Via IO9, I learned of this timeline of the far future on the BBC website:
Much of this assumes that our technology won’t improve. For instance: “Game over, man” because the Sun’s luminosity increases 10%? I think not. We can survive that just by putting a shield (more likely a flock of shields) between us and the Sun. We could get the material by mining the Moon or asteroids (also eliminating the asteroid impact in 100,000 AD). The technology was worked out by the space colony movement in the 1970’s. We’ll be much better at it by the end of this century, let alone thousands or millions of years in the future.
Perhaps most of our descendants by then will have left the planet to colonize the galaxy.
“The new habitable zone will stretch from 49.4 AU to 71.4 AU, well into the Kuiper Belt. The formerly icy worlds will melt, and liquid water will be present beyond the orbit of Pluto. Perhaps Eris will be the new homeworld.”
Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/12648/will-earth-survive-when-the-sun-becomes-a-red-giant/#ixzz2q6ljg5MC
It seems to me that perhaps the moral issues will outweigh the technical issues. Can an entire civilization be moved to a new habitable location? Probably not. So a limited number of people would migrate. The civilization left behind would become extinct.
I may be optimistic, but I think that “exploration”, not “escape”, will drive human expansion beyond the planet. Those who remain on the planet will simply be those who decide not to leave during the thousands years that humanity exists both on earth and abroad. If technology advances enough, earth may not become uninhabitable in one great cataclysm but over such a long, slow timescale, that the population just gradually moves away over thousands of years.
I’m only going if they have a stargate. And a return trip is possible. With minimum time of travel. And snickers available at the other end. Guess I wouldn’t be going. That’s why I call these the good old days.
I’d take my snickers with me. Honestly, though, I’ll consider it very lucky if they invent commuter flights to the moon before I die. Life is so short.
Wouldn’t want to go to the moon. Lifeless, without water. I can go to the desert here. I would like a planet like in Avatar. But I might as well go to Costa Rica. Shorter flight, and abundant Snickers bars. Birds, beaches, beer. Good old days.
One option is to move the Earth. I’ve seen serious proposals to move a large asteroid into an orbit that crosses just in front of the Earth. Its gravity would accelerate the Earth, pushing it into a slightly wider orbit. Given fusion power, or something better, the process could be repeated again and again with the same asteroid, widening the Earth’s orbit to keep it in the habitable zone. Some care would be needed when passing Jupiter.
More details at http://io9.com/5923828/dont-worry-people–nasa-has-a-plan-for-moving-the-earth
but the asteroid’s tidal effect would be much less than they say, and not a problem.
“no single present day word will have survived” -I’m not buying this. Maybe in 10,000 years, but not 1000.