Thursday, September 30, 2010
All Aboard! Industrial Smokestacks In Space
I made the mistake again of watching the Science Channel on TV. There's times in the day I really like to watch this channel, because I get all kinds of dirt on the Major Industrial Powers (MIP) from their "how they do it" shows. Since I know these clowns couldn't make a paper bag, and then couldn't fight their way out of it if they could, it's obvious these shows are carefully patched together from stop action footage, then sped up.
Be that as it may, a couple days ago, they had one of their other shows, stuff about outer space and all the dangers lurking out there for the Earth. I thought scientists were supposed to be optimistic, "Better Living Through Science" and all that crap! But the scientists on this channel were pessimistic in the extreme, never painting a very rosy picture for the world in the long run. In fact, I haven't seen one yet who thinks the world can go on even another five billion years!
But, for the sake of argument, we're going to accept their figures. And immediately throw up our hands and wonder what it all means for the longevity of industrialism and what we might be able to do about it.
The problem, as sketched out on this show, was that the sun, as a star, has a lifespan. And it's already getting up there in years, with only around five billion years left. At that time, it will expand to a gigantic size and be "a red giant," possibly even expanding as far as the Earth itself. Others are less certain about that, with the possibility that it will simply be an enormous red ball in the sky, filling the sky. Either way, it's bad news. Meaning at the very least, it'll be the end of daylight savings time as we know it.
Well, I don't have to tell you, this whole scenario is the worst thing I could hear. Right when I got the RIM going, right when I finally had something to really live for, right when I was going from victory to victory! There's always some scheming SOB willing to step up and take it all away! But maybe I should calm down, because, after all, five billion years is still a very long time. One billion years is a thousand million years, and just to go one million years would take forever. Then multiply one billion times five. It's scary. But think how fast the last 10 billion years went by...
The good news is they had one optimistic scientist (somehow one escaped the editors) who thought we will have devised a plan and the technology necessary to leave the Earth and go to another planet. It really got me thinking, ever since I saw the show, that we'll have to pack up everything out of our factories and make a run for it. And hopefully the RIM industrialists alive at that time will have the upper hand over any MIP industrialists who might still exist. Because we don't want the MIP's incompetence, shoddy wares, and sky high prices to follow us among the stars!
At this point, friends, I'm going to keep going as though nothing's amiss. I'll make it a vow. But it's still hard to believe, if any of this turns out to be true, that at some point all of this, the world, our factories, and this blog will cease to exist. I didn't think anything would make me quit. But someday there'll be no tomorrow. When that happens, whatever archives I have accumulated will have to suffice for those pioneer industrialists on the new world. It's a downer, but I'm going to use it to motivate me to do my very best in the meantime.
Yesterday, a day after seeing this show, I stepped out to a nice sunny day and went to a local park. I thought the whole thing is very fragile. Yet nothing else in nature seemed to realize the danger. I looked at the leaves of the trees moving in the gentle breeze, the decorative rocks in a nice arrangement, a few birds taking a bath in a fountain, and others flying in tandem across a beautiful blue sky. Crickets and other insects were making their droning noises from the grass and bushes. At first, I thought what anyone in my position would think, what a great spot for a factory this park would be; any industrialist looking out his window here would love the view.
We're going to keep going. That much is certain. Exactly how long we're going to make it, that's anyone's guess. But it's not too early, as far as I'm concerned, for someone to get started on plans for our escape, that residential industrialism, of the people, by the people, and for the people, should not perish from ... wherever it is we end up.