CCNet ESSAY, 5 October 2000


By Bob Kobres <>

     "In my opinion, we are not adequately addressing even the front
     end of this situation until we have placed detectors where it
     doesn't matter whether the weather is fine or foul. We can, in the
     clear light of Space, find, catalog, and keep track of all those
     little bits and pieces that, while not globally threatening, would
     not be welcomed into anyone's neighborhood!"
          -- Bob Kobres, 5 October 2000

Hey, I want one of those crystal balls that some of you guys must be
[. . .]
The first concern is regarding the usage of nuclear power to mitigate an
impactor. Although the report focuses on the nuclear bomb as one of many
mitigation methods, it is mentioned explicitly. Some military people use
the NEA problem to maintain the nuclear bomb. Yet, it is more dangerous
to keep it than to have a NEA collision in the near future. If we would
determine all the orbits of hazardous NEA, we could determine their
collision time well in advance and could mitigate an threat by some
methods except the nuclear bomb. In any case, it is the most important
aspect of NEO resesarch to detect all the hazardous NEA since otherwise
we cannot make any types of mitigation.
[. . .]
Syuzo Isobe

That it is more dangerous to retain the option of using nuclear devices
than to have a NEA collision in the near future is an assertion with
very little, if any, fact to back it up. 

This subject has come up before:

Nuclear reaimament is what I called the potential to convert nuclear
weapon technology to the task of Earth-defense. Let's face it, the
genie is out of the bottle. See:

While there is no way to ensure that this knowledge will not again be
used to destroy life and property there are ways to make it less likely
for that to happen. Rather than rehash the steps that could be taken,
I'll point the reader to earlier documents that express some still
pertinent ideas:

I'm no advocate of large-scale Earth-based nuclear use. All we've
managed to do with nuclear energy technology is boil water with a
vengeance, creating a good deal of waste heat plus nuclear waste
storage problems. With nuclear weapons we've actually blown adversaries
to smithereens and threatened to do so again, ultimately leading to
various strategic plans of MAD (suicidal vengeance). In other words the
nuclear-power-genie is a beast in the biosphere-better to banish what
we've made to the Moon! By verifiably removing weapon grade nuclear
material from Earth, in conjunction with international cooperative Space
development aimed at reducing the need of high grade energy within the
biosphere, we can greatly reduce the potential for conditions that might
cause a reactionary mess on our planet.


CCCMENU CCC for 2000