Pamu: Hey Vir, how are you?
Vir: Hey I am fine. What about you?
Pamu: I am also fine. Imagine an apocalyptic calamity strikes the earth. What would happen to us? Will we have any chance of survival? Or will we reduce in the pages of history like dinosaurs and others, who have been extinct?
Vir: Ohh… that will be a dreadful situation. It terrifies me.
Pamu: Tell me… How many years do you think humans will be able to survive on this planet?
Vir: Hey, it is not an easy answer. I cannot say that exactly. But, one thing I am certain about is that we are not immortals. And Certainly, we are not here to stay for eternity.
Pamu: But, how long do you think…?
Vir: Look, the end is certain. It can happen even today, tomorrow, or even may take thousands or millions of years…
Basically, it is difficult for me to predict.
Pamu: Death is so uncertain that it gives me gut-wrenching fear.
Vir: Ha it is a tragedy… Death is the ultimate truth but so uncertain. It strikes anybody and anytime with ruthless efficiency. Each of us knows that death is certain, yet people live as if they are to live forever.
But we must recognize this reality…
Pamu: But, how can we know whether there will be an end or not? We should have some knowledge of our end so that we can prepare to save our race.
Vir: Yes, you are right. For that, history can be the best teacher. Our earth is a graveyard to numerous species, who once ruled the earth as invincible creatures, exactly the way we are living and trying to dominate everything.
But nature has shown them their place.
And obviously, we are no exception.
Pamu: How can you be so sure?
Vir: Look at the history of earth…
Look at dinosaurs, also look at trilobites and so on who once ruled the earth. I don’t know whether you know it or not dinosaurs have lived much longer than we have. We have lived in a minuscule period as compared to dinosaurs.
Look, now, they are in eternal sleep. They could not save themselves from the fury of nature. It is said that there have been around five major mass extinctions, which have wiped out almost all or the majority of the populations present at that time.
Pamu: So, you are implying that we are destined to die…
Vir: Death is inescapable. But life will go on … one will end and will give way for the other…like the cretaceous extinction of dinosaurs cleared the way for us, humans to evolve.
Pamu: So, what should we do?
Just watch and see humans dying?
Vir: No, not at all…
Pamu: Ha…but what should we do?
Vir: Look, I don’t know when we are going good to die. Something may even happen tomorrow.. we may be facing a crisis and we may even don’t know. See last year we witnessed the Covid-19 pandemic. Fortunately, our medical technology was capable enough to tackle it. But, who knows about tomorrow?
Pamu: Ha… even I have read…we have numerous issues waiting and many are even existential threats, but only one home to stay. Issues like climate change, nuclear war, and whatnot…
Vir: Certainly, there may be threats that we may even not be knowing about them, yet we may be moving closer to them as time passes…
Pamu: Ha.. it is now final that doom is certain. I completely agree. But, now tell me ways and means to be saved from this occurrence.
Vir: OK. Look, firstly we need to accept that there is a real threat. There is a natural tendency among humans to look for immediate things whether good or bad…But it requires the rational mind to anticipate long-term threats and gains and also prepare for them.
Pamu: But, who should accept that?
Vir: Obviously, all of us should know about them but more specifically decision makers and powerful in society.
Pamu: Then what?
Vir: Then we can start preparation. One thing is certain having only one home, with no other option is the certain way to death. If anything happens on earth, then we have no way to move to another place. And we too will become bygones in history like earlier species, who have died.
Pamu: So, you mean that we should find a new home for us to settle in?
Vir: Yes. And it should happen as early as possible. We have pieces of evidence regarding five great mass extinctions and several smaller ones. But, there might have been instances for which we may not be having evidence. They might have been more dangerous.
Pamu: So, you mean to say we may not be having a clear view of history as well?
Vir: Ha… we are yet a very primitive civilization. Hence, we may not be having technological means to dig into our past and have a clearer view of history.
Pamu: Then what should we do?
Vir: I believe we should prepare for the worst because the worst has happened in past and it may very well happen in the future. And prepare for it with the same threat in the mind.
Pamu: Yes. But we are already exploring the possibilities regarding Mars as our new home. We have already launched several missions to check that.
Vir: Yes, true. That is good. But I don’t know if that is enough. Because we may not be knowing how closer we are to the catastrophe. What I am saying is that we need to have insurance at the earliest.
Pamu: Ha but how?
Vir: We do not know how long will it take for us to develop any kind of alternative. But we need to be optimistic and intensify our efforts.
Instead of disappointment, we should use this uncertainty to inspire action and speed up the process.
Pamu: Ha, very true.
Vir: I don’t believe that Mars is enough for us to expand. We need to move beyond that. We need to dominate the whole solar system at the earliest possible date. And then we need to expand even further.
Pamu: But, why is that?
Vir: Because one day our Sun will die as well once it exhausts its fuel. Though there are millions or even billions of years for that, we should start preparing for it from now on.
Pamu: I think that it is too much now.
Vir: Certainly. But time passes too swiftly and incessantly. Look, the periods which I have mentioned are mere predictions based on certain assumptions. They may be wrong. Anything can happen and may happen even earlier.
Pamu: Then what do we do?
Vir: More efforts and most importantly we need innovations. Though we have achieved great progress in relation to other species that have even been here, this is not enough for us to ensure our survival against possible future threats.
We need to start exploring ways and means to expand and occupy other planets and also other stellar systems in long term.
It is the law of nature…either we expand and flourish or remain stagnant and risk certain death. Which do you think is the better option?
Pamu: Obviously, survival is necessary. And we should commit resources to that.
Vir: But even that is not enough. Simultaneously, we need to make every possible effort to make our current home, or rather only home secure from possible threats.
Pamu: Means what?
Vir: As you mentioned some time back, we are facing several threats like climate change, threats of the pandemic, nuclear war, and so on. We need to tackle such human-made threats as early as possible. They can be averted and even checked by our efforts.
Otherwise, we may go outwards but forget catastrophe at home, which may prove our end.
Pamu: You are true. We need to put all possible efforts to ensure our survival.
Hopefully, all of us will understand that and will move to take steps. Then we can have a secure and prosperous future for humanity.
Vir: Yes…. all of us must take steps to ensure our secure, brighter, and better future.
Pamu: Hmm… I will try my best. I will even make people aware and exhort them for putting in the effort.
Vir: I wish all the best to you.
Pamu: Thanks and I hope we will have a brighter future in times to come.
Vir: Yes… certainly, we will work for it.
Pamu: Hmm…. anyway see you soon. We will keep on talking about such issues.
Vir: Yes…. see you.
Pamu: Hey Vir, how are you?