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View Diary: Welfare for scientists: The killer asteroid is overhyped (75 comments)

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  •  The old risk/reward issue (3+ / 0-)

    If a big one does come our way, statistics don't matter. What would matter is some way to save the planet from the impact.

    The cost today to begin work on this is tiny.

    The costs to mitigate any other risk of similar magnitude would be enormous.

    "The Obama Administration has been an unmitigated disaster" - Osama Bin Laden

    by Explorer8939 on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 03:00:30 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Well, the magnitude is the issue (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      melfunction

      Pandemics?
      Climate change?
      Nuclear warfare?
      Nuclear accident?

      It's true that these probably wouldn't result in complete extinction, but on the other hand, they are far more certain to occur in a timeframe that matters. What the Earth will look like in 100,000 years, and whether our anti-Asteroid system will be relevant then, is extremely speculative. Sure, working against pandemics, floods, and earthquakes that can kill tens of millions is more expensive than fighting the Asteroid, but we've seen "small" disasters like that in our lifetimes. Comparing the imputed deaths/year compared to recurrent, semi-regular deaths/year strikes me as a mistake.

      •  ahem. those pandemics? the work's been going on (0+ / 0-)

        under the national propaganda radar screen since at least 1990, that I'm aware of, and I wasn't even working in a public health related field back then (unless you count the National Health Information Survey I did for the Census in 1998/99).

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 10:28:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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