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Biting Commentary about Infinity, and Beyond!

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We're Not Ready

It's been a hundred years since Tonguska, but we're still not taking the threat seriously.


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K wrote:

I'm surprised this theme isn't being used more for synergy with the eco-religionists. Assume for a moment that man may not, in fact, be a cancer on the earth but is more along the line of a defense mechanism against asteroid impact. So Ms. Nature has to put up with this fringe fungus that itches a bit in embarrassing places like Los Angeles and Tokyo (using a few earth quakes to scratch once in awhile). As a by product though, the fungus forms a defensive shield which extends out into space and keeps those big rocks hurtling into you like painful BBs, or even stopping the rare .357 magnum.
Is that worth a few measily percentage points increase in a trace gas or two or not?

Karl Hallowell wrote:

I really don't know if there's any common ground or not. My take though is that a considerable portion consider humanity unnatural and hence wrong, while asteroid collisions are natural and hence right even if they cause considerable ecological damage. Something like forest fires, asteroid collisions and other global scale natural disasters will be perceived to accomplish some sort of good. Meanwhile human activity even if it were to duplicate said natural disasters, can't do so.

Anonymous wrote:

Some of the comments on that thread made me run away screaming.

Really: BIG OIL, BIG COAL, BIG TOBACCO! Some of those asshats need a good solid whack with a cluebat.

(Sigh) I really need to learn to confront the idiots instead of turning away in disgust. But it's not easy.

Jonathan wrote:

My guess is that 1) eco-religionists tend not to understand the issue, 2) on the risks, out-of-sight is out-of-mind (unless some Hollywood ninny becomes fashionably hysterical about it, in which case it becomes a crisis) and 3) there's no money in it for snake-oil salesmen.

Look at the favorite eco-religious causes: global warming and so forth. Lots of hypothesizing without adequate evidence, lots of mitigation strategies whose effectiveness is difficult or impossible to assess. The religion demands all kinds of superstitious behavior (unplug your appliances!) to avert a vague future disaster. Asteroids, by contrast, are neither vague nor hypothetical, and any conceivable mitigation of impact risk will involve focused, high-tech projects run by scientific and technological experts -- i.e., there's not much room for the scams that characterize so much "anti-global warming" activity.

Carl Pham wrote:

Pssh, it's simple. The solutions to global warming involve passivity, self-denial, sitting around in a hide tent illuminated by candles, holding hands, practising your sphincter control, getting in touch with your feminine side.

The only conceivable solutions to asteroid impact involve activity, aggressive technological development, rocketships and machines, probably huge explosions, and all sorts of manly hero he-man stuff.

You are not going to find the same people interested in both types of threats.

Habitat Hermit wrote:

In your kindness you underestimate their level of idiocy Carl Pham ^_^

Their solution to asteroid impacts involves passivity, self-denial, sitting around in a hide tent illuminated by candles, holding hands, practicing their sphincter control, getting in touch with their feminine side...

...not to forget meditation and karmic anti-impact levitation prayers. Ommmmmmmmmmygod *splat* shinbatsu! ^_^

Josh Reiter wrote:

Perhaps we can sway them with a STOP THE ASTEROID!!! bumper sticker. Or, something to that effect.

Josh Reiter wrote:

LoL, if want a good laugh read comment #29 from Lilith Taveril. Cuckoooo.

"....the urine-powered car someone mentioned… Please, prove to me that the average user won’t accidentally turn one of those cars into a mobile plague source. The last thing we need is to lose entire cities just because someone had the sniffles while he was filling up his gas tank."

Carl Pham wrote:

Surely we need first to understand the root causes of the asteroid's anger at the Earth, find out what we've done to provoke its hostility, Josh. Maybe we just need to learn to accept that there are different cosmic lifestyles, some involving life, some involving death on a global scale. Should we really judge which is "right" and "wrong"? Kumbaya.

Lilith Taveril wrote:

Believe it or not, but that car had been mentioned elsewhere. I want to know what steps would be taken to make sure such a car does not serve as breeding bacteria and other items found in human waste and possibly spreading infections around.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on June 30, 2008 2:00 PM.

Practice What You Preach was the previous entry in this blog.

The Thirties Again? is the next entry in this blog.

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