Stephen Hawking urges humanity to return to the moon — or risk destruction on Earth

Stephen Hawking urges humanity to return to the moon — or risk destruction on Earth
Stephen Hawking
Source: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
Stephen Hawking
Source: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Stephen Hawking has an idea to keep humanity thriving for years to come: Let’s all move to space.

In a speech at Norway’s Starmus Festival on Tuesday, Hawking said the only way to deal with issues like overpopulation, climate change and disease is to colonize the moon, Mars and other planets within the next 100 years.

"Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves," Hawking said. "I am convinced that humans need to leave Earth."

In order for this cosmic quest to work, Hawking said several leading nations should band together to send astronauts to the moon again by 2020, and to Mars by 2025. From there, he said he believes we could get a "moon village" in place over the next 30 years.

It may sound straight out a sci-fi movie, but experts say lunar living isn’t reserved solely for the likes of Star Trek and Interstellar. In 2016, the European Space Agency said a colony on the moon could be planned and built within the next 20 years, using the moon’s natural resources and 3-D printing technology.

Stephen Hawking at One World Observatory in New York City.
Source: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Hawking said constructing such a village would help protect the Earth’s inhabitants from potentially disastrous environmental conditions spurred by President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States from the Paris climate agreement.

"I am not denying the importance of fighting climate change and global warming, unlike Donald Trump, who may just have taken the most serious, and wrong, decision on climate change this world has seen," he said.

This isn’t the theoretical physicist’s first time proposing a mass space exodus. Hawking called for colonies on the moon and Mars already in 2008, and recently suggested humans will be wiped out in the next 100 years if we don’t flee the Earth. Maybe it’s time to give it a shot.