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Feb 03 2014

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Color me…unimpressed

“UN mandates asteroid threat coordination.” What retarded tripe. Originally, I wasn’t even going to comment on this because it is “OldSpace” as OldSpace comes, but I’ve seen this reported on multiple sites, so it’s time time do a real opinion piece on this “news”.

The first two paragraphs say all you need to know:

With a mandate from the UN, ESA and other space agencies from around the world are about to establish a high-level group to help coordinate global response should a threatening asteroid ever be found heading towards Earth.

For the first time, national space agencies from North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa will establish an expert group aimed at getting the world’s space-faring nations on the ‘same page’ when it comes to reacting to asteroid threats.

“Same page”? Like there’s going to be a big rift when a dinosaur-killer is heading toward us. “US and China at odds over whether to let Armageddon occur on schedule or eliminate threat.” It’s ridiculous. Thanks to a UN mandate, we’ll now be able to point at the sky in unison and say in one voice, “Holy CRAP — we’re screwed!!” Like we need UN involvement for that?

Clearly the UN saw an opportunity to gouge US tax payers by providing a useless mandate with which they can set up a task force — the Space Mission Planning and Advisory Group (SMPAG – pronounced ‘same page’) — to act all busy-like. ‘Cause nothing much is going to happen here other than point out that we couldn’t stop or divert an asteroid now if our lives depended on it…and waste money, of course.

Let’s not kid ourselves. Like the movie, if a planet-killer comes a-knockin’, no one’s going to be looking for the UN to save the day. All eyes will turn toward the US to see what, if anything, we can do to answer everyone prayers.

If the UN were serious about leading the way to a solution, they would offer a cash bounty, say…a cool billion dollars, to the business or agency that demonstrates the ability to destroy a, say…100 ton asteroid, or divert it five times the Earth’s radius in a 48 hour window. Then get out of the way and let competition and free markets find the best and quickest way to develop a solution now for when we will need it then.

However, that’s exactly opposite of what technocrats and bureaucrats want. There’s little chance for graft or bribes if you tack a wanted poster in the town square and let some private gun-slinging company take care of the issue. No, what you want if you’re a UN functionary is maximum control of the process so you can steer dollars to your cronies who, because they know they’ll get the work whether they’re competent or not, have no real pressure to meet schedules or stay within budget.

In fact, nobody really wants a solution to the asteroid threat if you are the UN, or the national government agencies that will be involved. Sounds crazy, but it is true. What they want is the appearance of working on a solution (preferably as complex and byzantine as possible), but with the “solution” perpetually behind schedule and running up against technical problems. Then they (government bureaucrats and technocrats) can justify throwing more money at the problem, which has the dual purposes of enriching their cronies who were contracted to provide the solution as well as providing the government agencies with bigger rice bowls about which to gloat.

Just about any time you get a government or the God-freakin’-forsaken United Nations involved, you are guaranteed a bunch of hand-wringing and a hemorrhage of money that disappears into various pockets to no effect.

Which is why you can color me unimpressed.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2014/02/03/color-me-unimpressed/

1 comment

  1. Donald Clopton

    Clearly the UN just wants to slow down the process of saving the world when that day comes. My guess is they want the world to take the approach of the ostrich and just stick our heads in the ground until it is all over. After all, Ostriches are the closest things to raptors we have these days so they must have SOME clue on how to survive a meteor strike.

    Man is the UN dumb…

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