by Aaron Reich
the world's richest person and consummate
Technocrat, Elon Musk
provides a glimpse into his bizarre thinking:
he believes that the entire planet will go extinct
because the sun is expanding.
only path to species survival is to "flee to the stars"
and colonize outer space.
Those who embrace Musk's success and "genius" should be
very careful about what they are dealing with.
extinction event in progress
- and it's
humanity's fault -
Elon Musk: all species on Earth
are doomed to
due to the
expansion of the Sun
if we don't
colonize other planets.
Earth is in the midst of a sixth mass extinction event, this time
caused by human hands, a new study suggests.
The five previous ones were caused by natural phenomena, either due
to natural climate shifts or asteroid impacts. This sixth one,
however, was anything but natural, according to a study (The
Sixth Mass Extinction - Fact, fiction or speculation?)
published in the peer-reviewed academic journal Biological
The current extinction event is not even a new phenomenon, but has
been going on since at least the 16th century.
Earth was once home to two million known species. According to the
study, however, since 1500 CE, as many as 7.5%-13% of them may have
been lost, meaning from 150,000 to 260,000 different species.
Some deny this is
Or, more precisely,
they deny that decline or outright extinction of many species
point to a mass extinction event.
But the study, led by the
University of Hawaii's Prof. Robert Cowie, argues that this
is the result of bias.
Most of these assessments focus on mammals and birds, the research
professor said, completely overlooking invertebrates, the majority
of biodiversity on Earth.
The severity of the situation varies.
life is impacted at a slower rate, and land-based species -
specifically on islands like Hawaii - are much more affected
than on continents.
Is the loss of
species a natural phenomenon?
"Humans are the only
species capable of manipulating the biosphere on a large scale,"
Cowie emphasized in
"We are not just
another species evolving in the face of external influences. In
contrast, we are the only species that has a conscious choice
regarding our future and that of Earth's biodiversity."
This is especially
problematic because if humanity is causing the crisis, we're also
the only ones who can solve it - and we're not very good at that.
Conservation efforts are possible in theory and have been used
successfully for some species. But only certain ones are helped,
while the overall trend seems impossible to reverse.
The political will to fight the problem is lacking, Cowie
And if people continue to deny that a sixth mass extinction event is
even occurring, the situation will only get worse...
"Denying the crisis,
accepting it without reacting, or even encouraging it
constitutes an abrogation of humanity's common responsibility
and paves the way for Earth to continue on its sad trajectory
towards the Sixth Mass Extinction," he warned
weighs in on mass extinction
Cowie isn't the only one who recognizes the problem, though others
may have a very different approach to both the nature of the problem
and its solution.
According to billionaire
Elon Musk, in direct response
to a tweet about Cowie's study, it is inevitable that all life on
Earth will go extinct - regardless of the mass extinction event
being done by human hands.
Rather than humans being the cause, though, he points to a
crisis of a very different nature:
The expansion of
But this can also be
averted, he argued, should humanity spread throughout the stars and
become a multi-planetary civilization.
Musk has proposed this many times before, specifically
colonizing Mars, and has made clear
his ambitions through ventures of his company
But Musk isn't alone in thinking that spreading humanity to other
planets is a possible solution.
According to Israeli-American astronomer
Avi Loeb of Harvard University,
a possible light sail vessel could one day be used as a
"Noah's ark" of sorts to save life on Earth.
This, he argued, is
important, because mankind has already,
"spent a considerable
amount of money into destroying the planet."
His idea would be
different from Musk's colonization one, however.
"It doesn't need to
be a big spacecraft - it just needs to have an artificial
intelligence, a large enough computer with the DNA of every
living creature and a 3D printer," Loeb said.
"We will know,
hopefully in the next few decades, how to reconstruct synthetic
life, and with a 3D printer we could possibly do it.
"With a computer, 3D printer and AI, we could reconstruct