Content 18+ I went out on the balcony, and suddenly I saw that stars are visible here… for me, being born in a small town squeezed between the sandy desert and steppe vastness fuelled by oil underneath, the view of the night sky full of stars was something common and familiar. I used to dream of them, trying to guess if there is a life out there. Soon after my family moved to a modern megapolis, where polluted clouds, filled with sulfur, carbon dioxide, and methane are slowly strangling all living creatures. You won’t see any stars there, because megawatts of light are flooding the sky. During the winter, when water-soluble compounds should fall down and finally uncover at least brightest stars – this is not what will happen. Sodium hydroxide, scattered over the roads, evaporates in the air to shadow the blue sky to make it grey even in this time of year. Dirty, cloudy, cloaked cities.
Only during my vacation in the middle of nowhere I managed to see the sky full of stars again, beautiful deepness of the Universe, showing us both how small we are to live on just one planet, which would be invisible with our level of technology even from the closest stars; and how great we are, consciously able to realise that, digest that, let that flow through us and inspire us to take a small step which will, combined hundreds of times, span over light years, enabling us to fly among the stars or at least to the other planets of our solar system.
In the struggle for local prosperity, we failed to look both deeper and wider, stopped researches of interplanetary travels, tiding ourselves to our initial home, which can be easily destroyed by us or by dozen of natural disasters. We can easily end up just like dinosaurs, should we behave ourselves just as them, never looking up into the sky, never thinking of how small we are, how similar we are to any other individual of our kind (aka “naked ape”). There are no physical borders, no actual division. We are all the same and equal, all the inequalities that are out there are based on something screwed into our heads with our preconceptions and prejudice.
Yes, I would agree that back then, when we were still scouring the plains, it was a mean of survival. Resources are scarce, that’s true. Now, in the 21st century, we have all the technologies available and many more to come.
If we were spending our budgets on health and deep space exploration instead of military spending, Star Trek won’t be a Sci-Fi – it would be a TV Reality Show instead.
Imagine new horizons, the defeat of cancer, colonies on Mars, no more HIV/AIDS, no more diabetes, vacation in Sirius system…
All these could have happened already. It didn’t. We chose production of means of mass destruction – inglorious struggle to create something that can evaporate the world 20 minutes before another one can. This will end up the world we know it, and no one will ever remember or find poor “naked apes” civilization, as it will be smashed between long periods of other species prosperity, which lasted much longer (we are here less than 1% of all the time dinosaurs had).
There is another way. Still, there are people who believe that exploration is much more important than destruction; that search for the new worlds is not a fantasy, but the future reality for those who would like to be sure that their end will not fall from the sky our burst out from the planet’s core. There are people investing money in it, trying to give others an opportunity to guide their ships through the dark universe to the distant stars, even knowing it won’t happen now. The only thing that really matters is that it should happen, better sooner than later.