Before his death in 2018, Stephen Hawking predicted that the world’s mounting population will consume enough energy to render the world a “ball of fire” within 600 years. Speaking via video in 2018 at Beijing’s Tencent WE Summit, Hawking declared that humans must “boldly go where no one has gone before” if they wish to survive another million years.
“Glowing Red Earth in 100 Years”
For years, Hawking warned that humankind faces extinction from threats ranging from climate change to destruction from nuclear war and genetically engineered viruses. Hawking recently estimated that humans have 100 years left on Earth — if we’re lucky. In the YouTube video below, Hawking predicts a “glowing red Earth in 100 years.”
Avi Loeb– “All Our Eggs are Currently in One Basket”
“At a recent lecture to Harvard alumni I was asked how long I expect our technological civilization to survive,” Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb wrote in an email to The Daily Galaxy. “My response was based on the fact that we usually find ourselves around the middle part of our lives, as originally argued by Richard Gott. The chance of being an infant on the first day after birth is tens of thousand times smaller than of being an adult. It is equally unlikely to live merely a century after the beginning of our technological era if this phase is going to last millions of years into the future. In the more likely case that if we are currently witnessing the adulthood of our technological lifespan, we are likely to survive a few centuries but not much longer. After stating this statistical verdict publicly, I realized what a horrifying forecast it entails. But is our statistical fate inevitable?
“There is a silver lining lurking in the background,” Loeb continues in his email. “It involves the possibility that we possess free will and can respond to deteriorating conditions by promoting a longer future than a few centuries. Wise public policy could mitigate the risk from technological catastrophes associated with climate change, self-inflicted pandemics or wars. Once confronted with the probability distribution for survival, the human spirit may choose to defy all odds and behave as a statistical outlier.
“For example, our chance for survival could improve if some people choose to shift away from Earth,” Loeb observes. “Currently, all our eggs are in one basket. Venturing into space offers the advantage of preserving our civilization from a single-planet disaster. Although Earth serves as a comfortable home at the moment, we will ultimately be forced to relocate because the sun will boil off all liquid water on our planet’s surface within a billion years. Establishing multiple communities of humans on other worlds would resemble the duplication of the Bible by the Gutenberg printing press around 1455, which prevented loss of precious content through a single-point catastrophe.
“As Oscar Wilde noted,” Loeb concludes:: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Here’s hoping for more of us looking up. The inspiration gained from that view might carry us well beyond the statistical forecast that impels the fatalistic alternative.”
“Not Possible” says Discoverer of the First Exoplanet
If we are talking about migrating to exoplanets, “things should be clear: we will not migrate there,” Nobel laureate Michel Mayor told the AFP. Mayor and his colleague Didier Queloz discovered the first exoplanet, called 51 Pegasi b in 1995,“These planets are much, much too far away. Even in the very optimistic case of a livable planet that is not too far, say a few dozen light years, which is not a lot, it’s in the neighborhood, the time to go there is considerable,” he added. “We are talking about hundreds of millions of days using the means we have available today. We must take care of our planet, it is very beautiful and still absolutely livable.”
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