Happy May Fourth and may the force be with you! Reflecting on universal forces certainly brings spaceships, robots, aliens, and lasers to mind. Much of the technology that’s totally commonplace today was once a pipe dream to a science fiction writer. The first mobile phone was invented by Martin Cooper, taking inspiration from Star Trek: the Original Series where Captain Kirk used his communicator to call for help. Holograms have now been widely used to create performances by musicians long gone such as Tupac, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston. That inspiration came from Star Wars in the iconic scene where Princess Leia’s image was projected out of R2D2. One of the first appearances of the smart watch was in the Dick Tracy comic strips of the 1940’s.
While so many technologies were once only imaginary, now life simply wouldn’t be the same without them. For instance, a great deal of what we know about deep space has been made possible by radioisotope power systems (RPSs) which are used to power spaceships including missions to study Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, and Mars. They are also used in nuclear energy which generates power through fission and produces electricity without such harmful byproducts emitted by fossil fuels. Nuclear energy also powers our lives through medical interventions such as cancer treatment and medical imaging. The forensic and criminal fields, too, deploy RPSs and technology to aid in law enforcement investigations.
On the other hand, nuclear power has had to bear a baneful reputation garnered by association with the atomic bomb and radioactive disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima. It is quite possibly one of the most dire threats to the extinction of humankind that could cause the deaths of millions of people and render the Earth largely uninhabitable. But what if we could use this force for good and protect everything on our planet against forces of evil?
We know with certainty that the future poses many threats to the security and survival of our species along with all other species. The origins of these threats, however, are not only limited to international wars and climate change catastrophes, but also include intergalactic existential threats such as asteroids and Nearth-Earth Objects (NEOs). According to the European Space Agency, there are currently roughly 20,000 NEOs orbiting the Earth. Any one of these could mean the end of humanity which is why we need to devise a plan in case something like the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction event (the one where all the dinosaurs died) caused by the impact of a massive asteroid were to ever happen again.
In forming a plan of action, which could both simultaneously unite the nuclear capacities of all nations together to protect against an intergalactic emergency, and prevent us from wiping ourselves out in an all out nuclear world war, we must begin to develop a strong offense and defense to avert such crises. We know we have the capacity to defend the planet against incoming unknowns and have alliances such as the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, the World Nuclear Association, and the International Atomic Energy Agency. By working collectively across all countries, we can certainly implement strong international policy to combat forces from both this galaxy and galaxies far, far away…
George Freeman, Chaplin
Universal Life Church