Astronomers have been publicizing the first exoplanet to have water molecules and the potential for life.  It is exciting news but it is tempered by the fact that the “super earth” is 110 light years away.  Even if we were able to detect carbon forms on its surface, there is no way to communicate at a distance of 110 trillion miles.  Science fiction fans like to dream of a way to rocket through space faster than the speed of light.  Of course, there is no way of doing that.  Such news is actually a reminder that we are alone.  We have one earth to protect and one atmosphere, and there is no place else to go if we wreck it.  Self-sufficient colonies on the moon and Mars are pipe dreams well outside of the technology and logistics of any one nation.  Colonization of space is totally unlike the discovery and settling of new lands on earth.  The vastness of space should be a constant reminder that we need to overcome nationalistic tendencies and the ravaging of the earth, air and water.

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