As a theoretical physicist and co-founder of string field theory, Michio Kaku has had a long career as an author and a popularizer of science, and his latest book, The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth, seeks to explore the different ways that humanity can save itself, which Kaku believes will eventually happen if we leave Earth and utilize tools outside our own planet.
If Homo sapiens are destined to survive, it is clear that we should be aware that threats like meteor strikes, nuclear winter, and major ecological disasters may one day force our hand and propel us into space if our race is to continue, as the Financial Times reported. And if we do somehow manage to survive all earthly disasters, in another 5 billion years, our sun will have finally entered the stage of a red giant and Earth will be no more.
However, Michio Kaku accepts this, explaining that the extinction of species is just part of the normal order of things.
“Extinction is the norm. It is as inescapable as the laws of physics that humanity will one day confront some type of extinction-level event. Either we must leave Earth or we will perish.
“How humanity can break free of our earthly confines and continue existing millions of years into the future.”
— CBC Radio (@cbcradio) March 18, 2018
One of the best ideas for our survival, according to Michio Kaku, is heading to Mars, as CBC Radio reported. There, Kaku suggests mining ice so that we can turn it into oxygen as well as hydrogen, which we can then use to fuel rockets. Ice can also be used so that future inhabitants of Mars will be able to grow and sustain agriculture.
“So the first thing settlers would do is to create a mining colony to mine the ice. Then after that agriculture farming can be introduced. A genetically modified algae and crops can actually thrive in the Martian atmosphere which is mainly carbon dioxide. That’ll create the first self-sufficient agriculture on Mars.”
In The Future of Humanity, Kaku also reminds us that, once upon a time, Mars had an ocean which would have been big enough to swallow the entirety of America, and believes that harnessing polar ice caps would be an excellent way to provide a plentiful supply of fresh water for those who are residing on the Red Planet.
“Further down the line we want to put up satellites to redirect sunlight to melt the polar ice caps. Mars has plenty of water but it’s in ice form and it’s locked in the poles. Why not melt the polar ice caps using solar satellites so that rivers lakes and oceans can once again flourish on the planet Mars. Realize that three billion years ago Mars had an ocean about the size of the United States of America.”
Michio Kaku also believes that humans would do well to consider utilizing asteroids, which he calls “a flying gold mine in outer space,” because of their precious metals. We could do this, Kaku believes, if we used the moon as a base where we could take minerals that we extracted from the asteroid belt and then sent them straight back to Earth.
To get close to stars, Kaku has described how it is quite possible to take computer chips laden with sensors, stick them onto a parachute and then use 100 billion watts of laser beams so that these parachutes are able to achieve 20 percent of the speed light
“And bingo, in 20 years starship the size of a postage stamp which could in fact reach the nearby stars.”
If this project seems like something that could be a long time in the making, Stephen Hawking deemed it such a good idea that he was able to get some in Silicon Valley to fund this project for $100 million, with testing set to begin sometime within the next 10 years.
If all else fails, Michio Kaku thinks that using the great power of Planck energy to create a new and baby universe might just afford us another chance for survival.
With so many tools at our disposal for heading out into space and saving humanity, Michio Kaku’s The Future of Humanity shows that with enough ingenuity, Homo sapiens can almost certainly survive life outside of Earth.