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View Diary: Asteroids hit earth more frequently than thought shows nuclear weapons warning satellite data (61 comments)

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  •  I'm curious. (1+ / 0-)
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    Now that you know 'the truth', how will you live your life differently?

    Or are you suggesting that we should actually be engaging in a 'Manhattan Project' type of program to come up with an asteroid shield for the earth?

    I'm not sure if the diary is saying we're not doing enough, that we should have been told earlier, or what the basic point is.

    •  I haven't suggested anything actually. I was (3+ / 0-)
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      Ozy, ZedMont, JeffW

      joking about there being only three people and a contest.

      But, there is a lot of room in between three people and a Manhatten style project.

      I don't see me living my life differently because at 58 I'm statistically for more likely to expire from a wealth of other causes before being vaporized by an asteroid.

      If we've barely noticed but a couple of these in 13 years it seems unlikely that we anytime soon.

      From an individual's point of view even a small child would seem to have low probability of having to worry about this.

      On the other hand, we seem to have enough unique research opportunities here that I don't think allocating enough resources for a dozen or two? This may already be the case because of the huge telescope project, which I haven't read anything about yet.

      "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

      by HoundDog on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 08:30:39 PM PDT

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      •  Like you I haven't a lot of years left (1+ / 0-)
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        My greatest worry has been the certainty climate change will make my kids lives  miserable.

        I tend to rule out the mega disasters, the stuff caused by a Yosemite magma chamber, pole reversals, the Canary Islands Tsunami,  or Aliens building interplanetary expressways.

        That said I do realize Hollywood and supermarket checkout counter news flashes have been gently but persistently preparing us for things hitting East coast cities towers and landmarks as far back as I can recall.            

        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

        by rktect on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 08:50:46 PM PDT

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        •  Yes, this climate change, ALEC, Koch brothers an (2+ / 0-)
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          lehman scott, rktect

          what seems like a transition of egalitarian democracy into a hierarchical oligarchy makes me said for my son and future generations.

          When I was a teenager around 1970 or 72 I remember saying that anyone who would have children, knowing what we could already predict about the future would be ethically irresponsible and even immoral.

          Somehow without intending to I intended up getting married and having a wonderful son, after being unwittingly caught up in my ex-wife's hidden agenda.

          He has turned out great, and the last 40 years have turned out much better than I had expected.

          From about the time of the early "duck and cover" drills in kindergarten I never expected to make it past 21 before being incinerated in a nuclear conflageration with the old Soviet Empire or the Chinese.

          So I was overly pessimistic. Even having this data about myself and trying to update my own self-assessment of my latent psychological proclivities, and knowing I suffer from a major depressive disorder I still have the say basic expectation that the next 50 to 100 years will be especially dreadful for he human race measured in "gigadeaths" of perhaps 50% of the worlds population.

          That has been about my "expected value of 50 tot 100 years population survival" ever since I was about 5 to 6 and this expectation has been remarkably consistent my whole life.

          I've also been predicting the Great real estate and stock market crash for about 40 years now, and even though we've just about completely recovered from this 2008 incident, if you asked me to predict the global GDP for the next 100 years, I'd be trying to calculate the impact of a probable collapse of the approximately 60 trillion excessively leveraged global derivatives market.

          Adjusting slightly for the possibility and hope that we could sustain 2% to 4% sustain inflation to trow and devalue our way out of it, but "realistically" expecting the change of doing this with without major "discontinuities" (i.e. read "badness") seems implausible.

          One thing I'm certain of is our world systems have some major invisible source of "stability" that I am unable to fully perceive and factor into to my 'mental mathematical simulations I use for forming expectations of the future.

          And, I say this already have made significant "X" factor adjustments for what appears to be a strong negative personal"bias" on my part.

          Perhaps, it is some kind of latent unconscious neoMalthusian tendencies, that I have to learn to reign in to appear more like a "normal" person not tinged with the background risk of some major clinical depressive disorder, that is probably partially responsible for my nearly continuous pseudo-affectation of a happy-go lucky glib "PlayDog."

          Thanks for commenting rktect. Haven't' seem to have heard from you in a long time. I'm glad to see your still around and well.


          "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

          by HoundDog on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:18:24 AM PDT

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          •  I always enjoy your posts, don't always comment (1+ / 0-)
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            Since my wife got sick there seems to be a lot more work to do just keeping everything in a good state of repair, and I'm doing more reading and less writing.

            I'm coming up on my ten year anniversary here, but with an average of just a little over three comments a day and never seem to have the time to travel to Net-roots, although I have made a couple of local meetups and do some Dem progressive activist political stuff.

            My wife and kids tell me I tend to go through life convinced I can fix anything and am an optimist except when it comes to climate change where I get a bit more intense.

            The chances of nuclear war never bothered me, but  there are now seven billion of us on just this one small planet and thus in many places too many people doing too many things in too small a geographical area. Its a problem that few of us seem to be able to connect the dots that over population, pollution and war clearly do have Malthusian consequences.

            By 2035 temperatures may have risen 2° C and with them sea levels 2 feet. after that it quickly gets exponentially worse and all of those changes are already locked into the system by what we have done  or not done to date.

            By the time a kid born today reaches maturity things will already have fallen apart and civilization as we know it will be history. At the same time hundred year storms, famines, droughts, fires, floods will come every ten years. Government and religion won't be there to cope with it.

            Ninety percent of cities are located at river mouths and thus are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise.

            As an architect I know that the lead time to do any major urban planning is now greater than the amount of time we have left before 100 east coast cities with populations over 100,000 begin slipping beneath the waves.

            Getting more tax breaks for the rich and more weapons in the hands of more people, drill baby drill, and building pipelines to profit off the tar sands and fracking that are all that is left of our fossil fuels doesn't solve these problems.

            I know that once infrastructure is under water it becomes really hard to repair.

            Things like nuclear and fossil fuel powered utilities, subways, water and sewer, the bearing capacity of the soils under high rise towers. airports, seaports, roads, bridges, are already hard to repair because of Republican Austerity and their apparent mission to make everyone else on the planet more desperate and less able to survive than they are.

            Things like police and fire stations, hospitals, markets, schools and manufacturing, become hard to keep functioning.

            As food distribution and other services fail the control of hungry people panicking over not having power or lights or gas in gas stations, or anybody coming to fix whats broken leave us with our rich folks private armies and guardians deserting their posts to join in the looting and plundering.

            From there world population crashes until we find ourselves once again hunter gatherers only now with all the species extinctions, the dead oceans and rain forests nothing left to hunt and gather except other humans.

            As temperatures and sea levels continue to rise the organisms that put oxygen in our air and take the carbon dioxide out die off so it gets hard to breath.

            The tropics become uninhabitable and people begin trying to migrate north through the US Canada, Europe and Siberia to the arctic the lack of food, clothing and shelter for billions of climate refugees in the tundra quickly becomes apparent.

            Wealth and power are no guaranty of survival. Private and national armies will be among the first groups to break ranks to look after themselves after food and energy distribution break down. Transportation and weapons will probably be more of a priority than hand tools at first, but eventually how much of our ability to grow our own crops, make our own clothes and shelter remains will make all the difference who lives and who dies.

            Obviously we quickly reach the point where money, diamonds, gold, shares in oil companies are worthless to negotiate with someone armed and hungry that sees you as a food source, or maybe you still have some gas in your car.

            To end on a positive note I'm certain the planet will heal itself once its rid of us and the next species to evolve to our level will find evidence of our brief existence in a thicker than usual layer of carbon in the fossil record.

            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

            by rktect on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 04:31:03 AM PDT

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            •  Thanks for this thought provoking comment rktect. (1+ / 0-)
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              To end on a positive note I'm certain the planet will heal itself once its rid of us and the next species to evolve to our level will find evidence of our brief existence in a thicker than usual layer of carbon in the fossil record.
              Thanks for this upbeat and optimistic ending.

              "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

              by HoundDog on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 05:19:01 PM PDT

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    •  Diaries are supposed to have a point??? NOW you (2+ / 0-)
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      JeffW, HoundDog

      tell me.

      Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

      by ZedMont on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 08:45:43 PM PDT

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    •  Not the worst idea ever. (2+ / 0-)
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      Ozy, HoundDog
      Or are you suggesting that we should actually be engaging in a 'Manhattan Project' type of program to come up with an asteroid shield for the earth?
      Given the indisputable reality that an asteroid of sufficient size would pose a danger to the survival of the human species, and given that we now have the capacity to potentially detect and possibly interdict such asteroids, it would make sense to spend some of our resources on a program that could protect us from catastrophe.

      Such a program could also have other benefits, too—increasing the amount of funding for space science generally, bringing humanity together on a project that could potentially save all of us, and developing new technologies that could be shifted from interdicting asteroids to mining them for resources.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 05:38:14 AM PDT

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      •  There are certainly worse ways to spend money. n/t (1+ / 0-)
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      •  I had an idea for a Sci Fi story where using Mao (0+ / 0-)

        Tse Tung's idea of people uniting when confronted by a common enemy, a secret group send a satellite around Pluto to broadcast signals that warn earth that an alien invasion is on its way with advanced technology.

        A minority group of dissident aliens is giving us a 50 year warning so earth has time to prepare a response.

        So the book runs through a process of establish a world federation of nation that ally to fight the oncoming enemies and we rush to establish perimeter defenses in space stations and the asteroid belt.

        By the time the fraud becomes discovered we've solved all the problems like global warming, over population, regional wars. We move all of our nuclear warheads out to the asteroid belt with missals  aimed outward.

         The CIA fraudsters are put on trail as old men, (lifetimes have been extended because of great breakthroughs in medicine). The end up being given an award instead.

        I figured I had it made then someone told me this was already the theme of some comic book back in 1959.  

        "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

        by HoundDog on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 05:27:41 PM PDT

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