The world is going to burn in this very century and humanity’s survival is at stake, the famous Stephen Hawking has repeated obsessively for years. Hawking openly admits it’s “our own fault.”
Check and check. Clearly to all but those most neatly cocooned in privilege and/or comatose, things are shit. And I have no doubt they will get much, much worse, on a few fronts simultaneously. Among the top contenders to mess things up are global warming with increasingly unpredictable and catastrophic weather patterns, rogue AI development with more and more human infrastructure interconnected and reliant on automation and informatics, biotech’s inadvertent creation of super-resistant viruses and bacteria, and good old nuclear holocaust unleashed with one of the world’s many, many red buttons.
Now remember, it’s not one or the other. Odds are there will be room for every single disaster to play its part.
As for Hawking’s fault bit, I don’t know. There will be no agreement on this. Global warming deniers will keep on denying even if a tsunami forms the word “anthropocene” right up against their faces before it swallows them alive. With their last breath they’ll yap “you’re lying!”
What does Hawking suggest? He suggests that whoever can should pack up their ass onboard a space shutle and get the fuck out. He’s a big advocate for efforts to be made to leave the soon-to-burn Earth behind forever.
It is not possible for a human to survive in space indefinitely without going straight up bananas. Science fiction is lying to all of us here. Star Trek is not real. Not at all. Take away the trees and the grass and your breakdown is imminent. Just look at what’s going on in the world’s cities where access to the earth of Earth is increasingly restricted. People are going crazy. The human ape has evolved on Earth and for Earth.
But let’s say that not only exodus but survival in outer space are both possible. What then?
Enter the sober one, George Carlin, for a knockout punch:
“… This is a group of social criminals, these people in the space program. NASsholes, I call’em.
In case you haven’t heard, the latest disaster for the rest of the universe is that the United States is gonna go to Mars, OK? Oh, yeah. We’re gonna go to Mars.
And then, of course, we’re going to colonize deep space. With our microwave hot dogs and plastic vomit fake dog shit, cinnamon dental floss, lemon-scented toilet paper, and sneakers with lights in the heels. And all these other impressive things we’ve done down here.
But let me ask you this, let me ask you this: What are we gonna tell the intergalactic council of ministers the first time one of our teenage mothers throws her newborn baby into a dumpster, huh? How are we gonna explain that to the space people?
How are we gonna let’em know that our ambassador was only late for the meeting because his breakfast was cold and he had to spend half an hour punching his wife in the kitchen?
What are they gonna think when they find out it’s just a local custom that over eighty million in the Third World have had their clitorises forcibly removed in order to reduce their sexual pleasure so they won’t cheat on their husbands?
Can’t you just sense how eager the rest of the universe is for us to show up?” (Complaints and Grievances)
Humanity is the sum total of really weird apes that love huge, dangerous toys and tend to think very highly of themselves no matter how much atrocity they bring into the world. Hawking knows this. He just doesn’t want to face up to it.
They sent a dog, Laika, into space first! Though the Soviets denied this for years, Laika–aged about 3–died within hours from overheating. Talk about returning the gift of friendship, these puny human fucks. Unable to carry the weight of their own sick ideas. And now, now that they think it’s safe and when things down here look more grim by the minute, now they wanna go. These pathetic, heartless, cowardly bastards.
But I say if you fuck up your own home and the homes of everyone else that is known to be alive and feeling, if you do that, then you don’t leave.
You stay and burn with them. You deserve it. The universe will sigh in relief.