Aliens and Zombies and the Government’s Scenarios for Disasters

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Using spectrometry, extraterrestrials could detect changes in Earth’s atmosphere and deduce that we’re out of control, the report suggests. It’s one of a number of scenarios discussed in the paper, written by Shawn Domagal-Goldman of Nasa’s Planetary Science Division and Pennsylvania State University academics.

“These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems. It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets,” the authors write.

“A preemptive strike would be particularly likely in the early phases of our expansion because a civilization may become increasingly difficult to destroy as it continues to expand.”

In some places the authors get really carried away – one wonders how many of them are frustrated would-be Hollywood screen-writers.

If we did get attacked by aliens, they suggest, it’s possible that another bunch might fly in to save us.

“In these scenarios, humanity benefits not only from the major moral victory of having defeated a daunting rival, but also from the opportunity to reverse-engineer ETI technology,” they say with glee.

Two thoughts — one, expressed here by, I guess I can call her “Low-grade Climate Change Skeptic”, Megan McArdle of The Atlantic:
As longtime readers known, I have been extremely critical of the attitude that some climate scientists seem to have developed towards dissent, and what you might call the PR aspect of their work. Nonetheless, I am quite convinced that the planet is warming, and fairly convinced that human beings play a role in this. (When you’ve got Reason’s Ron Bailey, Cato’s Patrick Michaels, and Jonathan Adler, you’ve convinced me).

The phrase that pays is “might call the PR aspect of their work”.  It’s hard to know how to bump up against the “PR aspect” of the various institutions trying to declaim Climate Change, except through PR — large parts of that email scandal which skeptics hold is not getting enough play out there — look up the term “Climate Change Scandal”  in google news and you tend to get news articles like this exonerating scientists of various misdeeds — stem from this. 

NASA is sort of engaging in something of “bringing it to the masses” here.  They’re intermingling Climate Change (or, Global Warming) with the Exterrestrial Threat.  It fits the same genre as an earlier Homeland Security Deparment thingamajing about the Zombie Apocalypse.  I don’t think it’s a good mix, and it ends up being embarrassing and rather easily discarded –counterproductive, I might say — what’s the Gummint’s band of eggheads trying to pull here?

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