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Hawking to Trump: Renounce Your Denial of Climate Change
"People distrust science because they don't understand how it works," Hawking said. "It seems as if we are now living in a time in which science and scientists are in danger of being held in low, and decreasing, esteem. This could have serious consequences. I am not sure why this should be as our society is increasingly governed by science and technology, yet fewer young people seem to want to take up science as a career."
The conversation, naturally, led to his thoughts on Donald Trump. If the genius scientist was ever given the chance to talk to the U.S. president, he would first ask him about his controversial ban of travelers from six mainly Muslim countries.
"This blanket ban is inefficient and prevents America from recruiting skilled people from these countries," Hawking said.
Hawking then quipped, "I would also ask him to renounce his denial of climate change. But again, I fear neither will happen as Trump continues to appease his electorate."
Trump famously said that climate change is a "hoax" invented by the Chinese, as he and members of his political party and administration push the use of fossil fuels, which exacerbates dangerous global warming.
The wide-ranging interview with WIRED also covered Hawking's thoughts on artificial intelligence, his worries over how big corporations like Facebook and Google control information, and the necessity of pursuing a rigorous space exploration program so that humans can find another inhabitable planet.
"Our Earth is becoming too small for us, global population is increasing at an alarming rate and we are in danger of self-destructing," he warned.
"Trump's action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees, and raining sulphuric acid," he said.
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By Dr. Brian R. Shmaefsky
One year after the Flint Water Crisis I was invited to participate in a water rights session at a conference hosted by the US Human Rights Network in Austin, Texas in 2015. The reason I was at the conference was to promote efforts by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to encourage scientists to shine a light on how science intersects with human rights, in the U.S. as well as in the context of international development. My plan was to sit at an information booth and share my stories about water quality projects I spearheaded in communities in Bangladesh, Colombia, and the Philippines. I did not expect to be thrown into conversations that made me reexamine how scientists use their knowledge as a public good.
The shipping industry is coming to grips with its egregious carbon footprint, as it has an outsized contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and to the dumping of chemicals into open seas. Already, the global shipping industry contributes about 2 percent of global carbon emissions, about the same as Germany, as the BBC reported.
The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC overlooks the Tidal Basin, a man-made body of water surrounded by cherry trees. Visitors can stroll along the water's edge, gazing up at the stately monument.
But at high tide, people are forced off parts of the path. Twice a day, the Tidal Basin floods and water spills onto the walkway.