Category Archives: Science

A cry in the dark by scientists and medics

It is a well-known fact that nature influences people. From all sites of the world, scientists cried out loud to become aware of what we are doing with Planet Earth. Mother Earth also cries, but so many do not want to hear nor see.
More than 200 medical journals from around the world have written an open letter demanding that governments stop climate change.

They believe that a warming planet is the biggest threat to world health. Sound advice or over-reacting? Leave your comments.

More than 230 medical journals have put climate change at the top of the world’s health agenda as the November COP26 climate conference in Glasgow approaches. They have published the biggest joint editorial in history to warn everyone that the greatest threat to public health is failure to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5°C. The signatories include The BMJ, the NEJM, The Lancet and numerous other top journals (with the notable exception of JAMA).

The terms of the editorial are apocalyptic:

“The science is unequivocal; a global increase of 1.5°C above the pre-industrial average and the continued loss of biodiversity risk catastrophic harm to health that will be impossible to reverse.”

“Indeed,” they write, “no temperature rise is ‘safe’.”

The role of governments is fundamental, they say. “Governments must make fundamental changes to how our societies and economies are organised and how we live.” Everything has to change: “transport systems, cities, production and distribution of food, markets for financial investments, health systems, and much more”.

And it is going to be very expensive. “Many governments met the threat of the covid-19 pandemic with unprecedented funding. The environmental crisis demands a similar emergency response. Huge investment will be needed, beyond what is being considered or delivered anywhere in the world.”

Missing from the editorial are the nuts and bolts of how global temperatures will impact on health – or simply some guesstimates of how many people will die if the temperature rises 1.5°C.

Climate gadfly Bjorn Lomborg is sceptical of the claims in the letter. He points out that the number of climate-change related deaths has plummeted since 1920:

Over the past hundred years, annual climate-related deaths have declined by more than 96%. In the 1920s, the death count from climate-related disasters was 485,000 on average every year. In the last full decade, 2010-2019, the average was 18,362 dead per year, or 96.2% lower.

He concludes that “we are now much less vulnerable to climate impacts than at any time in the last 100 years. It is possible that climate change has made impacts worse over the last century … but resiliency from higher living standards has entirely swamped any potential climate impact.”

Chances are, this letter will have no impact whatsoever on climate change policy. But it might make people sicker. Experts recently warned of “an impending epidemic of mental health related disorders such as eco-anxiety, climate disaster-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and future-orientated despair.” Nothing makes people suffering from eco-anxiety more anxious than eco-doctors predicting an apocalypse.

Michael Cook  editor of BioEdge

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Stephen Hawking who did not believe in a Creator God got a Church funeral

How can it be that the one who protested so much against faith in God would have loved to be receiving a funeral service in a church. The one everybody considered an atheist, brilliant and groundbreaking British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author, who died on Wednesday, March 14 at age 76, got a ‘Christian funeral’.

Shortly following the news of Mr. Hawking’s passing, Texas state representative Briscoe Cain tweeted the following:

“Stephen Hawking now knows the truth about how the universe was actually made. My condolences to his family.”

Was it now his family who tried to save ‘his soul’ and therefore wanted a church service?

The galaxy’s most unlikely celebrity, a brilliant mind trapped in a failing body, a global inspiration to disabled people, and so much more, found like every human being that life has an end. For him it came later than expected. He had a a relentless drive and unquenchable zest for life that has allowed him to achieve so much despite his huge physical challenges. As his daughter Lucy would often say, he was “enormously stubborn”.

Diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1963 at the age of 21, he was told he’d have only two more years to live. Yet his mind managed to travel light years in the wake of that devastating diagnosis, to help turn cosmology from a fringe subject into perhaps the most compelling of all the sciences, in which he provided profound insights into gravity, space and time few have delivered since Einstein.

Stephen HawkingThrough mutual college friends at a party the year before his devastating diagnosis he met Jane Wilde, a languages student, who he married in 1965. In 1974, aged only 32, he was elected to the Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific academy. A few days after the birth of his daughter Lucy, in 1970, he had a “Eureka moment” leading up to his realisation that black holes are not so black. He discovered they would bleed off what is now called “Hawking radiation” and gradually evaporate, “to my great surprise”.
By the end of the 1970s, Hawkings had advanced to hold the Lucasian professorship of mathematics at Cambridge, once held by Newton.

In 2012 he reached perhaps his largest audience – at the opening ceremony of the London Paralympics. The following year he became $3m richer as one of the first winners of the Breakthrough prize to recognise theoretical work, in his case the discovery of Hawking Radiation from black holes – which would have earned him a Nobel prize if experimentally confirmed in his lifetime – and his deep contributions to quantum gravity and quantum aspects of the early universe.

The one who was supposed not to live longer than his 20ies got 76. though he was known as an atheist, he got a funeral service in Cambridge. Shortly after 2pm Hawking’s coffin was carried aloft into the church of St Mary the Great, a stone’s throw from Gonville and Caius college where he had been a fellow for more than half a century.

As befits a man who seemed as comfortable with celebrity as he was with the cerebral, Hawking’s funeral drew a starry crowd. The actors Eddie Redmayne – who played Hawking in The Theory of Everything, a film about his life – and Simon Russell Beale, a former student of Gonville and Caius, were in attendance. So, too, were the model Lily Cole and Queen guitarist Brian May.

Can it be that so many understood him wrong by believing he did not believe in God? When he was an atheist, were his children and his wife that too? But then why this charade in a church?

A ‘Seeker‘ probably thinks Hawkings was a believer in God and writes

Hawkings argued that God did not create the Universe.

It does not really matter. In my mind, heaven cannot wait for him. Seventy-Six is a long time that God gave him and there is plenty of room for him in heaven, I can imagine that he will have a grand time conversing with Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, both had faith and believer (sic) in God.

Crowds lined the streets

Crowds gathered as the funeral procession passed through the streets of Cambridge. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA

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Please read:

Locals share their memories at Stephen Hawking’s funeral

The Shameful Mocking of Stephen Hawking

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One of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein died

PictureStephen William Hawking (1942 – 2018) was the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and author of A Brief History of Time which is an international bestseller. He was the Dennis Stanton Avery and Sally Tsui Wong-Avery Director of Research at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and Founder of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge, his other books for the general reader include A Briefer History of Time, the essay collection Black Holes and Baby Universe and The Universe in a Nutshell.

In 1963, Hawking contracted motor neurone disease and was given two years to live. Yet he went on to Cambridge to become a brilliant researcher and Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College. From 1979 to 2009 he held the post of Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663. Professor Hawking received over a dozen honorary degrees and was awarded the CBE in 1982. He was a fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the US National Academy of Science. Stephen Hawking is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein.

Please read > A brief history of Stephen Hawking: A legacy of paradox

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