Scientists are awesome. One minute they’re telling us that we all need to 1) Go back to living in caves, 2) Figure out some way to make windmills or solar power or algae cars feasible, or 3) Destroy the entire planet and everyone on it, just like Jor-El tried to warn everybody on Krypton.
The next minute, they’re congratulating themselves for helping spread the disease of humanity across the galaxy.
A team of astrophysicists at the SETI Institute and NASA’s Ames Research Center has just reached a major milestone in the search for life-supporting planets outside our solar system. For the first time, they have discovered an Earth-sized planet nestled in the temperate, liquid-water supporting distance from its star—the so-called habitable zone.
“This is a historic discovery,” says Geoff Marcy, an astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley who was not involved in the research, “it’s the best case for a habitable planet yet found.”
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Is there a Taco Bell there yet? Can you get Netflix? No? Then let’s hold off on words like “habitable,” big-brain.
But then, I was the guy during Avatar who was rooting* for Stephen Lang to rip up the big tree that housed the dumb space-Native-Americans — let’s call ’em Blueskins — so he could pave over their whole planet and turn it into a literal Disney World. If James Cameron gets to have a palatial estate, on land that used to belong to the people who now wash his windows, what about the rest of us?
Anyway. I wonder who’ll be the first eco-hippie to chain himself to a space-tree? Or herself. Whoever it ends up being, here’s a message from your ancestors, kids:
*Pun fully and thoroughly intended.