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Stephen Hawking has broken his silence on Donald Trump’s election victory in a rallying cry for the human race to “work together” and “break down barriers”.
The multi-award winning cosmologist, a national treasure in Britain, said it would be a “terrible mistake” to ignore the populism behind the votes fir Brexit and the billionaire tycoon in the US.
The 74-year-old also claimed “we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity” with the “technology to destroy the planet”.
He writes: “Whatever we might think about the decision by the British electorate to reject membership of the European Union and by the American public to embrace Donald Trump as their next president, there is no doubt in the minds of commentators that this was a cry of anger by people who felt they had been abandoned by their leaders … should we, in turn, reject these votes as outpourings of crude populism … I would argue that this would be a terrible mistake.”
Mr Trump has branded the climate change concept a "hoax" created by the Chinese, while scientists have argued that Brexit damages the sharing of ideas.
“For me, the really concerning aspect of this is that now, more than at any time in our history, our species needs to work together. We face awesome environmental challenges: climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, acidification of the oceans,” he said.
“Together, they are a reminder that we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity.“We now have the technology to destroy the planet on which we live, but have not yet developed the ability to escape it.
“Perhaps in a few hundred years, we will have established human colonies amid the stars, but right now we only have one planet, and we need to work together to protect it.
“To do that, we need to break down, not build up, barriers within and between nations. If we are to stand a chance of doing that, the world’s leaders need to acknowledge that they have failed and are failing the many.”
2016.12.03 / 12:17