Buying a Brand New Earth

Here’s a great piece about one response to climate change: hope that we’ll be able to find a technological solution, whether it be through letting the market take care of it (aka market fundamentalism) or hoping that we’ll be able to find a new Earth somewhere out there in the galaxy.

One response to the inevitability of a radically altered Earth is to trust in the innovative power of the free market: salvation through shopping. Yesterday’s organic cotton towel or last Christmas’s LED lights might seem silly, but better products are coming out all the time and consumerism means faith in what tomorrow can buy. After all, we’ve already got hybrid cars and wind farms and living buildings and hydro-electric plumbing. A wicked smart couple in Idaho has even invented solar powered streets. “Some new Einstein will come along and figure out something,” friends have told me, when I express concern. “Science will find a way.”

Whether the solar powered streets are “the way” (as in “the solution”) is far from certain, they are a super-exciting technology. The video certainly works hard to get you excited about them:

The dream of moving to a new Earth is essential to Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower (and, of course, Interstellar) and it’s not as far-fetched as it may seem. As the article points out, NASA’s Kepler project is actively searching for Earth-sized planets, and has identified over 1000 so far. Not that we know how to get to them now, but maybe in 100 years?

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