Renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has warned that U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the landmark Paris climate deal could result in irreversible climate change, driving Earth toward a future akin to that of hothouse planet Venus.
Hawking issued the warning in an exclusive interview with BBC News last Sunday, which coincided with his 75th birthday celebration. He didn’t mince words detailing the catastrophic effects of Trump’s climate stance.
Climate Change, And Earth In Grave Danger
"We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible,” Hawking told BBC. “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 highlighted climate change as among the great dangers in humanity’s existence, yet one that can be prevented now. He hit Trump’s pulling out from the climate agreement, saying it will lead to “avoidable environmental damage” to the planet and will endanger nature and future generations.
Hawking also feared the “inbuilt” aggression in humans, paired with new militarized technology and weapons of mass destruction.
“I fear evolution has inbuilt greed and aggression to the human genome,” he said, laying hope on forming space colonies for humans’ continued survival.
The scientist, confined to a wheelchair by a form of the motor neuron disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), pinned his hope on science to redeem humans and serve as his legacy.
His legacy: the discovery that black holes aren’t completely black. In the complex study of quantum science, Hawking believed that there’s a way to resolve the paradoxes lying between quantum mechanics and general relativity.
Trump’s Climate Position, CO2 Release Budget
Trump recently announced that the United States will back out of the Paris climate accord, which was signed at the conclusion of COP 21 in December 2015 by 195 countries. He deemed the agreement a threat to American sovereignty and economy, dubbing it “draconian.”
“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” said Trump, earning the ire of world leaders as he promised to negotiate a better deal for the country.
The deal aims to limit the rise in global temperatures to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, which scientists assert would notably reduce the risks and impact of global warming.
In a statement recently released, a group of scientists, private leaders, and policymakers warned that the world has three years to get climate change under control, or else it becomes impossible to contain the phenomenon within safe limits.
The group led by Christiana Figueres estimated that Earth has about a maximum of 600 billion tons more of carbon dioxide that can be emitted if humans want to have a good chance of holding temperature rise within the Paris-set limit.
Each year, 41 billion tons are emitted from energy consumption as well as other sources. This sets a 15-year timeline for the budget to get exhausted, yet emissions should be lessened right away since they cannot suddenly drop to zero after those 15 years.