Originally created 07/14/01

How to save Earth



Forget the debate about what's more to blame for global warming - mankind or nature; or what the industrialized world must do to reduce greenhouse emissions.

These issues will be moot if The Observer is right about the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The London newspaper reports NASA scientists are developing a plan to ensure the Earth will never overheat no matter what man or nature does.

An added bonus will be to prolong the planet's life by about six billion years. Indeed, it was the scientists' concern that in only one billion years the sun will be hot enough to fry everybody in the world that got them to go to work on the plan in the first place.

The concept is simple enough: Move the planet to a chillier climate. But how can that be done? "The technology is not all that far-fetched," The Observer quotes Dr. Greg Laughlin. "It's basic rocket science."

Laughlin, a NASA research astronomer/engineer, and two colleagues who helped him develop the plan, say a few comets hurled close to Earth from outer space would alter the planet's orbit and send it spinning into a cooler solar system neighborhood; ergo, no more global warming worries.

Of course, laymen might wonder if the rocket scientists wouldn't be creating a new worry - such as destroying the world (not to mention mankind) to save it. Laughlin, et al, concede space engineers would have to be very careful about how they directed the asteroid or comet toward Earth.

The slightest miscalculation would have devastating consequences if the asteroid came too close or, even worse, crashed into Earth.

And what about the moon? If it's split from orbiting Earth the impact on climate and the oceans would be incalculable.

But, hey, progress always entails some risk and, besides, what do we pay rocket scientists for if not to look for ways to make the world safe for greenhouse emissions?