We are getting in the way of our own evolution – Type 1 Civilisation and why we might not get there.

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Do you think the Neanderthals ever imagined reaching the big gray rock in the sky that only came out at night? Or being able to speak to others across the sea? I imagine they didn’t imagine much past making it to lunchtime without getting eaten. 

When you think of it that way, so much has changed in the past several millenia, that what we’re about to get into seems possible. 

We’ve come far enough in science to guess where our species might be in the thousands of years to come. One such method of assuming is using the Kardashev scale. The measure comes from 1964. A Soviet astronomer, Nikolai Kardashev, proposed that we could understand our evolution by observing technological advancement based on how and how much energy we use.

The scale begins at Type 1. In an idealistic Type 1 civilisation, humans should be able to harness all of the energy produced here on earth – energy that comes from cyclones, tsunamis, volcanoes – as well as the energy we receive from the Sun. Type 1 technology would see the light of a world in climate balance, having to rely on renewable energy sources and having the upper hand when natural disasters hit. Knowledge would be easily accessible anywhere, so would electricity. A global economy free of barriers. 

Kardeshev’s scale goes from 1 to 3. We are currently at 0.73. Only 27% more to go right? Well it’ll take us at least 100 – 300 years to get there – IF we survive.

While a majority of nations fall backwards, economically and politically, may be what’s keeping us away from our fate, climate change poses a much larger threat. We cannot achieve stability and equality for every human life, if there is no habitable Earth for them to live on.

Our advancement is judged by how much energy we produce, but right now, that energy comes at the cost of our planet. We have solar and nuclear energy, but still heavily rely on non-renewable sources which are setting the Earth ablaze, quite literally as of late.

There’s no way of saying if a Type 1 world will be a better one, but if we don’t demand change from our governments and corporate giants to switch gears and source cleaner energy, we might not live to build one.

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