The story of Chicken Little running around yelling that "The sky is falling" has become the epitome of those who "cry wolf" about the world ending--falsely worrying about and predicting catastrophic events.
However, the reverse can be true as well--where people say, "The sky is not falling," when it really is. This is a "Chicken Big" event--where people are afraid "big time" of admitting the truth and so they hide themselves and others from it. Sort of like saying "What I don't know can't hurt me!"
Yesterday was just such as Chicken Big--hide your head in the sand--moment.
Asteroid DA14 passed just 17,000 miles from the Earth--less than the distance from New York to Sydney! It was 140 foot long and 143,000 tons, and possessed the destructive power 700 times that of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. According to the Wall Street Journal (13 Feb. 2013) it was able to devastate a region the size of the San Francisco Bay area.
While, thank G-d, this dangerous asteroid missed us, just a few hours earlier, a meteor about 55 feet long and 10,000 tons exploded over the Ural Mountains in Russia, with the destructive power of 33 Hiroshima-size atomic bombs injuring 1,000 people and damaging 4,000 buildings.
Of course, it is a frightening reminder of what could've happened had asteroid DA14 hit as well.
The Guardian reported that according to The European Space Agency "No link between the events is thought possible," and the Wall Street Journal (15 Feb. 2013) declared that it "was just a coincidence".
Interestingly, the Journal itself states that a meteor event such as that which exploded over Russia yesterday happens "every 100 years," and even more, the chances of the asteroid that passed very close overhead actually hitting Earth occurs "once every 200 to 1,000 years," with the next close pass over earth not expected again until 2046. Thus, these types of events don't happen exactly every day, do they?
So what are the chances of these 2 events (one exploding overhead and the other a near miss) occurring simultaneously yesterday--just hours apart!
People need to know--deserve to know the truth about the dangers we face--not to cry wolf--but rather to help us as a society and civilization recognize the genuine dangers we face, so we can adequately take precautions and prepare ourselves.
Interestingly enough, the WSJ states, "We have the technology to deflect these asteroids" with spacecraft to impact into them and "gravity tractors" to change their trajectory--the one thing we need is "years of advance warning."
Let's acknowledge the meteor explosion yesterday in Russia and be grateful that it wasn't over a heavily populated major urban area, where the effect could've been much worse, and of course the same with the near flyby of the asteroid--and resolve to invest in the monitoring, tracking, and defensive technologies to keep us safe from a future catastrophe where the sky really is falling.
Calling the two cosmic events yesterday a "coincidence" is a Chicken Big event--buck, buck, buck. ;-)
(Source Photo: here with attribution to Sascha Grant)