1,000 Year Countdown?

This was one of the most uncomfortable articles that I read this year:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/11/17/stephen-hawking-just-gave-humanity-a-due-date-for-finding-another-planet/

It's hard to ignore threats to mankind's existence:
  • Environmental changes (e.g. global warming) and subsequent effects (e.g. melting polar ice caps, ocean temperature changes)
  • Ourselves (e.g. ocean pollution in Trash Vortex, air pollution, war)
  • AI evolving into something like Skynet (from the Terminator movies).  Yeah, seemed like fantasy when the movies first came out but with recent technology, it now seems a bit less so.
Suggested solution in article is to look towards space for a new home.  Pursuit of life elsewhere will probably bring many positive discoveries.  Can we really expect to take care of a new home when we could not take care of our previous one?

Modern man has existed for over 200,000 years with civilizations spanning over 6,000 years.  If we have the intelligence to seek out new worlds, shouldn't we also be applying equal (or more) effort toward achieving a sustainable balance on Earth?

1,000 years seems a bit generous when you consider the potential threats. Do we really need to see the math and estimate how growing population and resource consumption will impact our world?  How about seeing the formula for how we should be living a sustainable existence now, preserving resources and ensuring our continued existence here? That knowledge would serve us well at whatever planets we decide to live.


Print | posted on Friday, December 23, 2016 1:22 AM

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# re: 1,000 Year Countdown?

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