Writes Fox News:
The thought-provoking scenario is one of many envisaged in a joint study by Penn State and the NASA Planetary Science Division, entitled "Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity? A Scenario Analysis."
It divides projected close encounters into "neutral," those that cause mankind "unintentional harm" and, more worryingly, those in which aliens do us "intentional harm."
While the idea of meeting our end at the green hands of anti-CO2 aliens may be more laugh-provoking than thought-provoking, another scenario in the harmful category is only slightly less amusing. Writes The Guardian, “They [the extraterrestrials] might invite humanity to join the 'Galactic Club' only for the entry requirements to be too bureaucratic and tedious for humans to bother with.”
Call this the Barack Obama Scenario.
Then there are the more realistic possibilities. The Guardian continues:
While aliens may arrive to eat, enslave or attack us, the report adds that people might also suffer from being physically crushed or by contracting diseases carried by the visitors. In especially unfortunate incidents, humanity could be wiped out when a more advanced civilisation accidentally unleashes an unfriendly artificial intelligence, or performs a catastrophic physics experiment that renders a portion of the galaxy uninhabitable.
But more worrisome, to me, is an unfriendly natural intelligence — if the last word can be used to describe a mentality that disgorges the “green”-spaceman, global warming hypothesis.
The researchers say that an alien race might be inspired to destroy us due to the threat we would pose to other civilizations. But let’s think about this. Our industry hasn’t even been exported beyond our own terra firma, and the furthest man’s feet have ventured is the moon, 238,000 miles from Earth. This is only one second away, using light as a measurement. And alien civilizations? If they do exist (something for which there is no evidence), the closest would be 100 million light years away — and perhaps thousands of light years away.
Now, talk about hubris. Our secular statists (SS) are fond of scoffing at religion, saying it’s sort of self-centered to think that God would worry about us little ants on our miniscule speck of the Universe. Yet, they think that some fellow material beings, in a galaxy far, far away, would share their SS, grasshopper-brain concerns. I think these aliens’ efforts might be focused closer to home. “Think universally, act galactically,” anyone?
But we do need to worry because, state the scientists in their study, “Humanity may just now be entering the period in which its rapid civilizational expansion could be detected by an ETI because our expansion is changing the composition of Earth's atmosphere (e.g. via greenhouse gas emissions), which therefore changes the spectral signature of Earth.” Now, my question is, even if aliens could detect such changes, why would they attribute them to “civilizational expansion”? After all, it’s not as if the Earth’s climate is constant. During the Cryogenian Period, our planet was almost completely covered with snow and ice; during another era the glaciers were almost completely gone. And when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth, carbon dioxide levels were five to ten times what they are today. So why didn’t these enviro-aliens destroy the dinos? Hey, wait ... maybe ... Nah.
But it’s nice to know our taxes are put to good use. I mean, can you imagine the gig these scientists have? Just picture the research: watching alien-encounter films starting with 1950s classics such as War of the Worlds, moving on to later flicks such as Alien and Close Encounters of the Third Kind and ending with Independence Day. And when the wife calls, it’s “I’m working, honey! I told you never to disturb me when I’m in my laboratory!” Hey, she won’t complain. The old boy is bringing home the government grant money, after all.
I won’t request any payment, but I can suggest more plausible scenarios involving aliens who destroy humanity. While there might be a race called the Algoreians who travel the Universe exterminating beings to save their resources, I don’t think aliens would come and get us because of the Greenhouse Effect. It’s more likely to be the Greenback Effect: to make money by stealing our resources.
Then again, if the aliens survived long enough to dwarf our advancement, they presumably would have a sense of morality. And then they may be more likely to take action against us over our descent into decadence. They might be merciful and take pity on man as a whole and just destroy Hollywood, the music industry, the media, the ACLU, and the federal government.
Lastly, maybe they would say “Come bear the green man’s burden” and try to save our souls. Perhaps they’d laugh at our atheists, mention that their scientists long ago learned to peer into the spiritual realm, and point out that God can recreate the environment in the snap of divine fingers. They might tell us not to dwell on the material world, which will pass away, but on what is eternal.
Of course, what we should worry about here isn’t the destruction of man but of his science. The likely reason why these researchers included their greenhouse-emissions warning in their study was to breathe new life into the discredited anthropogenic global-warming theory. Hey, if science can’t back it up, maybe science fiction can.
As to fiction, it is fast but fragile. In the 1968 book The Population Bomb, Paul Ehrlich played upon popular fears and said that hundreds of millions of people would starve to death in the ‘70s and ‘80s due to overpopulation. Not that long ago, we were warned about an impending ice age. And now it’s global warming. But there is one kind of disaster you can be almost sure won’t befall us:
The kind everyone is worried about.
Neither the average person nor the average “elite” saw the Black Plague, The Great Depression, WWII, the communist killing fields, or the 2008 financial crisis coming. Disaster usually arrives unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.
Likewise, most people are no better at predicting future priorities. Like a child, we tend to have very small concerns — they just look big in our own little worlds. And if man does survive to become tomorrow’s aliens, he will no doubt be worrying about a whole different set of wrong things.