Asteroids Threaten World Peace

Asteroids Threaten World Peace


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As if there wasn’t enough to worry about over geopolitical skirmishes, military strikes, the threat of terrorism, global warming, and imminent war with Iraq … we have now been alerted to the dangers of nature exploding in mid-air. How does this tie in with the above-stated concerns? More than a few times a year, asteroids smash into the Earth’s atmosphere with “an energy release comparable to the Hiroshima burst” – a fact some fear could unnerve some nations to the point of triggering an atomic war. Air Force Brig. Gen. Simon P. Worden says the US is the only country with the detection technology needed to quickly discern whether an atmospheric explosion is natural or manmade. The only country. That means all other nations with nuclear weapons are at risk of mistaking a natural explosion for an attack and subsequently opting for atomic retaliation. In fact, Worden pointed out, that was a very real risk last August when India and Pakistan were at full alert and poised for war. Although the explosion of an asteroid 15-30 feet wide, detected by US satellites over the Mediterranean, received little or no notice, the general believes such an incident could inspire major human conflict and ignite “…a nuclear horror we have avoided for over a half-century.” While this form of nature’s wrath has yet to unleash itself over a populated area, in which case it is estimated that perhaps hundreds of thousands could perish, the threat of such an uninvited upset to the precarious state of world politics is very real. The Air Force is working on an asteroid alert programme that would rapidly send information received from satellites to affected countries. In the mean time, all we can do is wrestle with the wrath and bluntly stated intentions of manmade warfare.(684)

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