Imagine how things might go if the UN were to make a global issue of the recent discovery of a potentially Earth-like planet Kepler-22b. The issue raised by the UN could be our lack of preparedness for any kind of extraterrestrial contact - our lack of an evidence-based ET policy in other words. So a new UN-led policy is required which goes something like this -
- A UN body is formed called UNFCEL – the UN Framework Convention on Extraterrestrial Life.
- Under this enabling body UNKep is created to deal with the technical side of the project as it relates to Kepler-22b.
- UNKep invites experts from the fields of astronomy, anthropology, climate science, physics, biochemistry, geology, economics, sociology and computer-modelling to investigate Kepler-22b.
- UnKep has four scenarios for the experts to consider. No life on Kepler-22b, no intelligent life, intelligent life, highly intelligent life.
- Biennial conferences are instigated under the auspices of UNFCEL to report on the latest UNKep technical research with a summary aimed at national policy-makers.
- Journalists and stakeholders are encouraged to support UNKep and contribute to the debate.
- Universities are encouraged to offer degrees and post-graduate research based around UNKep findings.
- A steady stream of press releases is used to generate and maintain interest in UNKep.
- The dire consequences of failing to fund UNKep adequately raise global concerns about the potential impact of Kepler-22b, especially as the latest computer models show how intelligent its inhabitants are likely to be and how angry they may be about the gross inequality they see among human beings.
- UNKep teaching material is produced for schools, showing what the latest computer models indicate about the inhabitants of Kepler-22b - their social democratic politics, non-racial social structures, vegetarian diet and the sustainable technologies they are certain to have developed.
All purely imaginary of course, but I thinkThe UN would successfully recruit their experts, journalists and stakeholders to UNKep. The UNKep biennial conferences would be well-attended. The BBC would be enthusiastic and uncritical.
Maybe we could call it the fly-paper principle.