It comes as no surprise when politicians fail to plan beyond the next election, but I would have expected better of (most) scientists. An article in New Scientist Space details the story so far of a particular asteroid hitting the Earth (the current estimate is a 1 in 1600 chance in 2102); newsworthy because further refinements of measurements have actually increased the likelihood of a collision. While apocalyptic images of ten-kilometre wide craters and global cooling serve some purpose, the shocking part is a quote from one of the scientists:
“[it] is a serious problem, but not for our generation”
Not for our generation, eh? If it turns out to be on a collision course, how long do you think it will take to us to figure out, pay for and implement a way of deflecting it? This is something that needs talking about now – even if the asteroid misses (most likely), it’s got a lot of friends out there.