I was sitting in my room the other day, relaxing with a nice game of Space Invaders when I thought, what would happen if aliens did invade? Are we prepared for it?
This subject seems to be the one thing that all governments refuse to address. Many people may argue that we shouldn't believe all these sci-fi programs and that aliens are more like E.T. than Predator. To this I say RUBBISH! Sure some may be friendly, but what about the ones who aren't. I once heard this theory from Stephen Hawkins (please correct me if I'm wrong) that throughout history, humans have conquered or destroyed civilisations weaker that themselves. Any alien race that came to our planet would see us as inferior and conquer us. If they can travel the vast distances of space, I'm sure it wouldn't be too difficult to wipe us out along the way. And still I see some of you sitting there, in the back row, smirking. Well then, lets look at the facts
Lets assume that the aliens attacking the earth are like those we have all seen on Sci-Fi’s. They have advanced shield technology and pretty heavy armour to match. I doubt that most of our weapons would do much harm. If they have advanced weapons, they probably have enemies with advanced weapons and have produced armour to protect themselves from it. Lets assume again that they use some form of laser or plasma based weapons. If their armour offers some form of protection against this, what damage can we do with our primitive projectile weapons? Maybe some of the heavier weapons on our tanks and aircraft could hurt them, but what do we use against their tank and aircraft equivalents.
Right about now, many of you are now yelling "OMG you idiot. Just nuke the b******s of the face of the planet." Well, let me put my views about this across to you in two simple words. NUCLEAR WINTER. By the time we realise this is to only way to save ourselves, they’re going to be all over the world, meaning we would have to nuke the entire world to get rid of them. Is wiping out all life on earth the way to save ourselves? Finally, what do we do about the spacecraft? The best thing we can do at the moment is launch armed shuttles into space. Compared to the invaders, our shuttles will probably act and handle like your average Tesco shopping trolley. And our weapons wouldn't be very effective either
I think it was president Reagan (again, please correct me if I'm wrong) who once said (and this is not a quote, just the jist of the sentence) what we need is an alien invasion to unite the world. Utter rubbish. An alien invasion wouldn't unite us. Some countries would ally with the aliens, some would sit it out and hope for the best, and the ones that would fight back wouldn't do much good would they. The trouble with earth is that the whole race is divided by various issues. How can we organise a planetary defence if we spend most of our time disagreeing on a new EU law. While we're arguing about the best way to protect the planet, the aliens would be half way round the equator.
Then there are those unscrupulous countries that would loot the alien technology (assuming we can kill some of them) and then use it on the rest of the world, causing further problems for us and entertainment for the aliens.
I'm sure at some point, we would attempt diplomacy. Now how the hell are we going to do that? Let me explain this by referring to the second gulf war (at this point, I would like to apologise to any person or country that I may offend without realising). We attempted diplomacy with Saddam Hussein, and look where it got us. We spent half the time arguing about what to do. If we can't agree on things like that, how will we deal with the invaders?
I would like to go into more detail about this subject, as it is the most important. Against space attacks we are defenceless. There is nothing stopping the aliens from waltzing into our system and taking up a low orbit to begin a leisurely afternoon of preliminary bombardments. As I have mentioned earlier our space fleet is crap. It consists of a handful of shuttles, each costing well over $2 billion. At that cost, we'd probably be reluctant to send them up there.
Our planet is also lacking some form of orbital defences. We could launch nuclear weapons into space, but that is a very risky process, especially if something were to go wrong during the launch. The main obstacle for orbital defences is politics. Countries wouldn't allow these weapons to be built, as they would argue that it could be used on other countries. A good example of this is the Star Wars program.
The last problem we may face from extraterrestrial threats is some form of planet killer. Weather you are a Star Wars, Star Trek or even a Warhammer 40,000 fan, at some point, a race will turn up with a weapon that can destroy an entire planet. Now lets assume that our invading aliens have some form of planet killer. What are we going to do? Destroying it is out of the question, considering that to build up the energy to destroy a planet is going to need one hell of a ship to do that. A massive evacuation of the planet is impossible at the moment, and even if we could, where would we go. It would take us years to reach the nearest system, and even then we'd probably have run out of air before we even get out of the system.
So, are we ready for an alien invasion? Absolutely not. We'd be hard pressed to even put up half decent resistance. So what can we do, I hear you all yell (yes even you Mr smug, smirky man at the back). Well, at the moment, all I can say is nothing. We are to divided to do anything about it. Most of the world is focusing on ways to defend ourselves against ourselves, and there's little chance that a lowly H2G2 researcher is going to make them act. The only advice I can give you is that if a friendly alien offers you a lift, take it!