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Environmental Awareness



Stephen Hawking Worried That Global Warming Will Turn Earth Into Venus by Dena Ventrudo
By Dena Ventrudo

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Among Hawking's many other scientific investigations, included are the study of: quantum cosmology, cosmic inflation, helium production in anisotropic Big Bang universes, large N cosmology, the density matrix of the universe, topology and structure of the universe, baby universes, Yang-Mills instantons and the S matrix; anti de Sitter space, quantum entanglement and entropy; the nature of space and time, including the arrow of time; spacetime foam, string theory, supergravity, Euclidean quantum gravity, the gravitational Hamiltonian; Brans-Dicke and Hoyle-Narlikar theories of gravitation; gravitational radiation, and wormholes.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking)
Jan 24, 2007

'Stephen William Hawking is a British theoretical physicist. Hawking is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He is known for his contributions to the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity, especially in the context of black holes, and his popular works in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general. These include the runaway popular science bestseller A Brief History of Time, which stayed on the London Sunday Times bestseller list for a record-breaking 37 weeks.

His two most important scientific contributions up until now have been providing, with Roger Penrose, theorems regarding singularities in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical discovery that black holes emit radiation, which is today known as Hawking radiation (or sometimes as Bekenstein-Hawking radiation).

His scientific career spans more than forty years. His books and public appearances have made him an academic celebrity and world renowned physical theorist.' ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking )

When asked about the environment, Stephen Hawking said he was "very worried about global warming." He said he was afraid Earth "might end up like Venus , at 250 degrees centigrade [482 degrees Fahrenheit] and raining sulfuric acid."

China is the second-largest producer of the greenhouse gases that are causing global warming, after the United States. Experts warn that if emissions aren't reduced, the world's glaciers could melt (which they are right now), threatening cities and triggering droughts and other environmental disasters.

Hawking was in Beijing to attend a conference on string theory, a field of physics that attempts to explain and model the universe.

Some speakers at the seminar included David J. Gross, winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize for physics, EdwardWitten, winner of the Fields Medal in mathematics in 1990, and a few other prolific scientists in the field. (livescience.com)

--Now about that Dooms Day Clock....

'In 1947 the Bulletin introduced its clock to convey the perils posed by nuclear weapons through a simple design. The Doomsday Clock evoked both the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero).

In 1949 Bulletin leaders realised that movement of the minute hand would signal the organization’s assessment of world events.

The decision to move the minute hand is made by the Bulletin's Board of Directors in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 18 Nobel Laureates.

The Bulletin's Doomsday Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world’s vulnerability to nuclear weapons and other threats.' ( http://lowcarbonkid.blogspot.com/2007/01/doomsday-clock-hands-to-be-moved.html )

Here is a direct source in regards to the clock:

"Doomsday Clock" Moves Two Minutes Closer To Midnight

17 January 2007 | 10:14 PM

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Adjusts Clock From 7 to 5 Minutes Before Midnight; “ Deteriorating” Global Situation Cited on Nuclear Weapons and New Factor: Climate Change.

WASHINGTON, D.C. and LONDON, ENGLAND

Big BenJanuary 17, 2007  The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) is moving the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock two minutes closer to midnight. It is now 5 minutes to midnight. Reflecting global failures to solve the problems posed by nuclear weapons and the climate crisis, the decision by the BAS Board of Directors was made in consultation with the Bulletin’s Board of Sponsors, which includes 18 Nobel Laureates.

BAS announced the Clock change today at an unprecedented joint news conference held at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC, and the Royal Society in London. In a statement supporting the decision to move the hand of the Doomsday Clock, the BAS Board focused on two major sources of catastrophe: the perils of 27,000 nuclear weapons, 2000 of them ready to launch within minutes; and the destruction of human habitats from climate change. In articles by 14 leading scientists and security experts writing in the January-February issue of theBulletin of the Atomic Scientists (http://www.thebulletin.org ), the potential for catastrophic damage from human-made technologies is explored further.

Created in 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Doomsday Clock has been adjusted only 17 times prior to today, most recently in February 2002 after the events of 9/11.

By moving the hand of the Clock closer to midnight — the figurative end of civilization — the BAS Board of Directors is drawing attention to the increasing dangers from the spread of nuclear weapons in a world of violent conflict, and to the catastrophic harm from climate change that is unfolding. The BAS statement explains: "We stand at the brink of a Second Nuclear Age. Not since the first atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has the world faced such perilous choices. North Korea’s recent test of a nuclear weapon, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, a renewed emphasis on the military utility of nuclear weapons, the failure to adequately secure nuclear materials, and the continued presence of some 26,000 nuclear weapons in the United States and Russia are symptomatic of a failure to solve the problems posed by the most destructive technology on Earth."

The BAS statement continues: "The dangers posed by climate change are nearly as dire as those posed by nuclear weapons. The effects may be less dramatic in the short term than the destruction that could be wrought by nuclear explosions, but over the next three to four decades climate change could cause irremediable harm to the habitats upon which human societies depend for survival."

Stephen Hawking, a BAS sponsor, professor of mathematics at the University of Cambridge, and a fellow of The Royal Society, said: "As scientists, we understand the dangers of nuclear weapons and their devastating effects, and we are learning how human activities and technologies are affecting climate systems in ways that may forever change life on Earth. As citizens of the world, we have a duty to alert the public to the unnecessary risks that we live with every day, and to the perils we foresee if governments and societies do not take action now to render nuclear weapons obsolete and to prevent further climate change." ( http://www.thebulletin.org/weekly-highlight/20070117.html )

Dena VentrudoI think its time for those remaining in denial about our environment and global state of affairs to confront the inevitable truth and consequences of our actions, and take action to stop it.

For those of you interested in taking action or learning more about Global Climate Change, I have listed many links within this article.

To the many who have been active and considerate of this profoundly serious problem, thank you.  As I have said before, even the smallest of efforts, the tiniest of steps, can ultimately make a world of difference. No effort is too small.

Respectfully yours,

Dena Ventrudo

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