Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tyson warns Zakaria on GPS: be alert for asteroids and space weather; civilization could just have to start over


Sunday, Feb. 24, Neil DeGrasse Tyson (Columbia University) appeared on Fareed Zakaria’s Global Public Square (GPS) and warned that the advanced world really needs to get serious about making sure it can identify and defect major space objects, such as asteroids the size that just missed the Earth on Feb. 15.


A meteor the size of a football field could destroy a major city.  The Russian meteor Feb. 15 (unrelated to the asteroid) was on the borderline of being destructive

But an asteroid of larger size, maybe 2000 feet or so in diameter, could wipe out the power grid for much of the world.  Even if mankind were not made extinct, civilization would have to “start over” as he put it. That does fit into Doomsday Prepper mentality.

It should be possible to deflect almost any asteroid capable of destroying civilization if it is detected in time. But if it is known that an asteroid will not hit for another hundred years, there could be a political problem in getting funding, leaving it to future generations. 

A real doomsday could mean that people would not have children.
   
The program did not get into the power grid vulnerability to coronal mass ejections from solar flares (possible in periods of high sunspot activity, like now), or electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from rogue states  (North Korea) or terrorists.

CNN has advertised aggressive commercials from Habitat for Humanity which says it needs volunteers "in every community."

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