The cooler weather has arrived, although we still have not had a frost or freeze. Once again, the fall colors are late, and while we will see some nice color in the coming days, the overall show this year looks to be somewhat dull when compared with past experiences.
Far from dull is the new book by the renowned scientist Stephen Hawking titled “Brief Answers to the Big Questions.” You may recall his battle with the crippling disease of ALS. He inspired millions by defying a terrifying early prognosis of his ALS that left him able to communicate by using just a few facial muscles. Stephen Hawking not only unraveled some of the universe’s greatest mysteries, but also believed science plays a critical role in fixing problems here on earth.
In his book Hawking wonders will humanity survive the challenge of climate change and what about the increasing threat from nuclear weapons as more countries acquire these types of weapons? Global warming is caused by all of us. We want cars, travel and a better standard of living. He feels scientists have a special responsibility to inform and advise the public and it’s leaders about the perils humanity faces. He foresees the great risk to humanity if governments and societies do not take action to render nuclear weapons obsolete and prevent further climate change.
Hawking warns that the same politicians that deny the realty of man-made climate change or at least the ability of man to reverse it just at the time our world is facing a series of critical environmental crisis. The danger is that global warming could become self sustaining, if it has not become so already. The melting of the ice caps reduces the amount of solar energy reflected back into space and so increases the temperature of the earth further. Climate change may kill off the Amazon and other rain forests and eliminate one of our main ways to remove carbon dioxide from our atmosphere.
Stephen died last year but his life and his books give us a lot to ponder. There are some things about his beliefs that are difficult, but when it comes to the climate he felt the need to go way beyond the Kyoto Protocol agreement of 1997 and cut carbon omissions now. Thanks to the scientists, we have developed the technology to do this we just need the political will.
I sense that with the amount of material, research studies and observations being brought out almost daily, we are beginning to get the idea that truly something big is going on with our climate and perhaps we do need to begin to take action. It is also interesting to see the younger generations getting involved. If what is coming out is true our children and grandchildren have the most to lose if we do nothing.