Monday, September 14, 2009

Should we worry about global annihilation on 2012 for scientific reasons?

Yes, because it’s happened before. Science has identified 20 times during which earthly life has faced a “mass extinction event” caused by a natural phenomena. On some occasions over 90 percent of the life forms on the planet was wiped out.

Extinction of one life form to make room for the next is the way life has evolved on Earth. For instance, the dinosaurs’ extinction made possible the emergence and eventual domination of mammals . . . none of which is all that comforting if yours is the species facing extermination.

-- Does the fact it happened in the past mean it will happen again?

Absolutely – because many threats are cyclical in nature: Asteroid strikes, rise of poisonous atmospheric gases such as methane, geological upheavals such as super-volcanic detonations, ice ages and other radical climate changes are all events that occur in cycles.

It’s been said that life is a circle – and in many respects the universe operates that way. A good example of that is the near-miss asteroid on March 3, 2009. This chunk of speeding space rock was the size of the one that destroyed 800 square miles of Siberian forest in the early 1900s. This one swept “darn close,” as a JPL scientist put it. If it had hit a major metro area like New York or L.A., millions would have died.

The most frightening thing is that we only had about two days notice when it suddenly appeared closer to earth (about 48,000 miles) then most of our satellites . . . and it is coming back for another shot at us.

Five years ago a major asteroid missed the earth by only 4,000 miles, and we had only 19 hours warning.

In 2036 a massive planet-killing asteroid is estimated to have 1 in 5500 in hitting us. Given the scope and duration of its orbit, that impact is “too close to call.”

In 2013 the US will have a chance to approach the asteroid and attach a transponder to it, after which we could monitor its 2036 approach with scientific precision. We would have to begin that mission immediately, which no one is doing. The US seems indifferent to a potential extinction event 27 years from now.

Something even bigger could be coming at us and we are unable to spot it because space objects are tracked as they race across the line of sight – ones that come directly at us are not seen until they are almost on top of us.


  1. Half the time I turn on the history channel, there's another program telling us that this disaster or that disaster is overdue or coming up. And each diaster has a scientific basis for its time table. If I was a betting man, I'd say that the odds were really building up.

  2. I think I read a couple months ago that we have a big eye on the sky program to track near earth objects so we won't be surprised, but congress has not fully funded it so it is working on a shoestring. So, we don't have to worry about being prepared when the Big One comes. We just won't be.

  3. If you want to talk about an extinction event, just look at the Christian bible and the texts of most religions. Those stories of creation all start in explosive chaos and all end in . . . explosive chaos. Coincidentally, that's the way science says it began with that big bang and will end the same way.

  4. Has anyone ever made a list of global disasters that we can fix and those we are helpless about? Mega volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis all seem to be futile to worry about on a global level because they can't be stopped. Planet killing rogue asteroids are the one big thing we can do something about, so it's a pity we don't do more.

  5. You can add global warming as a global disaster we can do something about and don't.

  6. Only God has the right to justify the end of humanity. If it happens it happens, see you in the next life. If it doesn't then good, just keep living life. Nobody should live life in fear.

  7. but sometimes its hard to fight the fear when it seems we are waiting to die