So, Paul Krugman this week suggested, apparently in all seriousness, that the United States government stage an alien invasion to whip up support for new fiscal stimulus thereby ending the recession in 18 months. Meanwhile, a scientist affiliated with NASA released a report suggesting that rising greenhouse emissions could tip off aliens that we are a rapidly expanding threat that must be destroyed to protect other civilizations in the galaxy. As science columnist Ian Sample of the Guardian helpfully explains:
While aliens may arrive to eat, enslave or attack us, the report adds that people might also suffer from being physically crushed or by contracting diseases carried by the visitors. In especially unfortunate incidents, humanity could be wiped out when a more advanced civilisation accidentally unleashes an unfriendly artificial intelligence, or performs a catastrophic physics experiment that renders a portion of the galaxy uninhabitable.
Um…ok. Am I the only one who finds the conjunction of these alien stories in the same week just a little bit disturbing? And not because of the aliens.