Several news reports in the past couple of months have focused on a number of issues which have interested me for years, namely the possibilities of extraterrestrial life, UFOs and the discovery of other planets capable of sustaining life. Of particular interest – Dr. Stephen Hawking’s position that contact from an alien species would probably look more like the film “Independence Day” and less like “E.T.”
That possibility by itself is enough to make me want to phone home and make sure the folks are OK and haven’t been abducted.
One story which caught my eye in particular reported a group of ex-military types who stated UFOs had been spotted at military-controlled nuclear sites during the Cold War, following which the nukes were supposedly disabled for a time.
A warning, perhaps, from off-planet telling us to end nuclear proliferation?
While the chances of that being true seem far-fetched, even to a science fiction fanatic such as myself, I’ve had numerous conversations with friends and associates of mine on the existence of alien life and I must admit I remain unconvinced one way or the other.
As Jodie Foster’s fictional father states in the motion picture “Contact” – referring to the vast size of our solar system, galaxy and universe – it would seem to be an awful lot of wasted space if we were truly alone.
One theory, proposed to me by a close friend years ago, makes way more sense if you ask me. In his opinion, alien life most definitely exists and his argument is both intelligent (in a sci-fi kind of way) and disturbingly logical.
According to this friend, alien life has been around for thousands of years, long before we struggled our way up the evolutionary ladder. And while they’ve visited our planet in the past, they’ve now made the decision to detour the earth. It’s simply not worth the risk to frequent a place, and a people, so determined to destroy themselves. They’re scared of that ‘shoot first’ mentality that permeates our society nowadays.
Now I’m not saying I believe this theory of his for one second, yet, in a way, it does make a perverted kind of sense. I can just see a couple of alien buddies sitting around the bar, discussing the recent increases in the price of interstellar fuel, when one suggests to the other a little side trip to our blue planet, to which the other replies, “No way man, have you even heard about the pollution and craziness over there? We’ll get nuked!”
In reality, who are we to kid ourselves? In a remarkably short period of time we’ve managed to pollute our oceans, destroy thousands upon thousands of acres of rain forest and basically kill off hundreds of species of plant and animal life since the Industrial Revolution.
The fact of the matter is, I find myself in disagreement with Dr. Hawking, who is quite possibly one of the most intelligent people alive today. While he may be absolutely right concerning the existence of hostile alien life forms, I simply don’t see any reason for them to bother with us. We’re quite capable of our own self-destruction and if we, as a planet, refuse to acknowledge this fact, we will have doomed ourselves to our fate.
Somehow, in the last decade or so, the issue of climate change (whether you believe in it or not) has become a political issue. And while I’m not going to take sides at this point, I’m quite sure we can all agree on the fact that we are polluting our planet at an alarming rate. The problem is, this should never have been a political issue in the first place.
Put it this way – if climate change is a complete farce, in what way would it hurt us, as a species, to clean up our planet anyway? And if climate change is real? Well then we’d better do something to address it pretty soon because time may be running out.