Stephen Hawking was one of the world’s greatest minds. When he spoke, the world listened. Now we hope that the world will continue to listen, particularly to this stark warning he gave about Donald Trump.
The President of the United States withdrew from the Paris climate accord last June, saying it was detrimental to the American workforce. Before Donald Trump was even elected as president, Hawking described him as ‘a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator.’ But the most intelligent man on earth told the BBC the Republican’s decision on Paris could eventually see Earth turn into a planet like Venus with a temperature of 250°C.
Speaking on his 75th birthday, he 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 250C, 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.’
In a wide-ranging interview, the Cambridge professor, who has suffered from motor neurone disease for more than five decades also said our days on earth were numbered. ‘I fear evolution has inbuilt greed and aggression to the human genome,’ he said. ‘There is no sign of conflict lessening, and the development of militarised technology and weapons of mass destruction could make that disastrous. ‘The best hope for the survival of the human race might be independent colonies in space.’