As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, the famous physicist (Black Holes) Stephen Hawking recently took off in a Boeing 727 that “roared over the Ocean and curved large parabolic arcs in the sky”, producing the effect of floating in zero-gravity, like being in space.
Before taking off he said life on Earth was “at the ever increasing risk” of being overcome by disaster, “such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers. The human race has no future if it doesn’t go into space.”
Note the sudden global warming, which may be due to chaotic fluctuations, something to my knowledge often neglected in modelling. Chaotic fluctuations are determined by very small initial conditions and are largely unpredictable (though strictly deterministic). Let’s hope Stephen Hawking is wrong, and – if not – let’s hope we have sufficient time to get ready for space travel on a large scale.