Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Ultimate Throwaway Species

My mother was fond of repeating an old adage: "You've made your bed. Now lie it it."

While that advice, in one form or another, has probably been meted out for centuries, renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking apparently doesn't think very much of it.
In "Expedition New Earth" — a documentary that debuts this summer as part of the BBC’s "Tomorrow’s World" science season — Hawking claims that Mother Earth would greatly appreciate it if we could gather our belongings and get out — not in 1,000 years, but in the next century or so.

“Professor Stephen Hawking thinks the human species will have to populate a new planet within 100 years if it is to survive,” the BBC said with a notable absence of punctuation marks in a statement posted online. “With climate change, overdue asteroid strikes, epidemics and population growth, our own planet is increasingly precarious.”
So essentially, since we have trashed this planet, it is time to export our diseased kind to other worlds.

We have become the ultimate throwaway species.


  1. Well, he's certainly not pulling any punches, Lorne. He may also be quite right. We are certainly confirming the hypothesis about intelligent life being self-extinguishing. Twenty years ago we would have thought this idea quirky at best, more likely laughable. Yet here we are. Jared Diamond argues that failed societies collapse rapidly and at their zenith. That's because along the way they adopt one conjuring trick after another to continue, even increase self-destructive habits. Then, as those props begin to falter they fail like dominoes. Look at it this way, we're using resources at 1.7 times the Earth's ability to replenish them. That's bad enough. The critical aspect of this is that we have evolved to a place where we're utterly dependent on that level of consumption and we seek to increase it and our demands on our one and only biosphere in the years ahead. We have the equivalent of ecological emphysema and our approach to that is to go from two packs a day to three. How do we imagine that ends?

    1. And all of that, Mound, begs the question of whether we, as a species, deserve a second chance.