The Arab spring revealed how determined action by ordinary people can reshape national
governments. Is there a lesson here that can be applied to our future beyond Earth?
Anyone with a good knowledge of the post-Apollo era will appreciate that in the 1970s,
if the political will had been on fire, the United States could have launched a future beyond
Earth that would have built the foundation of a stellar civilization. The key action would have
been to build solar power stations in space, to access the unlimited energy-well of our star.
With this energy industry could have been launched in space, orbital space settlements
constructed, robot explorers dispatched to the stars and planning begun for the first stellar
migration. Instead of building a celestial future, the human focus has been entirely on digging
and drilling ever deeper into the belly of the Earth for energy and as a consequence,
so much fossil carbon has been released into the biosphere, that it is now changing the Earth.
The health of our amazing global civilization may now be at risk, along with the spectre of
humanity being permanently trapped on this planet. With depleted terrestrial resources,
we may not get a second chance at star-faring and when the next giant mountain from space
comes calling, that may be lights out for our species.