BAD NEWS - HAWKING IS RIGHT
The message from one of the world's brainiest men is simple - that one way or another technology, science, development, pollution, disease, overcrowding, religion or nature will destroy the earth.
The latter part of this theory is one supported in part by John Gray, in his insightful book Al Qaeda And What It Means To Be Modern. Gray isn't a scientist like Hawking, he's the Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics. But don't let that put you off. While the book is already a year or two old, the predictions it makes are as up to date and as stark as ever.
With the population of the world not set to level off until it reaches the 10 billion mark, Gray argues that a scarcity of resources, combined with the clash between liberal evangelists and islamic fundamentalists will result in the huge devastation of societies and possibly the planet itself.
Drawing on conclusions such as that the Rwanda genocide was primarily fuelled by lack of water, that Gulf States have populations that double roughly every 20 years, that poverty, instability and faith create wars, and that no economic system recognizes a solution to finite resources and global warming, Gray argues that the modern world will be one of violence, corruption, and destruction.
The concept of a modern world as a better one is a relatively new one.
Gray proves that Al Qaeda and other violent factions are modern - funded by drugs, aided by the internet, and with access to weapons of mass destruction. The belief that this is a clash of civilisations is wrong. Al Qaeda are using the "modernity" of the West to try and destroy it.
That is not a clash, that is war, and war of the most modern kind.
One thing that Hawking doesn't explain in his statement, however, is how the conflicts of human nature on the earth will be eradicated in space.
For surely the voyagers upon his spacecraft to new worlds would be no more than supersonic versions of the pilgrims (and later, immigrants) that travelled to America and Australia to find a new beginning hundreds of years ago.
A new beginning which many Americans feel is superior to the established cultures of the past.
In Tasmania, Europeans slaughtered the aboriginies they found who had established a relationship with the earth that had maintained their existence, and the environment on which they survived, for thousands of years.
In America, the war with native American Indians again at best has brought European diseases of alcoholism, gambling, greed and war to peoples who had lived in relative harmony with their surroundings (though not necessarily with each other) for thousands of years.
And finally the violent society of America, the drug and gun culture of America, the paranoid foreign policies of American politicians, and the destruction of the planet through ever increasing consumption, IS America's brave new world.
And it will destroy it.
It seems ironic then, that the only country able to economically achieve Hawking's dream of inhabiting other worlds will be Americans.
Given their track record, maybe it's best that we all stay put.
What might be the best thing to hope for is that one of Hawking's apocolyptic predictions comes true - and fast.
Maybe that a meteor wipes us all out before we can set about fucking up another eden, another new world, or another bright new beginning.
Still, let's hope it waits til after the end of the footy. Sod's law is sure to mean that England will be 2-0 up against Brazil with ten minutes to go when the fucking thing hits.