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Hawking Earth doomed: Physicist says Earth doomed without space exploration

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Physicist Stephen Hawking believes that Earth is doomed and actually won't even survive the next millennium "without escaping beyond our fragile planet" and furthering space exploration. As reported by the Epoch Times on Friday, April 12, 2013, Hawkingbelieves that space exploration needs to be further explored in order for humanity to survive.

The 71-year-old Hawking believes that "without escaping beyond our fragile planet," the human race won't survive another 1,000 years.

His comments came this past week at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center before an audience of nurses, doctors, and other employees. Hawking toured a stem cell laboratory that is focused on attempting to slow down the progression of Lou Gehrig's disease.

While Hawking, who was diagnosed with the disease 50 years ago, toured that facility; he wanted everyone to know that continuing on in life is the way to live.

While surviving as long as he has with Lou Gehrig's disease is unusual, Hawking has a dire warning for everyone. Hawking truly believes that Earth is doomed without further exploration in space and urges that changes be made. “If you understand how the universe operates, you control it in a way,” he said.

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Here's the link to the search page show his org site, Wikipedia, and a lot of other sites and information ~


This is the link to many of his videos ~


His show on PBS "Stephen Hawkings Universe" has a page ~


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I agree, the Earth is not fragile, but mankind can make it fragile with all the pollution in the air, water, and eventually the soil. Plus it can only sustain 6 billion people, and from what I hear we are now at 7 billion, or more.

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  • Elders (Moderators)

I also think that it isn't the Earth that is fragile, but humankind is. Humans have been making very significant, and often deleterious, changes to the environment for eons, but it's only relatively recently that we've understood the effects.

Off the top of my head:

Viruses, such as avian and swine flu, are an increasing threat from crossing over to humans. But that's partly because the numbers of pigs and birds bred for human consumption has increased hugely, and partly because in some cultures it's still the practice for live animals to be sold in markets to domestic consumers. For instance, between 1968 and 2004, China went from 5 million pigs to 508 million pigs, and from 12 million poultry to 13 billion poultry. In the West, there has been similar vast increases in numbers, but the difference is that we don't buy live animals. The good news is that the virus detectives have increasingly better and faster techniques to identify a new strain; and the authorities in those areas prone to outbreaks of new avian viruses are increasingly effective in containing a outbreak.

Environmental changes: The Great Plains of the USA. At the time of western expansion into those areas, nobody understood that there was a cyclical pattern to the weather, and therefore didn't realise why only prairie grass grew there. The new farmers hacked through the dense roots of the prairie grass in order to grow crops. But later, the weather changed to drought, the crops withered, and hence the tragedy of the Dust Bowl phenonemon. Now there's much better understanding.

Also, and I can't quote any direct sources for this, but I understand that one of the reasons for the extent of desert areas such as the Sahara is the introduction of, or increase in, the number of goat herds in those areas. Apparently, sheep graze by cutting grass, whereas goats pull up the entire plant including roots. That might be the origin of the biblical saying of someone being able to tell the goats from the sheep. These days, of course, it's easy to see the difference, but that's because humans have intervened to breed sheep for their meat and their wool/fleece. Back in the distance past, though, it wouldn't have been so easy, so being able to differentiate between the two would have been important. There's been a tendency here in the UK to make charitable donations to buy a goat for people in poor areas of the world. Goats are useful in terms of milk and subsequently meat, but can be damaging to the environment.

Population: The human population has exploded in recent times - alarmingly so. There have been similar animal/bird/insect/whatever population explosions, but they ultimately get limited because there's not enough food. And then the population decreases because of starvation. But human population increase isn't that simple. There's every chance that the human population will soon start to level off (and maybe decrease). That's not simply because of the availability of food. Again, I can't quote direct sources for this, but it's related to better health outcomes for women and children, better education for women, and better availability of family planning options. In case that seems like a feminist statement, what I'd say is that there are millions of men who want that for their mothers/sisters/wives/daughters.

So, we humans might be the most challenging/damaging species on the planet, but we're gradually improving our track record. We don't need to travel elsewhere in the universe in order to survive. We can get it right, right here.

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  • Elders (Moderators)

Thanks, Darlene. icon_redface.gif

I've got various bits of miscellaneous stuff rattling around in my brain (some would say there's plenty of space in there!). It's only when someone makes an interesting point that some of that stuff comes tumbling out.

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