Stephen Hawking offers free trip to Venus to climate change deniers
‘Venus used to be like Earth. Then it overheated.’ These words were uttered by Stephen Hawking, the world’s foremost physicist, in the second episode of “Favorite Places” which recently started airing on CuriosityStream.com.
Climate change is a subject that continues to divide the scientific community as very few others do. The list of prominent skeptics and deniers of this theory is at least as long and illustrious as the one from the opposite camp, which also includes Stephen Hawking.
The famed physicist, who stars in an original documentary series called Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places, warns that Earth could be facing the same destiny as Venus if greenhouse gases spiral out of control.
Venus, a sort of kissing cousin of Earth, he says, is like Earth in so many ways. Both planets are of the approximately same size, with Earth situated a touch closer to the sun.
Mr. Hawking is then depicted flying on board the SS Hawking through the clouds of sulphuric acid that make up the bulk of the barren planet’s atmosphere to investigate the conditions on Venus.
His findings are rather terrifying. Mr. Hawking discovers that the pressure on Venus is approximately 90 times that of Earth, which is enough to crush a submarine. The surface temperature? Mere 200 degrees.
The Venus landscape, as depicted by the rather underwhelming CGI of the show, provides a rather ominous clue of the things to come if Mr. Hawking’s prediction is anything to go by.
This is precisely what happens if greenhouse gases spiral out of control, he says. It’s what will happen to our planet if we don’t do anything about it.
A 2002 study conducted by NASA found that liquid water covered large areas of Venus some 4.5 million years ago.
However, as the planet warmed, the resulting water vapor continued to build up in the planet’s atmosphere until all the oceans on the planet surface evaporated forever.
Mr. Hawking, who has been warning about the dangers of greenhouse gas emissions for years, gives a daunting prediction about the future of our planet 100 years from now.
He says that because of the way we’ve been treating the planet, we will be forced to abandon it sooner rather than later, perhaps in 100 years or so.
The powers that be, however, do not seem to share Mr. Hawking’s fear that our planet is en route to becoming an uninhabitable and barren planet, much like Venus. America’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement certainly suggests that much.
Mr. Hawking, however, is not about to fold.
“Next time you meet a climate denier,” he said, “tell them to take a trip to Venus. I will pay the fare.”
It might be time to start listening to the greatest minds of our time. We might learn a thing or two and save our planet along the way.