NASA announced on Friday that the meteorite that exploded over Russia was a small asteroid, probably around 15 meters across. A subsequent collection of fragments by Russian scientists has confirmed this.
The event resulted in thousands of injuries and millions of dollars of damage as the asteroid exploded in the atmosphere with a blast as large as a nuclear bomb detonating. It did, in fact, trigger monitoring systems that have been set up to look for nuclear test explosions.
This could have been so much worse. Imagine the effect if this had happened directly over the Kremlin in Moscow or Washington D.C.? Considering the paranoia so often displayed in international politics, would calmer heads have prevailed long enough to determine what really happened before “hitting the button”? A knee-jerk response to a presumed attack would trigger devastation that would almost certainly be the “end of civilization as we know it”.
This to me says three things.
- It is imperative that the world’s major nations combine resources to create a better detection system for this type of space debris.
- We need to invest in effective counter-measures.
- Nuclear weapons need strict systems to avoid “Pavlovian” launches.
Scientists and SF writers have been warning of this potential danger for decades. It’s about time the world took notice.
The Canadian Conservatives are continuing their attack on science and education: this time by cutting funding to Science World in British Columbia. Science World is a non-profit center dedicated to teaching children about science in an informal way.
Reaching out to children at an early age and Continue reading
Climate science got a welcome boost today as the U.S. Federal Appeals Court handed down a unanimous decision in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act, which gives them the power to regulate carbon dioxide as well as other greenhouse gases.
This is good news for anyone who supports the idea of protecting our environment (how anyone can be against that is, quite frankly, baffling) and Continue reading
Having a free, open internet is a vital part of our modern society. Big Media lobby groups are trying to do away with that and bring in draconian measures to take these freedoms away.
One of the tactics we see regularly in use by governments is “silencing by intimidation” – where opponents of an issue are labelled and dismissed as “extremists”, threatened by legal charges that can’t possibly be upheld and which are aimed purely at trying to silence critics. Now we have the latest “card” in this game, where charities are being threatened with removal of their charitable status if they don’t bow down to Conservative political ideology. Continue reading
Climate scientists are under attack by unscrupulous pressure groups and various climate change denialists. These groups and individuals use court orders and “Freedom of Information” requests to effectively harass scientists. This witch hunt makes for a hostile environment for the scientists, while also creating doubt in the public perception of climate change, despite the fact that the victims have been cleared of all wrongdoing many times and climate change is accepted as fact by an overwhelming majority of scientists. Continue reading
“In 2020, the vast majority of adults in America will be overweight or obese and
more than half will suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetic conditions, according to
new projections.” Source: Science Daily.
“The world is likely to build so many fossil-fuelled power stations, energy-
guzzling factories and inefficient buildings in the next five years that it will
become impossible to hold global warming to safe levels, and the last chance of
combating dangerous climate change will be “lost for ever”, according to the most
thorough analysis yet of world energy infrastructure.” Source: The Guardian.
This is the end
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I’ll never look into your eyes…again
So Rick Perry, guardian of religious insanity and memory loss, would abolish the Depts. of Commerce, Energy and Education…
I suppose it makes sense really. The banks and financial services markets are
allowed to behave in any way they want and bailed out with public money when they screw up, so why do you need anyone to watch them?
The U.S. steals most of it’s energy reserves from other countries through unfair
trade agreements and allows its citizens to squander them at will, so no need for
any energy regulation either.
And as for education? Well, hell, we know for sure the U.S. doesn’t need any of
that high-falutin nonsense…
The Financial Stability Board, backed by the G20 members, was set up in 2009 after the financial meltdown to monitor and regulate international banking.
Last Friday they announced their list of banks “too big to fail”; this list includes twenty-nine banks. It probably comes as no surprise that many of those listed were also recipients of some of the largest bailouts from their respective governments. These include:
- Bank of America – $45 b
- Bank of New York Mellon – $3 b
- Citigroup – $45 b
- Commerzbank – $11 b
- Deutsche Bank – $12 b
- Goldman Sachs – $10 b
- JB Morgan Chase - $247 m
- LLoyds Banking Group – $60b
- Morgan Stanley – $10 b
- Royal Bank of Scotland - $70 b
- State Street – $2 b
- UBS AG – $65 b
- Wells Fargo $25 b
Add all of that up and you have over 350 Billion dollars of bailout; not including many other international banks I haven’t listed that were also recipients of bailout money or at least ‘protected’ in one way or another from the consequences of their selfish and stupid gambles.
These banks, their directors and staff continue to be the beneficiaries of huge profits and disgusting bonus rewards, while the rest of us work our collective asses off to pay for their mistakes. This is a level of payback that will see us through most of our lifetimes and more than likely into our children’s lifetimes.
The reason we are in such a mess is because when things started to go wrong in 2007/8, all of these banks were considered ‘too big to fail’ and were handed barrow loads of cash with no strings attached. Even while taking this money, the bankers continued to pay themselves huge salaries and ridiculous bonuses, rewarding themselves for their ‘success’ with amounts beyond avarice.
And now the FSB is making exactly the same mistake. Lessons from history are often difficult and painful – but now we don’t even learn them after the fact. Parasites like this should be left to fail; they need to learn the lessons and consequences of their own actions.