The Drake Equation, as you must all know, is a way to guestimate how prominent intelligent life might be in the Milky Way Galaxy.
I have briefly searched on this forum for the following association but I must have missed it…
I posit that Dr. Dartnell’s recent article on Aeon regarding the link between fossil fuels and the ultimate fruition of humankind into a species capable of grand civilizations may be a factor in the Drake Equation.
That is, do intelligent electro-magnetic energy manipulating species require some massive, stored energy source, provided at just the right time in their evolution, to push them into advanced technologies? Technologies capable of the manipulation of electromagnetic energy and the eventual support of said species’ distribution into its solar system and eventually its galaxy?
If extra-terrestrial intelligences don’t get a super cheap energy boost, like humans got from fossil fuels, will they fail to evolve into EMEM species? (electro magnetic energy manipulator).
In direct support of this supposition is the assumption that such nearly free energy (coal, crude oil and natural gas) has given humanity the ability to explode its population beyond a threshold point; expanding to a critical state where the chain reaction of ideas blending with ideas from millions of people supported by the food made available by fossil fuels, allowed humanity to blossom through the industrial revolution, the computer revolution and now the information/knowledge revolution.
Fossil fuels = food = lots of people = lots of idea = EMEM species.
And therefore, without nearly free energy (NFE) any alien intelligences would never evolve to the level humanity has attained.