Renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has stated a warning to humankind: , in light of all of the potential events that could spell the extinction of the human species, we must find a way to migrate into space. Citing numerous potential extinction events that could occur over the next few thousand years, both environmental and man-made, Hawking believes that it is too risky to have mankind’s fate depend solely on the health of a single planet.
"I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space," Hawking recently said, on the internet forum Big Think. "It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million. The human race shouldn’t have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet. Let’s hope we can avoid dropping the basket until we have spread the load."
Hawking singles out the potential for a nuclear holocaust as a leading danger to the continued existence of humanity, and uses the Cuban Missile Crisis as an example of how close we may have come to wiping ourselves out. He says that "the frequency of such occasions is likely to increase in the future. We shall need great care and judgment to negotiate them all successfully."