The Fermi Paradox is one of the great mysteries of the universe. In short, with hundreds of billions of earth-like planets in the Milky Way galaxy alone, and trillions of other galaxies in the observable universe, why haven’t we detected any sign of intelligent life from another planet?
One such solution to the paradox could be climate change. I don’t think it’s the most likely solution to the Fermi Paradox, and I don’t think global warming will be as catastrophic as the alarmists claim, but if it is… In order to create the technology required to travel through space to find other habitable planets, a civilization may need to use such drastic amounts of fossil fuels and other environmental pollutants that will cause such disastrous climate change that it will destroy the civilization. It’s almost like a safety valve to prevent intelligent life on earth from finding other intelligent life in the universe.
Either 1) You stay on Earth, never leave the solar system, and therefore never find alien life. Or 2) You try to leave earth and explore the galaxy. To do so you need to create technology and industry that will in turn destroy the very planet you are trying to leave before you are able to leave it. (By “it” I don’t mean literally leave Earth, which we’ve already done. I mean create the kind of technology that would allow us to leave our solar system.)
This theory would mean humans are doomed to stay in this solar system—just as every other alien civilization that may exist in the universe is doomed to stay their respective solar systems. There are/were/will be billions of other earth-like planets in the universe, with intelligent life, who create civilizations, and they all end in one of two ways: 1) They remain on their planet until it dies naturally from the sun. Or 2) They create technology to try to leave their planet, but in doing so, destroy their planet sooner than it would have naturally.
Either way, it’s the same result. Life is forced to stay on its planet—or at least within its own solar system. That’s why we will never find aliens, and they will never find us.
Of course, I hope this theory is wrong. I hope humanity can survive industrialization and climate change and successfully create energy that can power the planet and spacecraft to leave it—the same for civilizations on other planets. I hope we detect signals from aliens tomorrow (as long as they’re not xenomorphs).