Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Start a new life in the off-world colonies

Much criticism by some of my favourite bloggers of Stephen Hawking's argument that we can escape the environmental destruction of the Earth by moving to outer space (Pandagon here, pharyngula here, creek running north here)

The British astrophysicist told a news conference in Hong Kong that humans could have a permanent base on the moon in 20 years and a colony on Mars in the next 40 years.

Do you think this time-scale is realistic? Optimistic?

BTW I don't think Hawking is belittling the importance of preserving the Earth. To a wise person like him the hideous scale of the proposal throws into stark relief the importance of doing everything possible to keep the biosphere safe (I imagine). Unfortunately some people with intelligence but little wisdom seize ideas like this as an excuse for abandoning environmental protection.

is this kind of SF idea the atheist equivalent of the Rapture? Does it give libertarians an imaginary escape route so they don't need to worry about the environment?
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