Dec 22

1 in 75

There is a one in 75 chance that an asteroid will hit Mars in January 2008.   That probability may go down after more observations.

It wasn’t discovered until November of this year.

I recognize and acknowledge that global warming is a problem.  But if you found out that an asteroid had a 1 in 75 chance of hitting the Earth, would your top concern be your carbon footprint?

Scientists do believe that they have ways to deflect asteroids w/missile strikes, if we have 15 years notice.  I observe with some dismay that 2 months is slightly less than 15 years.

In the span of 13 years, we’ve already seen a comet hit Jupiter, and now a “fly by” (most likely) on Mars.   NASA has a theoretical program to track 90% of asteroids, but, of course, that program isn’t being funded.

So here’s the current situation – we don’t know (and will probably never know) what all is out there, and, even if we did, we’d have few options to prevent a strike unless we have 15 years advance notice.

I recognize that most people concerned by global warming have nothing but the best of intentions when they advocate that we throttle down our growth and  industry in order to live in harmony with nature.   But as I’ve said before, the asteroid that hits the Earth won’t care how pastoral our countryside is.

I’ve read arguments that the Earth and her creatures would be “better off” if humanity never existed.  Really?  It is a certainty that, absent advanced technological intervention, an asteroid will eventually hit the Earth, and extinguish most of the species on the planet.  It is a certainty that at some time in the future that the Yellowstone supervolcano will erupt, and kill most of the life on the North American continent.  It is a certainty that various large slabs of islands in the  Atlantic and Pacific oceans will collapse, and send massive tidal waves to obliterate much of the coast.   It is also a certainty that eventually, absent human efforts at preservation, every species on Earth will go extinct.  How exactly would this be better for the Earth?
If we are obligated to be the stewards of the Earth and her creatures, we are also the defenders of the Earth and her creatures.   We can defend the Earth most readily by increasing our technological advances, instead of throttling them back.  And we can defend the Earth’s creatures most readily by building an effective and sustainable space colonization program and taking the animals (or at least their DNA) with us.

One in Seventy-Five…  The clock is ticking.

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