Experts claim that asteroids could someday collide with Earth and completely eradicate humanity. Such a claim was also made by one of Britain’s top asteroid hunters, who stated that the threat is not immediate, but inevitable and that climate fluctuation is a more critical issue people should address.
An Asteroid Collision is Not Imminent
According to researchers, the dinosaurs were eradicated about 66 million years ago, when a 10 kilometers (6 miles) asteroid crashed into Earth near the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Earth seems to have been instead protected against such impacts, but asteroid hunter Jonathan Tate states that it is a matter of time before such an asteroid will hit our planet.
Mr. Tate is the chief of The Spaceguard Center in Powys, Wales, the United Kingdom’s only private observatory. The astronomer monitors NEOs from the observatory, which are space rocks and comets of different sized that travel close to our planet. He explained that the asteroid threat is not immediate, but there is another issue Earth is facing at the moment, which needs to be addressed: climate change.
Mr. Tate said: “From the public point of view, I think there are one or two other things that we perhaps need to square away first. I mean, we’re trying to prevent damage to the planet and our species. I would say that the immediate problem there is, you know, climate change. Let’s get that one sorted out because we’re quietly committing suicide.”
In today’s state of the climate, temperatures all over the world have increased by approximately 1.9 F degrees (1.05 C degrees) since records were written in 1880. Researchers believe that the rising temperatures are triggered by specific activities humans perform, as well as emissions of greenhouse gases.
Climate Change is a More Immediate Issue That Needs Solving
Ever since 2001, 19 of the 20 warmest years registered so far have happened in the last 20 years. The increasing temperatures are thawing Earth’s poles, and the sea levels have risen by approximately eight inches since 1880.
Together with climate change, the enhanced threat of coastal flooding, more severe weather, loss of drinking water, and cultivable land are also coming. Mr. Tate stated that it is silly for humanity to keep going on this path, taking into consideration the fact that we can tackle and fix climate change before it takes a toll on us. However, a threat that cannot be avoided is the fact that an asteroid will, someday in the future, collide with Earth.
Mr. Tate said: “Wich problem are you going to sort first? One is inevitable; the other is not. We can sort out the one that isn’t inevitable, but we need to still keep a finger on the pulse of the one that is inevitable.”
There are, evidently, preventative actions, but Mr. Tate said that some of them could trigger more chaos and trouble than needed. He said: “It’s a bit irritating that it is the one natural hazard that is both devastating completely, right up to mass extinction level. It’s very, very rare, so the public doesn’t really pick up on things that perhaps aren’t likely to happen in their lifetimes.”
“As a species, we only look two generations either side of where we are. If it’s going to happen to me, it’s essential. It’s going to happen to my kids; it’s really important. If it’s going to happen to my grandkids, it’s really quite important, but beyond that, don’t give a s**t.”