Thursday, June 15, 2006

Hawking to earthlings: Get the hell out of here!

Yesterday, one of my all-time favourite scientists - dr. Stephen Hawking - visited the university of Hong Kong where he said that humans must establish a base on the moon and colonize Mars within the next 40 years if we're to avoid extinction from global warming or another flaming end catastrophe.

"It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species," Hawking said at a news conference in Hong Kong. "Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of.

"We won't find anywhere as nice as Earth unless we go to another star system," he added.
Space enthusiasts said Hawking's vision is achievable.

I think it is good Hawking blows the whistle because our planet is indeed being exploited without regard to the consequences as long as profit is assured and we don't need a big meteorite or another Katrina with the US prez Dubya at the helm to get totally ruined.

And I wouldn't mind exporting W Shrub with his prattling minions who personify the putrid decay of a bloated and corrupt political system, to a big black hole at the extreme other end of our galaxy.

But unfortunately this brilliant modern Noah forgot to mention that the best way to use space as the ultimate lifeboat is to go there without any human galactic refugees at all.

17 comments:

Nova said...

It's a scary thought, really - the whole idea of global warming and the thought that Earth as we know it may no longer exist in as short as 40 years from now. It's almost inconceivable really - at least in my idealistic mind.

But I am all about adventure and wouldn't mind checking out other galaxies or star systems.

But no human refugees? Hmm... then we would all just be left here on Earth to become extinct...

DA said...

I'd join you in a second Nova and we'd preach love, not war!

Anyone else to join us? I'll take my guitar with me and supply for french cheese and wine!

voixdange said...

French Cheese! You better believe I'm in!

Lindsay Lobe said...

Hi DA –Hawkings said “"My goal is simple. "It is complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all."

The question I would ask is does it exist for us to colonise ?. To exist in case we blow up the world, or to be blown up,or will it always remnain independent, expanding, and unimaginable from mankinds tiny earthy view.

At least he makes us think about our fragile earth !!But as he well knows unless we discover a means of travel in another dimension such ideas are fanciful, horrendously expensive engineering feats to barely scratch the surface of our solar system, not to mention the billions beyond. Better to use robots,that's if we must spend the money !!

Best wishes

Sothis said...

I'm torn on Hawking. I've hung out with a lot of physicists (married to one as well), and Hawking doesn't exactly have a great reputation for good science--he's considered more "pop culture" than solid science.

I've dreamed of space colonization in every scifi book I've ever read. It would be fantastic, but I'm worried that we'd be more the parasitic aliens that move from world to world stipping planets than nice happy colonizers who come in peace.

Plus, humans haven't even been to the moon in 25 years, can't keep track of Mars landers, and keep losing space probes. I wouldn't want to be on the ship.

abhay k said...

hi DA,
he is my favorite too..all time..his book A brief history of time too..and I have similar views regarding space colonization..please read My Seven Wishes on my blog(link there)and my newly posted poem "I am Earth"

Thanks for sharing..

Worried said...

Hawking is my all time hero and well deserves his international reputation. I am desolate with grief that he may be right about humanity and our beloved planet.

Tina said...

I'm with ya Nova and Dimitri... and hey DA, your mighty cute son and my mighty cute daughter could finally be raised in a world that did preach love not war.

Lesley said...

The thing I don't understand is why if humans are destroying their own world should they be allowed to move on to somewhere else that they likely will destroy? Hopefully there is an alien race that would prevent us from spreading our destruction.

Kathleen Callon said...

If we destroy our planet, we're sure to eventually destroy another if we don't learn our lessons here first. Seems like we have a couple billion years until the sun expands/heats up so much we have to move, so I'm thinking if we haven't detroyed ourselves already, that's the time to look elsewhere.

Kathleen Callon said...

... french cheese and wine sounds good though...

Gary said...

Feeling a little cynical are we DA? :)

I would love to see the planet from a distance, but I won't leave permanently unless you guarantee me good fresh coffee, a variety of single malt whisky, good salads and interesting women.

(Not to mention oxygen and a little gravity now and then.)

Callooh said...

I'm with Leslie.

That's some arrogance we human's have to consider an entire planet disposable, We have made this mess, we should either fix it, or go down with the ship.

Make colonization as romantic as you like, this is my planet (with all it's problems, warts, wrinkles and beauty), and I'm staying.

Endorendil said...

Yah, I'm with Callooh. There is no point going to another Earth without having learned our lesson. And who among us is going to argue that we have learned how to construct a lasting society that will not destroy the planet we inhabit? Hell no, there is only one practical exam for Humanity, and it's Earth. We fail, we die, as we darn well should. If we stink bad enough to kill off Earth, the least we can do is go down with it.

I am also one who thinks that Hawking is absolutely full of it, and I have for a long time. I used to think this mainly in a scientific way - his theories were far-fetched and got more play than they deserved because of his condition. His off-topic antics - such as this one - held little interest to me. But this is a perfect example of why he is wrong even when he doesn't talk about physics: he gives people the idea that if we really mess up here, we can always start over somewhere else. Well, it's not going to happen in the next generation or two, and if it ever does, it will be a ticket out for a few hundred thousand, at most. We're not going to evacuate 10 billion paupers from an exhausted, dying planet to another one, are we? If we are, we haven't learned our lesson...

If you want to worship physicists, look at Feynman, Pauling, Dyson, Dirac.

Callooh said...

well said endorendil.

Zee said...

must side with Gary here ...

Blogger formerly known as JBlue said...

I was thinking Pluto would be the best spot for the Shrubbies.