This is a bit of a downer, my friends:
In a few billion years, the Sun will fuse the last of its hydrogen into helium, turn into a red giant and expand to 250 times its current size. At first, the Sun’s loss of mass will loosen its gravitational pull on Earth, which will allow the planet to migrate to a wider orbit about 7.6 billion years from now.
This process has led some to speculate that the Earth might escape destruction – but survival now seems impossible…
And I, for one, am pissed.
My original plan called for a couple years of pure advocacy here in Loudoun County, followed by a statewide public education effort aimed at informing the citizens of Virginia about the substance of both American political and everyday culture – this ongoing for maybe five or so years. Beyond that, I envisioned a national effort to increase familiarity with the foundations and mores of “western” civilization, from the Magna Carta to the Mayflower Compact to “Wealth of Nations”: highlighting what we all know but no longer notice, which could take a decade or two of undoing the many years of really bad education in history that our nation has bequeathed to its upcoming generations. Next would be a few hundred thousand years of advocacy for the much more basic “human” values contributing to the endurance of our species: convincing people to have stronger families with more focus on having kids and gradually reverse the decadent liberal value system of the 1960s pop culture. Finally – and I’m not saying I would be around to witness this, but I’d hope in some small way those I know and love would benefit – I’d have hoped for eight or ten billion years of grassroots political activism to gradually reverse the problems wrought by television, and thereby convince my fellow Americans to eventually read more books and spend more time outdoors, hiking, doing their own landscaping, and generally things like picnicking, shooting guns evenings and weekends, and jarts.
But apparently it is not to be, as this lame-o planet of ours has so little self-sufficiency that in seven billion years we could all be at the mercy of the whims of the dying star we call our “sun.” Maybe if we had known this, we’d have been calling it our “lamp.” Because – WORD – lamps burn out, but “suns” supposedly give life to your planet.
If this so-called “life” the sun is giving us is suddenly going to be snuffed around 7,600,002,008 AD, I say please just pull the plug on it right now and don’t get our hopes up, ‘kay?
Turn it all dark so we can start looking for a terrestrial home with a little more backbone.
Crappy frickin’ planet we’ve ended up on, story of my life …
So, yes, I will be modifying the long-term plan. I’m thinking more emphasis on fundraising and paid workers rather than volunteers, since the “sunset” of our project might arrive earlier than we hoped and we will have to pay a price to speed up the process. The strategy will still be the same but these tactical changes are annoying.