Blog dedicated to the Culture created by Iain Banks and general Science Fiction images
The Outlook for Humanity
We sure are vulnerable. But we’ll be significantly less vulnerable once we can safely call ourselves a Type I civilization. What is our progress to this end? Well, as stated earlier, we’re about 75 percent there in terms of energy. The second aspect, survival, is more qualitative, but there are positive signs. Though we haven’t perfected interplanetary travel, we do have it. We send probes around our star system (and we even have a few on their way into interstellar space). Transporting humans between planets is merely an engineering issue, something we could have done already with sufficient effort and money. Without necessitating any major new discovery, we could build colonies in space near the Earth and moon or slightly further away, keeping at least a few thousand people safe from a planetary disaster, and that could be reality in a matter of decades. We’re making a little progress with earthquakes, at least learning how to detect them before they strike to give people some warning, although we can’t intervene to prevent them yet. We’re monitoring near-Earth objects like asteroids and at least discussing programs that would be directed at diverting any dangerous body from hitting Earth. And, amazingly, earlier this year researchers in Iceland drilled into magma that was intruding into the Earth’s crust, constituting a major breakthrough toward an ability to harness volcano power. Along with that would come an ability to siphon off the accumulating magma pressure that causes volcanic eruptions. So our capabilities hint that we are going in the direction of a Type I civilization. Will we get there fast enough? Nobody can say for sure, but it does look hopeful. And when we get there, there will still be quite a lot left to invent.