Submitted by yaykarin t3_z2acxz in space

So I've heard about Proxima B - the planet most resembling Earth. But I didn't realize how viable and vital of an option Stephen Hawking truly thought it was (his book Brief Answers to Big Questions explains more, TLDR here)

I trust Hawking, but I am curious - is this a common belief? Do you think life on Earth is imminently going to end? Think we'll see any hint of interstellar colonization in our lifetime?



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Deadpool11085 t1_ixfct2u wrote

No, unless something cosmic happens like a black hole appears, or we collide with another object in space. The earth has done its thing for billions of years. It’s not going anywhere. People and civilizations are another story. Eventually our population will dwindle and die off. Giving the earth time to heal, and perhaps start the cycle over again.


HobbesNJ t1_ixfd5r3 wrote

>Think we'll see any hint of interstellar colonization in our lifetime?

No. There is no known inhabitable place within any realistic distance from Earth, and technology is a long way from getting anywhere near interstellar transport, if ever.


yaykarin OP t1_ixfdrj8 wrote

Yep. Makes sense. Fair enough.

I like to think we're just around the corner from any amount of significant progress in space travel to distances beyond our next door neighbors, but I am losing hope.


groundphoenixhogday t1_ixfdv6q wrote

we gonna end long before earth does

and no we are not sustainable, not like this

thank god, the idea of us infecting other planets is disturbing


TexDen t1_ixfe7w9 wrote

If you believe that Mars may have once had water and supported life, well, you can clearly see what happened to Mars. It is now a desert world devoid or water and life.


Jax2 t1_ixfe9q2 wrote

I'd have to read what he had to say on the matter to give a decent answer to your question in the way it's written. If you mean earth is not sustainable for human life, I would have to agree, to a point. There will always be some outliers, even if another ice age were to occur in the next few years. Some of the population would survive but it would be a very small number. Overpopulation could become a serious factor, but there will always be the "haves" that will survive while millions of others do not. Humans will go on, but their numbers may dwindle to almost imperceptible amounts.

As for colonizing another planet, no, there is zero chance of that happening unless we can somehow disprove (and completely shatter) our current understanding of physics. The distances are far, far too great to ever reach another habitable planet, let alone having the means to discover said planets. I would say this is a win for the universe. The bigger question should be, should humans be ALLOWED to spread to other planets? We are parasitic in almost every way. replanting trees and breeding the things we slaughter are not enough to remove that stigma from us. We destroy our planet on a daily basis and do little to nothing to rectify that.


One_King_4900 t1_ixfeq0p wrote

The earth will regulate humanity. She owns us. It doesn’t have to be just temp swings. Through n a few massive volcanic eruptions, virus outbreaks and a rising sea level and were pretty much toast.


VoidowS t1_ixfes72 wrote

The population keeps growing. We r a parasite in the eyes of A.I. when asked. And it's true. We don't contribute anymore to the world. We even put or dog shit that is fertilizer for plant and life in plastic bags to be shipped where? we don't care. We even want the leaves to be taken away by big machines. Again fertilizer for the earth. We r a parasite, and the next world we will live on we wil ltotaly drain as well eventually. at firstthere is plenty of space, and the sky isthe limit so to say. But eventally also on that planet we will overpopulate because of the abundance we cannot coop with. Eventually proximity b will be like earth now is. And what will we do move on to the next and the next. As we think that there r planets so many they can't be counted, what does 1 planet more or less do if we populate it. :) If alien life would exist, they will not stand for it that we start to reproduce in the universe. And eventually become so big that we arrogant killing people would try to rule the universe. What we we do in proximity b. ofcourse kill the wildlife for food and exploid the ground for more food not taking in account that those animals to us r the rightfull owners of the that planet! We would not care. as lng as we r on top.


One_King_4900 t1_ixffh6u wrote

I agree with your sentiment. We should not be ALLOWED to move beyond this planet. We will only bring harm wherever we go.

At the current rate of tech we possess the only way we could even practically make it To another habitable planet would be to build an intergalactic “cruise ship” if you will that could support a few people for at the bare minimum three generations of life. But that would be basically inbreeding at that point an we would most likely not make it either way.


One_King_4900 t1_ixffotn wrote

Not crazy in my view. Our intelligence makes us think we are better than nature. But we are from from it. Put a man, naked and alone in the wilderness anywhere in this planet he will most definitely parish. We removed ourselves from nature because we cannot survive in it. It quite comical actually.


rationalcrank t1_ixffv0z wrote

Exploring other planets is great but when you are talking about a permanent home for humans it's orders of magnitudes easier to terraform earth to be habitable for humans than another planet. Think about it. We are halfway there already.


Jax2 t1_ixffx5u wrote

I am honestly trying to figure out if that was sarcasm or not - I mean, it's a very old concept. I am not some tree hugger. I love my house, my polluting car, eating nice big steaks and going to zoos to see animals I wouldn't otherwise get to see. However, the facts remain. We take in every form. We cut the trees to create building materials that we then use to create buildings and roads and parking lots on land, decreasing it's use for every other species.

We tear up the ground and take out metals and ores to create those cars that spew poison, or pat ourselves on the back while we make cars that STILL require natural resources to charge (which will ALWAYS be the case unless we want to cover massive swaths of ground with solar or wind generators)...

We breed massive herds of cattle that need an ever growing source of food and land to graze, so we chop down forests to give them grazing land and make fields for growing grain in.

We create industries for no other purpose than to give us more "things" and in doing so, allow them to pollute the skies and water.

In the big picture of things, I can see no better way of describing humans. The earth has been around for billions of years, pristine in every way, until the last few thousand years or so since humans have been industrious.


Deadpool11085 t1_ixfgq35 wrote

I don’t know if global warming is the thing that will get us. I’m not even sure I believe in that. I’m not here to debate that either. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. We could be wiped out by anything from storm and floods, volcanic eruptions, a meteor/comet, or even an all out nuclear war.


Jax2 t1_ixfgt6b wrote

>I agree with your sentiment. We should not be ALLOWED to move beyond this planet. We will only bring harm wherever we go.

Exactly - if we ever DID decide to try and colonize another planet at some point in the far distant future, the main factor in doing so would be profitability. Money drives everything, including innovation - there is little use for innovation unless there's a return on the time / investment. If deep space travel ever did become viable, it would be only because massive corporations or governments see a large enough profit to continue pursuing the idea.


Ninja_Gandalf_Cyborg t1_ixfhgxc wrote

Pedantic note: proxima b is far from the most earthlike planet we've discovered.


SirHerald t1_ixfhmt3 wrote

There is no reachable planet better than the worst we can do to earth


Ape_Togetha_Strong t1_ixfi8yf wrote

What's the alternative? That Earth remains habitable for humans forever? We know for a fact that won't happen. How could it not be "unsustainable"?


JoshuaACNewman t1_ixfi9et wrote

What planet is going to be easier to terraform than Earth?


DollyVarden2021 t1_ixfiwo4 wrote

Climate change is manageable, but our population levels are way out of control. 8 billion people and counting. We will annihilate everything natural to feed ourselves and make fancy electronics to amuse ourselves.

Nuclear weapons will be our undoing, and we could permanently damage the planet.


Odd-Aardvark-8234 t1_ixfl7ju wrote

Global warming is real but so is the cyclic temperature change look it up the evidence was found from one of the oldest glaciers , they took core samples and what if found is pretty eye opening


tomveiltomveil t1_ixfljli wrote

I always recommend the Charles Stross essay, "The High Frontier, Redux." It does an excellent job of explaining why space travel is an order of magnitude more difficult than preserving civilization on Earth.


IntoAComa t1_ixfmyn9 wrote

On a long enough time scale, nothing is sustainable.


Mprosta t1_ixfnax2 wrote

All I know is that it will sustain me and I am truly grateful for that


phred14 t1_ixfo8am wrote

Difference is that cyclic warming doesn't generally happen really fast. There are forcing function things that do, like supervolcanoes or asteroid strikes, or humanity. Time scale is important.

Our civilization, poorly adapted as it is, is adapted to our current climate and is not ready to adapt to rapid change.


Much_Yogurtcloset_75 t1_ixfoepo wrote

The earth will ultimately be swallowed by an expanding sun. But between now and then we won’t have to worry about it. Asteroids are a regularly occurring( in galactic time scales) event. Don’t worry about the unforeseeable future, enjoy your life, your people and make beautiful memories.


Strange-Ad1209 t1_ixfpaki wrote

Proxima B is orbiting a Star that is extremely unstable and known for massive flares (all red dwarf stars are flare stars), and the habitable zone of a red dwarf where water is likely to be liquid is far closer to the Star like almost the orbit of Mercury close. Not survivable for carbon based life forms based upon DNA. A very stable Star like Sol is the best place to look for Worlds where Carbon based life forms using DNA can possibly survive. Any planet must also have an active magnetic field, so it needs a liquid metal outer core and active surface volcanism to generate enough atmospheric replenishment to make up for losses due to Solar Winds. It will also need to demonstrate free Oxygen in the atmosphere indicating chlorophyll and plant life converting CO2 into Oxygen in an actively renewing manner. Habitable world's for Humans and Earth type plants and animal life (the only thing that are certain to be edible by Humans and Earth animal life) are going to be extremely rare. It takes much more than being in the Habitable Zone to make a planet habitable to Earth life.


Strange-Ad1209 t1_ixfr44w wrote

Well I love the people who complain about Humans doing human things for human reasons but applaud animals doing animal things for animal reasons. Humans build dams and destroy habitats. Beavers build dams and destroy habitats. Humans build colonies stacking themselves on top of each other, destroying habitats. Ants and Termites build huge colonies (you really need to see the ones in South and Central America as well as Africa to see just how huge they get) destroying habitats for other species. Every species that has ever existed is parasitic upon other species all the way down to bacteria and viruses. Humans aren't even the most effective parasites to have ever destroyed the entire worlds eco system. Cyano bacteria did that Billions of years ago converting animal life on Earth into species that could use Oxygen instead of CO2 and Cyanogens which dominated the atmosphere of Earth for 2 Billion years. ALL life is parasitic and there is only an ever changing push and pull for survival. The Balance of Nature is a fictitious illusion made up by people who impune Humanity in favor of any other life forms, regardless of how selfish and self centered those life forms are for themselves and their own survival over ALL others.


Def_One_1987 t1_ixfv9gc wrote

No. It's ours to sustain or not, we are the stewards of it even if we may not have total say over it's eventual destruction. We clean our home and cut our grass with no 100percent assurance that we'll be able to keep the home. Let's clean up what we have, treat each other Better instead of Why can't we move to Mars, Momma, I don't want to clean this planet/keep it liveable


GreyDirtySnow t1_ixfwxk2 wrote

I disagree and here's why I think that. Nuclear annihilation would ruin life as we know it for thousands of years, but the ocean goes so deep something will survive microscopic or not. I believe whole hearted that the entire process of evolution would start over again at one point or another and the cycle would repeat itself, it would probably be a vastly different earth than it is now but I think it would eventually make a return


I_am_the_Jukebox t1_ixfxfd2 wrote

It's not so much that Earth is unsustainable. Humanity on Earth is unsustainable with the way we're going.

For so long we were able to the immediate effects of our actions weren't present. Well, we've reaped thousands of years of that, with the bulk of the damage coming from the last 100ish years. Unless we take drastic steps, we'll wreck things here to the point where survival of the species is extremely uncertain. Some species will survive, just like they survived the catastrophic event that killed the dinos. But the bulk of life, including humans, will likely perish.


Dry_Operation_9996 t1_ixfyxzq wrote

He believed that the globe should unite in a massive space exploration program: one initially aimed at building human settlements on the Moon and on Mars, but then across other galaxies."

From your link. Think they might have skipped a step or two.

Anyway, I think the Earth and humanity will be just fine for tens of thousands of years to come. But we should colonize other planets and solar systems as well, because why not, and just in case.


AdSpecialist4523 t1_ixg0g6m wrote

We could set off every nuke that's ever been produced or ever will and not eradicate all life. It is not within our power. We can screw things up for ourselves perfectly well but sterilizing this planet is thankfully well beyond our means. Much bigger things than us have failed on more than one occasion.


Bipogram t1_ixg1g61 wrote

A major part of that prediction, IMO, is that we will be our own downfall.

The world is warming and more energy in the troposphere leads to more extreme weather patterns. Wars will escalate over water, population fluxes, and food. And it takes just one of them to involve a nuclear-tipped country (or their proxy) and we're on a fast-track to 'Cocked Pistol'.

Game over, except for the black smokers in the benthic depths.

Long term, with Homo Sap. v1.0, a planet is a Very Bad Idea.

The timescales for change on such a large biosphere are vastly slower than our attention spans. By the time we've got around to the idea of limiting CO2/population, we're at 40 Ttonnes in the oceans of the former, and 8 billion of the latter.

We're really really bad at living in (seemingly) infinite playpens, as we always think that there's another forest to cut down. Until there isn't.

No, planets are for the birds. To prosper we'll need to learn how to deal with finite (but large) resources. There are treasures for the taking in the inner solar system - but just going all Homo Sap. 1.0 Out There leads to the same problem. Understanding how to prosper in a cautious manner will help - understanding that more isn't always better, and working with what we *can* have, rather than what we want, might be the only answer.


CowSlayer450 t1_ixg3e94 wrote

Well, until the sun goes supernova anyway, isn't it expected to swell beyond Earth's current orbit of the sun?

Speaking of, is that supposed to happen before or after we collided with Andromeda?


ehunke t1_ixg3phw wrote

Eventually every sun runs out of gas, expands then explodes. The end result is planets get consumed by the black hole that forms, or, get ejected into space where the surface temperature becomes close to absolute zero until it gets trapped in the orbit of a new star system. The way we are living the earth will not be habitable forever either.


CowSlayer450 t1_ixg3tzd wrote

Yeah, that's probably about what will happen. As it stands we're what, 50,000 years from the next ice? And all of like...4 years from a blue ocean event that's going to drastically accelerate that.


Cthu-Luke t1_ixg3v19 wrote

The distances are not too great. It would take a generation ship, ingenuity, resolve. But yes it's doable. Would we really want to though? I don't know. If overpopulation is a concern, then space habitats are the choice. O'Neil cylinders etc.


CowSlayer450 t1_ixg4gof wrote

Interstellar transport.. I wish. We can't even get a living human on the next closest planet to us let alone out of the solar system.

We are almost certainly going to go extinct long before we get to another star's orbit.


StackOverflowEx t1_ixg4nx0 wrote

Not only that, Mars is on the outer edge of the goldilocks zone with a slightly oblong orbit, which takes the planet farther out of the zone for half of its year. If Mars had an atmosphere 343 days of its 687 day year would be extremely cold globally. A Mars with an atmosphere would be too harsh for complex life.


CowSlayer450 t1_ixg59g7 wrote

One thing to keep in mind that adds to the improbability of colonizing another planet is the fact that it would likely require the entire planet to work collectively towards that goal. Pooling resources and brain power and working as one, because no single country would have the money or man power to accomplish that.

Spend 5 minutes in social media and it'll be clear that we could never achieve that even if all the stuff you mentioned wasn't a factor.


Jobotics t1_ixg5pep wrote

Earth's population growth is slowing. As standard of living increases people have fewer kids. if the population stays relatively stable, we'll be fine. Climate change is an issue but it can be managed. Nuclear war can hopefully be diverted. There are several paths to the end of the world as we know it that are completely out of our hands. Super volcanoes, pandemics maybe, I'm sure there are others... Those happen rarely.

In our solar system we have pretty much unlimited growth, unlimited energy. If we go to space we can have a society that dwarfs any scifi society out there. We don't have to go. We'll be fine here on Earth for probably hundreds of thousands of years. But society can be much more if we choose to go to space.

Expanding to other stars is unnecessary and difficult if we never develop ftl travel. But even then, we still can go if we so choose. But not in our life time.


oxiraneobx t1_ixg61lz wrote

Species are transient, and we'd have to really destroy the planet so that it is inhabitable for any species. We might make it hard for humans to survive, and take a good percentage of collateral damage species with us, but Earth will be sustainable for some species for billions of years.

There's two different discussions here, one, will mankind see Earth to a point it becomes destroyed, and two, will the Earth eventually be destroyed naturally? Even if we wiped out all war, diseases/cancer/sickness, ended world hunger and poverty, we're kidding ourselves if we think mankind as a species will be around when the Earth is destroyed billions of years from now.

The Homo species have been around for about 1.5 million years, and homo sapiens have existed for approximately 300,000 years. We only started forming civilizations 6000 years ago.

That's not even a fart in the wind in terms of life on Earth.

The 'age of the dinosaurs' lasted 165 million years, and ended 65 million years ago.

Earth will be destroyed at some point billions of years from now when the Sun dies. There will probably be life forms up until the time the Sun no longer can sustain any life, and that will be a long time before it's actually destroyed.

To think mankind can survive for the long haul given our history of self-destructive tendencies is laughable at best, but life will sustain on Earth in some form or another long after we are gone.


oxiraneobx t1_ixg66jc wrote

>Put a man, naked and alone in the wilderness anywhere in this planet he will most definitely parish. We removed ourselves from nature because we cannot survive in it.

I wish I could put this on a tee shirt as that is so true.


dr4ziel t1_ixg6n5h wrote

I think you misunderstood the "imminent" part. From an astrophysicist point of view, a couple thousands year is very imminent.

Not a chance that we see interstellar travel in our lifetime. Maybe interplanetar travel. But even this, i'm not sure.


oxiraneobx t1_ixg7jb1 wrote

I totally agree with humans being the likely weapon of our own demise, and we may very well cause damage to the planet that lasts tens of thousands of years, even a hundred thousand years, but that's a miniscule amount of time the Earth has left as a habitable planet.

Best estimates are approximately 500 million year to one billion years of habitable time left before the Sun heats to the point life is no longer sustainable. The Earth has plenty of time to heal itself and allow other species to rise and fall.

As a planet, Earth is kinda middle-aged, 4.5 billion years old with an likely life of 7.5 - 8.0 billion years. Species are the fragile things here, not the Earth. It's fine, we're screwed, LOL!

As I write these numbers out and think generally how we are presently behaving as a species, I'm hoping we get to next Tuesday. Not worried the Earth, though.


Rethious t1_ixgayat wrote

Unless faster than light travel is discovered, interstellar endeavors are not worth discussing.


skiingredneck t1_ixgd7tb wrote

Chart human’s maximum distance from earths core over the last couple hundred years…

We took the last 50 years off. Mars doable, just perhaps not with something like United space alliance driving the technology.


6EQUJ5w t1_ixgdxmd wrote

We know very little for sure about Proxima b, but it’s orbiting a red dwarf, it’s probably tidally locked, and it’s unlikely to have an atmosphere, so I wouldn’t start packing your bags yet.


Israeli_pride t1_ixge4ct wrote

No and no. But eventually there will be a moral imperative to stop impacting nature. To contain our impact on biodiversity through water and land usage, we’ll need Urbanization and desalination and vertical farming. But that’s also exactly what we need for space colonies. (and nuclear propulsion.) In hundreds of years, leaving Earth alone will become a moral imperative, driving further space colonization.


Eder_Cheddar t1_ixge5qk wrote

If you're not gonna put on your tinfoil hate with me then gtfo:

It's been proven through ice cores taken in Antarctica that at some point the atmosphere got very hot during the ice age due to large expenditures of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

It's something that they equate to a civilization like ours doing.

And what's currently happening is land mass being swallowed up in certain areas of the world.

The problem is no one wants to believe in climate change so we're all just strumbling in the dark here.

We also don't know the truth to our history so we have no idea just how advanced old civilizations used to be.

If you think ancient sites around the world were all created by ropes and pullies.... then you're clearly nit wearing your tinfoil hat.

If something catastrophic happens to us, what buildings will be left in a few hundred years? A few thousand years?

Our planet is very fragile and we're acting like it's not.

One day we'll all learn that sobering lesson.


nickeypants t1_ixgekuy wrote

I fully believe that is why colonizing Mars, or at least attempting to, is so important for humanity. So we can understand how much of an absolute shithole it is for a place to live. Experiencing our options will produce the most ardent protectors of Earth's habitat.

Future generations will revile us forever for what we have done to their planet.


Palmput t1_ixgfn3k wrote

Aside from standard cataclysms like comets and supervolcanoes wiping out most life, the Sun is a timer as well. There’s definitely less than a billion years until the Sun boils away the oceans as it heats up. Obviously outside of any timescale any living thing could comprehend, but would you like to gamble on evolution producing another intelligent, spacefaring species if it has to start over in irreversibly deteriorating conditions, assuming we don’t make it? It’s now or never - we must expand beyond Earth because each moment we delay, the chance of extinction only increases.


sagitarius-b t1_ixgfxkn wrote

"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand."

— Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994


s1ngular1ty2 t1_ixgg3cc wrote

You think the Earth cares that people are on it? When humans are extinct the Earth will carry on for billions of years and new life will form. Over 99% of all species ever to have lived on the Earth are already extinct. Let that sink in. We are nothing...


misanthrope_irl t1_ixghkkr wrote

First of all: perish. Second of all, no. People survived in the wilderness for most of human history. We removed ourselves from the natural elements because it's more comfortable and more safe. Sure, plenty-- probably most-- civilized people would not fare well and/or would perish. But this is not due to some sort of biological shortcoming. The simple fact is that it's due to a developed dependence on technology/shelter/civilization


k-dick t1_ixghpyq wrote

I think Hawking was basing that on the inevitability of a cataclysmic event like an asteroid strike, not necessarily man made horrors, though I think nuclear war was on the list of humanity-ending stuff.


SirX86 t1_ixgj7ie wrote

Exactly. When people are talking about saving the earth, they really mean saving humanity. If we fail, it'll probably even be for the better, as far as the earth is concerned.


NotAHamsterAtAll t1_ixgjmi0 wrote

Do you think life on Earth is imminently going to end?

This is a very common thing that humans have thought for millennia, and has been proposed and supported by the experts throughout the times. And despite all the noise, there is nothing indicating that this is in fact going to happen.

Think we'll see any hint of interstellar colonization in our lifetime?

Haha, no chance in hell. Maybe by the end of this millennia, aka 2900 or thereabout. If ever.


VikingViik t1_ixgkfjy wrote

so you buy into the corporate narrative? That is that responsibility lies with "individuals" that have to be "sustainable" in their lives? That was a great marketing campaign from Fossil fuel corporations. They spend billions on this narrative.

Blaming individuals as the problem is not the solution. Study the problem you will see the solution.

The problem has been long in the making and blame absolutely goes to the greedy hoarders that put profit and power above the wellbeing individuals.

From education to law to space travel, it's all defined by corporation capitalism and profit just to serve their interests first. They have the resources to influence policy and governments on a global basis by corrupting political parties to the point that any side is meaningless to vote for and people only have the lesser of 2 evils to vote for or they are so disenfranchised that they don't bother anymore.

Here is a stat for you: more than 70% of the pollution from fossil fuels is caused by 100 corporations. These corporation are subsided and protected by worldwide goverments, they pay individual politicians and give funding to political parties in exchange of regulations that protect their profit as well as deviating the narrative.

Their days are numbered, the awakening is being forced on everyone, its gonna be exponential over the next 10 years and the more obvious consequences of the climate emergency affect more and more people.

Look at the narrative in the UK about immigration. How they are trying to create hate because of 50k "illegal" immigrant a year. A politician with ethnic background talking like a little Hitler when her family were immigrants and she benefit so directly. It's gonna be funny to see when the displacement of people due to climate starts to reach millions of people... what are we gonna do then? Build a wall and start shooting or cooperate and unite for real change.

All of this, based on a man made concept such as "economics" to help control people and create modern slavery. It may be by far the best system we've ever had, that doesn't mean that it's viable or that we cannot evolve it to something better.

Join your local climate rebellion. You don't have to take arrestable action but you can support those that put their lives on the line.


VikingViik t1_ixglcqw wrote

I've read a few of his books. I agree that space travel is necessary to ensure the survival of our species.

There are too many factors that guarantee the destruction of life in the planet or creates a reset for evolution to start from zero.

At the moment it's humans doing a pretty good job through fossils fuel that are likely to destroy human life but it won't kill the planet I don't think. Earth will reset eventually and other life forms will thrive under different conditions. This is the most immediate problem.

After that then we a whole variety of possible planet wide destructions that are like to happen before eventually the sun dies out. So space travel is necessary if we want to survive through time.

This can only happen as more and more people think outside of their own lifespan.


8amflex t1_ixglnkf wrote

>If you think ancient sites around the world were all created by ropes and pullies.... then you're clearly nit wearing your tinfoil hat.

What do you beleive could have been used to create ancient monuments and structures instead?


CaymanThrasher t1_ixgq06y wrote

There is a subreddit that has recognised this and is trying it’s hardest to raise awareness. Whilst this is obviously pro environment (their narrative being finance) it is hodling out for change to the system by trying to force the hand of the financial institutions that are crippling the economy who are using nefarious means and include government as a paid for friend/rule maker.


jducer t1_ixgqfxr wrote

Every other planet we would ever inhabit (if it were possible) would, at some point, become unsustainable.


solidcordon t1_ixgrt68 wrote

Earth is perfectly sustainable.

Humanity, not so much.


Enis-with-a-P t1_ixgrxdd wrote

There’s a bit of an attitude adjustment that needs to happen here before we colonise anywhere else. Honestly, if available planets were owned and we needed references to colonise we’d be fucked.


DNathanHilliard t1_ixgrzkc wrote

Mars. Whatever entity ends up terraforming Mars isn't going to have to deal with a hundred countries refusing to fall in line or actively refusing to make the sacrifices necessary. Unlike Mars, here on Earth there will be forces actively sabotaging the effort every step of the way.


Unable_Insurance_391 t1_ixgtk8s wrote

I think humans may end in a few tens or hundred thousand years and something else will rise after the evolutionary period that will be required to be the next apex species to arrive. I have absolute faith that life cannot be extinguished on earth, there is just so much, an experiment once commenced that never ends. Barring a a major celestial intervention.


Strange-Ad1209 t1_ixguxj9 wrote

You can't terraform a planet that has no protective magnetic field to prevent the Solar wind from blowing the atmosphere away, and irradiating anyone on the surface with high energy particles from the nuclear fusion bombs going off by the 100 billion H Bombs per minute as the Sun is. There is less atmosphere on surface of Mars than at 180,000 feet on Earth and no active volcanism to help renew atmospheric losses to space.


Strange-Ad1209 t1_ixgvgom wrote

Longer than that before it swells to a Red Giant and even then the Earth's orbit will once again shift as it has in the past many times from the mostly circular orbit it has for the last 5 million years to a highly elliptical orbit because of Jupiter and Saturn, Venus pushing and pulling as they have in the past causing the Ice Ages that have come and gone every 50,000 years or so then add in the strings of massive Asteroid impacts every 12,000 years that we are long overdue for.


CompellingProtagonis t1_ixgvw7g wrote

It doesn't need to swell into a red giant for the earths oceans boil away. The sun slowly burns hotter and hotter as the proportion of helium to hydrogen increases. When the sun first formed it was something like 75% the brightness, and has slowly increased in brightness.


Strange-Ad1209 t1_ixgw91a wrote

Yes but that may be an advantage for some of the life when Earth's orbit once again becomes more elliptical as it has done several times (3 periods of Snowball Earth over last 3 Billion years). Granted Humans won't like it or survive it above ground but many other forms of life, especially reptiles will absolutely love it. 8-)


5t3fan0 t1_ixh1tdu wrote

we dont have the capabilities to irradiate the entire planet to the point of inhospitability for all life (it would require a nearby supernova)... even if we wanted, and started manufacturing nukes for that goal, we couldnt. sure we might extinguish ourselves and most animals, but some microorganism and small animal and plants are insanely resilient... enough would surely survive and repopulate after radiation wears off in a few centuries or millennia


153IQ-yet-retarded t1_ixh5l5s wrote

Imminently? No. In a rather "short" long term kind of way? Yes absolutely. Not because of climate change but because of growth.


ginosic t1_ixh6zoi wrote

Say what you want, we're a hardy species. So, no matter what we do to the planet, I don't see us completely extinguishing ourselves in the future, near or not, but life will get increasingly hard, the more we destroy our habitat and multiply, and that's for sure.
HOWEVER, calamities can happen... So I always saw the space colonization as a backup plan, eggs in the same basket and all that.


EntangledPhoton82 t1_ixh701k wrote

If mankind stays bound to a single planet then it is ultimately doomed.

It's demise might come quickly due to global warming, nuclear war, a global plague or a million other causes we are not even thinking about right now.
Looking at longer timeframes there is the danger of a cosmic impact, natural changes in the environment (ice age,...),...
And even if we deal with all these we will still be gone in about 10^9 years because the sun is slowly moving towards the end of its lifecycle.

By moving to other planets and having them become self-sufficient we can deal with a lot of these issues and extend the lifespan of the human species (or its evolutionary descendants) with millions or even billions of years.

And once we have become a truly interstellar civilization (or even an intergalactic one) we can start playing the long game and prepare to deal with the eventual heath death of the universe; extracting energy from black holes, building outposts around dwarf stars,...

A dedicated civilization with proper long term vision could potentially last for many billions of years ones it has a truly interstellar domain under its control.
But that would require leaders who think beyond the next series of elections...


pbaddict t1_ixh73ll wrote

> I've heard about Proxima B - the planet most resembling Earth

I don't know if anyone reliable would say this.

Proxima Centauri b, sometimes referred to as Alpha Centauri Cb, is an exoplanet orbiting in the habitable zone of the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, which is the closest star to the Sun...


pbaddict t1_ixh78uc wrote

>Do you think life on Earth is imminently going to end?

IIRC, it's theorized that our sun will turn into a red giant and envelop the earth... a long time from now.


EntangledPhoton82 t1_ixh7aei wrote

I really doubt that. Never underestimate mankind's ability to mess up.
But even if you are correct, there are a lot of cosmic things that can eradicate our little civilization or even species when it is confined to a single planet.


ronnyhugo t1_ixh7koq wrote

look into engineered negligible senescence (ENS) instead of faster than light travel. Its a lot easier to colonize the solar system and beyond when people can receive rejuvenation treatments every time they become 45 years old again, to become 25 again, so that they live long enough to save up for their own ticket and live long enough to get there.


JoshuaACNewman t1_ixh7t6w wrote

Mars is about the size of the moon. But it has more dry land than earth. That’s because Earth is an ocean planet.

Your contempt for humans doesn’t match with the incomparable coöperative effort it would take to terraform Mars — a task for which we have a word but no actual concept of the scale of the project.


ShankThatSnitch t1_ixh7yzp wrote

It would take us 80-90 thousand years to get there, unless we massively increase or space travel speed. Now think of how do we get people that far, and is this a viable plan, and more viable than fixing our problems on earth?

Let's fix earth, try out Mars and some Jupiter moons, then we can worry about a planet 24 trillion miles away.


b_a_t_m_4_n t1_ixh9fon wrote

It's human beings that are unsustainable - doesn't matter what planet they're on.


Apprehensive_Ear7309 t1_ixhacs8 wrote

Steven hawking was a great mind but that doesn’t mean that everything he says is spot on. He said we should fear aliens because of what Europeans did to native Americans. He’s assuming aliens have the same character traits as humans and I think he’s wrong. So it is possible that he is wrong in other topics. Great minds are not gods they are not infallible.


chanrahan1 t1_ixhbgga wrote

Unsustainable for who? Life will continue on this planet for a very long time.

Whether or not humans will be part of that, I don't know...


One_King_4900 t1_ixhdhp6 wrote

Would we though? In this day, the only people living “wild” that we know about are in warm climates. Africa, Amazon, the pacific islands. However, they still need to make clothes for the wet seasons. They still need to make shelters. My point is put a family pet dog or cat in the wild and they will survive with just being them. We need to shelter ourselves from nature. We, in our natural naked form are very much defenseless against the elements of nature.


GeorgeNewmanTownTalk t1_ixheojl wrote

We don't need to spread the human disease to any other worlds. We've already commodified this one to the tipping point. We'd just do it again elsewhere. Thankfully, we're not even close to making that happen.


26413 t1_ixheu56 wrote

Erm no. Humans don’t know how to live properly and they damage the planet and nature and each other. It’s all gonna come back to them though , which they don’t know. Damage the planet and then try to go to another to do the same , yeah not gonna happen.


A2Mfanatic t1_ixhfxt8 wrote

I'm 36 now and for my entire life people have been making predictions just like yours, within the next 2,5,10,20 years......, Yet their predictions never come true. Have humans sped up the process of the earth heating up? Maybe, but it doesn't matter much,because it was going to happen anyway. The Earth has gone through 5 major ice ages already. The only hope for humanity surviving forever, is if we continue on our competitive path of science exploration, and technology development etc. We need to seed the universe with humans on as many hospitable planets in as many solar systems, and galaxies as possible. I feel like we will make it happen over time, plenty of people believe we will destroy ourselves before ever getting close. When I look how far humanity has gone in the last century alone I become amazed and awed at our perseverance and ingenuity. We went from first flight on earth, to landing a man on the moon in 66 years. Less than a lifetime. I have faith in the tenacity, and will to survive of our species.


GoGettaGon215 t1_ixhg8gl wrote

Think u worry bout that type of stuff in the afterlife no clue though


PicardTangoAlpha t1_ixhgpvp wrote

Eight billion people is insane behaviour. Of course it's unsustainable. We need to get it down to two billion and stay there. We can do it voluntarily, with women's education and higher living standards, and do what Japan and most Western nations do, stop having 2.1 kids per family, or disease and war will do it for us.


Boezie t1_ixhgqtq wrote

Just curious, but why would we be any different from animals? Do you mean, we'll go after each other's throat, killing the few survivors? Or by animals you mean a subset of animals? (eg. rodents, fish, ...)


BabylonDrifter t1_ixhi1j1 wrote

Of course it's unsustainable. 8 billion people need at least 4 planets worth of ecosystem services to maintain itself without permanent degradation. But even if we manage to reduce the population to 2 billion before the biosphere is degraded, we're still going to face annihilation by the cosmic RNG (GRB's, CME's, long-period comets, supernovae, extrasolar objects, asteroids, supervolcanoes, etc.).


mfb- t1_ixhj2pn wrote

  • Atmospheric loss on Mars has a timescale of 100 million years or more. It's not a concern for a society that has the tools to give it an atmosphere over a reasonable timescale.
  • A magnetosphere reduces some losses but increases others. It's not critical for an atmosphere. See Venus, no global magnetic field and a very thick atmosphere. Mars doesn't hold an atmosphere over billions of years simply because it's too small.

See this comment for more details and references.

/u/Meta_or_Whatever I wish fewer people would parrot this misconception.


vorpalglorp t1_ixhnd52 wrote

To understand why such a large portion of the planet doesn't care about destroying Earth you need to understand a few factors.

  • Certain religions say God will always provide for people so it doesn't matter what they do.
  • Some people are just so selfish they don't mind burning everything on the way out. This works well with the first factor.
  • Most people are so poor and desperate they are just trying to survive and so don't have the luxury to help.
  • Some people want to keep the desperate people desperate for their own selfish needs.

So if you find a very rich religious person who uses poor people and does't care about the problems of the next generation then you have essentially found your culprit.


lostbyconfusion t1_ixholxt wrote

I don't think the earth will imminently end or ever end. ( We might all die though ) I don't think we'll see colonization in our lifetime. If we ever do it might look like something we've never even imagined.

The fact is, it's not apart of the ecological cycle for us to build cities and factories trains planes automobiles etc. The earth may be able to handle some of this to an extent but the science shows 8 billion people at our current levels doesn't work.


KiweeFR t1_ixhpmqp wrote

Well we are a herd animal... Of course we wouldnt survive alone.

Humanity definitely started out as naked groups in the wilderness. They survived well enough for us to exist.

Some groups still exist to this day !


VikingViik t1_ixhruov wrote

Of course there are plenty, if you don't change the rules of the game, people are gonna keep playing by the current rules, however, I do believe that social sciences are debunking a lot of things. Criminality would be greatly reduced under a different society for example. Just your post code deciding the likelyhood of illness, trauma and shorter lifespan.

There is a very interesting psychological study that I haven't found or read yet but mentioned by a professional to me, it looks at why people experiencing psychosis have completely different experiences in terms of what they hear and see. Western modern society the experience is very negative in comparison to other areas like rural Asia. The difference being that in Western modern society the psychosis can be dangerous to the individual with the condition but in the other side the individual able to live in harmony without medication where the voices may become songs and other positive voices.

I don't agree at all that the pollution is created for the service of the masses, corporations for a long time have become extremely efficient at creating "needs" for society, things that could be produced differently to have a different impact on pollution still being produced in a manner driven by profit. So many people they "need" so many things when in reality they are just luxuries or "wants".

Corporate pollution is always in service of profit and the bottom line always justifies the means.


DollyVarden2021 t1_ixhsfgd wrote

Excellent discussion. Unusual for this platform. 100k years is permanent in human terms. We could ignite enough nukes to destroy the atmosphere. Forever. Like Mars potentially. I like to think that you are correct, but, I think we could do end-game damage with the nukes we have. Hopefully, I am wrong.


TK-741 t1_ixi0qov wrote

Nukes will fall on population centres. People will gravitate toward population centres as that’s where our food/shelter and services are.

Animals are everywhere in the wild and many already burrow underground. Many animals will die, but more would survive because they live in forests or other environments which often thousands of miles away from cities.


laptopAccount2 t1_ixi2ban wrote

Technology is sort of there, nuclear pulse propulsion or molten salt rocket (supercritical nuclear fluid) can do 20-30% speed of light with existing designs. And don't forget that time dilation makes the trip shorter for passengers, if we can reach 40-50% the speed of light it starts to make the trip a lot more reasonable.

A nuclear pulse rocket might be able to have constant acceleration for the whole trip which can help with artificial gravity too.

The big problem at those speeds is shielding, high energy radiation and high energy particles. Not a prohibitive challenge however.


Oldleggrunt t1_ixi2sg0 wrote

Life on earth has billions of years ahead of it. Humans on the other hand...


reddit455 t1_ixihpf4 wrote

>Do you think life on Earth is imminently going to end?

define "imminent"


>The astrophysicist Stephen Hawking was convinced that humanity would eventually need to leave Earth to avoid the risk of being wiped out from existence.


Earth WILL DIE. there is no question.


Eventually, the fuel of the sun - hydrogen - will run out. When this happens, the sun will begin to die. But don’t worry, this should not happen for about 5 billion years.
After the hydrogen runs out, there will be a period of 2-3 billion years whereby the sun will go through the phases of star death. Once the hydrogen runs out, our yellow dwarf star will begin to swell. It will swell to a size that will cause it to swallow Mercury, Venus, and Earth.


>Think we'll see any hint of interstellar colonization in our lifetime?

100% no.


misanthrope_irl t1_ixijbu2 wrote

Right but due to the very same capacity for ingenuity and exploitation that is destroying the planet, we are capable of utilizing the resources of the natural world to provide ourselves with the shelter we require. If what you're saying was true, humanity never would have survived as a primitive species in the first place.


cuddlefucker t1_ixj20z3 wrote

Sometimes practicality isn't the point of research. A Mars colony isn't about being a better place to live than earth. Moreso, what can we learn about living on Mars that would make life on earth easier. Further, if we ever get to a point where terraforming Mars is even viable on a generational scale you have an ecosystem that you can afford to experiment on instead of damaging your home planet. There's also the point about make humans multi planetary which makes us much more resilient to basically any kind of extinction event.

I really don't think anyone has ever made the point that colonizing Mars will be easy.


rocketsocks t1_ixjaay9 wrote

Pursuing the goal of making Earth multi-planetary, of creating pockets of human civilization which exist outside of Earth is not and never should be a replacement for taking care of Earth and making human habitation of Earth more sustainable. Indeed, such efforts should be and likely will be not just parallel to but complementary with improvements in how we live on and take care of Earth.


MrZorg58 t1_ixjw5o7 wrote

In our lifetime, we will not be able to do interstellar colonization. Maybe Mars at best.

The earth will be here a long long time. We'll just keep adapting to what we are doing to it.


BlackTrans-Proud t1_ixwdg23 wrote

Now I'm all curious.

Can you imagine any distant technology that could permanently eradicate life on earth?

Im thinking we just relentlessly pump CFCs into the atmosphere until we destroy the ozone layer? But I have no idea if that could actually keep it from reforming.


dakd2 t1_iy1c9iu wrote

I guess nobody knows the reason why there is increase of magnetic field strengh on earth when there is stormy weather in space