Climate scientists and policy experts are criticizing famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking for arguing President Donald Trump’s policies would push the Earth “over the brink” towards runaway global warming.
Hawking told BBC News in a Sunday story that Trump’s recent decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord would doom the Earth.
“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 sulphuric acid,” Hawking said in the interview.
“Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it’s one we can prevent if we act now,” Hawking said. “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.”
Climate scientists, even those usually worried about future global warming, pushed back against Hawking’s claims that Earth would become like Venus.
A good example that even brilliant scientists sometimes say silly things when it's outside their field of expertise (see Nobel disease) https://t.co/QPsmB1bsv0
— Zeke Hausfather (@hausfath) July 2, 2017
Meteorologist Ryan Maue called Hawking’s statements “bizarre,” and professor and environmental activist Bjorn Lomborg noted how the Paris agreement would only avert 0.2 degrees of projected global warming.
Stephen Hawking's wacky & bizarre opinions on climate change (e.g. Earth becoming Venus) pollute policy debate. https://t.co/kK5eCZmPZo
— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) July 3, 2017
— Bjorn Lomborg (@BjornLomborg) July 3, 2017
Venus’s atmosphere is 96.5 percent carbon dioxide, which means its climate is extremely hot compared to Earth’s climate. Earth’s atmosphere is only four-hundredths of one percent carbon dioxide.
Venus’s average surface temperature is 864 degrees Fahrenheit, while Earth’s average surface temperature from 1951 and 1980 was 57.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
"We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible": Prof. Stephen Hawking.https://t.co/dJoh2BRbjv
— Erik Solheim (@ErikSolheim) July 3, 2017
Despite the stark differences between Earth and Venus, the United Nations’ top environmental official was happy to push Hawking’s warning the end was nigh because Trump wanted to leave the Paris agreement.
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