Dr. Stephen Hawking just attained his 70th birthday which is as miraculous as his brilliant work. Diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) when he was 21, he is the longest surviving victim of this terrible disease. He was unable to attend his birthday celebration this past weekend, but sent along a recording of the speech he had planned to make. Dr. Hawking, a physicist and cosmologist, is lauded for his theories on black holes, quantum gravity and other scientific works too deep for me to even possibly pronounce or type, let alone understand!!
In his recorded message, he speaks about his life, his inspirations and his career. He talks about his books and his theories. Just Google his name and you can find the speech, along with many interesting web sites about him.
One thing Dr. Hawking discussed was his belief that within a thousand years the human race will be unable to survive on our planet, and will have to seek new worlds in outer space. He is an advocate for space exploration and the colonization of other planets.
My immediate response to that was: Does the human race deserve to go out and wreck havoc on another planet? Our Earth was once a pristine world; fresh air, clean water, thriving plant and animal life. Along comes The Human and there goes the neighborhood. Like the Joni Mitchell song: "...they paved paradise and put up a parking lot." Humans have not only paved paradise, but have polluted, razed and ravaged this planet in the name of industry, technology and Progress. Is is really necessary for us to destroy every last living thing here, and then move on, like some galactic Atilla the Hun and do the same to the next beautiful, unsuspecting world?
I am all for space exploration and have been since I was a tot reading Heinlein, Bradbury and Asimov. It is a thrilling idea to think of discovering life on other planets and to have space colonies set up housekeeping. But first, absolutely FIRST, the collective consciousness must evolve beyond our throwaway consumerism, wasteful habits, lack of eco-awareness, blatant pollution, denial of the rights of every living thing to have life and freedom to survive, and.......well, you know what I am getting it.
It is a dismal thought, isn't it? Thinking about Earth a thousand years from now. Being Wiccan, I must be an optimist though and continue to work towards healing the planet, and hoping others will join in. There are many many many people who believe the same. Surely it is not too late?