January 1, 2009 – The 2008 Lifeboat Foundation Guardian Award has been given to Stephen Hawking.
The award is annually bestowed upon a respected scientist or public figure who has warned of a future fraught with dangers and encouraged measures to prevent them.
The 2008 award is in recognition of his continuous warnings that global catastrophic risks will eventually come and therefore it is unsafe and unwise for all of humanity to be on a single planet.
“It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species. Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of.”
“In the long term, I am more worried about biology. Nuclear weapons need large facilities, but genetic engineering can be done in a small lab. You can’t regulate every lab in the world. The danger is that either by accident or design, we create a virus that destroys us.”
“I don’t think the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet.”
At considerable risk to his frail health, Hawking inspired mankind to live on more than one planet by entering Zero G. You can watch him experience Zero G at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmurxp8m9Dk. Our Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka will soon be following Hawking’s example.