Chance to Start Afresh on a New Planet? No Thanks

This new piece is my favorite of his Daily Express essays and reminds me of one of his New Criterion essays from last year: “We are always in the wrong place”.

The discovery of a planet, called Gliese 581g, that resembles Earth in many ways, and that orbits a “nearby” star, raises the question of whether, having made a mess of Earth, we could one day emigrate and begin afresh. What is more, even if we made a mess of Gliese 581g it appears that astronomers now believe that there are millions of such planets throughout the galaxy that we might be able to colonise. We would have an infinite number of chances to lead perfect lives.

One day we would get it right – or would we?

10 thoughts on “Chance to Start Afresh on a New Planet? No Thanks

  1. Peter

    “SO GLIESE 581g doesn’t offer us much hope, then, whether we transport all the bad people there, as in a galactic Australia or (as one of the good people) go there ourselves.”
    As an Australian I take umbrage at that remark and demand compensation for my hurt feelings. It smacks of alienation, colonialism, oppression, marginalisation, racism, bigotry, prejudice, and geographic discrimination. It also ignores the fact that Australia has turned out to be one of Western civilisation’s success stories.

    Reply
  2. Jonathan Levy

    I think you may have misunderstood the good doctor. He was obviously suggesting that the best way to create a GOOD society from scratch would be to send those people everyone considers BAD. This idea is clearly an attempt to recreate on GILESE 581g the success story which is modern Australia.

    Personally, I don’t see how any other interpretation is possible – but of course, that may be a reflection of my limited imagination.

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