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Stephen Hawking: 'I Am Convinced That Humans Need to Leave Earth'
"We have given our planet the disastrous gift of climate change ... When we we have reached similar crises there has usually been somewhere else to colonize ... But there is no new world, no utopia around the corner," he said. "We are running out of space, and the only places to go to are other worlds."
"It is time to explore other solar systems," Hawking continued. "Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves. I am convinced that humans need to leave Earth."
Space travel would "elevate humanity," he noted.
The renowned physicist made the remarks Wednesday at the Starmus arts and science festival in Norway.
At the event, Hawking criticized President Donald Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement, saying "I am not denying the importance of fighting climate change and global warming, unlike Donald Trump, who may just have taken the most serious, and wrong, decision on climate change this world has seen."
The professor is working with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner's Breakthrough Starshot initiative to send a fleet of laser-powered "nano craft" into space.
"Such a system could reach Mars in less than an hour, reach Pluto in days, pass Voyager [the space probe launched in 1977] in under a week, and reach Alpha Centauri in just over 20 years," he said. "Once there, the nano craft could image any planets discovered in the system, test for magnetic fields and organic molecules, and send the data back to Earth in another laser beam."
The scheme is "a real opportunity for man to make early forays into outer space, with a view to probing and weighing the possibilities of colonization," he said.
Hawking also urged world leaders to send astronauts to the moon by 2020, build a lunar base in 30 years and to send people to Mars by 2025.
"Spreading out into space will completely change the future of humanity," he said. "I hope it would unite competitive nations in a single goal, to face the common challenge for us all."
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Wolves and Jaguars Are Already Threatened by Border Razor Wire As Trump Vetoes Bid to Block Emergency Wall Funding
President Donald Trump issued the first veto of his presidency Friday, overturning Congress' vote to block his national emergency declaration to fund a border wall that environmental advocates say would put 93 endangered species at risk. However, the president's decision came the same day as an in-depth report from UPI revealing how razor wire placed at the border in the last four months already threatens wildlife.
Yet another whale has died after ingesting plastic bags. A young male Cuvier's beaked whale was found washed up in Mabini, Compostela Valley in the Philippines Friday, CNN reported. When scientists from the D' Bone Collector Museum in Davao investigated the dead whale, they found it had died of "dehydration and starvation" after swallowing plastic bags―40 kilograms (approximately 88 pounds) worth of them!
By Joe Sandler Clarke
"Don't expect us to continue buying European products," Malaysia's former plantations minister Mah Siew Keong told reporters in January last year. His comments came just after he had accused the EU of "practising a form of crop apartheid."
A few months later Luhut Pandjaitan, an Indonesian government minister close to President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo, warned his country would retaliate if it was "cornered" by the EU.
By Luis Torres
For some people who live along the U.S.-Mexico border, President Trump's attempt to declare a national emergency and extend the border wall is worse than a wasteful, unconstitutional stunt. It's an attack on their way of life that threatens to desecrate their loved ones' graves.
At least 150 people have died in a cyclone that devastated parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi over the weekend, The Associated Press reported Sunday. Cyclone Idai has affected more than 1.5 million people since it hit Mozambique's port city of Beira late Thursday, then traveled west to Zimbabwe and Malawi. Hundreds are still missing and tens of thousands are without access to roads or telephones.
"I think this is the biggest natural disaster Mozambique has ever faced. Everything is destroyed. Our priority now is to save human lives," Mozambique's Environment Minister Celso Correia said, as AFP reported.