Thursday, August 31, 2017

Stephen Hawking's Sell By Date For Humanity LBC 09/01/2017

It is no surprise that scientists have said for years that earth has a finite  life span. I can recall my junior high (what is called middle school today - teacher, Mr. Jorgensen telling us that  the sun - like any star - will eventually die. When that happens this third rock from the sun will no longer sustain life as we know it.  OK - he did not  call Earth the Third Rock from the Sun, but I was fond of that TV show. So it comes as no surprise the most brilliant  mind in modern physics would suggest  we have what is essentially a sell by date to - as he says it colonize other planets. It all sounds rather like a good science fiction movie like Forbidden Planet,  the 1956 movie that forever guaranteed I would be a fan of good science fiction.
What  may come as a surprise is that Hawking suggested we needed  to be gone within 1000 - 10,000 years. Mr. Jorgensen suggested millions if not billions of years.  But wait! Hawking recently changed that to around 100 years. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (WTF) - what happened?

The answer is simply stated as global warming and the resultant changes happening now and into the future.  This topic was not suggested as an open forum on so-called man-made global warming. There is over 90% agreement that global warming is occurring,  the argument is whether it is man-made or naturally occurring. At this point does it really matter?  The polar ice caps are melting, temperatures are getting warmer and we may be headed for more hurricane Harvey like disasters than we can imagine.

So what do we do about it?  Good question. If temperature patterns continue we may no longer be able to produce enough food to sustain the population of the planet - something we have been able to do since the green revolution of the sixties and seventies. You may suggest we cannot produce enough food now but I contend we have a massive distribution problem - not production problems.

Here we sit - if Hawking is correct, we have 100 or so years to find an inhabitable new home and move us all to said planet, colonize it and establish a workable political system that can develop and sustain the population. We certainly need a few dozen Elon Musks and  Sir Richard Bransons to help us with that massive transportation issue. And goodness but we have enough globalism naysayers here in the USA so what will happen when someone starts talking interstellar? 45s head will explode trying to  to keep up with that one on twitter. (My snarky side would suggest that is not a bad idea but this blog is being done by my kinder, gentler side).

My pessimistic side says if Hawking is correct we are essentially screwed (without the benefit of a good time). My optimistic side says but wait - if we can imagine it we can do it. The realist in me simply hopes Hawking is wrong and that his interactions with Sheldon  Cooper have  warped is sense  of reality.

There are also the evangelicals and other bible thumpers who simply think it is  just the natural progression of things as stated in the bible. In other words it is all God's will. They've been wrong before - whether they admit it or not. Here's hoping their failures continue.

That is my admittedly light-hearted. take on what can be considered a dark, serious topic that I suggested myself. Be sure to check the other LBC bloggers to see what - if anything - they have to say.  Ramana,  Maria,  Pravin and Ashok


  1. Stephen Hawking often make predictions about the future based on common accepted theoretical assumptions, simply just take it from the effect of climate change, so some scientists call him theoretical physicist who likes to fantasize. To me, Stephen Hawking's controversial statement have the aims as an advertisement for science fiction movie producers.

    It is true that climate change can be felt, like the air temperature feels hotter than before and the floods often occur. But about the doomsday ... who can confirm the exact date? besides just saying the doomsday will happen one day.

    However Stephen Hawking's prediction is good as a reminder for us to quickly move to renewable energy.

  2. I endorse your views that we need to address the climate change problem what I also believe that reversing it is now an impossibility in our life time. The damage already done has gathered momentum of gigantic proportions and in the order of things as your teacher told you, our planet will also have to die one day and we may have just hastened the process.

    Incidentally, for a change, we are not quite on the same page on this subject!

  3. Maybe we've done it before -- relocated from another planted we polluted or exited because its life span expired. We all don't get to go, so how do we decide who does -- those with the most money to buy a ticket?

    1. I won't be going anyway so I will leave that choice to othere I certainly could not afford the ticket.