Elon Musk is arguing that some of us need to leave planet Earth and start establishing a new home elsewhere. To start, he thinks Mars looks like a good place to get our feet wet, especially if we can send one million people to live there. The reason? By becoming a multi-planet species, we can fend off cataclysmic events that could render humans extinct — that last link is also a great read explaining how SpaceX works and their ultimate goal. Above, a short video by Erik Wernquist on travelling beyond Earth.
This is a bit of a problem because, assuming that humanity plans on sticking around for awhile, it is almost inevitable that we will have to face a large asteroid at some point. Of course, asteroids aren’t the only threat. There are a host of deadly diseases, volcanic eruptions, or other catastrophes that could bring about the end of civilization as we know it (and maybe even all life).
This is why it makes sense to transition into a multi-planet species as soon as possible. Blogger Tim Urban recently had a rather apt metaphor to illustrate why we need to leave our planet and venture out into the cosmos: Picture the Earth as a kind of hard drive. And on this hard drive we have saved everything. Every song. Every book. Every thought that has been thought and every word that has been uttered. Every memory.
And that’s not all: It also houses every single species. All of it is stored in a word document saved on that hard drive.
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