Is there time to avoid humanity’s extinction? Practically everything that has ever lived is extinct; we will be no exception unless we work very hard to be an exception. Wrestling with that problem led to a chilling, undeniable conclusion: the human species is ultimately doomed on Earth and we have no plan.
The Earth will eventually become uninhabitable and moving people off Earth is the only credible survival alternative, short of some sort of intervention. The United Nations produced some encouraging declarations at the turn of the century fostering hope for humanity in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary.
In 2007, fourteen space agencies created a document proposing global coordination for space exploration, another recent heartening, if limited, development.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is our primary space exploration agency; its strategic planning is found wanting. NASA strategic planning has become increasingly tactical and less inclusive over the last ten years. Nevertheless, evaluation of its evolving strategic planning is instructive to identify what to draw on and what to avoid.
Space advocacy groups sponsor some creative ideas; yet they usually quibble over how rather than the more important question, why?
A convincing, understandable, comprehensive strategic vision and mission for humanity elude us… until now. This book is about why it is critical to move aggressively from wars on each other to a War on Extinction.
- D. R. Prescott, October 2010
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