Special Session

S. Hawking’s Prediction of Approaching Downfall of the Earthly Civilization and his Call for Finding Another Planet to Colonize it: Pro et Contra.

Professor Victor E. Ostrovskii
Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry, Moscow
E-mail: ostrovskii.victor@mail.ru


Aim: Prof. S. Hawking predicts approaching of downfall of the earthly civilization and calls for finding another planet to colonize it. This opinion is widely debated. Should the humanity follow this call and are there reasons for expenses and creative activities directed at realization of the idea of colonization of any planet in the foreseeable future? Are there known at present the planets reachable from the Earth and possessing the environment favorable for the vital activity of mankind as the reproducible biological species? What could be the cost for creation of a human civilization independent of the Earth and adapted to specific extraterrestrial environment and is this idea realizable in practice? Is the mankind really at stake due to its own economic and military activity, and, if so, is the change of the planet of habitation sufficient for altering the human essence? Are not natural cataclysms more dangerous for human environment and are not they the real threat for the civilization and mankind as a biological species? Wouldn’t it be more reasonable to concentrate the researchers’ material and mental capacities at the adequate cognition of the laws governing the Earth’s environment and at early predictions of natural cataclysms and preparing the ways for their prevention or restriction? What types of natural cataclysms are of global danger for the Earth’s population, including mankind and environmental flora and fauna, and what are the causes of the numerous mass extinctions that occurred at the Earth in the course of the Phanerozoic Eon?

1) The types of the human activity dangerous for earthly civilization and the means and ways for regulation and elimination of such activities
2) Atmospheric and earth-crust physical and chemical processes which are globally-dangerous and regionally-dangerous for the environment and humanity
3) Extremal phenomena at the Sun and their harmfulness for the Earth’s flora and fauna; theory of the solar processes
4) Mass extinctions at the Earth and their causes
5) The celestial objects suitable for being considered as the candidates for colonization
6) The conditions necessary and sufficient for existence of mankind as a biological species at some planet
7) The prospects for flight investigations of planets beyond the Solar System
8) Sociology of small closed human communities and possibility of their long-term existence
9) The possibilities of prediction of extremal natural phenomena and the prospects for perfecting such prediction
10) Means of opposition to extremal natural phenomena of solar, atmospheric, and underground origin and possibilities of their development
11) Advances in the natural sciences as the source for creation of the means and conditions against different cataclysms and worsening of the living conditions by examples of medicine, genetics, chemistry, etc.
12) The progress in the understanding of the causes of the mass extinctions of the Earth’s flora and fauna and the search of the possibilities for prevention of similar phenomena in the future

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