Don’t let anybody tell you that we’re gonna get on rocketships and live on Mars—this is our home.
—Al Gore, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power”
Just a quick thought I had after watching the trailer for An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power, and it leads into this growing trend I’m sensing called “Earthers Vs. Offworlders.” It goes like this:
You know all those Republicans and other conservative/corporate types who say they don’t believe in global warming? I think only a very small percentage of them actually don’t believe in it. These people are many things…but stupid is not one of them. I think most of them do believe in it…but feel that things are too far gone to be worth investing in fixing.
I think they’ve seen the evidence & have determined that the people who will get negatively impacted the quickest from climate change aren’t really in their constituency anyway & so there’s no sense of immediacy about this issue, much less a need to spend money on it. I think many of these people feel that we can “start over again,” in a sense, off-world with space colonization. I think many of these people believe the masses & the Earth they live on are fucked, and that only sending a select few out into space to create “Earth 2” (to borrow terminology from D.C. Comics & a short-lived Nineties sci-fi TV series) will perpetuate the human race.
This possibly explains why Donald Trump and his ilk are so down on climate change, but so bullish on funding NASA. Also, there is estimated to be more wealth than god out there to be harvested on asteroids and etc.—literally an amount of money flooding into the world economy that would revolutionize our financial systems to a point as-of-yet unimaginable.
So these are the Offworlders. They are not super-interested in “saving the planet.” They are somewhat Apocalyptically-minded and believe that the “New Earth” promised by the prophets is probably Mars, Jupiter, or maybe even a super-tall skyscraper suspended from beneath an artificial asteroid.
On the other side, you have the Earthers, like Al Gore professes to be. They want to preserve the Earth, roll back climate change, and focus on the here-and-now on this planet. They also sometimes have this attitude towards space exploration as if…it’s all a little “imaginary,” or too fanciful to waste resources contemplating about.
And so the quote that began that post, taken from the last line spoken by Gore in the trailer, really drives this division home.
I believe “Earthers vs. Offworlders” is going to become a dominant paradigm conflict within 5 years. Further, I think some people are going to start attaching religious overtones to it.
And then there could always be a Wild Card complicating things…