By their garbage, shall ye know them
Searching for the garbage signatures of alien civilizations
The Civage Scale (“Civilization Garbage”) is a proposed scale for detecting and measuring a civilization’s level of technological advancement based on the amount of garbage it dumps to foul the local neighbourhood. ‘Neighbourhood’ ranges from planetary to Kardashev Type V neighbourhoods. The current practice of searching for alien civilizations is called SETI: the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. This thought experiment proposes SETG: the Search for Extraterrestrial Garbage.