Tuesday, July 12, 2016

[webbffll] Who gets off the planet?

At some point, the earth will become uninhabitable, at the very latest, due to white dwarf sun (or black dwarf).  Intelligent life, it it still exists, will need to get off the planet in order to survive.

Will everyone who wants to leave will be able to?  Or will the less fortunate be forcibly left behind to die, reminiscent of the American evacuation of Saigon?

On one hand, transporting even the current population off the planet and out of the solar system will require gargantuan quantities of rocket fuel.  On the other hand, over a time frame of millions of years, with solar powered space elevators and lots of gravitational slingshots around Jupiter, it doesn't seem so bad.

It may be difficult to precisely define whether someone who wants to leave is able to leave in a migration that takes generations, and the human (or whoever inherits the earth) population might dwindle naturally due to harsh conditions.  There will be a last ship: will everyone left behind be people choosing to remain voluntarily?

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