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Stephen Hawkings challenge ?

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observer    585

Prof Hawkins believes humankind will become extinct on planet earth within the next 100 years, and has challenged science with the task of "travelling where no man has gone before" to colonise a new one. So an interesting prog on TV the other night, went into the problems to be faced and the possibilities of mankind overcoming them.  Apparently the nearest suitable candidate is Proxima B, an exo planet 4.5 light years away, which, with current rocket technology would take around 2,000 years to reach. So with developments of light energy technologies, they narrowed this down to 20 years.  There were a host of other "problems" to overcome and some tenuous solutions were explored, but for me, the final sick joke, was the fact that, because of the nature of it's revolution in relation to it's sun, Proxima B has two poles, one facing it's sun, where water would exist as a gas, and one where it would exist as a solid, leaving a thin strip of possible habitable zone in between, so not exactly a good starting point for re-starting human civilization.  So perhaps a non starter ?

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Davy51    233

I am surprised Professor Hawking has not stated the obvious ,start to turn the various deserts & other barren tracts of land into granaries & orchards to feed the world instead of just looking at them as oil producing opportunities. A global problem needs a global solution & travelling to the stars won't provide that. We have condensation systems that can provide adequate irrigation for crops & it may even give us a chance to save the bee.

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asperity    270

Prof Hawking is obviously very clever in his own field, but that doesn't give him any better powers of seeing the future than anybody else. It's quite possible, given the number of nutcases roaming the planet just now, that 100 years might be over-optimistic!

Have a nice day y'all :ph34r:

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observer    585

Dave, there are a multitude of reasons why he is right about the hundred years or even less as Asp says:  imo the main one being over-population = migrations = resource wars = pandemics etc etc.  But if Proxima B is our best bet, it doesn't look like our survival will be odds on !      :ph34r:

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Davy51    233

Famine is a great controller of populations, as is war ,but i am sure that the solutions to our problems lie on this planet too provided the powers that be focus their attentions away from profit margins. Following Brexit our farmers could thrive with exports to third world countries if the will to do so is there.

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observer    585

Problem is Dave, more food = more mouths to be fed. Best thing we could export is education and contraception.  Also, environmental catastrophes and wars will displace more people into migrations, which in turn produces social unrest elsewhere.  Add to this the movement of disease with such migration (EG. now cases of malaria in Italy, been exported from Africa) and you've got the problem of pandemics.      :ph34r:

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observer    585

The scientists in the prog, estimated around a thousand humans would be required to begin breeding on a new colony (presume this would exclude LGBT applicants ! :D )   Frankly, having listened to all the problems faced and the lack of any unified global programme, I doubt that it's a starter.   I also doubt the ability of biological beings to sustain prolonged space travel. What is more likely imo, would be our replacement by AI robots, who's only energy requirement would be sunlight, and they would be capable of existing in hostile enviroments. How humans could transfer their personalities into such robots is one for the scientists or perhaps they could carry the seeds of humanity with them; if it's possible to protect them against radiation. However, I don't think any of us will see it anyway, so it can remain sci-fi.        :ph34r:

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