woody_zimmerman_118_2007OK, this is it. We’ve had it. If we don’t stop warming the planet with CO2, aliens might launch a preemptive strike to destroy humanity. (No, not illegal aliens!) This is the gist of a joint study by Penn State and the NASA Planetary Science Division entitled “Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity? A Scenario Analysis.” We can only pray that it’s not too late for us.

According to the NASA report, several scenarios are possible. In one scenario, aliens would see the earth warming, become alarmed over its potential destruction, and preemptively intervene to destroy humanity. This will (supposedly) save other intergalactic civilizations. There is no mention of whether an explosion of the earth from global warming might send pieces of the planet flying through space, like Kryptonite, to pose a danger to other more powerful races. (Superman, call your office!)

In another scenario, aliens might see the changing spectral signature of our environment – visible from outer space – and realize we are a rapidly expanding civilization that might pose a threat to them. To protect themselves from the danger we might pose, they would launch a preemptive strike to destroy us.

A preemptive strike would be particularly likely in the early phases of our expansion because a civilisation [British spelling] may become increasingly difficult to destroy as it continues to expand. Humanity may just now be entering the period in which its rapid civilisational [ibid] expansion could be detected by an ETI because our expansion is changing the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, via greenhouse gas emissions,” the report declares.

Either way, of course, we’re toast. In the interest of maximum caution, scientists also recommend that we avoid sending signals into space. In other words, we should keep a low profile so “they” won’t notice us. This could mean sayonara to cell phones and wireless internet. We should also stop driving cars, running furnaces, factories, trains and buses, and breathing. (We don’t want to signal that we’re here.)

One scientific scenario warns that Extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) "…could attack and kill us, enslave us, or potentially even eat us …out of selfishness or out of a more altruistic desire to protect the galaxy from us. We might be a threat to the galaxy just as we are a threat to our home planet."

I understand that the United Nations is already looking into proactive lessening of the world population because of the danger that humans pose to the planet. But a fierce argument has arisen over which countries should be “eliminated” and which should be spared. The small-country bloc – e.g., Yemen, The Maldives, the Netherlands Antilles, and perhaps 50 others – made a strong push to put the USA on the extermination list until someone noticed that we actually pay most of the UN’s bills. (Don’t you just hate it when money talks?)

Being of a somewhat skeptical bent, I am inclined to doubt the “eating” idea – especially if the aliens’ concern is all those CO2 and methane emissions. These would be the natural byproducts of consuming people, whose bodies consist largely – some more largely than others (I just spent a week at the beach) – of organic compounds. Of course, advanced alien civilizations might have discovered how to eat things without emitting anything. On a happier note, perhaps they simply plan to visit us to teach us how to do the same. That would ruin Al Gore’s greenhouse gas business, of course. But I digress…

I think it is likely that the Global Warming people have finally hit on something that will promote their campaign to make us buy $8 light-bulbs and use rickshaws. The ET-alien threat seems like a real emergency to me. I’m not the only one who thinks so. One of my neighbors is selling everything that emits greenhouse gases – including his two BMWs – and will start bicycling to work. His commute is 15 miles on fast highways, so he might not be with us very long. (Getting run over by a truck would eliminate his carbon footprint, however, so he’ll have at least made a contribution.) He has also bought a bike with a small trailer so his wife can get groceries. She didn’t look very happy, so I don’t know how long she’ll be around, either. (Unfortunate, but we all have to make sacrifices to save civilization.)

The great thing for the Obama administration is that the president actually looks visionary, with respect to keeping a low space-profile, because he has already terminated the space-exploration mission of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The agency recently executed its last Space Shuttle mission, and there are no plans for further missions or other kinds of space exploration. The agency now monitors global warming and climate change for the pretty hefty annual price-tag of $17.3 billion. One imagines that Mr. Obama foresees raiding that budget significantly to pay for urgent research projects on the mating habits of rhinoceros beetles and the tattoo-preferences of Navajo lesbians, etc. Naturally, we’ll be a lot safer if we are no longer shooting satellites and other junk into orbit or toward distant planets. History may well remember Mr. Obama as the great hero who helped save the earth from interplanetary destruction. (Didn’t you just know he was gonna make us proud?)

Other national leaders like Al Gore and mega-church preacher Rick Warren will undoubtedly spring to action in the cause of saving the planet – this time, from alien destruction instead of self-immolation or catastrophic flooding, as AG had previously predicted. (Can you believe this guy was a heartbeat away from the presidency for eight years?)

Rick Warren, the much-lionized guru of mega-churchdom and author of the best-selling book The Purpose-Driven Life, is a signatory of the 2006 “Evangelical Climate Initiative,” which declares “…climate change is a real problem and ...ought to matter to us as Christians.” Eighty-five other evangelical leaders, including thirty-nine presidents of Christian colleges, joined The Rev. Warren in pressing for federal legislation that would produce reductions in carbon dioxide emissions through “cost-effective, market-based mechanisms.”

Exactly what climate-science credentials Rick Warren and those other evangelical leaders bring to this issue – besides occasionally checking the weather through his study window with the Mark-One Eyeball – has never been clarified. Twenty-two other evangelical leaders – including James Dobson and Charles Colson – implicitly questioned those credentials when they signed an alternate document which declared, “Global warming is not a consensus issue.” They noted that the burden of elevated energy prices would fall most onerously on the poor.

With the inter-galactic threat to the earth now clarified, however, Pastor Warren’s visionary position on climate change will be vindicated, and his stock will reach Olympian heights. Millions will see him as at least the figurative savior of mankind and planet earth as they huddle in their unheated dirt-floor huts and pedal to work on bicycles. It will be a glorious day.

Throughout history, the Church has fallen repeatedly for falsehoods masquerading as “science.” One would think we were past all that with all the learning of our modern age. But one would be wrong.