Mother Earth, Mother Jones

by Andrew Stuttaford

Over at Mother Jones, Kevin Drum sees my suggestion that “some” of the (great deal of) money that the world spends — much of it on a basis that fails any reasonable cost/benefit analysis — on trying to tamper with the climate might usefully be redeployed in spending on a little asteroid insurance, and argues that it might feature as a quote of the year, possibly (just possibly), not in a good way.

Note that “some,” by the way.

His headline:

Frying the Planet is OK as Long as We Protect it From Asteroids

Bit of a jump, eh, Kevin?

Oh well, it’s all part of the knockabout of debate. That said, perhaps Kevin ought to take a look at this piece by Tim Murphy. It begins as follows:

If you believe the folks at NASA—and really, why shouldn’t you?—it’s only a matter of when, not if, we need someone like Dr. Bong Wie to save the human race from a civilization-destroying catastrophe. . . . Wie is the director of the Asteroid Deflection Research Center at Iowa State University, the only institution in the United States dedicated to the deflection of what NASA calls Near-Earth Objects (NEOs)—”asteroids” to the rest of us….

In the fight against NEOs, the biggest obstacle so far hasn’t come from the cosmos; it’s been in Washington…Even now, NASA spends just 0.2 percent of its budget on asteroid research; Wie has received $600,000 in grants.

Good stuff.

And where was it published?

Mother Jones. On Friday.