Theoretical Physicist Stephen Hawking has warned that Trump’s decision to pull US out of the Paris Climate Agreement could lead to irreversible climate change, and turn Earth into a hothouse planet like Venus. Last month, Trump announced that the US would be withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, which nearly 200 nations have agreed to fight global warming and pollution by reducing carbon emissions. He said the pact’s regulation could put “the US economy at stake.” But Hawking has warned that Trump’s decision could have dire consequences.
In an interview with the BBC News, Hawking said “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. 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 warnings come as Hawking celebrates his 75th birthday.
I understand that hawking is considered the world’s smartest human alive, but is he looking at the whole picture? I too was surprised by Trump’s decision, but he is trying to keep the American public from being the world’s scapegoat and being abused. [as we usually are]. It appears that once we try to stand up for ourselves, we become the ‘bad guy’.
When Al Gore created “The Inconvenient Truth”, did he bother to inform people that his mansion in TN uses as much [if not more] energy in one month as the average household uses in one year? No, he didn’t – yet there no big stink about that – was there?
I was called a ‘tree-hugger’ back when it was quite unpopular to be concerned about the environment. Yet even I can see how European policy continues to be designed for the U.S. to bear the brunt of the world’s problems. When will China be held responsible for their infractions?
The *Unfortunate* Truth though, GP, is that the U.S. is still the Number One consumer of energy in the world. And, we have been for a long, long time. China has been catching up to us in this category, but they quickly realized that the fossil fuels they were burning were making their air un-breathable, and they have made a huge investment in renewables. Even though it did appear that the U.S. was making the bigger sacrifices, under the Paris Climate Accord, it is because we had to.
I remember Mr. Trump pointing out how India was getting a bigger break than the U.S., and at first I thought that this wasn’t fair. But when you consider that a country that has a population more than 4 times our own, but it consumes only about 16% of what we do, then it really puts their exemption in perspective. We’re not being scapegoated, when we are the true culprits of energy consumption.
I wouldn’t get so worked up about Gore’s mansion’s energy usage. That’s a form of misdirection. Would he be any more right if he lived in a little eco-friendly cabin in the woods? Of course not. He comes from money, sure, but that has just given him the platform to spread the message. If he was just the average Joe, living in a suburban split-ranch, probably nobody would even listen to him. Not enough people pay attention to the scientists of the world. A little celebrityhood comes in very handy, when it comes to reaching the masses. It sure didn’t hurt Mr. Trump!
I agree with most everything except Gore. People who have been to his place say ALL the lights in the mansion burn regardless of a person being in them or not – that is just wasteful, ignorant and lazy.
I think you just don’t like the guy! But, that is certainly your prerogative, GP. He’s definitely gotten fat and sassy over the years. HE should probably consume less, and expend more energy! — YUR
Cute!! 🙂 No opinion on him, just want people to be honest. You don’t hear much of him any more.
Hawking is mainly looking at it as a very basic mathematical equation. It took mankind thousands and thousands of years for the world’s human population to get to 1 billion in 1804 (pre-Industrial Revolution). In just a little over 200 years we have more than septupled that number to 7.5 Billion. If populations had stayed at 1804 levels, and life expectancy had not increased so, then the extraction and burning of fossil fuels would have had a modest effect on our atmosphere. But, because the rate of extraction and burning has kept pace with the increase in population and life expectancy, combined with the tremendous reduction in rain forests and old growth forests, we are very measurably putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than can possibly be converted to oxygen.
It’s a simple numbers game. A Billion people, living shorter lives, with much less consumerist lifestyles, had a much smaller impact on the world. 7.5 Billion people living markedly longer lives, consuming more and more man-made goods that require fossil fuels, has had a much greater impact on the world. We have simply reached a saturation point. .The realization is a matter of humility. It’s been our arrogance that got us here. — YUR
A very well thought out answer and reply to Hawking’s statements. I am impressed. It is nice to hear people thinking for themselves and following the facts rather than following the pack.
An extreme minority of “others” say a mini-ice age, etc. is going to be the result of this “warming” 95+% of climate scientists are showing us that humans influence is drastically accelerating climate change, at levels seen before yes, but those levels had major negative effects, including extinction level results. It is the human influence that is the key here. Sure, the Sun will go nova some day too, but if we could show real hard data telling us we were accelerating it, would we just throw our hands up, and say, “oh well, it was gonna happen anyway, so why try to change our behavior?”
I’m with you you Photosynth35, we all need to take collective action to maintain our home. Altering our behavior, that is changing climate, polluting water and air, and destroying our fellow Earthlings habitat is part of that, is it not?
And then others say that this warming will throw us into a mini ice age. The Inuits say that the angle of the earth’s axis has changed slightly, and that’s why it’s warmer.
The earth has been doing its thing for billions of years, and it’s fairly arrogant to assume that we know exactly what it’s doing…because we don’t. We can measure it and mark it forever, but it will still surprise us. But in the end, to quote George Carlin, “The world is going to shake us off like a bad case of the flees”. But when that will happen is not set in stone.
In the meantime, instead of pointing fingers at one another, maybe we can all take collective action to maintain the planet we have and live more efficiently (and peacefully) rather than bickering among ourselves. Unless we’re able to move to Mars at sometime in the future, this planet is all we’ve got.
Yes, it is true that the earth has its natural cycles much to do with sun spots. But in the billions of years as you suggest the last 200 years of chemical, gas and particulate matter dumped into the atmosphere has not been a factor. Now it is. To be dismissive that a greenhouse effect is not significant and present is an astonishing degree of denial.
Mini Ice Age ? Definitely not unless catastrophic change is sun’s behavior. Even with global warming it will be cold just that rain and sleet will replace snow. However as the oceans heat up it is postulated the the Gulf Stream along US Atlantic coast will move hundreds of mile east and that the eastern seaboard’s temperature will grow very cold not having the warming effects of the Gulf Stream anymore. Perhaps that will be the mini Ice Age but it will not be a passing matter. It enrages me that many politicians try to pass the buck by saying “I am not a scientist”. Didn’t they go the junior and senior high and take the science classes ? Of course those are not PhD levels but surely gives one a basic understanding of life and physics of planet. The idiots like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida (from Miami where sea level has risen 7 inches since 1920 and is costing billions in beach erosion restoration) cops out by saying “The weather changes all the time.” Of course it does you stupid jerk senator. But the climate is not supposed to change. If it does something’s very wrong.
I’m not political, or an environmentalist. I am a baker, and I am well aware that the climate has changed. Canada is now becoming a better place to grow reisling grapes than Germany (reisling is a cool weather grape). We need to keep the bee population thriving, or I’m going to be out of a job! No vegetation, no cupcakes. But we’ve all heard the spiel since we were in kindergarten–we’re all doomed if we don’t reduce our waste and use of harmful chemicals. It sounds as redundant as an anti-smoking ad…people still smoke despite the abundant information out there about how harmful it is for your health. I also know that doom and gloom sells better than rainbows and puppies. I don’t watch TV (I don’t have one), unless it’s on at work, and most of the time I ignore the political stuff, because it’s all BS. Doesn’t matter what side is being railed against.
Here is some good news: I recently read an article from 2015 about how the ozone is actually healing itself. I work for a company that is going to decent lengths to reduce and reuse its food waste significantly by putting certain programs in place. They also have seafood vendors that fish responsibly and some of them use lines instead of nets to reduce the risk of other animals being caught unintentionally. I read books by people like Joel Salatin about his farming and conservation techniques, and how government hacks keep bugging him about the way he’s doing things because it doesn’t follow “government standards”. But his land is healthy and thriving, as is the food he cultivates, and he has plenty of desciples following his example and healing the land with their efforts. There are people out here doing something right. They just don’t end up on the five o’clock news because who wants to know what’s going right with the world?
If I may make a suggestion: politicians are just glorified businessmen and women (which is why there are lobbyists). In order to get them to listen, you need to think like them. Most Republicans are about conserving capital, not spending it. So if you want them to give you green, make it profitable. Behave as though they’re the board of directors or the board of trustees, and the president is the current CEO. Pitch them something that will put money in their pockets. Marching won’t do that, and statistics won’t do that. Power points won’t do that either. But if you marry eco-friendly with profit, you might have a shot.