We are all asteroid deniers

Tue, 2007-06-19 16:38Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

We are all asteroid deniers

I have had this old article by global warming denier Fred Singer in my inbox for quite some time now. It appeared in the April 22, 1996 edition of the Washington Times.

It seems that if Singer had his way, we would have dropped all this climate change and ozone depletion nonsense a long time ago and get onto more important issues… like planetary defense systems against giant comets and asteroids.

To quote:

With another Earth Day upon us, aren't you getting just a little tired of reading about hyped global “catastrophes” like global warming or ozone depletion? Even if the Earth should warm a little, it likely will benefit agriculture.”

And,

The cosmic missile that impacted 65 million years ago, releasing energy equivalent to 100 million 1-megaton hydrogen bombs, wiped out the dinosaurs and many other species.

We can do something–if we have the will. Planetary defense is not so different from defense against intercontinental ballistic missiles. There is first the problem of detection–with powerful radars or telescopes. Next, a timely determination as to whether the object is headed for a collision with our planet. Finally, an interception that would nudge the object out of its course.”

Would be interesting to see a reporter press Singer on this policy question. Should we be spending our money on a problem like global warming that scientists are telling us is a real threat and where the solutions already exist? Or, as Singer would have it, a problem that scientists are predicting will likely not result in catastrophe for the next 800 or so years, and even then the chances are slim to none.

Now to be fair to Singer, there has been the ongoing issue of our inability to detect near-earth objects and NASA recently announced a new project is underway to enhance detection capabilities. However, the assertation that we drop all action to reduce greenhouse gases, to fight the threat of a sizable asteroid that may or may not impact earth in the next 800 years, would be the most shameful display of not being able to walk and chew gum at the same time. A talent, by the looks of it, Dr. Singer has yet to master.

Previous Comments

… and dumbest “editorials” I’ve ever read.

I’m doing research on climate change deniers, and this guy is proving to be a source of comedy gold, and a sea of stupid.

It’s scary how successful the deniers have been with this crap, eh?

Great post. Thank you!

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