It stands to reason that planet Earth’s life-sustaining resources are not infinite. The fact is, they are slowly but surely being depleted. Eventually, there won’t be enough resources left to sustain human life.
Long before that point is reached, we’ll have to think about colonizing space. One big barrier to doing so is the colossal distance we’d have to travel to reach the nearest habitable planet. Such a planet could be thousands, even millions of light-years away. And as we all know, nothing can go faster than the speed of light.
So does that mean inevitable, eventual extinction for humankind?
Well maybe not.
Einstein’s theory of relativity could offer a ray of hope. Those of us who have watched Star Trek are familiar with a thing called warp speed. And it may not be science fiction fantasy. Some scientists believe it’s not only possible, but that we will have the technology to make it happen in about a hundred years or so, leaving plenty of time before planet Earth runs out of life-sustaining resources.
But first they have to figure out a way to harness ‘dark energy,’ a repulsive force that can be used by futuristic spacecraft to surf something scientists call a spacetime wave which shrinks the space between our spacecraft and the target planet thus effectively bypassing the speed of light. Once they achieve that, they can go about actually building such a spacecraft.
Sounds cool. For the sake of our descendants, let’s hope they get it right.