Climate change stands alongside the use of nuclear weapons as one of the greatest threats posed to the future of the world, the Cambridge cosmologist Stephen Hawking has said.
Professor Hawking said that we stand on the precipice of a second nuclear age and a period of exceptional climate change, both of which could destroy the planet as we know it.
He was speaking at the Royal Society in London yesterday at a conference organised by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists which has decided to move the minute hand of its "Doomsday Clock" forward to five minutes to midnight to reflect the increased dangers faced by the world.
"As citizens of the world, we have a duty to share that knowledge. We have a duty, as well, to alert the public to the unnecessary risks that we live with every day, and to the perils we foresee if governments and societies do not take action now to render nuclear weapons obsolete and to prevent further climate change."
A certain wisdom exists in being able to recognize the signs--the symptoms of the closing of an age. Indeed the times we live in point to a world out of control. Nevertheless, we must have faith--we must keep the faith handed to us by the Apostles. Also, we are mindful that no one knows the hour of the end. Doomsday forecasts have been around a long time.
However, rather than taking a position of resignation or disbelief, ours is to step up to the problem and allow the power and presence of Christ to be visible in our world. We can still save the world in which we live. To attempt to do so is the ultimate sign of peace.
My youngest son just asked his mother, "What year will I be 50?" She hesitantly replied "2048." Let's keep the future of our children in mind. May God be with them in these perilous times.