For approximately 2 billion years, our planet has been unique. The Earth has had a highly oxidized atmosphere - despite the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Oxygen is a highly volatile substance, which decays rapidly if left alone in the atmosphere. Despite the infinitesimal chance that a water/oxygen planet should occur, we are a blue planet.
Yet, we have been a blue planet for 2 billion years. Its virtually impossible. Oxygen should combine with other minerals and decay to more stable molecules, carbon dioxide, rust, nitrates, other oxides. A blue planet is a truly exceptional thing.
We have been a blue planet for 2 billion years.
Suppose there were other intelligent life in the universe. They would have worked out that high oxygen atmospheres were indicative of reverse entropic processes. Our planet radiates the appropriate wavelengths of light for our atmosphere, advertising our existence, at the speed of light. Anyone within 2 billion light years has had plenty of time to detect us. They would have detected organic chemistry by the existence of our high oxygen atmosphere, billions of years ago - giving them enough time to come investigate the blue planet.
By all appearances, no one is here. No one is watching us. Had there been intelligent life in the universe, someone would have noticed us by now. Someone would have come to the blue planet.
What does that mean? It could mean that intelligent life has not emerged which is within 2 billion light years of us, which is capable of building a spacecraft to reach us. 2 billion years is plenty of time for every planet in our galaxy to survey and contact us.
Or, it could mean that all of the intelligent life forms have chosen not to contact us. However, this would require that EVERY intelligent life that detected us in the last 2 billion years had made the same decision to not contact or investigate us, including every life form in our galaxy.
Or, it could mean that intelligent life simply does not survive long enough to reach the point of space travel. Once a species is technologically strong enough to investigate and probe the rest of the galaxy, they may simply be too powerful. Powerful enough to destroy themselves. As such, they may destroy themselves long before they ever have the opportunity to detect and investigate another organism in the universe.
So, I send this out into the cloud. No one is looking over our shoulder. They had 2 billion years to find us. They haven't. They aren't coming.
What does that mean - for our own future?