There's a compelling explanation for why we've never found aliens — and it could mean humanity is doomed

An important existential question about human survival is also relevant to the search for alien life: Is it possible for a civilization to survive long enough to explore the stars? A new paper suggests there are four pathways a civilization could follow as it develops. On three of those paths, civilizations change their environments too much and overuse resources, which causes them to die off. On one pathway, sustainable existence is figured out. That’s a good reason to take action on climate change, according to the paper’s lead author. It’s possible that the human species has already passed the point of no return, and we just don’t know it yet. Or perhaps we’re on our way to figuring out how to live sustainably on our planet. One of the most important questions for the long-term survival of the human species is how civilizations handle the changes they make to their environments as they become more technologically advanced. That question could also help us evaluate the chances that other intelligent life exists in the universe. A study recently published in the journal Astrobiology suggests there are four different scenarios a civilization can follow as it develops. One of those four pathways leads to sustainable existence.…

Read more here: There’s a compelling explanation for why we’ve never found aliens — and it could mean humanity is doomed

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