In 1963 on his “Transmission of Information by Extraterrestrial Civilizations” the Russian astronomer Kardashev proposed a system to classify any extraterrestrial civilizations based on the energy available to them in order to make radio broadcasts beyond the borders of their home planet. This system became known as the Kardashev scale.
Later, this scale abandoned the reference to radio transmissions, focusing more generally on the magnitude of energy that a civilization is able to use for any purpose. The existence of these civilizations is purely hypothetical, but this scale has been used as a starting point in the SETI project, as well as in many works of science fiction.
It consists of (originally) three types, determined in function of the technological level based on the amount of energy that a civilization can use:
- Type I: civilization able to use all the energy available on its planet (4x10^12 watts).
- Type II: civilization able to use the energy radiated by its star (4x10^26 watts).
- Type III: civilization able to use the energy coming from its galaxy (4x10^37 watts)
Carl Sagan has defined a method, starting from the initial types, to calculate even fractions, by means of the following formula:
In which K represents the level of civilization of the scale and MW the megawatts used. According to this formula, the human civilization would be a 0.7 Kardashev scale civilization, while nature a 0.9 one. So mankind is moving from Type 0 to Type I society.
Now, dear anon, I’m going to ask you a question. If I had an answer to the last part of your query, would I be here, playing with Tumblr?
I can only say that technological development is a necessary, but not sufficient condition. We need a drastic change in the social and political context in order to make the jump (namely, achieve globalism, know how to modify the weather, master space travel).
Níveis de civilização