Stephen Hawking, a wheelchair-bound celebrity cosmologist who has near superstar status, warned an audience of more than 500 in Beijing last week about global warming.

Hawking, who suffers from a degenerative disease, uses a wheelchair and speaks through a computerized voice synthesizer, was quoted by the Associated Press as asserting the he was “very worried about global warming.”

Unless something is done to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere he said he was afraid that Earth “might end up like Venus, at 250 degrees centigrade and raining sulfuric acid.”

He issued this warning in China, which is the second largest emitter of the greenhouse gases after the United States. Experts have long warned that if emissions aren’t reduced the world's glaciers could melt, threatening cities and triggering droughts and other environmental disasters.

Hawking is considered a world authority on the universe, but other than that, what does he know?

Vice President Dick Cheney says global warming is “nonsense.” Congressman Tom Coburn says that it has “no scientific support.” Columnist William Rusher says its just another “alarmist tactic” by Democrats, forgetting who issues the color-coded scare alerts at the most politically convenient times.

This Week's Circulars