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Space & Astronomy

Hawking: 'Trump could turn Earth in to Venus'

July 5, 2017 | Comment icon 326 comments



Could this be the future of our planet ? Image Credit: NASA
In an interview on his 75th birthday, Professor Stephen Hawking warned of the dangers of global warming.
The world-famous physicist, who is certainly no stranger to discussing the fate of humanity, has condemned US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

According to Hawking, the decision might have far-reaching consequences - tipping the planet over the edge and eventually resulting in an environmental catastrophe.

"We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible. Trump's action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees, and raining sulphuric acid," he told the BBC.
"Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it's one we can prevent if we act now. By denying the evidence for climate change, and pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Donald Trump will cause avoidable environmental damage to our beautiful planet, endangering the natural world, for us and our children."

When asked if he thought humanity will ever resolve its differences, he said:

"I fear evolution has inbuilt greed and aggression to the human genome. There is no sign of conflict lessening, and the development of militarised technology and weapons of mass destruction could make that disastrous."

"The best hope for the survival of the human race might be independent colonies in space.

Source: BBC News | Comments (326)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #317 Posted by Doug1029 4 years ago
What geeks are you referring to?  As I said, there was never prediction of an ice age in any scientific journal.     Re:  Einstein, et al.:  "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Unlike other fields of endeavor, science eventually finds and fixes its mistakes. Doug
Comment icon #318 Posted by Socks Junior 4 years ago
From the journal Science: https://www.atmos.washington.edu/2008Q2/591A/Articles/Rasool_Schneider_Science.pdf Not to say, of course, that these fine gentlemen (Rasool and Schneider) were correct. But there was at least one (probably more, I searched for around 30 s) prediction of an ice age in not just "any scientific journal", but Science.
Comment icon #319 Posted by Doug1029 4 years ago
I was (obviously) not aware of that one. Schneider?  I wonder. I think that's the same Schneider who commented in Discover Magazine in 1989: “We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have.  Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.” I don't think that making up scary scenarios is a good way to promote anything.  Sooner or later you get found out and then you are in worse trouble than when you started. Doug
Comment icon #320 Posted by Socks Junior 4 years ago
Indeed. From my limited background on the issue, I think it seems that the 70s were a time when you could find some cooling literature. And warming literature. The latter became more scientifically plausible as climate science moved forward. Not quite consensus claim of an ice age, by any means. I completely agree. Which is why it ground my gears some time ago at my department when some climate advocacy group came to talk about strategies for discussing climate change and really laid out that exact quotation (in a few more words of course). This had something to do with their ad campaign organ... [More]
Comment icon #321 Posted by AnchorSteam 4 years ago
That is strange... he should have located up here. Less than a tenth of the new board-feet of timber that grows every year is harvested, the rest goes up in smoke. LOTS of smoke, this time of year the air-quality is worse than L.A., and there is no major industry within 400 miles.  You and me both. It isn't hit us the way it hit them. Here, 90% of the price of food is in processing, packaging and shipping. Down there, they buy it raw and process it at home.  (btw- ever eaten corn raw off the cob? I have, and I never went back to heating it up again) Very well, and I recall that it was all the ... [More]
Comment icon #322 Posted by Doug1029 4 years ago
He's an employee and only moved to Denver after the plant was already being built.  I don't know why they picked Denver, I would have gone to a place with more wood available.  Of course, it's a pilot plant - they don't need that much wood.   I used to buy some corn flakes from Mexico, but we couldn't get them year-round, so the store quit carrying them. I grew up on a farm - straight off the stalk. Doug
Comment icon #323 Posted by Doug1029 4 years ago
Yup.  Coal plants, dams, locks, navigation...  They were even talking about wood chips awhile back, but TVA wasn't sure they could get a steady supply and didn't want to risk it. Gas turbines are really close to wind in price.  Nexterra is using them as backup to their windmills.  My daughter is a mud-logger/geostearer/geochemist on some of those wells.  Lots of drilling stories.  Most of our wells cost about $3 million dollars and take about 30 days to drill.  The "Well from Hell" took 83 and cost close to $8 million.  They were losing money from the minute they started pumping it. Her last w... [More]
Comment icon #324 Posted by Doug1029 4 years ago
The "do something" mentality is leading to projects that aren't fully developed yet.  Obama's Cash-for-Clunkers being a case in point. First, they didn't have a really gas-efficient car available, so there was little environmental benefit. Second, they insisted on crushing cars that still had a lot of good miles left in them, forcing people to keep older, dirtier cars on the road.  And that led to a shortage of used cars for the used-car markets, cutting low-income folks out of the market altogether.  This was really a Detroit Bailout Program. Law of Unintended Effects, or just not thinking it... [More]
Comment icon #325 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 4 years ago
I think that the one thing we can all agree on here is that alarmist statements like the one in the OP is counter productive ?
Comment icon #326 Posted by Doug1029 4 years ago
I think we can agree on that.  The rub is in figuring out what's alarmist.  I suspect some of the early folks weren't too careful about what they put out and some of their mistakes are still floating around. Doug


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