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?