Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

UN Plans Asteroid Response Framework

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the where's-bruce-willis dept.

Space 152

chrb writes "The Association of Space Explorers, a non-profit group of people who have completed at least one Earth orbit in space, has presented a report to the United Nations titled Asteroid Threats: A Call for Global Response. The UN will now meet in February to discuss the issue and try to define a global political framework for dealing with asteroid-based threats to the Earth."

cancel ×

152 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Too bad (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984183)

Too bad X8345-Y3J (aka BigBetty) will hit earth in January

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984255)

[citation needed]

Re:Too bad (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984281)

On the upside though the debris from the impact will cure global warming.

hmmm (4, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984189)

Will this be like the original, where if you lose a city then it's gone, or the newer version where you can rebuild a city if you blow up enough asteroids? Also, how are we going to get the east and west to cooperate? Will they only shoot down asteroids that come down on their side of the screen? What if they split up and some come onto our side? Oh, the political decisions...

Re:hmmm (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984205)

what happens if we need to shoot through our own defences to destroy the aliens though? Oh wait, this is more like missile command not space invaders, my mistake.

Re:hmmm (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984531)

While at that, why not consider throwing in another coupla trillions and develop an extension to enable the defenders to also shoot down the aliens that undoubtedly hide among the asteroids.

What timing! (-1, Troll)

Anton Styles (1336251) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984191)

This coming a mere 30 minutes after an asteroid strike in central Australia [youtube.com] !!

Re:What timing! (1)

rgo (986711) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984249)

holy shit

Re:What timing! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984283)

Flashblock means you don't need to worry about Youtube rickrolling.

Re:What timing! (1)

f1vlad (1253784) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984621)

That is fantastique! :) luv Ricky.

Re:What timing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984871)

That was a really lame rickroll, the action needs to be closer to the beginning so people get the full impact before closing it.
You fail

!brucewillis (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984279)

The real heroes are the guys (and gals) with the calculators.

Re:!brucewillis (3, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984359)

The real heroes are the guys (and gals) with the calculators.

Sure, but you'll only see them in the credits just before they run the copyright notices. Hollywood is like real life -- nobody cares what it took for the star character to finish the job, because it's all about looking cool, sipping martinis, and driving aston martins. Q just got a few witty one-liners, but otherwise it was a 12 hour work day and no vacation to keep the james bonds of the world well-stocked in disposable tech.

Re:!brucewillis (0, Troll)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985483)

You should write a sci fi short story where the Q types are the real heros and the James Bond character is a silly poopy head who's only interested in being popular. You could release it under Creative Commons too, to make sure you win a popularity contest amongst geeks, because that would totally make you a Q who does clever things in the shadows, not douchebag who's good at self publicism.

better be careful (4, Funny)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984297)

I hope it has less holes in it than the .NET Framework....ohhhhh :P No time to apply patches to that thing hehehe.

Asteroid 2.0 (4, Insightful)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984557)

I hope it has less holes in it than the .NET Framework

By the time the UN establishes it's framework, the Asteroid will have been upgraded to version 2.0 and then the UN will have to go back and do a whole re-write.

Comet protection? (4, Funny)

rigelstar (243170) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984303)

I hope this will protect us against comets that have a chemical composition of less than 1.5% the normal level of cyanogen found in normal comets as well as asteroids.

Paging... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984315)

Bruce Willis.

If it's anything like... (4, Funny)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984317)

Fifties and Sixties Civil Defense initiatives, 'Duck and Cover' isn't going to cut it.

Re:If it's anything like... (1)

shadowkiller137 (1169097) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985349)

Ya but that's exactly what we will get.

That's another thing they'd screw up... (4, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984329)

It's all well and good to have a bunch of people talking together, but at the end of the day, the UN is utterly useless, and ultimately, the world's going to come looking for the USA for a way out, and then the Americans will quietly ask the British what they think, the French will chime in with their opinion whether anyone likes it or not, and after that brief bit of backchannel talking, the USA will wind up doing something that Europe hailed in private and condemned in public, except for the British, and their people will bitch about the Americans do it, not because its wrong, but they will insist that the British would have done it better had they still had their empire.

Re:That's another thing they'd screw up... (5, Insightful)

bensafrickingenius (828123) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984465)

And no doubt the UN will soon impanel a subcommittee which will spend millions of US dollars to generate a report condemning the US for causing this Asteroid crisis...

bensapieceofshit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984487)

My god are you a total fucking piece of garbage.

There has got to be some other crappy little planet the rest of us can dump shit like you off on.

Re:That's another thing they'd screw up... (0)

Paua Fritter (448250) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985249)

Head in the sand much?

Re:That's another thing they'd screw up... (0, Troll)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985427)

Yeah, the jokes on the UN 'cause the US will just print more dollars. /ducks

Re:That's another thing they'd screw up... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984477)

Oh just you wait. In a few hundred years, the Chinese will be all 'the Americans will bitch about how the Chinese do it' saving everybodys ass when the empire of America collapses and it all goes tits up. Which may happen sooner rather than later. ... Actually, something quite like this [thepaincomics.com]

Re:That's another thing they'd screw up... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984777)

right, because the unprovoked unilateral invasion of another country is exactly the same as defending the earth from an asteroid on a collision path with earth.

hrm, should or shouldn't we stop the asteroid from wiping out humanity? such a tough choice...

yes, this is a very controversial decision indeed. i'm sure it'll be a very contentious and globally divisive issue raising suspicions about ulterior political/economic motives. after all, if the international community could object to the murder of tens of thousands of innocent civilians for the purpose of appropriating oil resources, then what wouldn't they object to, right?

Re:That's another thing they'd screw up... (2, Insightful)

Ruvim (889012) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984789)

In result, USA solution will be using Russians, hired cheap off the Russian military, using old Soviet technology...

Re:That's another thing they'd screw up... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985161)

Heh, international cooperation at its finest.

The UN can build consensus. (3, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985683)

I'm sure that if an asteroid wiped out the capital of some tinpot dictator that the UN would respond. They would have no trouble building enough consensus to write the Oort cloud a stern letter.

Re:That's another thing they'd screw up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25986039)

No, the British will bitch about it, because the solution will be based on technology that they gave the Americans in 1950, and the Americans subsequently claim that *they* invented...

Re:That's another thing they'd screw up... (1, Insightful)

kubitus (927806) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986671)

US or UN?

if you look closely the US isn't doing too well recently!

without Russian supply ships the ISS is cut off. deficit spending not only the state but the whole country.

And -I tell you confidently - there are more ways to skin a cat than the US way.

How will this be funded? (4, Insightful)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984331)

Should funding be broken down by %population of the world, or %landmass occupied? However, I see this as "make the US pay for it". If a non-planet killing asteroid is targeting a nation which has not contributed to the fund/program, should we defend it? The security system on my house doesn't protect my neighbor's, (although my tax dollars which pay for the police, do.).

Re:How will this be funded? (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984441)

We can always offer a refund if you're in the spot that got hit.

Re:How will this be funded? (5, Funny)

da cog (531643) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984535)

We can always offer a refund if you're in the spot that got hit.

Better yet, we'll say that if we screw up and you get hit, then the next asteroid defense is free!

Re:How will this be funded? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985319)

...and if we screw up and you don't get hit, then we can drop a nuke on one of your major cities for effect.

Re:How will this be funded? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984491)

If you think it should be based on percent of GDP, you'll be happy, because it is.

And yes, that means that the EU (taken as a group) gives more to the UN in dues than the US.

All of this ignores the question of whether or not the US pays what it owes (which it has been lately, I think)

Re:How will this be funded? (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984785)

The US kind of donates the building and practically the entirety of the peacekeeping budget, not to mention troops.

Other countries get paid per soldier per day contributed towards peacekeeping missions, which third world nations with bored armies love.

Re:How will this be funded? (1)

faffod (905810) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985257)

Since the 1950's the US has never donated troops. The US troops deployed today are not UN trops.

Re:How will this be funded? (2, Insightful)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985527)

As far as I'm aware, troops in South Korea are still under UN command and aren't scheduled to be switched over until 2012 or so (according to previous agreements) at the soonest.

Re:How will this be funded? (2, Informative)

faffod (905810) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985599)

The US donated the troops in the 1950s to the UN for Korea. I think that you are correct that the US is still providing troops for that agreement. However, since then, any time the US has deployed troops it has been outside of the UN infrastructure.

Re:How will this be funded? (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985635)

Yes, but it sounds misleading to say that the US has never donated troops since the 1950s when it still has a 50+ year agreement going with SK where there are around 30,000 US military personnel stationed there.

But otherwise, I'm surprised (and therefore a little suspicious of the fact!) that the US hasn't donated troops under a UN command since then.

Re:How will this be funded? (2, Informative)

faffod (905810) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985869)

I agree I could have phrased it better. Also, a bit of poking around led to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peacekeeping [wikipedia.org] which states that the US and S. Korea took over the DMZ in 1967 I started to check on the various deployments over the years: Both gulf wars were "Coalition troops", not UN. US troops in Kosovo were under NATO. Then I found an error on my part: the US troops in Somalia were part of a UN command. So, yes the US has donated troops, I was wrong. That said, the vast majority of the UN troops are not US. Which the OP claimed. US troops in Lebanon were part of the Multinational Force. Vietnam was not a UN operation, rather is was a war.

So, going back to the OP comments about the US donating the building, the "defense budget" and the troops. Let me try my reply again.
Others have pointed out (not to the OP but in a thread above this one) that the US contribution is proportional to GDP. The EU as a block makes a similar contribution. Also note that a country does not contribute to the "defense budget" just like I don't pay the taxes that go into building the Interstate Highways (part of my taxes do, but I also pay for the military, medicare, etc).
With the rare exception, the US never contributes troops to UN operations. From the wiki link above, "About 4.5% of the troops and civilian police deployed in UN peacekeeping missions come from the European Union and less than one percent from the United States (USA)"

Re:How will this be funded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25986921)

The US kind of donates the building

You Sir, are extremely ignorant. It is an honor to host the building and most Europeans (and probably many in other countries too) think that it is an honor the US does not deserve considering its behaviour during the last decade. Every single member country would want to host it.

Re:How will this be funded? (3, Interesting)

trawg (308495) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984509)

However, I see this as "make the US pay for it". If a non-planet killing asteroid is targeting a nation which has not contributed to the fund/program, should we defend it? The security system on my house doesn't protect my neighbor's, (although my tax dollars which pay for the police, do.).

Heh, I always just assumed the US government will do it under the guise of protecting the world, when really, it's just a space superiority weapons system

Re:How will this be funded? (1)

isBandGeek() (1369017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984537)

Realistically, we can't ask developing countries to shoulder much of the burden of this cost, if any. However, it is true that the EU (among others, such as Japan and China) should probably also contribute along with the US.

Re:How will this be funded? (4, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984551)

This theoretical asteroid would know no man-made boundaries. It's unlikely that the overall effect that it will produce would be able to be narrowed down to a single nation or even a small group of them. The ripple such an event would cause would touch everyone's life in some fashion.

Either way, I have zero faith in the UN being able to put together anything bigger or more complex than a boy scout weekend camping trip without massive corruption, waste and/or bad blood being created between member nations.

Re:How will this be funded? (2, Interesting)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984713)

A theoretical asteroid can be of many different sizes. An Apophis sized impactor does have global implications (though its not extinction class); however, something like what exploded above Tunguska in the early 20th century could potentially be devastating within a single country but not have an effect outside of a limited region, like a bad earthquake.

And that is an interesting question, because unlike other natural disasters you know its coming and you can do something about it, but its expensive. So if you want to send a mitigation mission, do you make the other country pay for your expenses (assuming they dont have the technology to handle it themeselves), or is it an UN (or American, or Russian) act of charity even though in many ways its the problem of a single country. Or... do you just say hey, you better get people to move out of there, they should have a few years notice at least.

And... what if you change the trajectory just enough to make it hit somewhere else, whats the liability like for something like that? Of course, this is all presuming you can get the track down to a specific impact zone that far into the future, which believe me (I've been doing a bit of work on estimating Apophis' trajectory), is not an easy thing to do.

Re:How will this be funded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25985263)

I'm no expert on this, but I'd guess by the time you know for sure all the member nations are safe, it's too late to stop, so you've already launched.

Moreover, I'd say it's worth shooting an asteroid headed for even (say) Antartica, if only as an experiment. After all, we've never done this before, and if it doesn't work out as hoped, we'd like to know that for when one does come at us ourselves.

Re:How will this be funded? (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985551)

Moreover, I'd say it's worth shooting an asteroid headed for even (say) Antartica, if only as an experiment. After all, we've never done this before, and if it doesn't work out as hoped, we'd like to know that for when one does come at us ourselves.

Actually, that's a very interesting idea. I doubt you're the first to come up with it, but I've certainly never heard it before, and I like the research opportunities this would bring!

Re:How will this be funded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25985299)

however, something like what exploded above Tunguska in the early 20th century could potentially be devastating within a single country

that was Telsa not an asteroid
(Captcha is "really")

Re:How will this be funded? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985813)

Either way, I have zero faith in the UN being able to put together anything bigger or more complex than a boy scout weekend camping trip without massive corruption, waste and/or bad blood being created between member nations.

The effectiveness of international bodies/treaties depends on your metric. In terms of climate change they haven't done a very good job reducing CO2 emissions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_Protocol#Increase_in_greenhouse_gas_emission_since_1990 [wikipedia.org]

As of year-end 2006, the United Kingdom and Sweden were the only EU countries on pace to meet their Kyoto emissions commitments by 2010. While UN statistics indicate that, as a group, the 36 Kyoto signatory countries can meet the 5% reduction target by 2012, most of the progress in greenhouse gas reduction has come from the stark decline in Eastern European countries' emissions after the fall of communism in the 1990s.

Most countries have done OK out of it though. The EU managed to get the cut in emissions to be based on 1990s emissions, even though when it was signed emissions here already dropping due to Communist era polluters closing down. Russia did even better, and may have been able to make money selling its surplus emssions allowances. China and India got a commitment that 'developed countries have to pay billions of dollars, and supply technology to other countries for climate-related studies and projects'.

Sweden and the UK cut emissions, but they were planning to do that anyway. So every one was happy, except the US who every one else blamed for emissions not dropping.

Re:How will this be funded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25986095)

massive corruption, waste and/or bad blood being created between member nations

Quite so. Who needs the UN for that, when the US government can do that far better by itself?

Re:How will this be funded? (2, Insightful)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984553)

Those police don't actually protect his house you know... they just take pictures and fill out paperwork you send to the insurance company after some hoodlum ransacked your house while you were at work.

God, I hope an anti asteroid system isn't like the police, I'd prefer if it was more like the secret service. You know, everyone is pretty focused on that one important dude, and if he gets offed, a whole bunch of people get fired.

Re:How will this be funded? (3, Funny)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986451)

a whole bunch of people get fired.

Fired and crushed under a billion tons of rock

Re:How will this be funded? (4, Informative)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984583)

If a non-planet killing asteroid is targeting a nation which has not contributed to the fund/program, should we defend it?

That's much less likely than the asteroid hitting an ocean. After a glance at the globe, it looks to me like most of the world's ocean area has straight shot to at least some portion of the US coastline. So if the goal is to avoid those 1000-foot high tsunamis, the US probably has more interest in ensuring that the program gets implemented than to worry about who's not paying.

Re:How will this be funded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984657)

Only if the US continues to deny the international trade in technology. Helpfully there are tons of people who don't give a fuck what the U.S. says and make competing systems anyway. As to money, well the U.S. won't even be able to pay its share--look at the UN fees it never paid when it had plenty of money. You expect it to do anything in the remote future?

Re:How will this be funded? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984687)

so kick us out of the un. we don't give a fuck you stupid bitch.

Re:How will this be funded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25985255)

Rah rah! to you too, you fucking idiot.

Re:How will this be funded? (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985581)

Dave Chappelle: "Black President Bush" [comedycentral.com]
Okay, United Nations, why don't you sanction us? Sanction is with your army. Oh, that's right! You don't have an army! Well, I guess you'd better shut the fuck up!

Re:How will this be funded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25985629)

Economic sanctions relate to trading embargoes, not the use of military force. Idiot.

Re:How will this be funded? (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985645)

It's a quote from the Chappelle video I linked, not an excerpt from some PhD dissertation. Don't be silly. ;)

Act of god... (2, Interesting)

Skiron (735617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984929)

No insurance pays out for an 'act of god' (whatever that means), so why bother anyway? - we would lose it all with no pay-back.

Re:How will this be funded? (2, Insightful)

Reziac (43301) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985139)

Volunteer fire departments have that same problem -- what to do about people who refuse to contribute? Most have hit on a simple solution: if you don't pay your fair share to support the VFD, they *will* just stand by and let your house burn. Usually it only takes one such example.

Second, considering that asteroid hits are neither an everyday occurrance, nor something we can realistically defend against anyway, one has to wonder just exactly who benefits from the money this will suck out of the U.S.

Re:How will this be funded? (2, Insightful)

ThunderThor53 (836847) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985199)

And how do you propose accounting for the 2/3 of Earth that is water? %landmass + %coastline? The tsunamis from an ocean landing are likely to cause more devastation than a dirt landing - and are more likely to occur.

The UN shouldn't be screwing around with Astroids (4, Funny)

spike2131 (468840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984489)

.... everybody knows that killer robots are the real menace.

The UN has been working on this in secret (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984571)

No, the UN has been working on this in secret.

The mechanism is to heat the atmosphere to the point where if an asteroid hits it, it will melt before it does any damage.

The original plan was titled "Global Asteroid Warming", but it got garbled when it leaked to the press.

Dibs (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984647)

I want to be the one selling the insurance for this! 6.7 billion people need a policy!

Re:Dibs (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985375)

...and you can make me the sole beneficiary.

A framework? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984655)

Thats the definition of "scream and run in circles"?

I truly do not (0, Troll)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984661)

believe we should be messing with the natural occurances of the solar system. Asteroid collisions are how we got here, how we will end, and how a new smarter, more capable species will come again.

Let it happen naturally. End of story.

Re:I truly do not (4, Insightful)

Dripdry (1062282) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984837)

It is also a natural occurrence that we are here, able to perceive a threat to our species, and eliminate that threat.

Re:I truly do not (1)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984851)

Exactly, I say we do away with medicine, and science in general as well :-/

Although I do wonder: Would this more capable species do anything to stop future asteroid impacts? I say we do our best and if we are incompetent and end up getting wiped out, then it's our own fault. To not try at all makes no sense.

Re:I truly do not (1)

networkzombie (921324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984877)

Actually natural selection has given us the ability to control our astrological destiny. Trusting our destiny to the UN is, of course, ludicrous. We would have better odds selling Asteroid Survival Kits at Radio Shack. What we should do is give money to universities to have students come up with survival ideas for better grades. Masters applicants need more thesis ideas anyway. How about rather than trying to stop an asteroid that conjures up images of Bruce Willis dying for a cause, create ships that can sustain life to hover the earth until the scorching is complete. Fly back down and repopulate. A temporary moon base perhaps? I always enjoyed a good episode of Space 1999. If you can't afford the space ticket my nephew sells bomb shelters (seriously). Relax, it's just an idea. I never did get that masters degree in Asteroid Manipulation.

Re:I truly do not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984901)

you're fucking with nature as you sit at your keyboard. put your money where your mouth is and go live in a cave, nature boy.

Re:I truly do not (3, Insightful)

BlackusDiamondus (945259) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984969)

believe we should be messing with the natural occurances of the solar system. Asteroid collisions are how we got here, how we will end, and how a new smarter, more capable species will come again. Let it happen naturally. End of story.

Tell you what, next time you get critically ill or injured, we should just let you die a natural death so that a new smarter and more capable person can take your place. I say let it happen naturally, End of story.

Re:I truly do not (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985353)

a new smarter, more capable species will come again

What if we are the new smarter, more capable species?

Re:I truly do not (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985585)

believe we should be messing with the natural occurances of the solar system. Asteroid collisions are how we got here, how we will end, and how a new smarter, more capable species will come again.

Let it happen naturally. End of story.

You're trolling, I know but look at it this way. If humanity survives long enough we have essentially Godlike levels of technology. No species before humans was as good at maths or science as we are, and there's no reason to assume that post asteroid impact one would ever evolve. Intelligence at a human level is probably some sort of evolutionary fluke as most organisms could get by perfectly adequately without a sense of self, and without the mental hardware to be able to handle maths or complex languages.

Humans aren't perfect, but they're good enough and far superior technologically to anything else that has ever existed on this planet, and as far as we can tell, anywhere else either.

Re:I truly do not (1)

Meumeu (848638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986471)

Bullshit. Mankind hes appeared as a "natural occurance of the solar system" too... It would only be normal to kick any ass that could threaten our survival.

Re:I truly do not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25987063)

Asteroid collisions are how we got here, how we will end, and how a new smarter, more capable species will come again.

Well, I would be okay with that, but some people just don't like raccoons...

Alternative energy source (1)

Ruvim (889012) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984797)

How about we put the net ON the asteroids and use their MC^2 to produce clean energy!

Geez... (0, Redundant)

rascher (1069376) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984823)

...not another framework. Will it run on Linux??

Re:Geez... (2, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985389)

Of course. We can use Ruby on Railguns...

Hmm... (0, Troll)

masshuu (1260516) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984825)

Can't Goatse just bend over and take the whole asteroid? Why spend time and money when you got him.

FAILZOR+S? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984855)

parties). [At THE log On Then the implementation to Would be a bad

I thank you f0r your time (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984973)

with the work, or is not prone to it was f0n. If I'm

The UN will simply blame it all on the Jews (-1, Flamebait)

gelfling (6534) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985045)

Then they will send peacekeepers to the Asteroid and tell them to make sure to record all the genocides there.

That's a relief! (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985099)

Our most capable politicians in charge of determining how to deflect and asteroid. How reassuring!

        Brett

Re:That's a relief! (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986449)

Don't worry - the skills of a politician are only two: getting elected, and knowing who to delegate work to.

This will promptly be handed off to their brightest scientists. Or maybe they'll just throw grant money at the guys who proposed the problem.

Ace Combat 4 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25985153)

isn't this the beginning story of ace combat 4?
WTF!!!!!!!!!1111111!!1!111oneone1!!1!!11
but in all seriousness this is eerily similar

Good DAY, Sir! (2, Funny)

Star Particle (1409451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985195)

At least we can count on the UN sending that asteroid a strongly-worded letter!

Missile defense for meteors... or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25985219)

What would it take for one crazy leader to turn a floating missile battery around to target someplace here on earth?

I know we like to think of Armaggedon in the bible as being meteors coming down, but what about space based weaponry raining down from the sky?

A nice lawn chair. (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985625)

World-burning asteroids of the type we're starting to see are part of a rather large cluster which has been studiously not-discussed since it began its inbound solar trajectory a few years back from where it was unceremoniously nine-pinned from the Kuiper Belt by a brown dwarf. [telegraph.co.uk] I suspect that even if we had put some kind of defense into place years ago, it might find itself sorely taxed.

Instead, I believe the response to an impending asteroid pummeling anticipated by our mighty world leaders involves a great deal of tunnel digging and strict population management measures of the sort we are seeing being rushed into place --so that the remaining human debris can be sorted into convenient work groups.

A grim theory. Me. . , I'll invest in a nice lawn chair.

-FL

Offsite backups (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25985787)

For true disaster preparedness the only solution is a backup hot site. Mars would be nice.

Another court! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25985821)

They should start another court to outlaw asteroids hitting Earth.

obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25986005)

I for one welcome our new asteroid throwing Overlords

I wish it said which part of the UN. (4, Informative)

Shag (3737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986835)

I don't think this is going to be the UN General Assembly.

I doubt it'll even be the UN Security Council.

I'd half expect it to be the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs, which handles the treaty on the peaceable use of outer space, and does things that are actually useful, like maintaining the registry of what's been launched and is whizzing around up there... but this sort of thing is a bit different than what UNOOSA has been doing.

My Christmas-vacation homework will thus be:
1. Ask friend at UNOOSA whether they're involved, and
2. Ask Dave Tholen (Apophis discoverer) whether he knows anything.
Optionally:
3. Report back.

Re:I wish it said which part of the UN. (4, Informative)

Shag (3737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986917)

Okay, I poked around a bit... looks like the Working Group on Near-Earth Objects (mentioned in the BBC piece) isn't (as I had initially thought) the IAU WGNEO, but an occasionally-convened body under the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

Evidently UN HQ in NY has hosted a couple lil' conferences on the subject of NEOs in the past decade or so. Dunno whether this next gig in February will be there, or in Vienna, but I'm gonna start asking around. Might be an interesting thing to check out.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>