Quantcast

Stephen Hawking to Climate Deniers: Take a Trip to Venus

Climate

Stephen Hawking warns Earth could become as hot as Venus if we do not cut greenhouse gas emissions, a significant driver of climate change.

Venus is by far the hottest planet in the solar system with a searing average surface temperature of 864 degrees Fahrenheit.


"Venus is like Earth in so many ways, a sort of kissing cousin," the famed theoretical physicist said in the second episode of his new series, Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places. "She's almost the same size as Earth, a touch closer to the sun. She has an atmosphere."

NASA explains that for up to 2 billion years of its early history, Venus may have had a shallow liquid-water ocean and habitable surface temperatures. However, due to its position to the sun, the planet's water eventually evaporated. With no water left on its surface, carbon dioxide built up in the atmosphere and led to a runaway greenhouse effect that created Venus' present hellish conditions.

“This is what happens when greenhouse gases are out of control," Hawking said, implying that our own planet could also meet the same fiery fate.

He then quipped, "Next time you meet a climate-change denier, tell them to take a trip to Venus; I will pay the fare."

Hawking has spoken against climate deniers before and has criticized President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement.

"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 in July.

Hawking has frequently warned of doomsday scenarios and said that humanity needs to leave Earth and colonize the moon, Mars or other planets in order for our species to survive the impending doom of climate change.

He believes humans will only last another 600 years before Earth becomes a "sizzling ball of fire" that marks the end of humanity.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

California Condor at soaring at the Grand Canyon. Pavliha / iStock / Getty Images

North America's largest bird passed an important milestone this spring when the 1,000th California condor chick hatched since recovery efforts began, NPR reported Sunday.

Read More Show Less
The Roloway monkey has been pushed closer to extinction. Sonja Wolters / WAPCA / IUCN

The statistics around threatened species are looking grim. A new report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has added more than 9,000 new additions to its Red List of threatened species, pushing the total number of species on the list to more than 105,000 for the first time, according to the Guardian.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / Getty Images

The campaign to re-elect President Donald Trump has found a new way to troll liberals and sea turtles.

Read More Show Less
Night long exposure photograph of wildifires in Santa Clarita, California. FrozenShutter / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristy Dahl

Last week, UCS released Killer Heat, a report analyzing how the frequency of days with a dangerously hot heat index — the combination of temperature and humidity the National Weather Service calls the "feels like" temperature — will change in response to the global emissions choices we make in the coming decades.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A Zara store in Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Timahaowemi / CC BY-SA 3.0

Green is the new black at Zara.

The Spanish fast fashion behemoth has made a bold move to steer its industry to a more environmentally friendly future for textiles. Inditex, Zara's parent company, announced that all the polyester, cotton and linen it uses will be sustainably produced by 2025, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD

Whether you enjoy running recreationally, competitively, or as part of your overall wellness goals, it's a great way to improve your heart health.

Read More Show Less
Text from the plaque that will mark the site where Ok glacier once was. Rice University

By Andrea Germanos

A climate change victim in Iceland is set to be memorialized with a monument that underscores the urgent crisis.

Read More Show Less