Color me a touch heartbroken the other day, but after reading the pitiful articles covering the media event, I've almost decided whatever eventuality awaits humankind has been earned by our ignorance and arrogance. Every article had the same singular quote from Hawking. Why even bother repeating it here? There wasn't even a reference to any science! It was like no one present asked him a question, like, "Sir, what did you base this hypothesis on?"
Given the way the reporters all pitied the man by disparaging how long he's lived with ALS beyond the average life expectancy, it's a wonder none of them suggested dragging him into the street like a mortally wounded animal needing put down. The rest just snootily condescended how we've managed to overcome greenhouse gas emissions with the latest technology and the like.
Um, hello?! Look at the Universe. Look at our planet. Look at the debris field in space and the size of the floating mound of crap in the Pacific Ocean and feel a wealth of pride. Never mind. What he had to say wasn't merely about pollution. It had so much more weight behind it. If you think on the scale of a Universe, then you have to think BIG. Now look at this world, this planet, think of the fragility of life, what it takes for life. NEEDS versus WANTS. For life you need air and water. Without air and water we as a species cannot survive, correct?
What will happen in the next thousand to perhaps ten thousand years? The process of the magnetic poles for the planet will begin reversing - at least that is the speculation based on the change in size of the planet and its revolution path. Something I've been tracking as fodder in one of the data folders for my science-fiction trilogy, Havoc. (Havoc's file is immense and fun for any geek to read.) Even if changes start small in a thousand years time, small changes will be catastrophic for living organisms. Meaning? Some speculate increased geothermal activity translating to shifting tectonics aka earthquakes, and upper atmospheric changes as well as rotation slows, but that is much farther into the future when the ice-walls build on the planet surface...you know, the next ice age. All of this could last a hundred years or a millennia, based on evidence found in the ice caps which show these periods of transition happen with regularity. Only it hasn't happened in a time since man emerged from the primordial ooze so we've gotten cocky. Face it. We ARE cocky. It happens since we're at the top of the food chain. And at this point I'm sort of aggravated and disgusted with my own species blind stupidity. Perhaps as Mr. Beagle once said in The Last Unicorn, (and I'm paraphrasing here) 'maybe one day when rabbits write books they'll think kindly on us.'
I've often wondered, after watching admirable people like Mr. Hawking tenaciously work on in their fields despite debilitating illness, if there wasn't something to the need to see your genes pass on. Why it's harder to kill some of us than others. Genetic imperative, sort of like the biological clock, the drive to preserve life. Why some last longer than others - proving even the "law of the fittest" completely and utterly wrong. Unless of course they can circumvent that, by pure deviousness and cunning and intellect. Not every village needs a swordsman.