According to NASA, humanity has seven new possibly livable planets to dream about inhabiting.
Before you get your bag ready for an “Interstellar”-like journey, the Editorial Board has something for you to consider. The space travel excitement is a little premature. Our current planet has larger problems to handle before we make plans to inhabit other worlds. Namely, we need to invest in curbing climate change to sustain life on Earth.
First of all, NASA believes the system of planets may orbit a dwarf star that is 40 light years away. Because we cannot travel anywhere near the speed of light yet, that’s a little far-fetched for the Editorial Board.
Forty light years roughly translates to 235 trillion miles, which would take us just over 11 thousand years to traverse with current technology.
Furthermore, NASA seems more focused on finding alien life than finding humans a new planet to inhabit.
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said that “Answering the question ‘are we alone?’ is a top science priority” shortly after the exoplanets were found.
This discovery reminds us on Earth that we are likely not alone or special.
While this is all exciting, it’s kind of hard to be completely excited when you think about the state of our own planet.
The Portland Press Herald reported that global warming is linked to the shrinkage of the Colorado River. With rising temperatures, precipitation is happening less and more states are experiencing drought.
Yes, it is important to fund space travel and exploration, but if we don’t first take care of the issues at hand, we will really need to leave Earth and find a new home.
It’s hard to believe that President Trump is quick to fund and support NASA, which for all he knows could be making up its data, yet he won’t do the same for climate change — something most respected scientists agree on.
We can applaud Trump for his ideas of expanding NASA’s scope. While campaigning last October, Trump said “I will free NASA from the restriction of serving primarily as a logistics agency for low earth orbit activity.”
With this expansion, he hopes to create more jobs and further space exploration. This is great and all, but we wish he had the same sort of passion for things rooted on Earth.
We want to be a likable species who takes care of its planet so that if aliens ever do make contact with us, they won’t want to immediately vaporize us.
In order to do that, we need to be mindful of the well-being of Earth, the well-being of each other, and the well-being of ourselves. Its crunch time on Earth and something needs to be done.
Think about how much you have enjoyed the weather these past few weeks. Warm, sunny and clean air makes us all happier people, but at a cost.
Remember that we’ve been enjoying this weather in the middle of February. Remember that on Valentine’s Day, a lot of us didn’t need love to warm us up when the weather was already in the 60s.
Instead of looking at these seven planets as a backup plan, we should look at them as a goal in the distant future. We can hope to reach them one day, but we need to focus more on keeping our home planet healthy.