Stephen Hawking warns we’re just 600 years away from burning up in a massive fireball – but he has a solution
Stephen Hawking is most definitely a “glass half empty” kind of guy.
Just days after prophesying that robots will eventually overtake humans and become the dominant race, he’s now suggesting our planet will turn into a raging ball of fire in less than 600 years and kill us all. Great.
At the Tencent Wi Summit in Beijing, Stephen Hawking delivered a dire warning to the world. In his speech he explained that the world will continue to become overcrowded and, due to the increased energy consumption linked to the population increase, our planet will eventually turn into a ball of fire.
No bother though, Stephen Hawking has a solution.
Addressing investors, he declared that we have to “boldly go where no one has gone before.” And, unlike Richard Branson who simply wants to get us to space or Elon Musk who thinks we need to aim for Mars, Hawking has his sights set on a completely different star system, Alpha Centauri.
“At around four light-years away, it’s the closest star system to our Sun,” he said, before appealing to investors to back the Breakthrough Starshot venture that will use a very small spacecraft that can travel at the speed of light.
“Such a system could reach Mars in less than an hour, or reach Pluto in days, pass Voyager in under a week and reach Alpha Centauri in just over twenty years.”
Hawking’s warning joins a long list of other scary predictions that the physicist has delivered about our planet in the past. Back in 2016 at an event at Oxford University’s Student Union, the physicist told the audience that we won’t survive another 1,000 years on our fragile planet, especially at the rate that our population is growing. Not content with just taking aim at Earth, he’s also concerned about a threat of our own intentional making. He has regularly reaffirmed his sceptical position on artificial intelligence, suggesting AI will replace humans altogether and that it will become a new form of life that will outperform humans. It joins his 2016 warning that artificial intelligence could very well develop a will of its own that could conflict with humanity.
In any case, I’m not looking forward to seeing what the physicist predicts next for our planet.