The BBC reports that the Russian government is working to divert an asteroid that has a 1 in 250 000 chance of hitting the Earth in 2036.
“People’s lives are at stake,” Mr Perminov reportedly told the radio service Golos Rossii (Voice of Russia).
“We should pay several hundred million dollars and build a system that would allow us to prevent a collision, rather than sit and wait for it to happen and kill hundreds of thousands of people.”
Remind you at all of Daniel Gilbert’s analysis of climate change psychology?
“Because we barely notice changes that happen gradually, we accept gradual changes that we would reject if they happened abruptly. The density of Los Angeles traffic has increased dramatically in the last few decades, and citizens have tolerated it with only the obligatory grumbling. Had that change happened on a single day last summer, Angelenos would have shut down the city, called in the National Guard and lynched every politician they could get their hands on.
Environmentalists despair that global warming is happening so fast. In fact, it isn’t happening fast enough. If President Bush could jump in a time machine and experience a single day in 2056, he’d return to the present shocked and awed, prepared to do anything it took to solve the problem.”