An asteroid is heading our way.
No, calm down, you didn't miss the news. It's out there, somewhere in time and space, and it's not anything imminent.
So an asteroid is heading our way. Okay, we know the drill. We've seen the movies. Humanity will come together and leap into action. Well, maybe not leap so much as get on the phone and march into offices and go to bars and stagger into action.
We figure there'll be some panic that this thing six miles long is heading our way and is going to cause a big bang. Many will wonder, how will that affect the polls and the US Presidential election?
Others will be doubtful. Conspiracy, some will immediately announce. Science, you know, is not really that accurate, they'll tell us. Not everyone agrees that the asteroid is going to hit. It's not unanimous. If pressed, they'll trot out one or two scientists that don't think the asteroid is going to hit. Ten thousand other scientists think it will and can show you the math and models, but these two disagree, so there's doubt in the scientific community.
The stock market will probably suffer big losses with big selloffs as people cash out, to build up their cash reserves for the coming big bang. Then they'll be a rise in the market as people see short term opportunities and good buy opportunities because stock prices have fallen so much, and what the hell, my options are that I might be vaporized and civilization as we know it might end, or maybe not. I mean, look at the mass extinction caused last time one of these puppies hit. The dinosaurs were just about wiped out, except for a few like Newt Gingrich.
But if it doesn't hit, or it's not as bad - I mean, come on, how bad can it really be? - or everyone quits panicking and comes to their senses, then I can make a killing, buying low after the markets plummet, and then selling high, after those two dissenting scientists are proven right.
Gold prices will probably go up. There will be a group thinking, how can we survive this? If we survive, gold will be the only currency worth anything.
Another group is scoffing, you can't eat gold. You can't drink gold. They're stocking up on food and water, causing runs on banks and grocery stores. Servers start crashing because of system overloads, plus some IT people have decided, the hell with this noise, the world is ending, maintain your own damn systems. Rich people are asking, where can I buy and build to ride this thing out? Can we live in space?
Sports fans will be doubtful about the asteroid mission. Although it went okay in the movie, training replacements for experts doesn't usually go as well, whether it's replacement referees or players, so come on, you're going to train these guys as astronauts?
Some religious leaders will point out that the asteroid wouldn't be coming our way if we weren't so evil and didn't 'allow' homosexuals to exist. It's God's way of telling us to change our ways. Send money and pray. Other religions will pray for the asteroid to miss or disappear, and some will just pray for humanity and calm.
Others will think, hey, life is ending. Party!
I'll probably just keep living the way I am, trying to eat healthy, walking, drinking coffee, writing and worrying about my cats until the asteroid is too big to ignore, then I'll binge on all the foods I deny myself to stay healthy and live a quality life, smoke a cigar, and rue that my novels were never published. All that writing, gone to waste.
Political leaders are taking all of this in and meeting, trying to decide what we will do, and looking at the polls. First, we must think of the deficit, they'll say, and Krugman will write an article about Congress and their misplaced priorities. Building an emergency space mission to send up and interecept the asteroid and blow up with a nuke will cost money, they'll say, money that we don't have. The government must be run like a business. Times are tough, my friend. Austerity measures are in place. Even scientists aren't all sure that the asteroid is going to hit. Shouldn't we study this more first? Then they'll establish a commission of Senators and Representatives, with equal numbers and co-chairs, one from each party, so they can't be approved of being bi-partisan. The commission will hear from expert testimony about the asteroid until the last meeting is canceled because the asteroid hit.
What will the hit be like?
"One day about 65 million years ago, a comet or asteroid only about 10 kilometers (6 miles) in diameter streaked toward Earth at a speed of 90,000 kilometers per hour (55,000 mph) on a collision course. It approached from the southeast at a low angle, striking Earth in what is today the area of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. When you get off a boat at the small port of Progreso, there is a small, hand-painted sign that points to Chicxulub, a Maya name for a local village. But to geographers, Chicxulub means the end of one era and the start of another. Here the asteroid's impact produced an explosion equivalent to about 100 trillion tons of dynamite, forming a crater approximately 180 kilometers (110 miles) in diameter, 65 kilometers (40 miles) deep, and encircled by a geological fault 30 kilometers (about 20 miles) beyond, all of it buried today by later sediments.
"It is possible that the Chicxulub asteroid was one of a swarm, and that smaller ones struck the Earth elsewhere, including the ocean. In any case, the impact's devastation reached around the planet, and was at its worst in North America. The impact area was a shallow sea with soft, deep sediments, and the blast sent a mass of debris hurtling thousands of miles into the heart of the continent and high into the atmosphere and beyond. Researchers David King and Daniel Durda calculate that some of it reached halfway to the Moon before falling back to Earth. And when it did fall back, it rained red-hot rocks on the rotating planet, setting fires to forests almost everywhere. The atmosphere was heated enough to evaporate entire lakes, incinerate whole ecosystems, and extinguish most life over large low-latitude regions."
Author: Harm de Blij
Title: Why Geography Matters
Date: Copyright 2012 by Oxford University Press
~ excerpted from DelanceyPlace.com, from
It sounds like a very bad hair day.
Of course, that's all theory. No one was around to live to tell the tale, and that's the first rule of being a winner. First, you must survive.
h/t once again to DelancyPlace.com. I highly recommend them. I'm also going to go order that book. Sounds like a snowy day read, you know, something light, that puts things in perspective.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com