posted on Sep, 18 2006 @ 09:44 AM
Actually, your 16th Century European analogy is quite a good one. However, unlike the 16th Century, our present technology is in a better position to
tell us what awaits us before we do go to wherever we may happen to decide to colonise. 100 years is not a bad timeframe to put the first moves to
colonise other Earth-like planets in. I believe putting our eggs into the Moon and Mars baskets is a little too risky, considering the work that needs
to be done at either place to make things habitable for a colony. Neither will hold great populations......with terraforming we may get to see a few
hundred million on Mars, but not for a few centuries yet. We would be far better off looking elsewhere for somewhere to go and colonise, that
somewhere being closer to Earth in its conditions. Which would mean a necessity to look outside the Solar System.
Our chances of finding another living planet are very good, given what we know about the formation of planets and the types of stellar systems that
are out there. We'll most likely know of quite a few Earth's within the next 25 or so years. However, given our current propensity to try and wreck
the place, we really need to get our act together here before we go and potentially ruin another "pristine" planet. Yet although we do cause damage
to the environment of this planet, don't overestimate our capacity to do so. So far as fixing the problem, that's the easy solution. The hard part
is getting everyone to get up off their collective butts and put pressure on the governments and multinationals to change their tunes as well. They
dont' give a toss about anyone but themselves, and the only way to change things is to force the change, diplomatically or otherwise. Even if that
means tossing the lot of them out on their rears and putting people in who will listen and do what's right.
Anyway, what will be needed to get us out and into the final frontier, will be a change in attitudes here. We need to get away from the permanent
warfooting economies that are driven by the military-industrial complex. The vast amounts of money spent on weapons and such would be far better off
being spent in more urgent and pressing areas of our global society. Basically we need to grow up and actually learn from our failings. Get away from
the greed based systems we have. Then, with the money that's freed up, use some of it to develop a world space program. Free up any "secret"
technologies now being hoarded by the elite few. Can you imagine what could be done if we spent, say, $500 billion a year on space and space
research??. Then imagine what would happen if they managed to find an Earth-like planet orbiting , say, one of either of the main stars of the Alpha
Centauri system. Or even anyone of the 500 or so Sun-like G class stars within 100 light years of here?? The exChairman of NASA, Dan Goldin, said
he'd push the Space Shuttle to get there. I can tell you now they'd have warp drive faster than you could say "Jack Robinson", especially if they
spent the amount each year that I mentioned above. Forget your pansy solar sails, fusion rockets or anything as prosaic as that. Where necessity
requires something new, it usually gets done in 1/10th the time it would normally take. Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say. With the
world's top scientists on the problem, more would get done in 6 months than they've had in the last 60 years at Area 51. Or wherever else they do
their "ET" research. There'd be none of this hiding knowledge and compartmentalisation of research.
If all of this is to be achieveable, then the general public need to push this agenda, and make the governments come to heel. Remember, we're
ultimately their bosses and also the ones who hold the purse strings of these big corporations. We just need to grit our teeth and be prepared for
some pain in order to make a lot of gain.