, they will die too. As for saving the planet, should things get this far with the rich not able to survive, it will be too late for humankind. No technology will be powerful enough to rebuild the planet quickly and bring it back to pristine conditions. These people will eventually die, it will just take a little longer. And if people don't want to accept this reality, a great war will begin and it is likely we will all be wiped out by our nuclear technology.
Of course, there will be lots of people communicating with a range of complicated words before then as they struggle to understand the problems and find solutions. Many will use their well-developed communication skills to become businesspeople to make the money and eventually politicians to make decisions that will maintain this ill-fated system they have created if they don't have the imagination to find a more balanced solution. The aim would be to be more rational and L-brain in our thinking as people think this is the only way to solve problems. And it is the only way to influence and control others while being increasingly more efficient in rationing the remaining resources (mainly for the benefit of the rich and powerful who think they can consume as much of the resources they like).
Then the war begins as we try to be efficient to solve the war, except our technology is far too powerful and available in more people's hands. Even a limited nuclear exchange would effectively destroy much of this planet and bring down the ecology we so much depend for our life support system. We will not survive.
We are already heading in this direction as we speak. Our over-emphasis on rational skills seem more designed to maintain our current ways of doing things if we think it will help us to survive and give us what we want. We keep on focusing on developing more efficient products and tools for doing the same things instead of doing something totally different to ensure everything is properly recycled and available to all people freely so that they can achieve great things of their own for the benefit of everyone of a more long-term nature and with greater love. We prefer to reduce individuals to mere consumers with nothing to contribute other than support the current ways of doing things according to the rich and powerful people controlling the system. As we accumulate wealth, we realise how important greater security is. We spend more money on the military while law enforcement agencies increase in numbers to help defend everything and create a "nanny state" when other people can't afford to have what they need. And it is all because not one person in our current economic and L-brain system has the capacity and power at the governmental and business level to apply their imagination to radically change the way we live and do things differently. Because if we do, we would probably not need to spend exorbitant amounts of money to support a military force to defend all the resources, or all the bills to pay electricity and gas companies, and governments to supply essential services.
This is what happens when we don't see what we are doing (blinded by our L-brain thinking and heavy reliance on our eyes) and where we are heading. And all because certain L-brain types want to maintain the current system, and any problems it creates simply requires us to be more efficient and to apply more ruthless forms to make it easier for certain people to get what they need and want and later claim this is the way it should be. Yet the more creative types wonder why the real problems are not being solved properly.
Then we all wonder why people start to fight again, and wars begin.
In the past we used sticks and stones. Then we used fire, spears and eventually swords. 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 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 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 to get what we want, only to make things worse for all of us and make our future more bleak as the consequences of our actions lead to our extinction.
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 (this time without humans to interfere in their expansion).
However, there is an alternative. We could simply learn to be different and apply our efforts to solving problems in an original and creative way, and do it with love. It just requires us to choose a path to a brighter future, and to do it right now. Do it now, or there will be no chance for us to survive beyond this present century. 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."
Fortunately there is light at the end of this L-brain and highly rational tunnel of greed for humanity. And no, we don't have to destroy ourselves through war and diseases to see this tunnel. There is a different light to our future. We can implement it right now while we are still alive and can apply ourselves to doing something different and so improve the situation on this planet and for all of us.
The power of love must never be underestimated
We need to know how to love. No matter how rational or creative we might like to think of ourselves 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 in a social situation and to know the environment of plants and animals are happy which in return gives us the fresh air and the healthy plants to make us feel safe, happy and keep us alive, which is just another way of saying we are loved. We need to know that what we do, 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, will follow the principle of love. And if we can see it and it does reveal love by others, then we know we are on the right track to long-term prosperity and a future guaranteed for all of us for as long as our planet remains intact.
We need love. No living thing can survive without it. And through love, it guides us in the right direction.
We simply cannot live without love.
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 extinction. And today more and more people are increasingly feeling not much different 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 our food source for the future should we stuff up our other food supplies. 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. But it doesn't help anyone if we allow these environments and the lifeforms living in them to be destroyed by our selfish actions.
To put it another way, should we have to tread heavily on the natural environment to the point of literally destroying our free natural recycling systems provided by this planet 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 to all living things on this planet including ourselves. 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 of we need to stay alive and be happy, such as the food we grow and eat on this planet. We need to let nature recycle genetically original and pure plants, and it should be done for free (the aim of all our work to produce it) by all. Let people access the seeds for these plants, let them grow the plants, and let them show us the benefits of their efforts through those plants. 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 be properly tested over the long term. Make sure any new proteins or other so-called "natural" chemicals are not harmful to the human body.
Profit should always comes last when it comes to dealing with matters involving our food and anything else we all need to survive. That is the order it should be taken. Not the other way around as some rich people like to think.
As for the demands of a large human population on agriculture to create food on the environment, a combination of good education, population control (including better sex education via contraception), better personal self-esteem and love, encouraging people to create one's own form of employment (mainly on the land, but always ensure we build the infrastructure to transport fresh water to areas that are needed so the environment can be rebuilt and stop deserts from encroaching on fertile land) 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. But we have to focus on the long-term. In other words, better long-term health for the people and more research focus on this type of substance would result in less impact on the environment through massive human agriculture. Who knows? It could improve the public health system through less patients experiencing the consequences of obesity, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Now if we could develop more recycling systems and focussing on plants like this on a grand scale, can we help everyone to have what they need? 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 for ensuring the environment is protected and productive, but everyone in the world can be fed several times over and still have ample left if any still feels hungry. 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 everything relating to our survival just to survive?
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, there will be no one around to vote people into positions of power, and certainly no love from God, and 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 being too stupid to do anything else different to solve our problems. We are responsible for our own demise.
It is a simple fact of nature.
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 such as climate change (as there is not enough healthy trees to absorb the carbon dioxide and now methane gas is emerging from the oceans and permafrost regions to well and truly raise world temperatures) 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.' (1)
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 that certain chimpanzees in the harsher and drier central African continent have been observed to form groups dominated by males. In these groups, male chimpanzees will get themselves into a position of power through aggression, competition and even violence. Why? Because life is easier at the top. A dominant "alpha" male will 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 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 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 how many of our human leaders are invariably male. 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 feel necessary to get into a position of power and control everyone and everything, including women, the animals and the environment, to do as they are told so life gets easier for the males in this unforgiving environment. 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 environment means things get worse if they continue following their way of life.
Thus rather than creating more natural recyclable resources by repairing the environment, 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 males think money will get them out of any problem).
Could we have too many males leading human society 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 fighting each other?
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 will eventually destroy our environment and end up using violence through war as the final solution to all our world problems.
NOTE: We should not think an all-female dominant society will work either. It is also possible for a female-dominated society to be imbalanced just like we see in a beehive. In this situation, we can have a queen in a beehive acting as the female leader becoming 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 with all the remaining life on this planet first 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); 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
There has been a lot of talk, but not enough action to solve the world problems by world leaders. Unfortunately, environmental degradation reaches crisis levels in many parts of the world, especially in third-world countries where the reliance on natural resources is great and the human populations are large. Apart from high population levels, the rise in world temperature is also believed to be contributing to this environmental calamity.
On the latter issue, something has clearly added to the atmosphere over thousands of years and accelerated since the industrial revolution in the 19th century to increase the global warming effects in a far more dramatic fashion. What could it be? Well, apparently it is a greenhouse gas we have ignored for too long in this climate debate. Humans have gone too far, and were too focussed on carbon dioxide as the primary controller of global warming, all because of too many people wanting to maintain the current economic system and make the public think everything is okay in order to remain rich. Not enough recycling is taking place, in particular 100 per cent recycling in enough areas of our lives. We have not done enough to repair our environment and reverse the trend in our global warming.
A number of skeptical humans mostly religious, political and business leaders, and anyone who is paid enough money have wanted to believe our contribution to global warming is insufficient to cause climate change. Yet they have forgotten the Earth has been on a tipping point for some time now because of our non-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 reserve of a particular greenhouse gas, known as methane, locked away deep in the oceans and in permafrosts of Siberia and other parts of the world, is about to be unleashed. The release of this gas in great quantities will make all computer models on climate change look seriously inadequate, thereby accelerating the degradation of the environment through a positive feedback system. In other words, more of this gas in the atmosphere means more heat energy trapped in the air. And not just a normal heat trap like carbon dioxide that we are talking about here. Methane is 22 times more potent as an effective heat trap than carbon dioxide. As things dramatically warm up, including the oceans, more of the gas is released, slowly at first, but later in sudden bursts, resulting in sudden jumps in world temperature. This process continues until no more of the gas can emerge and then the temperatures on Earth will be hellish beyond anything we have ever experienced. Our neighbouring planet Venus may be described as our sister planet because of its similar size and mass and thick cloud covers. Now Earth will look even 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, the closer distance to the Sun has helped to raise ocean temperatures markedly to the point where virtually all the methane was released resulting in a massive jump in world temperatures. And this was just through the actions of the Sun alone. If any carbon dioxide was added to the Venusian atmosphere, the process would have accelerated even further. Then the volcanoes began to erupt, releasing far more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Eventually the oceans evaporated under the high temperatures, and soon other poisonous chemicals from the volcanoes replaced much of the original composition of the atmosphere at a very high pressure. Such a cataclysmic event occurring on Earth would guaranteed all life is extinguished forever.
On Earth, the same process can occur, except now we have one other factor to consider: humans. What we do know about global warming on this planet is that the principal contributor to global warming we see and can be confirmed by the majority of scientists by 2012 is from human activity. Now the question is which greenhouse gas is going to contribute the greatest in terms of higher temperatures on this planet. Is it carbon dioxide? Or is it methane?
It is now starting to look like methane will be the killer for much of life on Earth today.
And when will it happen, and how much? Nobody knows for sure.
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 capable of affecting the natural environment as well as the size of the human population (now exceeding 7.1 billion as of 2015) and the need to consume non-recyclable products from businesses. Unfortunately, the amount of human intervention on the planet is affecting world climate just enough that within the next 10 years, the planet's own reserves of a greenhouse gas known as methane is ready to blow away virtually all of our efforts (even with controls to our emissions of carbon dioxide through industry throughout the world) thanks to unexpected bursts in the emission of natural methane in the hydrate form hidden deep in the oceans and in the permafrosts of Siberia.
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 (2). 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 amplify the global warming of the planet and make the problem worse. Temperature is rising, and now a tipping point is fast approaching us where the methane stored in the ground as ice will be released in great bursts. 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 (3).
That means a lot of cities and town along the coast will have to be abandoned, pushing people further inland and using up even more resources to look after them.
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 through their education systems and television programs will be blind to this information. Life goes on as we 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. So long as people have jobs, can visit the supermarket and see all the food 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 to see 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.
Governments will no doubt try everything to calm the people For example, relying increasingly on new and expensive industrial-scale technologies to provide enough freshwater from the oceans and later grow enough foods inside commercial-sized glasshouses will be important. Using television and the internet as an effective communication medium 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 will hopefully ensure most people will continue to vote for whatever government of the day is present and gives the most posiotive message (or use fear by R-wing types to keep to the same government). So long as enough resources can be grown by any means and people have jobs to help pay for the costs of everything produced and needed to survive. 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 insides of buildings 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, but as temperature rises and the cost of electricity increases and cheaper homes are not well built and with enough insulation, many people will have to leave their homes to go to work or just to get away from the heat very early in the mornings and choose to stay in these major buildings to save on electricity at home and have access to foods, water and other services. Shopping malls will not go out-of-fashion despite the internet. Actually, it will make sense to do so as energy requirements will be much less to keep a large building with lots of people inside cool than many small buildings keeping individuals or families cool.
Due to the rising cost of electricity, some governments may have to buy back privately-owned utility companies (probably once sold off by the government thinking competition will drive prices down). Then higher taxes must be introduced, while trying to provide some subsidies to help reduce the cost of basic commodities such as food in order to make people think everything is still fine and life as we know it will continue unabated (or else give a tax break to the rich as an incentive to find solutions to the economic and environmental problems). With a bit of luck, all these measures employed by governments might insulate the public from the looming environmental crisis thinking everything will be fine. 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 will afford to try the above approach. Smaller nations will struggle and eventually become economically bankrupt. Greater instability in share prices for various investments will be the norm. More companies that are not global giants will collapse unless they can find something that people need (e.g., food, and be entertained to help ignore the reality around them).
All this will become the norm in many countries as temperature rises throughout the planet.
So when will we likely to feel the effects of this methane on world temperature? Computer models suggest it should be happening right about now. Precisely when the great burst of methane will occur is anyone's guess. Already 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. A lot more of this gas is expected to enter the atmosphere in the next 5 to 10 years.
Let us hope humanity is ready for it.
10 TO 15 YEARS FROM NOW
In case we are still not convinced, a large quantity of methane gas is currently trapped inside water ice cages known as methane hydrate ice under high pressure and frigid temperatures beneath the oceans along continental slopes. With world temperatures on the rise, we are at the cusp of a tipping point where the oceans will be warm enough and less of the saline-poor cold water will be able to sink and flow in deeper waters to maintain the frozen methane. In fact, much of this saline-poor water will stay near the surface of the oceans once the water ice on land and in the polar regions melt. This will slow down the ocean current movements. Then methane will come out in even greater quantities. If this gas gets into the atmosphere, it will have a more devastating effect on global warming than carbon dioxide emitted by industry alone.
But will this process happen sooner than expected?
This is the unpredictable nature of the Earth. We simply don't know for sure. A melting of polar ice will definitely exacerbate the problem with far greater methane release than ever before. 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 the temperatures will be much higher, the ice will melt quicker and more significantly, then there is a higher probability of yet another even bigger methane burst to take place. It will keep building up like this until the Earth is facing a runaway hothouse condition not seen since the dinosaur era, except we will not benefit from plants to protect us from the heat and provide us 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) and any bursts in methane will be minimal, whatever that means.
In reality, temperatures can rise gently, but the burst in methane will not see temperatures rise gently at all. History tells us that the last relatively moderate release of methane gas occurred around 11,000 years ago. The amount was enough to effectively end the last Ice Age with temperatures rising 6 to 8 degrees celsius in a matter of years. And that was a nice increase to make things warm again. Today, things are already too warm in most parts of the world, and another increase in temperature around this range would essentially see a massive collapse in life on Earth, making the summer periods dangerous to live outdoors. Not only that, but in 2011 scientists were hoping only a 2 degrees increase will be the maximum for this century. This was a serious underestimate of what is about to come without taking into account how sensitive the changes in temperature can affect the release of another more potent greenhouse gas and the way in which this gas will emerge. All computer models assume a steady increase in world temperature, but not in terms of sudden and unexpected bursts of the more concerning methane. We have no direct and immediate experience of what happens when the Earth suddenly warms up at certain times. It is difficult to predict how it will happen, but scientists know it can and will happen. We just don't know precisely when.
With the permafrosts already melting, scientists have revised the temperature increase to 6 degrees by the end of the century. Again this assumes a steady release in the gas. Again, no one knows precisely when or how much methane will emerge. So the temperatures are likely to be much higher than predicted, and probably arriving much sooner with the way this type of gas can suddenly emerge in massive bursts. What we do know based on current evidence on the rate of melting of the polar ice caps and all the major glaciers as of 2010 together with the positive feedback system where the rate of warming of the oceans is accelerated when reflective white ice sheets disappear to leave behind darker oceans and land suggests huge emissions of methane gas are likely to occur within a matter of a few years. When it happens, world temperatures will jump dramatically.
How bad can things get?
Looking further back in history we see that nearly 55 million years ago the temperatures rose 20 degrees celsius from what scientists believe was essentially the same process.
Now the 21st century will see another major emission of methane gas. How much is anyone's guess. We hope it isn't too much. But that's not scientific enough to alleviate human concerns. The more likely scenario is world temperatures will increase to frightening levels. Scientists were predicting in 2010 a conservative increase in world temperatures of 2 to 3 degrees celsius 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 started to melt in the summer of 2012. Now scientists are thinking an increase of 6 degrees is a conservative estimate. 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 degrees celsius above the average.
While scientists working in this area can only hope it 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 for the planet to 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 70 and potentially as much as 150 metres.
Kevin Costner's 1995 American post-apocalyptic science fiction film Waterworld may be closer to reality than we think.
And if sea level rises cannot rise high enough to counter the methane levels and reduce temperatures quick 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, scientists are hoping the Sun will not have a sudden outburst of radiation that could dramatically add to the rising temperatures on Earth and help with releasing the methane in greater amounts. We are long overdue for another episode of this type.
Or what about a big enough volcano to emit enough carbon dioxide to help accelerate the global warming process?
The most likely scenario for humans is that probably as early as 2020, any sudden release of methane from the oceans will raise world temperatures well beyond what scientists have predicted in any computer model. If this is true, 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 being, well, essentially greedy and selfish.
R-wing 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 when he thought it was fine to go full steam ahead through an iceberg infested ocean thinking the boat was unsinkable. Guess what? We can't think like this anymore. R-wing people think they can, but one can't help wonder whether these people are like those who once lived in the 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. If only these people had learned and listened at least once in their lives.
15 TO 20 YEARS FROM NOW
If the environment through climate change doesn't get us into deep enough trouble, wars will.
Of great concern because of our high population levels and unequal distribution of resources is the continuing conflict in the Middle East, the greater friction between Russia and Western nations and the reluctance by these nations to solve the problems in the Middle East, mainly because of the oil, weapons sales to Arab dictators or other forms of financial profit-making activities (e.g., the Russians, or R-wing governments of the United States). For many males in the Middle East, not relinquishing power and wealth to the people remains the greatest problem for Arab societies (not to mention Russia). This is made worse by the fact that many of the males in power are insecure about their future in having their wealth, and so feel a need to do everything possible to retain their power.
And if it is not a question of power, then the conflict is almost certainly because of the inability of certain leaders to accept differences in our views, physical attributes, religious rituals or whatever it may be, and to share what we have with neighbouring nations for greater security, especially for those people who are looking to achieve peaceful and harmless aims of better understanding God, uncover great things in science and about this universe, create positive social development, and to generally promote love for all living things.
In particular, we should acknowledge the anguish of the Palestinian people caught up in the Palestinian and Israel conflict. Many have no wish to get involved in the fighting and would rather go about their lives in a way that promotes peace and love while getting closer to God through prayer and learning the scriptures.
At the same time, we should 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.
If people knew the true principle of love as God should have taught them long ago, this long running sorry saga of our times would have ended peacefully a long time ago and everyone would by now be living side-by-side as brothers and sisters working together on a common quest. Unfortunately we don't. Clearly a new and brighter future needs to be forged in the Arab world in the 21st century, and the people will have to do it at some point.
And how would the principle of love solve this conflict?
Well, the first thing it should teach us is the importance of letting people have a place they can call their home. A place where they can feel safe and can pursue their own unique work of understanding God in their own special way without interference.
The next thing the principle of love should teach us is to accept differences in everything we see. Just imagine it. We will have the technology to take us to the stars. And when we do, imagine the sorts of people we will encounter on other Earth-like planets (and no, we are not alone). They will not look exactly like us. But because they will look different doesn't mean we should be afraid or start wars against other civilisations. Each person, and every great civilisation in the universe, will have their own ways of surviving and each with their own strengths. Such strengths could help everyone else in the universe to reach closer to the one and true God and so better understand our place in the universe And the biggest reality is that we can't afford to fight with people having these differences. Why? Again think about it. It doesn't take much for a slightly more advanced civilisation to put us in our place should we decide to be aggressive. 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.
Therefore, we can't be fighting people on Earth all the time just because we are different.
This includes all religious views, and even the sacred texts written by humans according to stories and insights into the mysterious God who seem to have had a hand in the past in directing humankind towards a brighter future as well as protecting those who were oppressed in some way and deserved to be love by God.
We need to see the positive side of all these differences and put them to good use when achieving a great aim, such as solving the conflict and making sure everyone can survive. Never try to see these differences in a negative light.
Love requires us to see the positive attributes of everyone and everything that we see and do. And one way to see the positive in something is to realise these differences are merely nothing more than unique and innovative ways for people to get closer to the grand and unified truth (i.e., God). There is no one perfect way of understanding God. Each person and his/her own contain a unique strength. Our aim is to apply this strength with everyone else and unify our knowledge to help all of us get closer to God. And since God represents the unity of all things, it is up to us to unify these people and their religions in order to get to the source of the common and fundamental ideas that lies at the heart of all religions,. Only then, with this knowledge, will people be able to see the true religion of God, and with it a much better understanding of this ultimate God.
Finally, we have to acknowledge the fact that we don't truly own any one piece of land, even if God claims the land is yours. Rather it is a test to see how well people have understood the principle of love by letting people have a place they can call a home and to share it with others who also need a home (which is the proof that God needs to see in all of us as the firm evidence of out understanding of the principle of love).
The true principle of love does not discriminate by doing things to segregate people or make people feel their differences are negative or inferior. As it is said in the Bible, "God does not show favouritism". We must all treatment one another the same, and with love.
However, given the way Israel wants to discriminate by controlling the movements and locations of Palestinian people (partly to stop the harming of their families by adults and now children of the Palestinian community), it would probably be easier to build a massive concentration camp to accommodate all the Palestinians and see whether it can remind the people of Israel of something they had experienced themselves in the mid-20th century. Want a clue? Well, does Germany ring a bell?
However, if this doesn't wake up the people of Israel to see their own actions as not following the principle of love as expected of them by their own God, then something else may help solve this issue. Likewise, we should include the people in Palestine who feel they must fight against Israel instead of accepting them as part of the Arab community with open arms and reaching for a common goal of understanding God.
Maybe people in this part of the world do need access to a new electromagnetic technology to help them get closer to God among the stars. Then, at last, we will properly learn the true principle of love.
20 to 25 YEARS FROM NOW
Temperature rises beyond what scientists predict. It will automatically mean massive extinction of much of life as we know it. And it has all comes to this 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 and acknowledge its reality. Without the R-brain skills of extrapolating the trend in world temperatures and seeing on the basis of probabilities the effect on things like methane deep in the oceans, these people would continue to march on with their economic system without making the substantial changes needed to prepare humans for the disaster. Now, no amount of setting aside portions of the ocean and land as national parks will save the animals. They will already die from heat stress. It is probably better 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 followed by a massive expansion of new jobs to manage the environment.
Not even humans will escape the heat. Indeed, we can expect to see a large proportion of the elderly from middle and lower class societies dying from heat stress, not to mention enough children struggling to cope outside during the day unless they stay at home, assuming their parents can afford air conditioners. Otherwise, everyone will have to leave very 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.
Humans, most of which will be kept in the dark by their governments and asking why temperatures are so high, will face a massive population reduction of at least 70 per cent by the start of the 22nd century if nothing is done to curb the greenhouse emissions. And most of the deaths will not be entirely due to overheating, starvation and 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 might be more bearable (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.
The young people will be affected too. As they enter the world, they will imagine a bleak future as a number of adults continue to go on its merry way of supporting the current "non-recycling" economic system (mainly the rich). And governments and health professionals 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 if we are to cling to life and even then populations will have to go down.
Much of life on Earth could have been maintained if humans took an early interest in growing vast amounts of trees and protecting available freshwater supplies under a new, long-term carbon sequestration scheme at the beginning of the 21st century, and paid rural people to look after these resources. Then the trees would provide significant protection from the high temperatures and naturally reduce world temperatures sooner rather than later. Unfortunately profit and the need to maintain power at the early part of the 21st century is killing life on Earth. Already the damage done to the environment is considered too great and humans have not done enough to reverse the trend.
If humans don't change their way of doing things now, many will have to live underground or in massive concrete structures. Only the richest will live in their own fortified concrete palaces on the surface.
Change in the way we live is becoming an absolute necessity.
Already the push for change is starting to take effect in the Middle East. Dictators of various stable countries living in the past and 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.
25 TO 30 YEARS FROM NOW
It is likely many world leaders and business groups will be seen as too slow to make the transition to a more environmentally-friendly society. Thinking too much about profit and maintaining power is the big problem.
Instead, these people will 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?
Or how about the latest view to emerge on 14 July 2015 from conservative (mostly rich and influential) 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? A classic example has to be the particular fascination of R-wing people to find any pattern and, therefore, 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 expected 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 for this planet and 2015 is expected to get even hotter. 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 cause for concern for these people, because that would 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 earn more money and hopefully by then there will be enough technological solutions to solve the global warming problem.
Or why not some people influence governments to push towards large-scale renewable solutions just to look like the rich and powerful are doing their bit to help the planet, but in reality they really want to maintain their rich and lavish lifestyles while everyone else pays the bills to support these solutions controlled by a few people?
For example, the oil companies have lobbied the Australian Federal government on 13 July 2015 to change its policy to the point where we hear Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott wants the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to no longer back 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), but also any small-scale and rooftop variety of solar and other alternative energy solutions. 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 small-scale solar solutions? People still pay for the product, apparently at a subsidized rate with the help of the CEFC. Yet despite the CEFC 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, the Australian Solar Council chief executive John Grimes accused the Mr Abbott of forcing consumers to pay high prices for electricity from energy companies. As Grimes said:
"Tony Abbott is keeping people trapped paying higher electricity prices."
In other words, we cannot allow 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. This 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 prices for electricity set by these companies.
Or, to put it simply, the economy must be maintained at all costs by forcing people to pay their bills, and that means getting a job in the economy while keeping the rich and powerful people in a position of being, well, rich and powerful.
Unfortunately all this assumes people can continue to afford to pay for electricity from the energy companies, the electricity will always be supplied by the energy companies and 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. Otherwise, people will demand businesses to sell products that they can produce energy or grow food for themselves.
And if all this fails, why not R-wing people try to look like they are on the side of the voters 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 tress 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 realities). How else can we make these politicians seem more important and relevant to the public when tackling climate change?
What these people in government, businesses and the rich and powerful in general do not realise is that it may be too late to do anything by 2015 to stop world temperatures rising beyond expectations as methane gas emerges out of the ground in the next 5 to 10 years. However, there is still much we can do now to slowly bring things under control and protect the people before it gets impossible. And no, not everyone should be paying all the time for new solutions to tackle global warming. Ordinary citizens from many countries will have to make the decision on their own on what to do next. At the very least, if it means generating electricity for free from people's homes, then that is what people should have access to. If not and temperatures get too high, a social revolution will almost certainly take place at around this time. A new society and world order will form from this.
How will things change? It is not entirely clear. Most likely it will be a bloodless revolution where most people will immediately agree (certainly if it is a matter of life or death) 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 in action that help to protect the 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 profit. Maintaining the current economic system is no longer 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 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 food. To reduce the demand on oil, only a few essential vehicles will be on the road at night mostly trucks transporting essential products. 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 is the greatest recycler, and only this form of energy can be used to help society transform the planet.
People power will also make the decision on what to build that's durable and totally recyclable and needed for society. Any energy requirements will be based on free-energy systems such as solar 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, and to reduce costs. Furthermore, it is likely to be supplied and installed on the roofs and open spaces by the people where they can generate the power they need and any excess is returned back to the grid to help other people in different towns and cities.
Oil companies will face a particularly hard time. Many will collapse in the new world order (if they haven't run out of oil), or merge with other oil companies and downsize should they continue to sell oil. What little oil will be sold is primarily for essential transport of large amounts of needy products in trucks. When enough trees are grown, even less oil will be used 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 use to 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 mainly because we are 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 educated to know how to do the right thing), and too many people wanting to be rich without 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 want to buy. 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."
Australia is only lucky if the environment is well looked after and enough free education is available to the masses. Unless there are plenty of rich people who want these assets and can afford them, 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. And among those who will be prized more significantly than the rich in the new world order are the farmers and anyone who can work on the land and improve the environment while thinking on a long-term basis of the survival of all living things and not just people.
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, 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 and no amount of money can repair the damage. And that would mean a major revolution followed by a major economic collapse, and eventually our extinction.
It is a solution humans cannot afford to procrastinate over. It will have to be done immediately 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 to disappear.
If there is going to be any change in the world for the better, people must learn to take control and exert the necessary people power to force governments to do the right thing. And all the R-wing people and anyone who is rich and powerful will have to be seen as the least important people in society. They must be ignored. 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.
Whatever rewards we can give to rural people 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 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. These farmers will be the new leaders in the 21st century when it comes to transforming the land and making it more productive and healthy once 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: is it profit, or guaranteeing the 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 reward with all the food and water you 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.
In the end, the new jobs must firmly encourage people to work on the land in return for plenty of fresh water and healthy food grown on the land, as well as meeting new friends and opportunities to be properly educated on the needy and broader issues of life and the universe and have free time to relax and think. 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 and places to sleep and rest during the day (and later work at night) will be the norm for people learning about the land. Only those who work on the land for a fair enough number of years will benefit in becoming their own leaders on the land and possibly receive a small home they can live in as they direct other people to working on important environmental projects.
We may also need the proper implementation of genetic engineering without profit such that the need to kill other animals for food (a highly intensive farming option 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) could 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 becomes more efficient and less energy demanding to grow this food.
As far as our energy requirements are concerned, the transition to a purely electromagnetic society where energy is generated and recycled by electrons as safely and abundantly as possible without waste is going to be the reality in the 21st century and beyond.
All this will become part of the new world order to come very soon for all of us, whether by force or agreement. It will occur. 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.
30 YEARS FROM NOW
Due to the size of the human population in the new world order, a lot is already beginning to be achieved. Extraordinary efforts are creating a lot of changes that people had not expected would be possible.
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 be done.
In the meantime, once the new changes are implemented in the new world order, no more excessive change will take place (e.g., through marketing hype) without good reason. In fact, one of the reasons why we consume so much and create so much impact on the planet is because of constant changes in products and advertisement designed to make us think the products are better and we need to buy them. Not so in the new world order. Marketing companies will collapse as people see through the crap and decide which products are fully recyclable and beneficial to the new society, and will be needed for a long time. Indeed, products will be forced to last the distance made with the toughest materials which can be recycled at some point in the future. There will also not be the situation of multiple products for the same item being sold. These products will simplify to just one or two products and only if it is needy to people in the new world order. Costs to purchase these products will go down or governments must get these businesses to lease these products for the masses in a communal-like arrangement, paid for by the products people make or time spent helping some manufacturers to produce these more important products for society. Very little (if any) money will be available for most people to purchase such products. If it is a needy product important for survival and easily made for the masses, you should benefit in having the products in reasonable quantities as determined by other people (and more as the product can be produced in great quantities), so long as people are able to work to produce the product. You can work less, if you are smart and find efficient ways or use nature to do the work for you. That sort of thing will be greatly encouraged. If nature does everything for you and supply the items people need, you can 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. Unless we have stuffed up the environment enough to see the extinction of predators causing the herbivores to greatly increase in population numbers (and thus we must become the predator, or create/revive a predator to handle this aspect), 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 on this planet.
30 to 40 YEARS FROM NOW
There is little we can do to control world temperatures. We have stuffed up big time by leaving things too late. By this time, we can only hope enough people working on grand environmental projects can somehow slow the rate of increase in world temperature and possibly reverse it. 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.
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 degrees increase in global temperatures. Under the new 6 degrees 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 2020, if not earlier. However, if a significant amount of methane gas emerges from the oceans and ground in great bursts, glaciers will melt within a decade (if not within a year or two).
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 have 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 these walls won't be built. Most cities will be left to nature. Some humans may still live in high rise buildings and have some form of 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 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.
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), which is currently trying to find alternative solutions such as building a solar farm in space for generating electricity for cities, colonising the Moon and eventually Mars, and why not further using whatever technology they have hidden away and have reverse-engineered for which the public are not privy to. However, alien civilisations in meeting up with this military people will have a few words to say to these idiots for not sharing the technology with the world that could have helped to solve so much of the global warming and environmental problems. If anything, other civilisations will send the military packing back to their own planet or learn to survive on some dead world around a red dwarf and learn the true meaning of love and living within their means. In the meantime, before the U.S. military attempts to travel to the stars, they will probably need to make themselves look like they are relevant to society and hence receive money from taxpayers, and so hopefully maintain the status quo of keeping people preoccupied with other things in order to avoid ordinary citizens and scientists from working out the big secrets from the military in the world of electromagnetism. But all this effort will fail in the end. Nothing will stop the inevitable. People working in electromagnetism will discover certain secrets. If the U.S. military are not forced by a Congressional hearing and/or a presidential directive to release all evidence it has on the hidden electromagnetic technology of UFOs is has acquired either from the UFO reports and/or from a crashed disk recovered in the late 1940s, people will discover the truth by other means. The greater emphasis on finding solutions in electromagnetism to solve world problems will be the way this will be achieved.
And what will we 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 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 fast enough to travel the great distances between the stars. Soon a new form of transportation vehicle will be built based on laws of electromagnetism. It will be the world's simplest and fastest vehicle ever built.
In terms of the waste, the only thing that will escape this object will be electromagnetic energy. The kind of energy that already exists all around us.
When people realise what is possible, a new dawn will definitely begin for humankind as people will have a renewed curiosity for the universe, especially among the young who will take the technology to a new level.
And probably the next discovery to be made in the world of electromagnetism will be the ability to transmit electrical energy wirelessly as radiation where an antenna on another 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 dirty forms of power generation to the people.
40 TO 45 YEARS FROM NOW
In terms of cheaper and more powerful space flights in the 21st century, there are some unexpected benefits to be had on the environment back home for people who do travel to the stars. The biggest of which would be the mass of the pilots and for those wishing to participate in such journeys to the stars.
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.
Another thing to come out of Einstein's theory is the mass. The closer you approach the speed of light, the more massive everything in the spacecraft and those participating in the flight get according to an outside observer. As mass increases, more energy is required to accelerate the spacecraft just that tiny bit closer to the speed of light. But every fraction of a percent you get closer to the speed of light, the more dramatic it will be in cutting down the distance and journey times. Removing just a small amount of mass can help significantly in increasing the speed just enough to help reduce journey times significantly from, say, a day to less than an hour.
To achieve this sort of difference in journey times, electromagnetic vehicles of the 21st century built to travel to the stars must be made of the strongest, lightest and toughest materials. Newspaper thin metal skin for carrying the oscillating electric charge for emitting radiation for propulsion. Electrical insulators to separate charges from the internal cabins are equally strong, with some slight flexibility and certainly high temperature resistance. Electrical generators are made as compact and lightweight as possible. And also to face the weight loss challenge are 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.
There are other advantages in being lightweight and thin. A pilot with these physical characteristics can withstand greater inertial forces. An important requirement when trying to reach high speeds quickly to help benefit from Einstein's theory for short journey times. 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 applies, having lightweight and thin pilots is an absolute must to reach the stars.
So, who knows? Perhaps a clip of the finger and toe nails and the removal of all body hair could reduce the time to travel to an extrasolar star from say a few months to maybe an hour or less. Heck! There may even be a use for that powerful laxative anyway! Or why not go to the extreme of removing unnecessary organs in the body such as the reproductive regions and have smaller breasts? In fact, 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. Or why not remove the digestive tract altogether and use special skin patches to deliver the nutrients directly into the blood stream? Certainly not beyond the realms of science. (4)
Certainly biological scientists of the future will be looking at ways to minimise body mass.
A slender and lightweight body might indicate a desire by an advanced civilisation to travel to the stars. At the same time, it 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.
Yet all this is just the tip of the iceberg. Imagine the opportunity for humanity to see other civilisations surviving and seeing how advanced people on other planets have solved their world problems. Imagine the solutions we can learn about and implement on our own home planet. It isn't just a quick visit and come back and say, "Guess what? Alien life does exist!" and that's it. Humanity will expect to see many ingenious solutions when visiting an advanced civilisation. Ideas that will help to transform humanity on Earth into a truly advanced civilisation.
45 TO 150 YEARS FROM NOW
This will be the time when our brains will naturally evolve and acquire more patterns as it thinks and learns more about this great universe and other living creatures. Not surprising considering there will be differences in other life forms and we must take note of those differences. As we know, differences means new insights, ideas and solutions. There will also be similarities too considering gravity plays a universal role and creatures emerging on alien lands must develop bodies in ways that we would expect to see here on Earth. 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 learning from its environment means our heads will get bigger. 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 attractive, 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. Or 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, to survive in this physical universe, we have always needed food to keep us alive. Why? It is because the nutrients found in the food, including water, are what actually keeps our body and brain functioning properly, which in turn helps us to live longer. And why do we need to live longer? Basically it is because we need to achieve certain things in our lives. Obviously, one goal is life is to reproduce. And 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 rather effective digestive tract to ensure we can naturally obtain the essential nutrients we need from our foods. However, the question arises as to what kind of foods should we be focussing on to acquire these nutrients? Or can the nutrients be passed directly through the skin and not require a digestive tract to process the food and extract the nutrients? And how do we recycle everything (as foods will inevitably produce waste) to ensure we continue to benefit from food in the future to help keep us alive?
For example, do humans need to rely on other animals as a source of food to get our nutrients? Now that genetic engineering is possible, can proteins be obtained by other means, such as using plants?
Indeed, if the food can be eliminated altogether and obtain the nutrients through the skin, there is technically no reason why we ever need to have a digestive tract inside our body. If we ever need to find evidence to support such a claim, we already know certain drugs can now be administered directly through the skin rather than ingested orally. Or 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.
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 may also get smaller not so much because it reduces body mass and the quality of the air will be improved in a new environmentally-friendly society where a large nose to filter most of the air pollution is not necessary, but because humans may find this feature more attractive. This raises another complicating factor in determining how we will look in the next few centuries and beyond the concept of love.
Love comes to the forefront again, this time in the way we will look. The changes we will see 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 some creative stories from science fiction writers who predict humans may one day 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 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. 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 that could be negative. 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, learn to accept our differences.
As our bodies change, we will discover something else. 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 with their own version of the electromagnetic spacecraft and other technologies. Just like other aliens, we will become a large-brained creature walking on two feet, have two arms and two hands, will carry 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.
However, before our bodies change dramatically and start to become just another alien civilisation in the universe, something else will happen.
As these electromagnetic vehicles get built, flown and eventually sent to the stars and thereby become accepted into the mainstream of modern human society, more and more people will recognise the similarities in the technological design of these "electromagnetic" vehicles to those formerly unidentified flying objects (or UFOs) described in the reports by people in the past. This can only mean one thing. The biggest cover up in human history regarding UFOs will be blown sky high. Not even the US military can pretend the whole situation is bogus. 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 discovered 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 much earlier than this knowing the state of the world environment in terms of global warming, the heavy reliance on oil by developed and developing nations, and the increasing social problems resulting from this environmental issue. If the USAF refuses to do the right thing, people will eventually 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 and the greater human impact from a large population) the USAF will be increasingly seen as having done nothing by way of releasing new technologies it has discovered that could potentially solve many (if not all) of our world problems. including a means of recycling electromagnetic energy and building a new form of transportation vehicle based on the laws of electromagnetism. Simple discussions by defence leaders and later by political leaders of the security concerns relating to global warming in terms of human migration from low-lying areas, greater refugee numbers, and the risk of more terrorism, will not be enough to save the USAF from the social backlash. The decision by the USAF to sit back and secretly study UFOs and the crashed disk with no effort to prepare the public for its inevitable release is probably because some people want to enjoy the benefits of a rich life selling some aspects of the alien technology in a subtle and quiet way. At the same time, these people are happy to maintain the current economic system if it helps to hide the secrets from ordinary citizens who are preoccupied with finding jobs and supporting their families. However, when the truth does come out, there will be a lot of resentment by the public toward people in the military, especially those leading the defence forces.
The only ones who might be forgiven are the ordinary soldiers who had no knowledge of the biggest secret kept by the USAF. Unfortunately, that forgiveness may not extend to those in a position of power given what is happening in the world.
The question will be asked once the UFO secrecy is broken and the truth is finally revealed, why do people provide trillions of dollars in taxpayers money to the military if it cannot help, if not its own people in the United States, then all of humanity in times of greater environmental and subsequent social problems when leaders are looking for innovative solutions from anyone? Where was the USAF when the world was looking for answers?
Perhaps another reason why in the new world order much of the military will be disbanded and the money spent on defence reduced significantly in favour of more pressing projects of a survival nature, such as rebuilding the environment.
100 YEARS FROM NOW
Our environmental and social chaos should begin to 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 a serious environmental catastrophe and social conflict by this time.
It seems enough people may have heeded the warning and have been working hard on environmental projects to improve the situation. Nevertheless, we are still not out-of-the-woods as yet. Sea levels continue to rise. More cities along the coast continue to get flooded. It will be a long time before sea levels fall again.
Certainly by this time, many people will have moved inland in search of places to stay. New homes will have to be built should we allow these people to settle elsewhere but only on the condition that people work on the land to plant new trees to help replenish the wood needed to build new homes, and to grow food. People still wishing to live on the coast may need to build massive pipelines and facilities to pump freshwater extracted from the sea into the drier continent. That will be the minimum contribution they must make for the environment before they can move and burden the environment inland with new housing for these people.
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.
Assuming stability will prevail on Earth (a kind of recognition that no matter how much we change, the change results in greater stability), 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.
And when we reach for the stars, we will definitely have to include meeting up with other intelligent and almost certainly more technologically-advanced civilisations in our local stellar neighbourhood up to say within 12 light years away. Remember, we will not have to travel far to discover advanced civilisations in our stellar neighbourhood. The stars we consider suitable for supporting life on a planet within 12 light years are already older than our Sun. 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 choose to behave the opposite. We all have the power to choose one of two paths: to show love or not to show love to other living things. However, in a Universe filled with other star-faring and advanced civilisations, you have to make the right choice. Make the wrong choice and you will pay dearly for this with the likelihood 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 and potentially affect the future of other intelligent life in the universe. 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 usual evolutionary process we would expect to see on any alien planet. And yes, evolution will take place on other worlds. No living thing appears on a planet as a 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 experience evolution. And the constant application of specific actions and behaviours will eventually see evolutionary changes in all alien life to help support the fundamental beliefs behind those actions and behaviours in order to survive better in the environment. 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 so to speak.
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.
Don't want to be friendly? Fine. Stay on your own planet, or 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 thinking about it and understanding the principle of love, and you must pay the 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 "aggressive" behaviour in another star-faring civilisation not to sit down and do nothing. They will act in the most efficient and effective way to deal with the aggressors. And they may not have to show their faces to achieve it. (5)
Still not convinced? Let us put it this way. Should creatures in the universe choose the aggressive approach to solving all problems is almost certainly risking the survival of themselves and their own species. All it takes is a slightly more advanced civilisation (let alone a really advanced civilisation) somewhere in the universe to notice what is happening and before long they will quickly put and end to the nonsense. All it takes to solve the aggression in the quickest way is for an advanced alien civilisation to 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. Of course it would unite the world. 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 think we could defend ourselves, the extraordinary ability of aliens to use their electromagnetic spacecraft to enter the Earth's atmosphere and bypass 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 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." (6)
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." (7)
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) 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? 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 who continue to think technically-advanced aliens reaching our planet will be real bad asses for both us and other civilisations in the universe). Not even Star Wars is anywhere near the true reality of what's happening out there in the universe. It will be closer to Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Not 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 if they so wish (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 out there is quite different. ETs who venture out into space will have to make a choice. But there is only one choice. Basically, ETs who make the move into space and have the power to interfere with other civilisations means ETs must be kind to all living things. Prove your understanding of love and compression first and then maybe meet with other civilisations. If not, then the consequences are too devastating to think otherwise.
And why send machines into space as Dr Brin argues? It is because 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 looked at this possibility in the 1950s and claimed mathematically such a machine could exist.
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 L-brain response to what his eyes are telling him.
The R-brain and most simplest common sense scenario tells us the bigger reality of what must be happening in the universe today and for all times. There is a grander pattern we must acknowledge even if we don't have the direct proof as yet. And a sound application of sociological principles will tell us what will happen with a high degree of accuracy. We can make sound scientific predictions of what the trend will be in the future by indirect means (especially since we are still here). We call this R-brain scientific thinking as opposed to constantly relying on our eyes to see the evidence all the time. In fact, R-brain scientific skills is a combination of creativity and visualisation skills fortified with strong rational L-brain skills of recognising the latest and available facts of today of how things have changed over time. It is a kind of looking into the future using sound scientific knowledge. And it saves considerable amounts of time and money rather than waiting for every piece of evidence to become directly observable.
In which case, the R-brain is telling us that we can effectively discount 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. In fact, we have been broadcasting our television, radio and radar signals into space and would have reached advanced alien civilisations at a distance of 100 light years. Astronomers are already convinced 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 in this system supporting life, it is likely intelligent technological life at 4.3 light years would exist by now, and would have done something to us a long time ago. The reality is that they haven't. Why? Because it has to be on a higher probability basis that alien civilisations with the technical knowhow to reach our planet will be friendly. It's basic common sense based on sound scientific and sociological principles we know today because it is the natural law of the universe, and the direct evidence of it is just by looking at ourselves (i.e. why are we still here if it isn't true?).
Still not convinced? Well, let us suppose there were machines ready to visit the Earth and any other planetary world and use the resources to build more machines. 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? Of course not. Just like an aggressive civilisation hellbent at conquering resources on other planets containing life, the 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 no choice but to be friendly and show our love for all living things. 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 really is throughout the universe among advanced civilisations travelling to the stars.
You don't have to be religious (or even a psychologist) to see how important the natural law of being good is. This is 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 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 Star Wars. But then again, the people who participate in these real life interstellar flights will find it probably more exciting than anything on the big screens having all these fancy 3D animations and even what our imaginations can muster. And there will be enough challenges too such as avoiding rocks in space, primitive alien predators, and possibly the odd lightning strike in the atmosphere of an alien world.
And, of course, what happens when these people meet up with people of other civilisations including our own? If they have already travelled to the stars, 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 visit their world. But for advanced life exploring the universe, relax. You are in good company. And you will not be alone in this universe.
In essence, we should stop worrying about alien life visiting our planet. They are not here to take over our planet. Far from it. If we see them, it is only because they are curious and want to know more about life on this planet. That's all there is to it. And certainly we don't need to be worried about them doing something bad. They understand the principle of love and have been doing it for millenia in a technology that we are on the verge of discovering for ourselves. Not even the US military with all its efforts to hide the fact or develop sophisticated military technology can't stop them (or us from figuring it all out). The technology is too small and fast. If the UFO reports are anything to go by, it is very easy for alien life to enter our airspace virtually undetected making a mockery of all our defence systems. And even if we do notice them by accident, it is too quick to react in any meaningful way. The military has no technology to protect us. And really, why would we need the military technology to protect us? From what? Friendly aliens? Geez, that's really dangerous. It is more scientifically probable for alien life visiting our planet in some form of technology to be friendly. Otherwise, we wouldn't be here by now.
So why spend all this money on the military if they can't protect us from these marauding aliens?
In the new world order, it would be the dumbest way to spend money when more pressing issues relating to our environment and protecting life is of far higher priority.
Yes, just imagine the fun (or horror) historians will have looking back at our time as the age of overwhelming stupidity, greed, power and aggression because we all thought spending money on the military was the only solution to world problems. Possibly the only purpose for having a defence budget in the future could be to scour the heavens for marauding rocks and ice that may threaten the Earth and then deal with them appropriately in a kind of real-life "Maelstrom" game of reducing the rocks and ice to dust. This is a far more useful aim for the military rather than fighting its own kind simply because we are silly enough not to spend the money appropriately on social and environmental solutions instead. (8)
In conclusion, it is unlikely the universe will be populated by aggressors hell bent at taking over other planets such as out own for fear they would be easily targeted in a similar tactic by other civilisations (8). In the never-ending continuum of increasingly advanced civilisations, intelligent creatures will have to be benevolent and friendly, or else face the devastating consequences from more advanced civilisations.
The universe is more than big enough for every civilisation in it to grow and survive with love and curiosity (and with good "recycling" knowledge as well). But there will be absolutely no room in the universe for just one star-faring civilisation wishing to take the opposite and more "aggressive" and "interfering" road to life for whatever narrow-minded reason. We have a choice, but there really is no choice when it comes to our long-term survival in the universe. Be friendly, or else face the consequences.
As for the aliens, we can be sure they are friendly if they can reach our planet.
Indirect evidence, if we may call it that, for supporting this benevolent view of ETs can be seen in those poorly studied UFO reports including alien abductions cases. In virtually every alleged abduction 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.
More specifically, aliens having a similar appearance to us (often described as Scandinavian with their blonde hair, large eyes, pale white skin, tall and thin) 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 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. (10)
Or perhaps aliens are being careful not to make the interpretation with their human subjects that a smile means "I want to eat you!"
At any rate, we do seen in a few instances where the aliens that do look more like us are likely to engage in some form of sexual intercourse with the abductees. This extraordinary discovery is not unusual if we think about the reasons why aliens are prepared to go this far with humans.
A closer look at these 'sexual encounter' cases suggest 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. But there are other reasons. Firstly, 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?
And secondly, 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 argue against this is to say, we don't 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, it 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 "human" for scientific study.
DNA on its own is enough to achieve everything they need. And so too, by implications, for us as well.
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 best to go for the cases where no hypnosis was required. And there are enough cases of this kind to warrant further scientific study. It is time we stand up and take serious note of these cases.
NOTE 2: It is possible for the more exotic aliens to take the route of disrupting human memory during an abduction to minimise the potential 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.
800 YEARS FROM NOW
US scientists have found 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 several self-accelerating electromagnetic vehicles and place them on the surface of the asteroid. By using the energy in the light to reach a certain density for recycling (i.e. its own gravitational field), 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 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 billions of 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. But somehow we think not where profit is the prime motivator.
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. The knowledge of science will face significant simplification efforts.
This work 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. In 2013, it is estimated 2,400 languages have been classed as being in danger of losing forever. For example, in Mexico, there is a language known as Ayapaneco. It had been spoken among reasonable numbers of people in the past, but as of 2013, only two people in the world can speak the language. Unfortunately the language is set to become extinct by the time the two individuals in question die because 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 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. We need to be on the ball so to speak by getting our priorities right and advancing our technology to the extreme to maximise our chances of survival in the universe.
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 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. The Sun 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?
Of course, what we do for others will eventually get back to us in return. The law of Karma will probably 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 20th century. Humans will look more like the aliens by this time.
Is there any clue as to how we might look at this time? Assuming we are not sent back to the dark ages through some kind of global war or big enough asteroid impact, we should continue to be highly intelligent and retain adequate knowledge and technology. Furthermore, the power of love will decide the features we look for and wish to have in future generations when intermingling with other civilisations, and various other factors. So, whether we end up having large eyes and large sensitive ears, for instance, or use technology to take up the shortfall and therefore not require any earlobes and so on is our choice.
But one thing we can be fairly certain will happen to us by this time is a larger head to hold a more powerful set of problem-solving functions and memory of a greater number of patterns and a thin and possibly short body to permit rapid acceleration to nearly the speed of light to cover the immense distances between the stars.
There is a good reason why humans will want to lose weight and be as thin as possible.
When the Earth is destroyed, humans at this time will likely 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, Mass., the Milky Way will merge with the much larger Andromeda galaxy.
Presently the much bigger spiral-shaped spectacular known as the Andromeda galaxy is the closest galaxy to our own. 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) because of its distance of 2.5 million light years, making it the closest neighbouring galaxy to our own. However, in about 3 billion years from now, the night sky in whatever part of the Milky Way we end up living or choose to live 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 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.
After 5.1 billion years have passed, 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 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 technological hop. 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. According to the researchers, it is believed the only thing to 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. In other words, scientists of the 20th and early 21st century are fairly sure other galaxies we can observe today will disappear from sight as they accelerate away from us and eventually be pitch black except for our new galaxy and a few local groups of stars caught in the gravitational field of our new galaxy. Indeed, give it enough time and eventually everything will disappear including the matter composing our galaxy 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 as 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 disappear off into space. Eventually, the universe will no longer have a shred of radiation flying through space because we think the true Universe beyond what we can observe to the edge of the universe by our telescopes is actually infinite. Then we will have a true (or perfect) vacuum of space. This is the moment when space and time no longer exists. The laws of physics disappears. And that would be the end of the universe as we know it.
it will mean all life in the universe will be extinguished.
Why? And for what purpose should life in the Universe exist if the end is meant to be so bleak?
Or has it to do with the way scientists have incorrectly interpreted a specific observation in the universe &151; in particular, the light from distant galaxies observed through our telescopes. 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 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. Therefore, the consistent observation of a red-shifting effect in the light of nearly all galaxies (except for the Andromeda galaxy and our own Milky Way), and the more red-shifted the light becomes as observed in the more distant objects, the more these objects can be thought of as 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 as the 20th and early 21st century scientists now believe.
The explanation is not without a few teething problems. The biggest headache at the time 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 have now interpreted this mathematical prediction as like we are 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?For example, we know 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 radiation colliding with other radiation? Radiation has a particle-like effect where matter moves in the presence of radiation. In fact, this effect behaves in every way like ordinary particles. And that includes radiation having its own gravitational field. And like throwing an ordinary particle through the air to see it bend down and eventually hit the ground as it loses energy, light too bends in a gravitational field and loses energy too. For light, it never actually slows down. So the way light loses energy is to red-shift, just as we see in the light of distant galaxies. Indeed, Einstein never wanted to see radiation as any different from ordinary particles. So why should we ignore this observation in the red-shifting of light from distant galaxies?
Clearly light must be doing something as it travels through space, colliding with all the other radiation moving through so-called empty space like a great ocean. When we look at our Sun and see the abundant radiation streaming out from the surface, we realise the radiation has been red-shifted after millions of years of colliding with particles in the Sun as the radiation slowly emerges from the core to the surface. Radiation produced at the centre of the Sun may be very high frequency gamma rays, but by the time it emerges from the surface of the Sun, it manages to reduce the frequency to mostly in the infra-red, visible and UV range. The same should be true in a big enough volume of space containing radiation.
Space is not empty. It has radiation. But is there enough interactions taking place in space between photons to help reduce the frequency of radiation?
A question was put to two NASA scientists named Michael Loewenstein and Amy Fredericks about the speed of light in a perfect vacuum:
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.
In other words, Loewenstein believes photon-to-photon collisions do occur. However, he thinks at low frequencies (or photon energies), the probability of interaction is exceedingly small unless the photon energies are much higher. Also, the effect of light bending and with it the expected loss of energy as other photons hit the light and forces it to bend in what we call the gravitational effect (i.e. and this must include red-shifting of the photon's frequency) for photons at low frequencies is essentially imperceptible. On the other hand, 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 (i.e. considered too low to be of significance). Even if the volume of space for photons to travel through is made very large (which is the intrinsic nature of the Universe we live in), 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 not observable. Therefore, the speed of light in the so-called "vacuum of space" is essentially seen by 20th and early 21st century scientists as the same as in a perfect vacuum (where no radiation exists).
However, the following article indicates 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.)
Does this mean the speed of light can be made to travel faster than 300,000 km/s in a true vacuum? If so, it strongly suggests the interactions between photons in space is actually much more significant and does seem to control the speed of light in the so-called "vacuum of space" as well as potentially creating natural collision effects such as bending the path of a photon (called light bending), and with it the loss of energy (i.e. red-shifting).
Or to put it another way as one of our researchers suggested:
Does this mean that the probability of photon-to-photon interactions in the vacuum of space above the Earth's atmosphere resulting in the speed of light reaching 300,000km/s is actually much higher than originally thought, or that the multiplying effects of each seemingly imperceptible collision is actually more significant given sufficient distances in space? And if so, would this mean that light could travel much faster than 300,000 km/s in a perfect vacuum of space, which I would imagine has a refractive index of 0?
Is there a way we can find out?
Maybe it depends on how we define the gravitational field? As scientists know, a gravitational field can be made to bend light, and quite significantly if the strength of the gravitational field is high enough. If it turns out that the gravitational field is actually made up of invisible particles (let's call it for now the graviton) moving through space and is colliding and pushing the particles of light called the photons into a different direction, then the amount of bending we see in light would indicate a significant number of interactions between the photon and whatever particle is comprising the gravitational field.
But what is the gravitational field?
According to Albert Einstein's Unified Field Theory, the gravitational field is nothing more than radiation. Why? Because it is this theory that links the gravitational field with the electromagnetic field and tells us the gravitational field does not exist. It is only the radiation that pushes other radiation around in what 20th and early 21st century scientists call the gravitational effect.
Well, if the gravitational field is the electromagnetic field and its presence actually causes light to bend, it suggests the red-shifting effect of light caused by photon-to-photon collisions is much more significant than scientists have dared to realise. In the middle of space between the galaxies, it is not necessary for radiation to bend in space, but radiation coming in from different directions can still collide and cause energy losses that might be significant enough to explain the red-shifting effect of light from distant galaxies.
If we don't do the necessary experiments to test this idea out, then we must assume the Universe started from a Big Bang. And give it enough time, the Universe will eventually disappear.
Of course this hasn't stopped 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. So, technically, we can see photons are created out of nothing. So perhaps the Universe somehow created not only these photons, but also various other particles out of one almighty quantum fluctuation of great energy density?
However, in the current theory of 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 like 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. This means absolutely no radiation. We presumably have a perfect vacuum, or perfectly empty space in the Universe. But this is impossible to create in the Universe even for an infinitesimal period of time. A perfect vacuum has the infinite power to draw out the energy from any confine volume instantaneously. Radiation then travels at infinite speeds through this perfect vacuum reaching whatever distance the Universe is at, which could be infinite for all we know. Which means there cannot have been a finite universe starting from nothing or some tiny volume in space. The Universe will not allow any region of space to have a perfect vacuum, so no Big Bang from a central point could exist. The universe we see is probably the Universe and has always been here.
The Universe simply won't allow mass and energy to stay in one spot. It has to be spread out everywhere and instantaneously by the vacuum of space to ensure no perfect vacuum can exist. Therefore, the universe could not start from a small confine region. The universe must already have existed for all times and have filled the entire Universe by now.
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 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, radiation still seeps into the region thereby preventing it from ever reaching absolute zero kelvin. In fact, if we could pump out the energy so fast, say, at the speed of light or beyond, the Universe simply feeds the energy back in at the same speed.
In other words, it is impossible for us to attain absolute zero kelvin, and hence a perfect vacuum of space, through any experiment no matter how sophisticated and powerful our technology is (not even the most advanced aliens in the Universe can achieve this). It is just not possible. The Universe does not allow our universe to have a perfect vacuum.
Even if some scientists still 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 less than a 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?
Well, until we advance our scientific knowledge using Einstein's final great theory, and if we are to accept this "ever expanding universe" idea without taking into account this theory for linking gravity with light, then not even the Milkomedia will stay together. Eventually all matter will split apart and evaporate into pure electromagnetic energy only to disappear into the infinite Universe in which our visible universe is thought to be expanding into. And finally no radiation, and hence absolute zero kelvin, would be attained. There will be nothing left in the visible universe. The grand Universe will be pitch black and completely empty. 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?
Well, even if scientists do discover a slight mistake in this "ever expanding universe" theory sometime in the 21st century, it is quite possible for science to go the opposite direction. Perhaps another bright spark of a scientist will discover at some point in the future that there is more matter than previously thought (probably from the radiation itself). Then the idea will be put forward that there might actually be enough gravity in the Universe for all the matter (and this includes the radiation creating its own gravitational field) to fall back into a single ball of pure energy at unimaginably high temperatures equivalent to the Armaggeddon talked about at the end of the Bible and, depending on its rotation, may become a black hole. However, the lack of radiation in the rest of the Universe after being sucked into the black hole will again draw out the energy from the ball at absolute zero kelvin virtually instantaneously. At some point the ball cannot stay as a ball, especially in a Universe devoid of all radiation. Even if we could entertain ourselves on the thought that all energy and matter can be compressed into a ball or point in space, it will have to explode instantaneously to form a new universe.
There is something about this Universe that prevents all matter and energy of our universe from contracting into or expanding from one spot. Everything has to be spread out to cover every region of the Universe.
In other words, could the Universe be actually ensuring that the universe we see remains infinite in a somewhat steady-state of absolute balance? Either that, or the time required to see any imbalance in the universe is too great to be sure if we are not living in an infinite universe? Somehow we need to reach different parts of the universe and measure the density of the electromagnetic background radiation and give it enough time to see if there is any consistent variation. And only then can we have some inkling of what the universe is doing. In other words, is the universe the Universe? Or is the universe still expanding into the Universe? Or perhaps the gravitational effect of radiation in space is so great that perhaps the universe is contracting, or about to contract?
Seriously, can any scientist disprove the universe is not the Universe and that we are not living in an infinite Universe?
Sure, there is this law in thermodynamics telling us how all things want to experience greater entropy. Place an object in a high energy state into an environment that is set at a lower energy state, and it will lose energy to the environment. This suggests all things will eventually fall apart and die. So surely the universe must be expanding. On the other hand, we also see plenty of evidence of a Universe trying to re-organise itself into larger and/or more complex structures as a sign of balance. We see this in the DNA of our cells. Even when our bodies experience entropy and die, the DNA continues to survive and re-organise matter again and again to form new life. We also see it in the gravity (or light) that not only pushes matter apart in supernova explosions, but also brings it together to create new stars and planets, and even life itself. While things like to be disorderly, something else is pushing for order in the universe at the same time. This balancing act is being played out by this Universe as we speak.
Does this mean the visible universe is much bigger than we dare imagine and is maintaining perfect balance in the sense that what we are seeing is really just a tiny speck of sand in the infinite ocean of the Universe?
Whatever the truth, we have to realise that the field of cosmology is young. We can only imagine the sorts of things scientists will figure out in the next 100 years.
In fact, don't be surprised if scientists in the future do come up with new and possibly opposing theories for whatever could be happening in the cosmos today. It is really up to us to decide where the balance in such theories should lie should the interpretation of the evidence hover between two extremes over time.
Perhaps this is where we will derive are greatest wisdom through the balanced ideas and insights we will create for our scientific theories, just as the Universe performs its balancing act on all matter, radiation, and ultimately life itself.