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What Did Stephen Hawking Mean When He Said Trump Could Turn Earth Into Venus?

Discussion in 'Planet Earth' started by Num7, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. Num7

    Num7 Administrator

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    Stephen Hawking is clearly not a fan of President Trump. Over the last few weeks and months, he’s been particularly aggrieved by the White House’s decision to leave the Paris climate change agreement.

    Previously, he’s referred to this as the “most serious and wrong decision this world has seen” on climate change. Now, speaking to BBC News, he claimed that Trump’s actions could turn Earth into Venus.

    “We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible. 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 sulfuric acid,” he told BBC News as part of a series of programs revolving around his 75th birthday.

    So what does he mean by this? Well, it’s all about water. The oceans are the planet’s greatest carbon sink, more so than the atmosphere. Without them, the Earth right now would have warmed 36°C (64.8°F) in the past century, rather than just 1°C (1.8°F).



    Long ago, Venus would have likely been covered in some water, but not enough to absorb the masses of carbon dioxide being emitted by its overactive volcanoes. Most of the powerful greenhouse gas went into the atmosphere instead, and warmed the planet so much that all its water evaporated. The carbon dioxide continued to accumulate, leading to a runaway greenhouse effect.

    This produced the Venus we know today, one whose incredibly thick atmosphere puts so much pressure on the surface that it’d effectively crush a human to death within seconds of landing on it. In effect, that is what Hawking is referring to here. It’s a tad dramatic, of course, but the science checks out in the (extremely) long run.

    “Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it's one we can prevent if we act now,” Hawking added.

    “By denying the evidence for climate change, and pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, Donald Trump will cause avoidable environmental damage to our beautiful planet, endangering the natural world, for us and our children.”

    Hawking is getting a bit of a reputation for doom and gloom these days, but he’s not incorrect here. If the world gives up on climate change prevention the world will be full of nightmares in just a generation or two.

    There is, however, hope. Twelve American states have vowed to uphold the Paris climate agreement, and are forging new climate deals with the rest of the world. Speaking of which, the entire planet was indeed incensed by Trump's announcement, but they’ve moved on already and are already doubling-down on their efforts.

    So despite Trump’s actions, the world will probably not turn into a new Venus after all.

    Source:
    Stephen Hawking Has A Message For Donald Trump
     
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  3. PaulaJedi

    PaulaJedi Survivor Premium

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    If this didn't happen before the Paris Accord existed, why would it happen now? I personally think he's exaggerating a bit. Here in Florida, solar panels are being installed 1 mile from my house, so I really don't think we're all going to die tomorrow.
     


  4. Num7

    Num7 Administrator

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    The way he presents it is quite extreme I agree, but still possible. Let's call it the "1 million years in the future worst scenario".

    Hawking's point is that it can happen over a long, extreme period of time, but that we are currently at a key moment to reduce the damage we do. Everyone must take part in the effort to protect the future of our planet, or it won't work. It's disappointing that Trump got the U.S. out of the Paris Accord.

    Nobody said something bad will happen tomorrow or anytime soon. It's on the long run.
     


  5. Einstein

    Einstein Temporal Engineer

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    It's just more fake news.
     
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  6. Harte

    Harte Senior Member

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    The Paris agreement was toothless and certainly could never prevent the Earth from becoming Venus-like in any case.

    If the Earth is to become like Venus in a million years, how can anyone say that a few, minor (and completely voluntary, I might add) reductions in CO2 today will prevent it?

    The concept itself is ridiculous from the outset.

    In a thousand years or two, the man-made emission of carbon might well be completely reduced to zero, yet that would have less of an effect that some minor tweaks today?

    Harte
     
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  7. John Cameron

    John Cameron New Member

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    Scientists say daft things when they get “off the reservation” (outside their field of expertise) as Stephen Hawking demonstrated when he claimed that President Donald Trump has set the Earth on course to become Venus by binning the Paris climate accord. Hawking is known in scientific circles as The Mekon - the Eagle magazine’s ruler of northern Venus - but surely even he cannot seriously believe the result of the US pulling out of the latest climate lash-up will be “temperatures of 250C and sulphuric acid rain”.
     
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  8. TimeFlipper

    TimeFlipper Senior Member Premium

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    Climate control is all about getting money out of you..The renewable energy sector has seen an increase in sales since 2007..
    "Good" carbon investments are made in carbon markets where an investor can form a view that carbon credits will be scarce in the near future and crucially, they can change their minds for a "relatively" small transaction cost :LOL:..
     
  9. jcolanzi

    jcolanzi Senior Member

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    He's a globalist promoting the global agenda.
     
  10. Snow

    Snow Active Member

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    Well, Venus looks Orange, if it was also a gas giant, I would think Hawking made a good joke. But, since, Venus is rocky and hot, I'm not sure. Probably related to global warming.