Articles like this one from the NY Times simultaneously exhilarate and frustrate the fuck out of me.
Is there life out there? Of course. Obviously. To doubt it is to display very little understanding of how vast 'out there' really is. True, HD 85512b (awesome name for a planet and, coincidentally, the serial number of our toaster) may be and probably is devoid of life, but just what if?
Astronomers cautioned that it would take years and observations from telescopes not yet built before...a search for signs of life could be undertaken.
What I want to know is can we stop killing each other and shitting on our planet long enough to make contact or even catch a glimpse? Can we forestall self-destruction and give these brilliant telescope builders enough time?
I know we have the ingenuity to probe ever further into the unknown, but ingenuity can carry us so far without wisdom. As celestial mysteries unfold slowly through the lens, wars keep raging and the Earth keeps cooking. Sooner or later something's gotta give.
Now that the Dalai Lama is retiring from Tibetan politics, I wonder if His Holiness might give us a try.