Asteroids Aff


A2: DEVELOP DEFLECTION TECH



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A2: DEVELOP DEFLECTION TECH



Developing deflection technology too early is bad—distracts us from monitoring

PARK et al. 1994 – President of the American Physical Society, PhD (Richard L., Lori B. Garver of the National Space Society and Terry Dawson of the US House of Representatives, “The Lesson of Grand Forks: Can a Defense against Asteroids be Sustained?” Hazards Due to Comets and Asteroids ed. Tom Gherels, pg. 1225-1228)

Particularly now, with nuclear weapons being dismantled by the major powers, any talk of a nuclear defense against such an unlikely hazard as cosmic collisions will be seen as an effort by the weapons community to sustain itself. The risk of diversion of any mitigation system to military uses must be regarded as a more immediate hazard. Indeed, we are concerned that the entire discussion of mitigation is premature and serves largely to divert attention from the primary task, which is to define the asteroid hazard.
Detection is key – we can have the technology for diversion

PARK et al. 1994 – President of the American Physical Society, PhD (Richard L., Lori B. Garver of the National Space Society and Terry Dawson of the US House of Representatives, “The Lesson of Grand Forks: Can a Defense against Asteroids be Sustained?” Hazards Due to Comets and Asteroids ed. Tom Gherels, pg. 1225-1228)

Given the frequency of past collisions, major impact is unlikely to occur in the next century. On the other hand, all of modern technology is squeezed into the present century, and the pace of technological advance is accelerating. It would be presumptuous to suppose that defenses devised today will be of more than historical interest to our scientific heirs a century from now, or a millennium, or a thousand millennia, when the rock finally comes. Discussion of mitigation may serve one public purpose. It is important that devastation not be accepted as inevitable, otherwise society might prefer not to know when it is coming. An asteroid interception workshop hosted by NASA in 1992 (Canavan et al. 1993) concluded that available technology can deal effectively with a threatening asteroid, given waiting time on the order of several years. That conclusion validates the view that current efforts should concentrate on detection and orbit determination.

A2: CIVIL DEFENSE/MITIGATION



Response and mitigation strategies would fail—national infrastructure would be destroyed which results in war, environmental destruction, famine, and civil collapse

Lewis 2k (John S., professor of planetary science at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, “Comet and Asteroid Impact Hazards a Populated Earth”, Print)//DT

An impact that destroys a national capitol or command cen­ter may contribute disproportionately to chaos and hinder appro­priate responses to the disaster. The ''decapitation" of a highly centralized nation by loss of its government and command struc­ture could seriously jeopardize its ability to regroup and render aid to outlying areas. In some cases, which seem ever less likely as communications and scientific understanding of impacts improve, the sudden unexpected loss of a militarily, politically, religiously, or culturally prominent site may trigger "knee-jerk" responses such as rioting or military action. For example, a major unex­plained explosion in or near a military' base or national capitol at the height of the Cold War could easily have triggered a nuclear exchange before calmer heads could prevail. Knowledge and good communications are the best antidotes to such behavior. Impacts may in some cases cause release of hazardous materials into Earth's atmosphere. Sites with such hazardous materials would include nuclear power plants, nuclear weapons assembly or storage sites, munitions plants and depots stocking chemical or biological warfare agents, chemical plants with large burdens of toxic materials, and refineries, oil fields, and petroleum tank farms. Sources of very large amounts of soot, or of chlorine and bromine, would be especially hazardous. Triggering of earthquakes, volcanoes, or landslides requires events of such severity that the seismic responses become little more than ancillary details of the greater problem. Even if an impact of, say, moment magnitude 7.5 (a 100,000-year event) triggers an earthquake of magnitude 9.0, that earthquake is one that would have happened in any event as a natural consequence of the stress buildup that made it possible. The impact merely changes the timing of the earthquake. Indeed, by triggering it earlier, the impact actually diminishes the expected moment mag­nitude. Thus the devastation done by a triggered temblor would be no greater, and probably less, than that which would have otherwise occurred. The negative effects assignable uniquely to the impact, above and beyond the far greater damage done directly by the impactor explosion, would consist of the destruction and demoralization of disaster response personnel and equipment. Impacts in sulfate-rich terrains were discussed in Chapter 3 as a worst-case extension of sulfur injection by meteoritic or cometary bodies. Destruction of assets essential lor food production, process­ing, storage, or distribution also presents a threat of starvation and social disorder. However, an international response to food emergencies is possible and effective for even a regional-scale disaster (a 10,000-year event). For the very largest (million-year or larger) impacts, disruption of food production is arguably the most devastating single consequence. However, on the timescale covered by this simulation, interference with food" supplies is only a marginal threat.



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