What’s really out there?
Every now and again, I see that photograph of our Earth suspended in the solar system from 3.7 billion miles away floating around on social media. Every single time I do, I can’t help but imagine what it would be like if humans truly did explore the depths of space.
The photo is a bit unnerving. It brings to light the reality our pale blue dot is currently facing. The outlook on planet Earth for all of humanity looks quite bleak if things don’t begin changing soon. Some experts have acknowledged that reversing the damage that has already been done is a pointless voyage.
Space exploration might be our only chance.
“Sending humans to other planets … will shape the future of the human race in ways we don’t yet understand, and may determine whether we have any future at all,” Stephen Hawking told an exclusive audience at the Explorers Annual Dinner on March 15 via telecast. “We have to boldly go where no one has gone before. Not to leave planet Earth would be like castaways on a desert island not trying to escape.”
The short film featured above is about said exploration. Filmmaker Erik Wernquist uses some fantastic special effects to paint a picture of our distant future, where humans have managed to colonize the solar system (maybe even beyond).
Set to the brilliant words of the late Carl Sagan, Wanderers is a film that will make you dream about the future.
Here’s how he describes the film:
Wanderers is a vision of humanity’s expansion into the Solar System, based on scientific ideas and concepts of what our future in space might look like, if it ever happens. The locations depicted in the film are digital recreations of actual places in the Solar System, built from real photos and map data where available.
Let’s face it: Earth’s population is an increasing at an alarming rate, temperatures are rising, and the natural resources vital to our survival are dwindling faster than they can be replaced with sustainable alternatives. Human-induced climate change is real, folks. We are already seeing a rise in droughts, massive storms, flooding, deforestation, sea level rise, heat waves and ocean acidification. Instead of celebrating the wonder — and necessity — of space exploration, as a civilization we have chosen to walk around all zombie-eyed staring at our iPhones and blowing each other up.
Speaking of blowing each other up, were you aware that there are still about 22,600 stockpiled nuclear weapons scattered throughout the world? The Federation of American Scientists reports that there are. And guess what? 7,770 of those are still operational. So, the actual threat of nuclear holocaust doesn’t sound all that absurd.
Cults and doomsday prophets and pretty much everyone we know has their own personal view of how the apocalypse will most likely go down. According to radical environmentalist Daniel Drumright, we are already on a clear path towards extinction. As Drumright points out, all of human religion, philosophy, and politics will never provide the proper framework to process the psychological terror of humanity not existing in the future.
That said, how does the concept of space exploration sound to you?
Even if you’ll never actually get to experience what it would be like to free yourself from Mother Earth, watching this video from Erik Wernquist might give you a small glimpse.