Edit: He doesn’t actually say the Earth is doomed in the next hundred years. Sorry, I was going by news reports that were a few hours old and which took a slightly more pessimistic view of what he was saying. I still don’t believe his timeline is right, and wonder if he was simply being particularly guarded so that he wouldn’t be completely seen as a loon by saying “IF we haven’t killed ourselves in a hundred years…” but he never actually said we’d be kicking the bucket in a hundred years. Sorry about that. :( Still, an interesting prediction, nonetheless.
In what has to be one of the funniest, most radical doomsday predictions ever, Stephen Hawking assumes that we are destroying the planet and are on our way to making humanity extinct faster than a Texas sized asteroid glancing off Yellowstone Park ever could.
He gives us 100 years before we are doomed. He says we need to colonize the moon (within 20 years) and Mars (within 40) and that with our current technology and with technological trends in the near future it should easily be doable.
Lots of scientists think he’s wrong and quite frankly stupid for talking about a field in which he isn’t even a practicing expert in. That’s quite funny, but then again, brilliant in one area doesn’t mean brilliant in another. In another funny turn of events, most science fiction authors think he’s an idiot for not even looking at the prospects of, you know, trying to save Earth, and instead just blanketly predicting that Earth is doomed and so is humanity unless we get in our intergalactic RVs and go cruising to the next intergalactic holy land.
Looking at it this way, most scientists now predict that the extinction of the dinosaurs took roughly 2m years, one way or another. Whether it was a supervolcano, or a big asteroid shaped like Stalin’s head, or global warming or global cooling or a badass disease or natural nuclear winter or God knows what, it’s generally a respected train of thought that it was a gradual extinction and not a sudden one.
I wonder how long it is before paleontologists, geologists and other biologists wonder what Hawking is smoking for thinking that humanity can do in 40/100 years what that vindictive bitch Mother Nature couldn’t. Because damn, all of the major extinction level events to ever happen on this planet took millions of years, and some of those were aided by supervolcanos, disease, global cooling and mega big huge asteroids all at once. If that doesn’t do it then I wonder how excessive pollution and global warming/cooling possibly could because I tend to think that mother nature is a lot better at taking care of business than we are.
This thread is more about laughing at Stephen Hawking’s relatively outlandish and rather random comments about the end of humanity than it is about global warming.
You can do a google search on this news bit where you can read a lot more scientists and authors reactions to his comments but I chose the Tribune link simply because it was the easiest one to find.