Stephen Hawking has warned that any potential human and extraterrestrial life encounter in the future may not turn out as most people think it would. The renowned physicist has also expressed deep concerns on how global warming could one day obliterate the planet we are living in.
[Image Source: NASA HQ PHOTO/Flickr]
How man and extraterrestrial life could potentially clash
A big chunk of government funds is spent on advancing our civilization’s endeavor to colonize other planets such as Mars. The modern generation of academics today is particularly enchanted with the idea that we are not alone in the universe. However, being in contact with extraterrestrial life is not the only goal of current endeavors to migrate to outer space. The threatening issue of global warming is a big motivational factor for driving research and development efforts to quickly advance technologies that would make it possible for humans to explore other cosmic worlds.
In a documentary show called Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places, the physicist embarks on a journey in outer space aboard his spacecraft covering various mysteries found in the universe such as black holes and exoplanets. The physicist believes that a distant world, Gliese 832c, may be host to extraterrestrial life and that at some point, Earth could potentially be contacted by creatures on the exoplanet. However, he warned that humans must be cautious when engaging with the unfamiliar life forms. Many have speculated on what it would be like to encounter extraterrestrial life but Hawking has his own prediction on how man and extraterrestrial life could potentially clash.
“One day, we might receive a signal from a planet like this, but we should be wary of answering back. Meeting an advanced civilization could be like Native Americans encountering Columbus. That didn’t turn out so well”.
The exoplanet was only discovered three years ago on June 2014 and was categorized to be at the top three most Earth-like planets. Gliese 832c is 16 light-years away from us and is the nearest out of the three exoplanets that may potentially be home to other life forms. On average, the exoplanet receives more or less the same average dose of energy from the Sun as the Earth does. For this reason, and from its many other similar traits to Earth, Professor Hawking believes that Gliese 832c is the best place to scour for extraterrestrial life and perhaps one of the most suitable candidates where humans can migrate to. The physicist believes that it’s important to find another planet humans can inhabit especially with the impending planetary apocalypse brought about by global warming.
Why humans need to act on global warming now
On a recent interview with BBC, Professor Hawking highlighted the US President’s decision to withdraw America from the Paris Climate Accord and how this will inevitably put our planet to potential extinction.
“Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it’s one we can prevent if we act now. By denying the evidence for climate change, and pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Donald Trump will cause avoidable environmental damage to our beautiful planet, endangering the natural world, for us and our children”.
The theoretical physicist explained that Earth could possibly end up having the same fate as our neighboring planet Venus if global warming reaches its threshold.
“We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible. Trump’s action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees, and raining sulphuric acid”.
With all these said, it’s not surprising that serious efforts and funding are devoted to space travel such as Elon Musk’s Mars project and the NASA pledge to be one of the first to bring people to the red planet by 2030.