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Time for humans to start thinking about moving says Hawking

For many years humans have dreamed of one day colonizing other planets and moons.  Although research would be an important reason for the foreign bases, could the survival of the human race depend on whether or not we can colonize other planets?  World-renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking recently said that humans need to colonize a planet or moon because the Earth might face destruction -- A man made disaster -- global warming being a good example -- or natural disaster could potentially destroy the planet. 

Although he believes humans can colonize the moon within 20 years, and establish a sufficient base on Mars within 40 years, humans "won't find anywhere as nice as Earth," unless we visit another solar system.  The moon looks to be like an ideal place for a potential new colony.  Not only does it appear to have everything needed to sustain humans, ice has also been found at its poles.

Nations have been thinking about colonizing other planets for years.  DailyTech earlier reported that NASA is working towards a permanent moon base that would be a stepping stone to allow astronauts to explore Mars firsthand.  Swedish researchers are also studying different ways to have a self-sustaining colony on the moon.


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RE: We're all doomed!!!!!
By bpurkapi on 6/15/2006 1:25:48 PM , Rating: 2
That source is equivelent to fox news, many of the writers also contribute to the drudge report. The problem with that post is that you are showing that 10 scientists disagree, which is fine, but to say 10 scientists equal the definitive perspective on global warming is a mistake.
This kind of news always irks me, a newspaper talks exclusively to the scientists that are against global warming and then says that scientists disagree that global warming exists. All in all this article is crap, because there are no perspectives on the other side, so you can take this slanted article and throw it away, its not news or even informative. The point of science is to debate, this was no debate, it was a one sided affront to science spurred by someone's agenda.


The Sky IS falling. Honest. I swear.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/15/2006 2:26:54 PM , Rating: 2
> "That source is equivelent to fox news..."

When you can't attack the messenger, attack the message eh? The facts quoted in the article are indisputable. Global Warming (and cooling) of much greater magnitude has occurred many times in the Earth's history...all without human action. As for the current trend, there is no hard evidence that it will continue, and no proof man is even causing any of it, much less the majority.

Furthermore, there is no evidence that even the IPCC's own estimate of maximum warming would be more harmful than beneficial. In other words, it may be GOOD for humanity. The vast majority of warming seen is in the coldest, driest areas...the tropical regions are seeing no warming...some are even cooling slightly. Growing cycles will increase slightly. Subarctic regions become more habitable. Hurricane intensity may actually *decrease* (storms are driven by temperature differentials, and global warming decreases those differences).

Finally, nothing short of us moving back to the stone age will cause mankind to stop generating CO2 entirely. Therefore, IF global warming is a long-term trend, and IF mankind is contributing to it, and IF that trend is ultimately harmful (three huge "ifs") we are looking for solutions in the wrong place. In that case, actively cooling the Earth is the only long-term solution. I've seen a half-dozen proposals for such...many of which appear more tenable and less costly than trying to convert the world off a combustion-based economy altogether.



By masher2 (blog) on 6/15/2006 3:54:07 PM , Rating: 2
> "When you can't attack the messenger, attack the message eh? "

Reversed that, *blush*...


RE: The Sky IS falling. Honest. I swear.
By rcc on 6/15/2006 5:25:46 PM , Rating: 2
This is totally off in left field, however, I read an interesting Novel recently. The author claimed a solid scientific basis for his story background, but I haven't had a chance to check on it.

Per the story, following the historical cycles, Earth should currently be in a minor ice age, however, because of the human influence, it has been offset by global warming. So, when the environmentalists finally get their way and reduce the CO2/hothouse gasses, it triggers the ice age. So now you have glaciers expanding through the most of the main worldwide food growing belts. People trying to survive the new winters without burning anything including heating oil. Science and technology were bad words, etc. And of course the environmental folks in power are blaming it all on the scientific advances of the preceeding century.
Entertaining from a certain warped perspective.

But, it does add another page to the "beware what you ask for" book.


By masher2 (blog) on 6/15/2006 5:28:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
> "Per the story, following the historical cycles, Earth should currently be in a minor ice age, however, because of the human influence, it has been offset by global warming. So, when the environmentalists finally get their way and reduce the CO2/hothouse gasses, it triggers the ice age."


Sounds like Niven's Fallen Angels.


RE: The Sky IS falling. Honest. I swear.
By FoxFour on 6/15/2006 10:31:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hurricane intensity may actually *decrease* (storms are driven by temperature differentials, and global warming decreases those differences).


I was under the impression that extreme weather phenomena increase in quantity and magnitude as the overall heat energy in the atmosphere and oceans (which roughly translates into average global temperature) increases ... it's been quite some time since I did any research on the matter, though, so correct me if I've got it mixed up.



By masher2 (blog) on 6/16/2006 9:01:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
> "I was under the impression that extreme weather phenomena increase in quantity and magnitude as the overall heat energy in the atmosphere and oceans (which roughly translates into average global temperature) increases "


No, not quite. If the Earth was one uniform temperature from pole to pole, there'd be no storm activity whatsoever...regardless whether that temperature was 5 degrees or 500. Storms are driven by temperature differentials...the larger the differential, the more energy available to the storm.

Now, if you raise the average temperature but don't change the differential (e.g. tropics and temperate regions of earth both warm equally), storms get more severe. However, global warming isn't doing this. The tropics aren't warming, but everything else is. So in the latitude band where all hurricanes form, temperature differentials are decreasing.


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