Catastrophic Climate Change: Is it Caused by Aliens? (Spoiler Alert: No.)
An Alternate Climate Change Universe
I'm not going to spend the time debunking the various self-serving disinformation campaigns which say that the currently
observed and modeled climate change data is caused primarily by things other than our industrial age behaviours.
That's simply a time suck and what the purveyors are seeking, to pretend their points are worthy of consideration.
Instead, I want to contemplate for a minute what we would do as a species if the cause of the observed data and
trendlines could be explained by some external force not of our making. For the purpose of this argument, let's say that an extraterrestial
species capable of space travel and engineering beyond our capabilities was causing the warming, sea level rise and
other effects which are killing some of us now, and will get the rest of us with time.
In that alternate universe, the aliens have put 87 giant space mirrors around the Earth, and they are bringing more online.
In combination, these mirrors have already increased the amount of light energy falling on Earth by over 2% over natural
levels, and that number will continue to rise as more mirrors are put in place [*]. Our guess is this alien race needs a new home
planet which is warmer than the Earth today. They are engineering it to suit their needs, which will incidentally make the
Earth unsurvivable for us.
Armed with this knowledge, how would our alternate-Earth human counterparts act?
If our actions in the face of the current climate crisis are a guide, we could expect them
to follow a path like this.
- Extraterrestial apologist astroturf groups will be created and funded by vested interests
to delay any concrete response.
- Those groups will argue that the giant space mirrors are a natural phenomenon, and we
should not take any action, but rather just allow the overheating of the planet to continue
(until we are extinct).
- They will argue that we don't know the Earth is warming, but if it is, we don't know if
the giant space mirrors are the cause - "the science isn't settled".
- They will argue we can't afford to raise the money to send an exploratory spacecraft to
investigate (even as we continue to launch spacecraft to put military satellites and
payloads into space).
- They will argue that rich countries should pay for the exploratory space craft, and
then that the rich countries should not pay 'more than their share'.
- They will argue that we don't need to take action yet, then that it is too late to make a
difference. They will drive mainstream media to spend billions of dollars on supporting
campaigns to speculate on what the aliens look like. While we have no idea, data or evidence
in that regard, we will conclude they are green and vaguely humanoid with reptilian features,
because the word 'green' needs to be vilified.
And within a hundred years or so, our species will be well on our way to extinction,
both as a result of the 'natural disasters' and at our own hands as we squabble over the
last of the drinkable water, food and habitable land.
Out with not so much as a whimper.
Perhaps a species which has violence and warfare as its enduring universal characteristic as ours does would not meekly
succumb to an attack staged by extraterrestials aimed at our annihilation. Perhaps such a species would feel
this attack is morally wrong, that we have a right to continue to live on our own planet, and the attack is to
be resisted by all means necessary and available. Perhaps this external threat would serve to unite humans across
national and religious divides to mount a counter-attack to take out the giant space mirrors, utilizing our
collective will, intelligence, creativity, technology and resources to respond to the threat to our survival,
even to make personal sacrifices in the name of the greater good.
Something like we have done many times in the past in response to threats to our collective well being.
Like going to war to defend against invaders, or the Green Revolution, or working to eradicate infectious diseases,
or explore space, or bring an end to piracy on the seas, or send relief to those ravaged by natural disasters, or ...
Somehow, given the extraordinary success of our species to date, I think we are more likely to respond to
an existential threat with resistance and resolve, not resignation. We're pretty tenacious when it comes to
survival of family, tribe, community, country or species.
So why is it that we aren't inclined to respond to the existential threat of catastrophic climate change? Is it really
as simple as having been duped by the rich and powerful who continue to benefit from selling us fossil
hydrocarbons to burn? My reading is that it comes down to simply that. We've been played for fools, and
we're going to pay with our very existence as a species.
[*]To be very clear, there is NO evidence that such a scenario is real. There are no reports of seeing the
reflection points in space which would identify such giant mirrors. There is no increase in the amount of sunlight
reaching earth relative to historical records (in fact, 'global dimming' appears to be a modest but real phenomenon).
There is no evidence of our night-times being brighter than before which is not fully explained by our own