Professor believes that in the next 10 – 20 years we become a space civilization and thereby guarantee its future, if we don’t do anything stupid, for example, don’t start a “war in the Pacific”
Professor Brian Cox has high hopes for the future of humanity. According to British scientist, the solution to many of our earthly problems lies in space, where there are unused resources that can satisfy the growing needs of the human race. This, of course, so long as we can keep our trend towards stupidity.
“If we can avoid any nonsense in the next 10 – 20 years, for example, do not violate the global order, don’t start the war in the Pacific or something like that, then we guarantee our future forever,” says the popular physicist and television presenter.
No need to rush beyond the Solar system when we have everything we need right here,” says Cox, explaining that our nearest planets and asteroid belt have “virtually infinite” useful resources, including valuable heavy metals, such as Nickel, cobalt and gold.
And coke in my 49 expects that the human race will begin to colonize other planets during his life.
“We are now at the stage where the next 10 – 20 years will be a time when we become a space civilization,” he says. “From this moment on, our future as a civilization is guaranteed. The moment when we get to the moon and Mars and start to use the resources of the Solar system – this is the moment when we become almost immortal as a civilization. Because we’re not limited to one planet that we can destroy. And now we are doing this”.
We found the scientist and television star at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hong Kong when he stopped in town for a few days after tour of Australia with his exhibition show Brian Cox Live.
Although he began his career as a musician in the rock band Dare and stars of dance music D:Ream in the 80-ies and 90-ies, Coke passion for science through his involvement in both groups. After finishing his doctoral thesis in particle physics, he worked at CERN, the Swiss laboratory, best known for its accelerator and discovery of the Higgs boson.
His documentaries “wonders of the Universe”, “wonders of the Solar system” and regular television appearances have made smiling scientist known person in the UK, where he became famous for his ability to simply explain complex concepts and made physics attractive (One of his books called “Why does E = mc2?”)
Cox was last in Hong Kong in 2013, he spoke to bankers at Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference, and his first visit took place in 1987 as the band’s keyboardist Dare, they were offered a few weeks stay in one of the city’s musical centers. This time, Cox was sent by the Royal Geographical Society to speak at the annual dinner Space Odyssey, where he addressed some important research topics such as cosmology, gravitational waves and unanswered questions about the origin of the Universe.
Today Coke is the mind of space travel and humanity becoming interplanetary species – concepts which until recently would have been ridiculed as science fiction and as a minimum would be very expensive. This shift in thinking is the subject of the recent documentary film of BBC “the Space race of the XXI century”, first shown in September.
In the one-hour program Cox discusses businessmen-billionaires who moved its focus from Silicon Valley to the sky with commercial space flight and potential colonization of other planets in the Solar system.
Now Asia is extremely positive: you always see progress and optimism
He looks at approaches and innovations SpaceX Elon musk, and Blue Origin, the Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson and attending the aerospace factory to find out how reusable rockets will make space travel – for both industrial and recreational – is relatively cheap.
“A lot of people my age who grew up in 70-e and 80-e are disappointed that we did not have lunar bases. Now they are the richest people in the world, so they are going to go and build a lunar base,” says Cox. “The reason this is happening boils down to advances in materials science, aerospace and software, which allowed us to do reusable rockets. As soon as you receive it, space will become cheap.”
Although companies in the United States are making great strides in aerospace technology, the leader of the country seems firmly set against the recognition of scientific facts, especially when it comes to dealing with climate change.
“I think we need a collective shock,” writes Cox in his recent book, “forces of nature” that you need to take to unite humanity and to distract people from the conflict. “We may have to come together to fix the climate that we messed up, or deflect dangerous asteroid”.
Now, according to him, the President of the United States Donald trump is a “short flash”, but harmful that will have a big impact on public opinion and policy. But the physicist compares trump to king Canute trying to keep the wave, if he thinks he can stop the growth of renewable energy now cheaper and more accessible than ever before.
“The train left for people who want to support the industry of fossil fuels,” says Cox about America’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and promise trump to increase the number of workers in the coal industry of the country.
“Technological progress has led us to the fact that this is not a political decision; it is an economic decision. And I used to think that it could happen because that will be disaster, and insurance will rise, and we will be forced to go this route,” he says, excited. “But really, in the last few years, it just became cheaper. You no longer need to believe in a model of global temperatures – you should, but you no longer need… it just becomes meaningless. Now no one will build new coal plants”.
“It seems obvious, until you look at America, but I’m optimistic about it, because they seem to have done well with trump,” he continues, adding with a slight smile: “They may be your last words.”
Despite the fact that the presence of Coke in Hong Kong was limited to three days, he managed to see just how popular electric cars Tesla in the city, and was impressed by the Chinese government’s decision to stop more than 100 projects with the coal supply in order to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
“Now Asia is extremely positive: you always see progress and optimism,” he says. “Sometimes we forget in Britain, in America [think] that we’re not the only civilization. Many people exclaim: “Oh no! Civilization came to an end; look at our crumbling political system.” But if you look at the world on economic growth… in the end, innovation is beginning to come from other places. I think it should be. When one system breaks down, the other is growing”.
China is investing heavily in science and technology, but the country plays “catch-up” from the point of view of the reputation of their universities, said Cox.
I think we need a collective shock,” writes Cox in his recent book, “forces of nature” that you need to take to unite humanity and to distract people from the conflict. “We may have to come together to fix the climate that we messed up, or deflect dangerous asteroid
“China and Asia in General still have a long way… the world’s leading universities are currently not here; they are mainly in the UK and the USA. But China knows this, and universities in the region go up in the rankings, and they achieve this not just by funding universities. They must invest in the scientific base. To be a leading University in the world, you should as well to teach and to do research. It understands here.
Upon returning to the UK Cox again engaged in teaching freshmen relativity at Manchester University, where he is Professor of particle physics.
Think in the region is no Asian equivalent of Coke; uniting, inspiring a popular figure who would be inspired to study science, extracting from it a clear, fascinating facts. “Or I can just come here,” says the Professor with a smile, always ready for a new challenge. “I’m ready!”
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