Stephen Hawking: Earth will be "wiped out by a disaster"
Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, author of "A Brief History of Time," says we will need to "spread out into space" if we want the human species to survive. "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," he says.
Speaking to a news conference in Hong Kong, Hawking also said that if humans can avoid killing themselves in the next 100 years, we should have space settlements that can continue without support from Earth. He said we could establish a permanent base on the moon in 20 years and a colony on Mars in 40 years, but "We won't find anywhere as nice as Earth unless we go to another star system."
So one of the most brilliant scientists in the world believes we're doomed and should leave the planet? What, is he a right-wing fundamentalist or something? Gleefully anticipating the apocalypse? Or is he just sick and tired of being in a wheelchair and suffering from Lou Gehrig's Disease? (We can certainly understand the latter, because most people either die from Gehrig's at an early age or commit suicide because the symptoms are so awful.)
With all due respect to Dr. Hawking, we prefer to think there's still a chance we can clean up some of the mess we've made and make Earth inhabitable again. Because, as Hawking himself says, we won't find anywhere as nice as Earth - unless we go to another star system, which is even less likely than our chances of reversing global warming.