Space rocks and red tape

A big lump of rock is headed toward Earth:

The space rock, which is called 2011 AG5, is about 460 feet (140 meters) wide. It may come close enough to Earth in 2040 that some researchers are calling for a discussion about how to deflect it.

Talk about the asteroid was on the agenda during the 49th session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), held earlier this month in Vienna.

A UN Action Team on near-Earth objects (NEOs) noted the asteroid’s repeat approaches to Earth and the possibility — however remote — that 2011 AG5 might smack into our planet 28 years from now.

If the rock of doom requires a gentle nudge away from Gaia to prevent a very bad day for Earthlings, NASA won’t be riding to the rescue. These days, NASA does dodgy weather research and outreach programs, not stuff in actual space with rockets piloted by flinty-eyed men called Buzz.

*not actual size

In the absence of NASA leadership, any effort to deflect 2011 AG5 may be left to the United Nations.  What could possibly go wrong?

First, the UN would need to determine which of its bodies has jurisdiction over the giant ball of rocky doom.

The program may be led by the Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), or the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR). The Security Council would issue a strongly-worded letter to 2011-AG5, possibly even going so far as to threaten the giant ball of rock hurtling through the cosmos with a Security Resolution. That’ll show it.

In the unlikely event a Security Council letter failed to change 2011-AG5’s mind, or velocity and direction, real action will be required. But who would the UN call in for advice? Earth is 70% ocean and the rock could leave a hefty dent in the seabed, so the International Seabed Authority (ISA) may need to be included. Approximately 50% of human casualties from an impact would be female, so the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE) will need to be called, because it’s sexist to assume women vaporize in the same manner as men, or something.

If a decision was made to nuke the rock out of existence before it arrived on our galactic doorstep, approval might be needed from the UN Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Organization, even though technically the mushroom cloud would be extraterrestrial. But nuking it may not be even an option in 2040 if the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) is successful in the interim. Oh, the ironing.

Assuming the worst happened and a mighty global bureaucracy somehow failed to stop 2011-AG5’s deadly progress, at least they’ll be ready to handle the consequences.  The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), the UN System Network on Rural Development and Food Security, the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the  United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) would immediately call a meeting. The Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) could chair.

Even though the chance of a meteor hit is slim at best, pray for a miss, or we’re doomed.

Round-Up tomorrow, as usual.

Space rocks and red tape

A big lump of rock is headed toward Earth:

The space rock, which is called 2011 AG5, is about 460 feet (140 meters) wide. It may come close enough to Earth in 2040 that some researchers are calling for a discussion about how to deflect it.

Talk about the asteroid was on the agenda during the 49th session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), held earlier this month in Vienna.

A UN Action Team on near-Earth objects (NEOs) noted the asteroid’s repeat approaches to Earth and the possibility — however remote — that 2011 AG5 might smack into our planet 28 years from now.

If the rock of doom requires a gentle nudge away from Gaia to prevent a very bad day for Earthlings, NASA won’t be riding to the rescue. These days, NASA does dodgy weather research and outreach programs, not stuff in actual space with rockets piloted by flinty-eyed men called Buzz.

*not actual size

In the absence of NASA leadership, any effort to deflect 2011 AG5 may be left to the United Nations.  What could possibly go wrong?

First, the UN would need to determine which of its bodies has jurisdiction over the giant ball of rocky doom.

The program may be led by the Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), or the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR). The Security Council would issue a strongly-worded letter to 2011-AG5, possibly even going so far as to threaten the giant ball of rock hurtling through the cosmos with a Security Resolution. That’ll show it.

In the unlikely event a Security Council letter failed to change 2011-AG5’s mind, or velocity and direction, real action will be required. But who would the UN call in for advice? Earth is 70% ocean and the rock could leave a hefty dent in the seabed, so the International Seabed Authority (ISA) may need to be included. Approximately 50% of human casualties from an impact would be female, so the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE) will need to be called, because it’s sexist to assume women vaporize in the same manner as men, or something.

If a decision was made to nuke the rock out of existence before it arrived on our galactic doorstep, approval might be needed from the UN Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Organization, even though technically the mushroom cloud would be extraterrestrial. But nuking it may not be even an option in 2040 if the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) is successful in the interim. Oh, the ironing.

Assuming the worst happened and a mighty global bureaucracy somehow failed to stop 2011-AG5’s deadly progress, at least they’ll be ready to handle the consequences.  The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), the UN System Network on Rural Development and Food Security, the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the  United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) would immediately call a meeting. The Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) could chair.

Even though the chance of a meteor hit is slim at best, pray for a miss, or we’re doomed.

Round-Up tomorrow, as usual.

Canada’s space program

NASA spends its time worrying about the weather instead of flying into space in shuttles, so it’s time for Canada to step into the space race.

Which can only mean one thing. Lego in space:

Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad, both 17, successfully sent a balloon carrying a Lego man and a small Canadian flag to the edge of Earth’s atmosphere.

..

Okay, it’s not as exciting as drilling two miles through thick ice into a primordial ooze, but the two lads who sent the little Lego dude up (they’re only 17) deserve some credit for effort.

Canada’s space program

NASA spends its time worrying about the weather instead of flying into space in shuttles, so it’s time for Canada to step into the space race.

Which can only mean one thing. Lego in space:

Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad, both 17, successfully sent a balloon carrying a Lego man and a small Canadian flag to the edge of Earth’s atmosphere.

..

Okay, it’s not as exciting as drilling two miles through thick ice into a primordial ooze, but the two lads who sent the little Lego dude up (they’re only 17) deserve some credit for effort.

Green pee

A Florida school has learned a hard lesson about green technology and green math.

The plan was to save water, and the planet, by installing waterless urinals in the boys washrooms. Each green urinal would save the school $100 per year in water utility bills.

But things went wrong. Horribly wrong:

Students at a high school in Boca Raton, Florida, must step over rivers of urine and endure the stench of rancid waste after a plan to bring ‘green’ waterless urinals into bathrooms backfired. School officials at Spanish River High School thought they had found an environmentally-friendly, cost-saving solution for their bathrooms when they installed Falcon Waterfree urinals in their boys bathrooms.

But with no water moving through the school’s copper pipes to flush the urine into the sewer system, the waste produced noxious gases that ate through the metal, leaving leaky pipes that allowed urine to drip into walls and flow onto floors.

‘It was pretty disgusting,’ school board chairman Frank Barbieri told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. ‘The girls had to step over a river of urine. I could smell it as soon as I walked into the hallway.’

That’s what you call a busted flush. The cost of fixing the damage is $500,000 and the school will install 200 traditional, water-efficient urinals instead.

It’s not easy being green.

Note: Watts Up With All This Traffic? Thanks to Anthony for the link, most kind.

Happy New Year. Probably.

With only hours left in 2011, John Stoke’s apocalyptic prediction that global warming would kill 4.5 billion of us by tomorrow looks unlikely.

I just checked the news and Australia is still there (with minutes of 2011 left). I think we’re gonna make it.

You can count-down the last moments of mankind on Gaia in the left sidebar, unless Stokes is just another alarmist fool who liked to make crazy 5-year predictions to scare people and then hope everyone had forgotten by the due date. Heh.

the final countdown

Assuming there is no last minute surprise attack by pesky methane clathrates, the Daily Bayonet wishes you a safe and happy 2012.

Almostgeddon

Tomorrow (or today, if it’s Tuesday 8th where you are) at around supper time on the Eastern Seaboard, asteroid YU55 will pass Earth at a range of about 200,000 miles.

That’s inside the moon’s orbit, for those keeping score. YU55 is about the size of an aircraft carrier, so it’s not small, but neither is it the size of Texas.

Astronomers know the asteroid’s orbit and say there’s no chance it will hit Earth. I think we can all agree that’s a good thing. Unless astronomers are as good at math as climate scientists, that is. Has it occurred to anyone else that Bruce Willis has been quiet of late?

Willis: on vacation, or in orbit?

Also, remember that this Wednesday the Feds are shutting down all TV and Radio to test the Emergency Alert System. I’m sure it’s unrelated to the asteroid thingy. Well, pretty sure.

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Singing the global warming blues

Warmists have obsessed over something they like to call the Climate Change Denial Machine, a sinister cabal they blame for their failure to persuade people that a harmless trace gas essential to life on Earth is going to make the planet explode. Or something.

But, after extensive research The Daily Bayonet can reveal another reason for climate skeptic’s success and warmist failure.

It’s the songs, stupid.

Skeptics just have better minstrels. Compare and contrast two warmist efforts with a skeptic song, if you dare.

From the UK, The Sea Green Singers want to drown climate skeptics:

..

From Australia, Men With Day Jobs do the Denier Tango:

..

And, in contrast, M4GW:

..

Tell me I’m wrong.

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Stretch Leafousine

The Leaf is outselling the Volt handily, so it’s no surprise the first stretch electric vehicle is based on the Nissan.

Here’s the elongated Leaf:

Anthill Mob not pictured

The stretch Leafo has the advantage that more passengers will be around to help push when the juice runs out. The problem is, I don’t think any hippies have that many friends to fill it.

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