NASA: Global Warming increases chances of space alien attacks (UPDATED)

How low has NASA sunk?

Damned low:

It may not rank as the most compelling reason to curb greenhouse gases, but reducing our emissions might just save humanity from a pre-emptive alien attack, scientists claim.

Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth’s atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.

This highly speculative scenario is one of several described by scientists at Nasa and Pennsylvania State University that, while considered unlikely, they say could play out were humans and alien life to make contact at some point in the future.

Shawn Domagal-Goldman of Nasa’s Planetary Science Division and his colleagues compiled a list of plausible outcomes that could unfold in the aftermath of a close encounter, to help humanity “prepare for actual contact”.

In their report, Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity? A Scenario Analysis, the researchers divide alien contacts into three broad categories: beneficial, neutral or harmful.

Beneficial encounters ranged from the mere detection of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI), for example through the interception of alien broadcasts, to contact with cooperative organisms that help us advance our knowledge and solve global problems such as hunger, poverty and disease.

Another beneficial outcome the authors entertain sees humanity triumph over a more powerful alien aggressor, or even being saved by a second group of ETs. “In these scenarios, humanity benefits not only from the major moral victory of having defeated a daunting rival, but also from the opportunity to reverse-engineer ETI technology,” the authors write.

Other kinds of close encounter may be less rewarding and leave much of human society feeling indifferent towards alien life. The extraterrestrials may be too different from us to communicate with usefully. They might invite humanity to join the “Galactic Club” only for the entry requirements to be too bureaucratic and tedious for humans to bother with. They could even become a nuisance, like the stranded, prawn-like creatures that are kept in a refugee camp in the 2009 South African movie, District 9, the report explains.

“Green” aliens might object to the environmental damage humans have caused on Earth and wipe us out to save the planet. “These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems. It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets,” the authors write.

Even if we never make contact with extraterrestrials, the report argues that considering the potential scenarios may help to plot the future path of human civilisation, avoid collapse and achieve long-term survival.

I’m hoping like hell this is satire.

Someone please tell me this is farcical comedy.

Please.

Because if it isn’t, then it’s serious tragedy.

UPDATE:  Not satire… but not officially sanctioned or authored by NASA either.  Thank God:

So here’s the deal, folks. Yes, I work at NASA. It’s also true that I work at NASA Headquarters. But I am not a civil servant… just a lowly postdoc. More importantly, this paper has nothing to do with my work there. I wasn’t funded for it, nor did I spend any of my time at work or any resources provided to me by NASA to participate in this effort. There are at least a hundred more important and urgent things to be done on any given work day than speculate on the different scenarios for contact with alien civilizations… However, in my free time (what precious little I have), I didn’t mind working on stuff like this every once in a while. Why? Well, because I’m a geek and stuff like this is fun to think about. Unfortunately, there is not enough time for fun. Indeed, I felt guilty at times because this has led to a lack of effort on my part in my interactions with Seth and Jacob. Beyond adding some comments here or there, I did very little for the paper.

But I do admit to making a horrible mistake. It was an honest one, and a naive one… but it was a mistake nonetheless. I should not have listed my affiliation as “NASA Headquarters.” I did so because that is my current academic affiliation. But when I did so I did not realize the full implications that has. I’m deeply sorry for that, but it was a mistake born our of carelessness and inexperience and nothing more. I will do what I can to rectify this, including distributing this post to the Guardian, Drudge, and NASA Watch. Please help me spread this post to the other places you may see the article inaccurately attributed to NASA.

Shortlink:

Posted by on August 19, 2011.
Filed under Asshats, Global Warming, NASA.
Tagged with: .
I blog more regularly at my own place where plain thoughts are delivered roughly. My about page gives you more on who I am.

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  • Anonymous

    This might explain Al Gore. Maybe he’s not nuts, just one of the first space aliens to arrive.

    More seriously, I think we’ve found one place to cut the budget.

  • Anonymous

    Paging Dr Crickmore

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  • http://profiles.google.com/ozcar.da.grouch Ozcar Grouch

    …the monster, which the peasants in this area call ‘Thrunobulax’, apparently a very large poodle dog, has just been seen approaching the power plant; bullets can’t stop it, rockets can’t stop it; we may have to use nuclear force…

  • http://profiles.google.com/ozcar.da.grouch Ozcar Grouch

    And, let’s not forget:  Billions of tax-payer dollars, every frellin’ year, go to these loons.

  • http://twitter.com/bnjacobs Bob Jacobs

    This is not a NASA report. The report’s author posted an apology and clarification. I hope you do the same. http://paleblueblog.org/post/9110304050/some-important-points-of-clarification

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Armstrong/100002793292779 Bob Armstrong

      He won’t apologize. Right wing blogs don’t use that word.

      • Anonymous

        You’re wrong Bob!

        I’m sorry you’re an asshole.

        See.

      • Anonymous

        You’re wrong Bob!

        I’m sorry you’re an asshole.

        See.

      • Anonymous

        Bullshit, you lying scumbag.

        I apologize for using such descriptive language.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Armstrong/100002793292779 Bob Armstrong

           Oh, look rodney like your comment. Now you have to comment on one of his posts in return. Poor little rodney accounts for a large percentage of the small number of people who comment on his bs – and he get a widdle lonely….

      • jim_m

        Just like you acknowledged your errors in the thread about immigration when I pointed them Out? I think you were too busy calling everyone a racist to be bothered with intellectual honesty.

        Hypocrite.

        • http://www.rustedsky.net Anonymous

          Hey, Bob 1, did you create a Bob 2 sock puppet?

          Good work – it looks just like you!

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

            Don’t get too close to that microphone – you don’t know where it’s been.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Armstrong/100002793292779 Bob Armstrong

          Yeah, just like I did, bozo.

          • jim_m

            I noted on the thread that you refused to acknowledge the truth from anyone who disagreed with you but when someone who agreed pointed out your error you did so.

            It’s called intellectual dishonesty.  You have loads of it.  You were too interested in vilifying those who disagreed with you to admit that you made a gross factual error.  You created a false narrative and then accused everyone who disagreed with you of being racist.  You never offered on iota of proof for those accusations and you made post after post ignoring those who pointed out you mistake choosing to call them names rather than debate the issue.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EJGOSD7BRBBY4ZQQEUCFQU4GHU W

            The left almost never admits to mistakes or even fact that go against their agenda.  No one matches them in resorting to name calling, hypocrisy or intellectual dishonesty either.  As they say look in the mirror first before slamming others.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Armstrong/100002793292779 Bob Armstrong

            lol.. so first you slam me for not admitting my mistake, and when I point out that you’re being a specious ass as usual you slam me for admitting my mistake on someone else’s comment?

            What a frasking moron.

          • Anonymous

            Bob, you shouldn’t be throwing around names like ‘Bozo’  when it fits your picture to a tee.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UG44B3BSUSA2IKDMLCB2AMJ4OM Porkulus Chopius

        Space aliens love the smell of methane gas so much they discovered through science how to use their own farts to power their spacecraft to lightspeed. Science wins again.

        Don’t sell them libruls like Bob Armstrong short. They really are fart smellers, I mean smart fellers.

        Bob is similar to a Starfleet Commander. He circles your anus looking for Klingons

    • Anonymous

      I agree this is not a NASA report.  However if you read Goldman’s clarification in the link, his other publications and links, as well of those of his two friends who wrote this report and co authored a few other scientific publications, they are all into AGW and saving the planet from humans.  Goldman does represent a significant segment of NASA employee train of thought.  Ergo while not a NASA publication, it is a significant illustration of attitude and politics at NASA.

      Rick, ya gotta admit you posted without 5 minutes of background checking, which is all it took for me to vet this without using anyone else’s links, but if you had, you’d still have a great load of info to write a fun post on.

      Live Long and Prosper.

      • Anonymous

         ”Goldman does represent a significant segment of NASA employee train of thought”

        I beg to differ…
        I did desktop phone support for all NASA centers for several years up until March.

        I never once heard anyone mention in idle conversation that they were aware of space aliens and their attack plans. Goldman (and Bob) are f**king loons, BSC. I did think that some people at JPL were a bit loopy but that’s just because they were spoiled.

        • Anonymous

          I was talking about the AGW, not the invasion from Mars believers.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Armstrong/100002793292779 Bob Armstrong

            Oh gawd, You kids are soo funny.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Armstrong/100002793292779 Bob Armstrong

        Scientist believing in AGW? Imagine that. They must not have been bought out by Exxon yet.

    • http://www.brutallyhonest.org Rick Rice

      Update posted.  Thanks.

    • http://www.brutallyhonest.org Rick Rice

      Update posted.  Thanks.

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  • Anonymous

    It is a geek fun report. The Guardian should not have been taken in. However many people, especially the conspiracy minded  believe  in  UFOs. Personally I don´t, because  other stars and galaxies are are light years and hundreds if nt thoussands of  light years away.

    • Anonymous

      This is not a “fun report” though I am sure they had fun writing it.  The lead author is a PhD candidate at Penn State, my Alma Mater.  His web site shows him to be a real greenie.  The anchor author is affiliated with NASA, works at PSU but uses his UW e-mail address.  Doesn’t sound like he’s anchored in the real world either.

      • Anonymous

        As for UFO’s, my godfather ran Project Bluebook.  Privately, he said to me all the UFO report folks were ” ‘fing crazy.”  But maybe he was just protecting me from the black helicopters…

        • Anonymous

          Or maybe he was trying to warn you about dingbats like Dennis Kucinich and Jimmy Carter.

        • Anonymous

          They are typically self promoters…. IE… attention whores.

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  • Anonymous

    GLOBAL WARMING ……. ain’t nuthin’ it can’t do!  Famine!  Disease!  Pestilence! Dying polar bears!  Tornadoes!  Hurricanes!  Floods!  Too hot!  Too cold!  Lower gas mileage!  Economic malaise!

  • Jeff Blogworthy

    Not a problem. They would take a look at our leaders and quickly surmise that there is no intelligent life to be found here.

  • Anonymous

    In talking with my friend Ipsxxwzztl from Krnttcxyn the other day, he did admit to several contacts in the past.  His culture was visiting under the assumption there was intelligent life here.  After discovering there wasn’t, they send their comedians here for training. 

    • http://www.rustedsky.net Anonymous

      Great.  Extrraterrestrial hazardous waste, too…

      We just can’t catch a break, can we?

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  • djdrummond

    Let’s think this through.  Any race able to develop the technology for space travel will have discovered the problem of resource scarcity and environmental impact.

    Traveling through long distances is difficult, which would not be undertaken except for a great need …

    like needing a new clean planet because you’ve screwed up your own place.

    In which case, a place that has been occupied by similarly wasteful creatures would NOT be attractive, and the aliens would go find somewhere that has not already been occupied.

    THEREFORE, if aliens come to Earth looking for a new home, our best DEFENSE is smog and clear cutting.

    Every bit as logical, if not more, than the initial premise. 

    • Anonymous

      I agree.  The cleaner and more pristine a world is, the more attractive it would be.  Clean and pristine would also indicate either a high level of technology that has reversed damage from earlier stages of industrialization or a very low level of tech and/or very little industrial base.  The latter would be an easy target.
      So what do these AGW mooks advocate most often?  The latter. ;)This all assumes that said aliens have a similar enough chemistry to find our world attractive in the first place.  A methane breathing species would have little interest in a clean Earth, for instance.

    • http://www.wizbangblog.com David Robertson

      [blockquote]Traveling through long distances is difficult, which would not be undertaken except for a great need …like needing a new clean planet because you’ve screwed up your own place.[/blockquote]

      Or you accidentally blew up your homeworld.

      [blockquote]In which case, a place that has been occupied by similarly wasteful creatures would NOT be attractive, and the aliens would go find somewhere that has not already been occupied.[/blockquote]

      Actually, your planet is a good hiding place.  The Alien Task Force still hasn’t found me. (See my profile for an explanation.)

  • Anonymous

    After reading the scenario, I’d say its at least as fact based as anything else I’ve read from the CoGW.(church of global warming)

  • Anonymous

    After reading the scenario, I’d say its at least as fact based as anything else I’ve read from the CoGW.(church of global warming)

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  • Anonymous

    I think Bobby bungsfun should cut down on all his greenhouse gases  already! 

    • https://plus.google.com/114041580398058374552/posts McGehee

      The intelligence in these threads would more than double if he weren’t here — or if we all acted like he weren’t here.