When he spoke to Larry King around six years ago, Stephen Hawking had called the whole of mankind “stupid”.
“Mankind is in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity,” he had said.
That the world has become shittier in the last six years proves that no one listened to the Professor’s warning – which further solidifies that we are stupid.
Now, the acclaimed author of ‘A Brief History of Time’ says that human stupidity continues as can be seen from the manner we are exploiting the planet.
Speaking on Larry King Now in June 2016, Hawking said, “Six years ago, I was warning about pollution and overcrowding, they have gotten worse since then. The population has grown by half a billion since our last interview, with no end in sight.”
He warns that if we continue on with that population growth then it will be 11 billion by 2100. He reminds us that more than 80 per cent of all people living in urban areas are already exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution.
“The increase in air pollution and the emission of increasing levels of carbon dioxide. Will we be too late to avoid dangerous levels of global warming?” he poses the ominous question.
And while everyone is busy looking at the prospect of AI changing our lives, Hawking says that we might be getting that at the cost of something even more important for humanity.
“Governments seem to be engaged in an AI arms race, designing planes and weapons with intelligent technologies. The funding for projects directly beneficial to the human race, such as improved medical screening seems a somewhat lower priority.”
Indeed, climate change has been one of the biggest concerns for the survival of the planet. While countries around the world are working for the reduction of emissions that cause global warming, the efforts are not enough. And then there are nations who do not wish to back down on development – a direct cause of climate change.
So the scientist says that mankind must “recognise the dangers and control them”.
We remain stupid till we do that.