Mankind should be looking for a new home – Stephen Hawking

Sandra Chapman
Sandra Chapman
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Is it just possible that all this local political bickering is a supreme waste of energy and time and that we should, in fact, be looking for a new home?

I don’t mean we should all call up our local estate agents and suggest we want to move because we fancy the idea of a furniture makeover.

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking

I mean something entirely out of our sphere of thinking.

This week no less a person than our most foremost astrophysicist Professor Stephen Hawking has said that mankind has 100 years – a mere century – to find a new home beyond Earth if we are to survive.

My generation, with just about three decades of living on this earth left to us, might not be too exercised by this dark prediction. Yet we need to take it on board. After all we’re going to be voting soon in the General Election and the one, possibly, after that which might sort out those dire political problems we have closer to home.

Here, politics have turned very nasty indeed. It’s not the first person to have said to me that they wish a bomb would drop in the middle of all those warring parties to knock some sense into them.

Well, that aspiration may not be as far-fetched as you’d think. Professor Hawking believes time is running out for Earth and if we are to survive climate change, being hit from above by asteroid strikes and maybe even meteorites (I think the latter would be really bad judging by the teeny ones that have already fallen in other parts), epidemics and over population, we will need to find another planet to live on.

It will behove us all in fact to tune into Professor Hawking’s documentary Expedition New Earth, part of the BBC’s new season of Tomorrow’s World. According to the media this week the brightest minds and institutions in science and technology in the world will be involved in the series starting soon. Tony Hall, the BBC’s director general, says it’s all to equip us with the knowledge and understanding to make sense of our lives and the future.

“Science is changing the world at an extraordinary pace,’’ he says. You can say that again.

So there you are. In 100 years from now will anybody be left on Earth speaking the Irish language forced upon them by a tenacious political party which killed and maimed to get what it wanted? Where will the crocodiles be that the helped bring down the country’s Unionist political leader? And what about all those must-have celebrations such as the Twelfth and St Patrick’s Day? Will there be anyone around to don a Sash or a silly hat in the shape of a Shamrock?

If anyone survives to reach the `new’ planet will they take all our fractious customs with them? Which language will the people speak in this new Home? Irish, English, Cornish, Welsh or French since they too are a fractious nation?

You see, the human race was all but wiped out by a comet striking the earth 13,000 years ago. And this, according to an `eccentric archaeologist’ Graham Hancock was depicted on The Vulture Stone which was dug up at Gobekli Tepe in Turkey near the Syrian border three decades ago. According to the media last week, Hancock insists that a ‘‘highly evolved human civilisation was wiped out by a global catastrophe, remembered now only in myths and Biblical accounts, leaving just a few nomadic tribes on a shattered earth’’.

The Stone has carvings which depict that a very civilised nation once existed on earth. What language did it speak? Irish, English? The Stone doesn’t tell us.

So maybe we need to take Professor Hawking’s predictions seriously. If the dreaded comet or asteroid or meteorite hits us we’re toast and all that fighting going on currently will have been for nothing.