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Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick: 60 Minutes' Cooper nails NASA's Yeomans and Chodas on common asteroid threat
event October 10, 2013 comment 112 Comments

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We all know the Tusk enjoys the study of past catastrophes but is less interested in blogging on space borne threats to our future. The intellectual real estate of future apocalypse — Repent! — is too well populated on the internet for us.

But great TV is great TV and Anderson Cooper did a surprising and praise worthy job last Sunday with a couple of Tusk-worthy follow-up questions regarding future impacts.

After the always glib Yeomans delivers his misdirecting meme that 95% of potentially destructive asteroids are discovered and catalogued, Cooper digs him just a bit about the teeny, tiny ones — the city killers.

Chodas responds by unexpectedly upping the scale of destruction and reports that NASA has yet to identify even those objects that could cause “continental extinction,” which he quickly modifies to “continental destruction.”  (A notable reflex designed to fend off addressing the Younger Dryas Boundary Hypothesis).

Yet then, with heavy heart, I heard and saw what always brings me down when teaching moments appear for our subject. They all laughed, smiled, smirked and giggled.

For the sake of pete, why does this subject always become humorous just when the facts might be taken seriously? Please tell me the last time 60 Minutes or any other news magazine covering Global Warming ever had time for a laugh?

Just what the hell is so funny?

I’ll tell you what is funny. He who shall not be named — Dr. V. — was right. Dr. V. laid it all out a long time ago in Mankind in Amnesia. Our collective Id simply cannot hack this subject. It is laugh or cry as far as our true history is concerned. Those that cry move on and contribute to our understanding. Those that laugh perpetuate our ignorance.

See below.

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Yeomans and Chodras of NASA yuck it up with CBS about continent-wide extinction

[2:23]

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60 minutes anderson cooper asteroid Chodas Comet ISON russian asteroid sixty minutes yeomans