Note that this petition is quite dated (1986) and is presented here as a potential model for anyone wishing to hasten things along a bit by bugging their Representatives in Congress.
A petition to embark upon an Earth Defense Initiative (EDI) for the purpose of enhancing national and global security.
Drawn by Robert Engelbert Kobres, Jr., Executive Director of an organization comprised of: People resolute on: Earth doing ecologically nicely and securing peace Around Cooperative Endeavors Linking Individual Nations Kindly (Pro Eden & spACE LINK).
This is a circulating petition. Please reproduce these pages and pass them along to friends prior to signing. A signed copy of the petition minus this page should be sent to Representative Robert J. Mrazek (D-NY), 306 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 30515. Rep. Mrazek's office is currently investigating the concept of EDI as well as other strategies that might serve to redirect space weapons funding.
Your understanding and support of the Earth Defense Initiative is much needed at this time. By signing this petition you will be advocating the following:
For those of you who become alarmed over the necessity of basing nuclear devices in space to accomplish a defense against Earth-orbit-crossing objects, please consider the following:
The elements required for these devices will be exported to the moon for assembly; only toward the end of the project when launch confidence is quite high will the toxic fissionable materials be transported in small quantities per takeoff. The dozen or so configured devices assigned to orbiting stations (which will have international crews) will come no closer than 100,000 miles to Earth.
SDI researchers are currently developing a 300-kilowatt reactor (the SP-100) which is to be fueled by highly enriched uranium-235. They hope to have this sailing a few hundred miles above your head by 1993. This year 23.7 million dollars will go to a conceptual study of a space faring multi-megawatt reactor (the MMW proposal). Another 15 million will go to DIPS (the dynamic isotope power system) this system uses plutonium-238 as fuel (ref.-Science, vol. 231, 21 March 1986 pp. 1357-1359).
For those of you who would like to better inform yourself of the dangers that Earth-orbit-crossing objects pose to our environment the following brief bibliography is provided.
For additional information write to Pro Eden & spACE LINK, 270 Valleybrook Dr., Athens, Georgia 30606.
A petition to embark upon an Earth Defense Initiative for the purpose of enhancing national and global security.
WHEREAS, civilization and perhaps our species could be destroyed by a collision between Earth and an Earth-orbit-crossing asteroid or comet.
WHEREAS, a large scale nuclear exchange could bring about similar results.
WHEREAS, by continually reducing the time available for human consideration during a crisis, weapon system research and development increases the likelihood of a major nuclear exchange.
WHEREAS, by placing a very high demand upon economic and human resources, and by reducing mutual trust between nations due to fear of a breakthrough, weapon system research and development as currently practiced precludes both the technical effort and global political cooperation necessary to prevent future collisions with extraterrestrial objects.
WHEREAS, current research indicates that significant collisions occur far more frequently than was previously thought and that these events have injured humanity in the past--being recorded in folklore/mythology as divine wrath, judgment day, the end of the old world from which a new world emerged, etc.
WHEREAS, we lack sufficient data to accurately predict when the next collision will occur.
WHEREAS, we know from the Tunguska event of 1908 that some collisions exhibit characteristics similar to a nuclear device detonated in the atmosphere--in this case a 10 to 20 megaton nuclear explosion occurring at an altitude of around 8 kilometers would have produced comparable damage.
WHEREAS, scientists have estimated that there is a 12 to 40 percent chance of a 12 megaton event occurring within a period of 75 years and a 5 to 20 percent chance that a 30 megaton encounter could occur within this period.
WHEREAS, such an event could cause a catastrophic loss of life if it took place over a populated area.
WHEREAS, an encounter in the megaton range could be misinterpreted as a nuclear attack, possibly engendering an actual nuclear exchange.
WHEREAS, durinq this century two very near encounters with objects massive enough to threaten our civilization have been observed. The first occurred in 1937 when the asteroid called Hermes which is nearly a kilometer in diameter missed Earth by about twice the distance to the moon. The second near miss involved an object around 200 meters across which, in 1976, came within a million kilometers (a little less than three times the distance to the moon) of our planet. Had Earth and Hermes collided in 1937 the effects could have been as severe as those postulated for a full scale nuclear exchange.
WHEREUPON, in consideration of the above the security of our nation and of civilization itself falls far short of the degree of security that could be achieved were we to utilize our resources and talents more wisely.
THRREFORE, we the undersigned petition our government to rectify this short fall of obtainable security at the earliest possible date.
FURTHERMORE, we ask that our government consider the proposed steps outlined below for we believe these steps or their functional equivalents to be necessary if we are to realize the security we seek.
1. Because space based nuclear devices are at present the only tools capable of altering the orbit of a large asteroid or any comet, the Earth Defense Initiative (EDI) cannot be brought to an effective Earth defense system unilaterally without an undesirous violation of international law (specifically article IV of the 1967 TREATY ON PRINCIPLES GOVERNING THE ACTIVITIES OF STATES IN THE EXPLORATION AND USE OF OUTER SPACE, INCLUDING THE MOON AND OTHER CELESTIAL BODIES). Therefore the first national step toward bringing forth a working Earth defense system involves seeking an international agreement to amend the 1967 treaty so as to allow this very necessary defense system. Concurrent with this activity should be international discussion pursuant to formulating a treaty designed to enhance global security in general. Bilateral conferences involving our nation and the Soviet Union should also be initiated at this time (the 1972 AGREEMENT ON COOPERATION IN THE FIELD OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS could be very valuable here).
2. This step may be taken unilaterally and should be accomplished as soon as legislatively possible: As a gesture of good faith and positive intent all funding appropriated for the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) should be diverted to EDI research and development. This action should cause few economic hardships due to the fact that most if not all of the talent and facilities currently engaged in SDI research and development will be needed for the EDI project. It should also be pointed out that such a move would in no way reduce our national security and in the opinion of many, abandoning SDI would actually increase national security by reducing East-West tensions.
3. The final legislative step must be ratification of a detailed and comprehensive international treaty and quite likely an equally detailed and comprehensive bilateral treaty with the Soviet Union.
These treaties should be designed so as to accomplish the following:
(a) Provide a highly verifiable halt to all breakthrough oriented weapon system research and development. Such a halt should be ensured by making the scope and time table of the Earth defense project arduous enough to physically preclude concurrent covert weapon system research and development.
(b) Facilitate large scale cooperative space development in a manner that will benefit all nations.
(c) Institutionalize biosphere monitoring (i.e. effect the International Geosphere/Biosphere Program as a nonterminating endeavor).
(d) Specify that all nuclear materials necessary for the Earth defense system are to come from existing nuclear arsenals. This "arming" of the Earth defense system will probably begin fifteen to twenty years after the treaties are ratified, therefore provisions for interim arsenal reductions should be included.
(e) Facilitate a continuing nuclear arsenal build down by providing a minimum annual export quota of arsenal derived fissionable material. This material should be stored upon the Moon for future Earth defense system use. Annual reductions of conventional forces should be linked to this build down.
I,________________________________________________, a citizen of the United States of America,
residing at ________________________________________________________________________
have read and do support this petition with my signature,______________________________________
on this ____ day of ______________ in the year ________
There are _____ additional signatures attached.
Comments attached? Yes ___ No ___