Energy. It is arguably one the most important thing that exists on this planet and significantly more important than money. Energy is produced from different sources, whether it be natural like wind and water or from fossil fuels, wherever it comes from it’s the thing that helps the world to go round. Sourcing energy from oil has also been the reason for wars, recessions, civil unrest and power struggles but what if there was a way that no country was more important when it comes to sourcing energy? Energy powers everything.
There is a way, one that would not require a power struggle between nations to be the best – rather it would encourage nations to work together, and that way is to do with the type of civilization we are – moving from a 0.7 civilization to Type 1. In a paper by N. S. Kardashev in 1964 titled Transmission of Information by Extraterrestrial Civilizations. He developed a scale (named Kardashev Scale) which measures how technologically advanced civilizations are based on where they get their energy from.
The three types of civilizations are:
Type 1: Planetary Civilization: Use and stores all the energy available to the planet
Type 2: Stellar Civilization: Can use and control energy at the scale of its planetary system
Type 3: Galactic Civilization: Can control energy at the scale of its entire host galaxy.
According to Carl Sagan, who was an American specialized in astronomy, space and planetary science our civilization is currently at 0.7. This means we are close to using all the energy available to us on the planet but we still have some work to do and it could possibly take a few hundred years to become a Type 1 Civilization, according to futurist, Michio Kaku.
The effect of being a Type 1 Civilization raises a serious amount of questions because of the unpredictability of the future; what society will look like (will nations even exist?), questioning what the Earth’s limit is, in producing energy and if we run out of the Earth’s energy: how long will it be before we become a Type 2 Civilization? In addition, how will this affect politics and global affairs? Will becoming a Type 1 Civilization prevent a further Clash of Civilizations, or will we become one?
Becoming a Type 1 Civilization and the effect on politics depends on the type of civilization, society and world order which exists in a few hundred years time. It is highly unlikely that the societal structures we have will live on. People will learn from the rights and wrongs of our time. Hopefully the greater needs to source energy would be bigger than the issue of which is the richest and most powerful country, of course this could be taken advantage of by said country and civilization, to essentially eliminate another civilization which they do not agree with – whether it be religiously or politically.
What happens in the future depends entirely on our actions.
Sources and additional reading