This is a fascinating article which I recommend reading. The modeling begins with hypothetical planets having technological civilizations which become overpopulated through the exploitation of natural resources. This eventually stresses the ecological balance of the environment sufficiently to trigger a depopulation event. The civilizations which continued to use high-impact energy sources (e.g. fossil fuels) went extinct. Some of the civilizations which switched to low-impact energy sources (e.g. solar power) survived while others also went extinct.
Scientists recently modeled a range of interactions between energy-intensive civilizations and their planets. The results were sobering.
Remarkably, science has now advanced to point where we can take a first step at answering this question. I know this because my colleagues and I have just published a first study mapping out possible histories of alien planets, the civilizations…
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