Did you guys catch that awesome meteor that streaked through the skies of Russia last February 15? Wasn’t that just INSANE? Well, if you haven’t seen it yet…
Again, I ask, wasn’t that just insane?
The crazy thing is, nobody, not NASA scientists, not amateur skywatchers, not anybody knew this was coming until it burned up across the sky that morning in Russia. Initial estimates on the size and strength of the energy released by the shockwave were conservative at best.
Get this: latest estimates have that meteor at 55 feet in width and weighing at 10 thousand tons. 55 feet, to give you perspective, is as tall as a building with FIVE floors, all right? This is no mere pebble falling from the sky. This is a monster.
Let’s rewind a few months.
What if… WHAT IF scientists detected this meteor last December 2012… which in space would still have been considered an asteroid. That’s right, a freaking ASTEROID. What if we were told that this asteroid that’s 55 feet in width, and weighing 10 thousand tons was heading straight for the Earth on February 15, 2013? And it will hit us. It will NOT miss. Just imagine that. Just think about that for a moment.
In the past we were always told that this or that asteroid will hit us at some point in the future. Remember us shaking in our boots? Remember us cold with fear when that asteroid hits, but we comfort ourselves with the idea that this was in the far future? Some of us, I’m sure, even thought selfishly that well, I would be dead by then, so I don’t care. You watch TV documentaries about what humanity would do in case that happens. You watch speculative projects of creating rockets that will bring a portion of the population into space to save the human race. You wonder at the pandemonium would ensue just to get a seat in the rocket. And you quietly fume with rage when you imagine only the rich and powerful will get the chance to get on it. YOU will be left here to die. Because you’re a loser. But that’s in the future. FAR future. Nothing to worry about now.
Or so you thought.
But what if we were told that in less than two months time an asteroid will hit us and there was no doubt about it. There are no rockets to bring us to space. There are no ready plans to deal with something like this in just that short a time. All you can do is just sit there and wait for it to happen.
Or maybe you can panic.
You hoard supplies like food, batteries, and clothing. You board up the windows of your house. You gather your family with you. You find God.
Or maybe you go crazy and you start to do things you wouldn’t normally do because you believe you have only less than two months to live. You do great, spectacular things, or you do really horrible, despicable things.
In a world with nothing any more to lose, civility will fail and it’s every man for himself. People will fight and kill each other for food and water. Preservation of life will supercede loyalties and friendships. Civilization will break down.
Perhaps it was a GOOD thing we didn’t know about it. What did happen eventually on February 15, 2013?
The meteor hit Russia, hitting no populated areas. The shockwave hurt around 1000 people, but killed no one. Panic was quick, and we were treated to a spectacular show. That’s it.
Yes, perhaps it was better we didn’t know. Because in the end, it’s not asteroids that will kill us, it’s our own damned selves.