Around January 9th, 2017, what’s been described as a 10-story asteroid came dangerously close to Earth. How close? According to a reporting scientist, about 120,000 miles, traveling at 9.9 miles a second. To offer a more comprehensible perspective on this distance, it’s half the distance between the Earth and the Moon, according to the scientist.
Rather than writhing in fear and uncertainty, the main question to be asked isn’t how a space object managed to come this close. What is so alarming is the failure of the government and other scientific institutions to disseminate this possible doomsday memo. Is it possible that events like these happen quite frequently and just have never made their way to the public knowledge? An interesting thought, indeed. How much else is the public not being told about the happenings of outer space? Of course, such institutions would refrain from doing so, in that it would cause mass panic, but such reasoning showcases more selfishness and secrecy than it does for concern or incumbent duty.
Covering the matter was the RT Network. In their segment, after going over the startling information, the scientist interviewed then proceeded to give NASA and other scientific institutions a pat on the back for “working tirelessly” to detect threats like these. The kind of language used was very similar to what sounds like a precursor to more support for scientific endeavors. But how, in this instance, are our scientific institutions so deserving if, when it really counts, the public is left in the dark?
Over my lifetime, I’ve witnessed many stories of startling cosmic events with potential global consequences for the planet. But just like the other fear-mongering issues involved with science and the government, I realized that space threats, real or not, are becoming more and more mainstream. We’ve heard of many close calls in the past and many events likely to happen in just a matter of time, but none have happened. Yet, playing on these fears and the possibility of such events happening, the government and scientific institutions suck up funding and infiltrate ever corner of legislation. Be it global warming, or the spread of biological diseases, the citizenry should engage in more independent thought and learn to not controlled by fear.