Saturday, February 16, 2013

In the long run we're all science fiction

The Wall Street Journal editorial page draws conclusions from the Russian meteor and the near-miss of the asteroid --

These odds of a future collision with the unpredictable heavens certainly raises a question about our Apocalyptic worries here on Earth. The fashionable end-of-world fear of recent years has been global warming, which Al Gore tells us will be catastrophic based solely on computer modeling. But an asteroid crash is capable of inflicting more damage in an hour than climate change could in two or three hundred years. We're all for studying the climate and doing what can be done within economic reason to cope with temperature changes. But if it's catastrophe we want to avoid, maybe the marginal dollar is better spent searching for the space rock that we know is eventually headed our way so we can prevent it.

Thus rather than cope with things that are actually happening, we should be spending money to deal with things that might never happen and/or we might not be able to prevent.

If there really is some probability worth worrying about that Earth could be seriously damaged by an asteroid, then maybe large projected budget deficits are not such a big deal!

Incidentally, the logic of the WSJ editorial suggests that it was written by Holman Jenkins.