Apocalyptic doom-sayers are usually, and understandably, ridiculed.
But people listen up when Stephen Hawking has something to say.
Such a gloomy prediction is unlike Professor Hawking, who is likely making a hyperbolic reference to climate change.
Not that that gives us any excuse to kick back and relax. We've got to aim for better than 'well, at least it's not a fire ball' for future generations.
Professor Hawking's fiery pronouncement might have been a dramatic sales pitch for a solution to our unsustainable overconsumption and overcrowding.
Seemingly without much hope in our ability to stop our planet-destroying ways in time, he proposed we leave the planet instead.
He mentioned Breakthrough Starshot, an ambitious project to send a spacecraft to the nearest star system beyond our sun, Alpha Centauri. Remarkably, it would only take about twenty years to reach.
The idea is that progenitor vessels will one day send humanity to the stars. Just as scientific and industrial advances may eventually destroy us, they might save us too.
Let's just hope we do a better job looking after future planets, if we ever get there.