Stephen Hawking says we must colonize another planet within the next 100 years, and not the next 500 or 1,000 years. The British theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author, who is Director of research at Cambridge University’s Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, called on governments, scientists, and companies to redouble their efforts to colonize other planets, before ours became uninhabitable.
If humanity is to prevail, we need to spread out beyond our planet, Prof. Hawking explained. Having all humans on Earth and nowhere else significantly increases the risk of our total extinction.
Prof. Hawking spoke at The Royal Society in London in a press conference, in which he announced the Starmus IV festival – Life and the Universe, which will be held in Trondheim, Norway, from 18th to 23rd June.
We must colonize another world by the year 2117 if we are serious about our long-term survival, warns Prof. Stephen Hawking. (Image: adapted from twitter.com/AstronomyEye)
Hawking slashes 1,000 to 100 years
In November 2016, Prof. Hawking said we had one thousand years to colonize another planet. Now, he’s drastically cut it to just 100 years. Scientists across the world, as well as many lay people, ask the question:
“What has change since November last year for him to slash the number of years by 900?”
At the Royal Society on Friday, Prof. Hawking said:
“I am aware there is a good deal of speculation in the media at the moment regarding my prediction of our time left on this Earth.”
“I strongly believe we should start seeking alternative planets for possible habitation. We are running out of space on Earth and we need to break through the technological limitations preventing us from living elsewhere in the universe.”
Putting all humankind’s eggs in one basket is risky, Prof. Hawking believes. If we were struck by a giant asteroid, experienced a mega-super volcanic eruption, made our planet too warm, or destroyed ourselves in a nuclear war, we could become extinct – if we had not colonized another world. (Image: adapted from hawking.org.uk)
Prof. Hawking will be the keynote speaker at the Starmus IV festival, where he is expected to focus on the need for humans to colonize other planets. Scientists believe it will be the dominant theme during the festival.
Prof. Hawking insists he is not alone in this view. He added that many of his colleagues will make further comments in Norway in June.
A BBC documentary – Expedition New Earth – which will be aired on June 15th, will feature Prof. Hawking’s doomsday warning. We need to become a multi-planetary species within the next century if we want to survive, he warns.
Expedition New Earth will form part of the BBC’s new series ‘Tomorrow’s World‘.
Hawking’s main concern
Scientists across the world, including Prof. Hawking, say that the main driver behind the dramatically revised estimate is global warming, also known as climate change.
Mars is the current focus of scientific study about possible colonization by humans. The surface conditions of ‘the Red Planet’ and the presence of water make it arguably the most hospitable planet in our solar system – apart from Earth. (Image: Adapted from Wikipedia)
Wired quoted Nobel Laureate Edvard Moser, who said:
“I think what it comes down to is explaining how the data of climate change has been collected and how the scientific process works and how data is tested over and over again and I think it’s an educational job.”
“I don’t think there’s a single sentence I could say that would change anyone’s mind overnight but I think it’s a long term thing,” Moser added.
Prof. Moser, a Norwegian psychologist and neuroscientist, who is a scientific member of the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology in Germany, will also be at the Starmus festival next month.
Interstellar Travel – in April 2016, Prof. Hawing said he believed that travelling outside our solar system into another star system could soon be a reality. He said he was supporting a project to send nanocrafts – super-tiny spacecrafts – to another star system. Scientists believe this could be completed within one generation.
The chip-size crafts will travel several trillion miles, considerably further than anything humans have sent out into space so far.
Video – Hawking warns we have just 100 years
This RT video shows Prof. Stephen Hawking announcing the Starmus IV festival during a press conference at the Royal Society in London. He warns that we have just 100 years left to colonize another planet if we are serious about humanity’s long-term survival.