While the photo accompanying a Guardian story on Aug. 18th “Aliens may destroy humanity to protect other civilizations” would at least suggest that Guardian editors have a sense of humor about the story, below, the fact that is was filed by their Science correspondent, Ian Sample, and certainly written as a straight news piece, would imply that hypothesis of the piece was indeed taken seriously.
The post begins like something out of an American supermarket tabloid :
“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.
While acknowledging that the theory (evidently written in part by NASA scientists!) is highly speculative, Sample continues, citing the report which he bases the story on:
In the 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.
Regarding the latter “harmful” alien, the report warns:
“caution in sending signals into space, and in particular warn against broadcasting information about our biological make-up, which could be used to manufacture weapons that target humans.
Sample warns further:
In the most extreme scenario, aliens might choose to destroy humanity to protect other civilisations.” Humanity may just now be entering the period in which its rapid civilisational expansion could be detected by [such aliens] because our expansion is changing the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, via greenhouse gas emissions.
Expanding on the threat posed by greenhouse gas emissions:
Green [leftist] 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.
So liberal environmentalism isn’t just good for the planet, it can save us from a future alien invasion!
Now, like everyone, I’m not fond of the idea of being annihilated by alien beings from another galaxy, so I did my own fact checking on the story, and, lo and behold, the story apparently has legs, as it was indeed picked up by at least one American supermarket tabloid, The Weekly World News.
Their “report” similarly warns:
HOUSTON – NASA confirmed today that aliens are invading earth – and they are attacking us because of global warming!
WWN has been the ONLY media source reporting on the ongoing alien invasion. WWN’s own Frank Lake has been the top investigative reporter in the world on this issue. Governments around the globe have been covering up the invasion in order to avoid worldwide panic. But WWN feels we must report the truth, and if we take peaceful actions now – we can avoid a war with aliens.
Unfortunately the report cited in both articles didn’t speculate on the aliens’ views regarding the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict so it’s unclear at this point whether the “Green” environmentalist Aliens noted by Sample are in line with the anti-Zionist views of the Green Parties in the UK.
- Nasa Confirms Alien Invasion! (weeklyworldnews.com)