World-famous physicist Stephen Hawking is claiming Earth is on an unstoppable downward trajectory and that humans need to make plans to leave this planet for another inhabitable place if they want to survive.
During a speech at the Norwegian Starmus event, a festival celebrating science and art, Hawking said Earth’s rapidly depleting resources and climate change will make the planet hostile to human life in the future.
“Our physical resources are being drained at an alarming rate,” Hawking said, according to a report by the Evening Express (United Kingdom). "We have given our planet the disastrous gift of climate change. Rising temperatures, reduction of the polar ice caps, deforestation, and decimation of animal species. We can be an ignorant, unthinking lot.”
Hawking also said the people of Earth are “running out of space” and need to find other worlds to “save us from ourselves.”
“We are running out of space and the only places to go to are other worlds,” Hawking said. “It is time to explore other solar systems. Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves. I am convinced that humans need to leave Earth.”
This isn’t the first time Hawking has spoken about his belief humans must flee Earth. According to Newsweek, in May, Hawking said, “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.”
Many of Hawking’s arguments have been disputed by other top scientists in the past.
According to data provided by the Columbia University Earth Institute in 2005, only 3 percent of Earth’s land is occupied by areas considered to be “urban.” The vast majority of land remains without significant human settlements.
Hawking’s urgent warning about climate change has also been widely discounted by many influential scientists, including the highly respected Princeton physicist William Happer, who has called climate-change alarmism a “cult” and suggested there are many benefits to increased carbon-dioxide levels, which Hawking and others say are causing the climate to warm.
"There's a whole area of climate so-called science that is really more like a cult,” Happer told the Guardian (United Kingdom) in February. “It's like Hare Krishna or something like that. They're glassy-eyed and they chant. It will potentially harm the image of all science."