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CO2 kills aliens — Oh No. The Gaiian bottleneck

 Global Worriers can explain everything with CO2 (hammer: meet nail, meet hail, meet ET too).

The holy matrix theory strikes again. (h/t to Phys 1)*

With our university approved CO2 helmet we can explain things, like why there are no aliens. And we know there are none because we’ve had mass radio for 100 years out of the last 4.5 billion** and no one has picked up Alien FM. Plus we’ve landed some kind of gadget on nearly 1,000, almost 100, not quite 10, well 2 whole other planets and we haven’t found a single Klingon. Indeed we haven’t even found a cousin of e-coli.  And some of the probes on Venus hunted for a full 120 minutes before they were vaporised.

Though naysayers about our knowledge of alien life point out that if intelligent life also went on to develop fibre optics,  Wifi, and then entangled quark phones (or whatever) the radio transmissions window may last 500 years (or less) and thus we’re looking for intelligent life which may be a million years ahead of us which also happens to be a million light years away (and whose radio signals are still comprehendable spread over a sphere which is now two million light years in diameter?). Pfft. I say. Details. Who can argue with CO2 causing extinction of all intelligent life?

The Brilliant Gaiian Bottleneck theory reckons that intelligent life has to get smart fast enough to control the climate and stabilize things before they get killed off by climate change.

In studying how life might develop on other planets, the scientists realized that early critters likely had a hard time quickly evolving to their heating or cooling planets and did not survive. So essentially the reason we haven’t found any aliens yet is that quite simply while the percentage of life-sustaining environments could be high enough, they’re not around long enough for them to evolve from the pools of primordial life. — PopHerald.com

Because humans need a stable climate to evolve in, right. Like this?

Vostok ice core, temperatures, Petit, 1999

Vostok Ice Core temperature proxy — the stability that humans evolved in.

It’s adaption or climate control

What’s more likely, that biology adapts to the environment, or that biology controls the planetary climate?

OK. Some freak fish switched from salt to fresh water in the blink of an evolutionary eye. And humans invented air-conditioners and heaters to adapt to the environment before we geoengineered the climate. It’s not like evolutionary forces subject to constant climate change would select for species that were adaptable  to climate change… oh wait.  Homo sapiens can survive in zones from -50C to plus 40C. But that doesn’t mean a 2 degree rise won’t wipe us all out.

Using our vast knowledge of other planets, researchers pontificate on how other planets didn’t get lucky:

The researchers believe that if life is given a chance to stabilize its biosphere then it is fine otherwise it’s doomed. As an example, Venus, Earth and Mars may all have had similar conditions four billion years ago, when microbial life began to emerge on Earth. However, a billion years after their formation, Venus and Mars went to extremes of hot and cold and early microbial life (if it was there) failed to stabilize the changing environment. PopHerald.com

Commenter nkalanaga at phys.org points out that “If Earth was in Venus’ orbit, the oceans would evaporate” and “Mars is too small” to hold it’s atmosphere. Well, intelligent life can puzzle it’s way out of that…


Seriously —  a journal published this wild speculation based on no data and a sample size of one? And the only case study they have (us) contradicts the theory? Welcome to government funded science.


 The Case for a Gaian Bottleneck: The Biology of Habitability


The prerequisites and ingredients for life seem to be abundantly available in the Universe. However, the Universe does not seem to be teeming with life. The most common explanation for this is a low probability for the emergence of life (an emergence bottleneck), notionally due to the intricacies of the molecular recipe. Here, we present an alternative Gaian bottleneck explanation: If life emerges on a planet, it only rarely evolves quickly enough to regulate greenhouse gases and albedo, thereby maintaining surface temperatures compatible with liquid water and habitability. Such a Gaian bottleneck suggests that (i) extinction is the cosmic default for most life that has ever emerged on the surfaces of wet rocky planets in the Universe and (ii) rocky planets need to be inhabited to remain habitable. In the Gaian bottleneck model, the maintenance of planetary habitability is a property more associated with an unusually rapid evolution of biological regulation of surface volatiles than with the luminosity and distance to the host star. Key Words: Life—Habitability—Gaia—Abiogenesis habitable zone (AHZ)—Circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ). Astrobiology 16, 7–22.


Chopra Aditya and Lineweaver Charles H.. Astrobiology. January 2016, 16(1): 7-22. doi:10.1089/ast.2015.1387.

* Credit to Phys 1 at phys.org for the term “holy matrix theory”.

** Which is 0.000002% of history, not that you asked.



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