The Second Version


Aren't You Worried?

J. Whitman of Aerospaceweb answers a question about Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (that's a new 3-letter acronym for us to enjoy), and the last two paragraphs are the most disquieting:
Though impacts from objects large enough to cause significant destruction are generally quite rare, perhaps the greatest threat facing humanity instead comes from small rocks that vaporize high in the atmosphere. Had the object that struck Tunguska in 1908 instead hit Siberia 50 or 60 years later, it is likely that the Soviet Union would have thought is was under nuclear attack. In the tense days of the Cold War, the Soviets might have launched a full-scale retaliation on the West resulting in global nuclear devastation. Though diminished, that threat still exists today. It is believed that only the United States currently has the ability to differentiate between a man-made nuclear explosion in the atmosphere and a naturally occurring meteor detonation. If a sufficiently large meteor were to impact or explode above a major city or military base, it is very possible that the blast could be mistaken for a nuclear attack and provoke a retaliatory strike.

In January 2000, a meteor only 15 ft (5 m) across entered the atmosphere and exploded over the town of Whitehorse in the Canadian Yukon. The blast created an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) similar to that of a high-altitude nuclear detonation and disabled a third of the region's electrical power grid. This kind of high-altitude blast is considered a likely first strike that would blind a country's defenses to further attack or invasion. In the summer of 2001, another high-altitude explosion was detected over the Mediterranean Sea. This detonation produced a level of energy comparable to that of a nuclear weapon. In both cases, the US was able to determine that the explosions were natural phenomena and not nuclear attacks. If the same events were to occur in a region of world tension where nations possess nuclear weapons, the reactions of national leaders could have horrific consequences.
Oh lovely. Like we didn't have enough problems to worry about already.

I can already imagine LGF's thread in case of another meteor explosion in the upper atmosphere...
Headline - Breaking: Atmospheric Nuclear Explosion Over XXXX

Comment #1: Those whacky Mormons again!
#2: That satanic mooncult of Pisslam must be erased from the face of the Earth
#3: It must be the Buddhists!
#4: Now let's see how the Muzzies like our special brand of Bottled Sunshine.

(After it is reported that it was a natural phenomenon)

#450: The dhimmi MSM is not reporting the religion of that Kim Park Wong astronomer who tracked the meteor. Geez, I wonder why...
#451: Dry-run. But you'll never hear that from the MSM stooges with their Saudi money-lined pockets. Traitors.
Yeah, it may be a cheap shot - but not my fault that the commenters at LGF have become more and more self-parodying lately. And in any case you can sue me if you think my blow is below the belt.

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