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To Earthlings: Find a New Home!
Stephen Hawking warns that mankind will soon destroy itself
Alex Argote (alexphil)     Print Article 
  Published 2006-06-15 10:33 (KST)   
In the not-too-distant future, a handful of humans fortunate enough to have secured a place in a crowded spacecraft may become galactic refugees trying to find a habitable planet among the billions of stars in the Milky Way. There may be no turning back, for dear Earth could already have been consumed in hellish fires resulting from the environmental damage of human activity. After billions of years, planet Earth will have finally come to a flaming end, devastated either by a doomsday asteroid or shaken by nuclear explosions rending its surface.

©2006 wikipedia
Sounds frightening enough, but equally or more spine-tingling are the latest projections recently delivered by the brilliant and respected British physicist Stephen Hawking in a well-attended Hong Kong lecture last Thursday. The scientist concluded that humans could have a permanent lunar base within 20 years and a Martian colony in about 40 years. Hawking suffers from a neurological disorder called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease), or ALS, and rides a fully computerized wheelchair laden with electronic contraptions to allow him to communicate and impart his brilliant ideas to eager listeners.

Like a modern-day Noah, Hawking urges humans to embark on a mission to save humanity by looking heavenward to the stars for inspiration. He said that if nations are not occupied blasting other nations with nuclear weapons in the next hundred years, mankind might be able to build space self-sufficient space settlements.

World leaders had better heed Hawking's ominous warning of terrifying disasters to come. The warning has been given, and everyone would be wise to understand and give attention to an environmentally ravaged Earth that is being slowly destroyed by reckless human industry. Like the environmentalist-activist Al Gore, who expounded on the dangers of global warming in his movie "Inconvenient Truth," Stephen Hawking, the space guru of today, is truly a prophet of doom, sounding the alarm for all of mankind.

Hawking said, "It is important for the human race to spread out into deep space to ensure the future and survival of Homo sapiens." He added that life on Earth is constantly threatened by possible disasters like global warming, nuclear holocaust, a destructive and bulletproof virus, or other dangers from space.

In 1988, he wrote and published the worldwide bestseller, A Brief History of Time. The book covered an extensive range of astronomy, from the very origins of the universe according to the big bang theory to the sinister black holes lurking in the hearts of most galaxies. Hawking also discussed intricate mathematics relative to the formation of the cosmos. He even proposed that time and space have no beginning or end.

Even then, the famous physicist has his share of critics opposed to his idea of colonizing the nearest star systems. Alan Guth, physics professor at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), said that Hawking's latest observations were a bit off the mark and deviate from the research that would be more applicable to survival in the long term.

"It is a new area for him to look at," Guth said. "If he's talking about the next 100 years and beyond, it does make sense to think about space as the ultimate lifeboat."

Guth offered a more terrestrial solution to Earth's future problems. "I would still think that an underground base, for example in Antarctica, would be easier to build than building on the moon," he said.

Joshua Winn, an astrophysicist at MIT, sighed that the prospect of colonizing other planets is too far off and stressed that one must realize the complex difficulties of achieving anything like that within this generation or the next. He said that Hawking's work has been in highly theoretical physics, not in astrophysics or global politics. He is stepping outside his domain of research, Winn concluded.

But no matter how other thinkers may interpret Hawking's speculations, the death knell for Earth has been sounded. For too long, humans have been busy exploiting this planet without regard to the consequences as long as profit was assured. Now, someone is blowing the whistle, and it is time to step back a bit and nurse this planet to its former state of health.

- ehpk3_298798_1[1].mp3 

©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Alex Argote

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