Who needs enemy aliens — when the oddities of space travel itself are so mind–blowing?
s the following gallery of landscapes of deviantARTist–imagined other worlds well attests to — the natural desire of humans to explore and discover knows no bounds, not even the limits of the Earth’s atmospheric shell. Whatever’s out there, beyond our galaxy: we want to put eyes on it. But space travel presents quite a problem.
Even spaceships much faster than anything we’re technologically capable of engineering today would mean voyages to the closest inhabited or habitable world lasting not years — but generations. Exploring new worlds might mean signing up for excursions that would be “one way” and completed by our great–grandchildren, and that’s if we can figure out how to protect ourselves from space radiation. And for shorter outings with a return ticket to Earth? The “twin paradox” is the curious space–time phenomenon of returning to Earth just a few years later and older (by our perspective), only to find that all our friends and family have died of old age.
In the upcoming film, Interstellar, Christopher Nolan takes a break from fighting hostile space aliens to return the “thought–provoking” vein of sci–fi pioneered by 2001 and The Right Stuff. Nolan has expressed a desire to return to the sense of wonder in intergalactic “exchanges” exemplified by Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. While Nolan was accused of crypto-neoconservative sympathies for his “Dark Trilogy” of Batman films, his Interstellar will now no doubt provoke the rage of climate change deniers by positing a climate–change devastated barely habitable Earth in the near future. A space mission via “wormholes” must first locate a habitable replacement for Earth and then race back to Earth for an organized exodus before the “twin paradox” accelerates the planet dying along with everyone the astronauts knew in life. Nolan’s focus is the human psyche’s necessary adaptations to the “future” paradoxes that we all might be facing sooner than we think.
Our future survival will depend upon how well we can evolve our perceptions of time and being.
I do liken [Interstellar] to the blockbusters I grew up with as a kid, A lot of them by Spielberg. […] there’s a great spirit to films like Close Encounters and Jaws that I really wanted to try and capture, because I haven’t seen it in a very long time.”
You can’t pretend 2001 doesn’t exist when you're making Interstellar, But the other film I’d have to point to is The Right Stuff. […] It’s one of the great American movies and people don’t quite realize how great it is–probably because it’s four hours long!”
I was amazed by the stunning visuals when the Interstellar trailer first came out, but what struck me even more was the plot behind it. “Your daughter’s generation will be the last to survive on earth.” That quote struck out to me. There is no scientific doubt that man made climate change has been causing a lot of environmental damage, and we’ve already gone past the tipping point. There is no turning back time, but I still hope future generations can thrive on a habitable earth. While I fully support space exploration and finding new habitable planets, I believe mankind right now should focus more of our attention on preserving the one habitable planet we have. Earth is our only home right now, we need to cherish it. And no matter how many planets we might conquer in the distant future, we should take good care of them all instead of jumping from planet to planet and leaving behind ruins.”
Do you have any doubts about Climate Change?
Do you believe there are other inhabitable worlds in our Universe?