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Narrative Science Squanders Talent and Resources Away from Real, Earth-Saving Science

Narrative Science Squanders Talent and Resources Away from Real, Earth-Saving Science

Reviewing news of “22 tuna”-sized asteroid, fungal super-bug, and New Zealand supervolcano suggest resources that could mitigate disaster consequences are now diverted to politicized science projects.

The Jerusalem Post recently offered another fun take on an asteroid size, as it pertains to a near Earth object that will be speeding past us soon: “Asteroid the size of 22 tuna fish to fly closer to Earth than the Moon – NASA.”

An asteroid the size of over 22 tunafish [sic] is set to skim past the Earth on Saturday in a very close flyby, according to NASA’s asteroid tracker.

The asteroid in question has been designated 2023 DZ2 and was only discovered and identified this year, according to the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

The newly discovered asteroid will be flying extremely close to Earth, making it the closest asteroid since 2019, and it may be visible to some people using telescopes and binoculars.

And for those asking in advance, the metric used is the total length of an Atlantic bluefin tuna fish at its maximum possible size.

This has me reflecting upon one of the most successful scientific endeavors of recent years: The Double Asteroid Redirect Test. The test successfully altered the path of a space object, and several teams are now studying the debris cloud.

The first study, published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics Letters, utilized an instrument called a Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) to follow the evolution of the cloud of debris from the collision for a month. Since asteroids are some of the building blocks that constructed our solar system, studying the material ejected from this impact can help astronomers learn more about how the solar system formed.

The authors found that the ejected cloud was bluer than the asteroid was before the impact with DART. This means that the cloud could have been made with very fine particles.

. . . . . [A second study] found that the level of polarization suddenly dropped after DART’s impact with Dimorphous and that the overall brightness of the asteroid system increased at the same time.

The team believes that one possible explanation is the impact with DART may have exposed more pristine material from inside the asteroid.

While it is wonderful DART was a success, how much further along would this program be if all the resources and talent directed at trying to micro-manage the levels of a life-essential trace gas were redirected into fields associated with asteroid deflection. While the 22-tuna asteroid is going to miss the Earth, one of these days, our planet is going to run out of luck.

A significant asteroid impact is going to change climate rather drastically.

Near Earth Objects (NEOs) can be difficult to detect and have orbits that may be difficult to forecast. Small, dark objects can be difficult to observe. Orbits can change drastically upon impact or interaction with other bodies. Asteroids near the Sun can be hard to spot.

Space science projects like DART should perhaps receive more support for those claiming to be “planet saving” as opposed to projects that focus on reducing levels of carbon dioxide (a life-essential gas for plants).

Let’s look at medical science next. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has decided to sound the alarms on a fungus called candida auris.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sounding the alarm as a deadly fungus spreads in hospitals and medical facilities, targeting people with serious health conditions. The fungus kills 30-60 percent of the people who get it and the CDC says hundreds of cases have been reported in Florida.

The fungus, called candida auris, is a form of yeast. It may not sound threatening but according to the CDC, it can be downright deadly mainly for people in hospitals, nursing homes and health facilities.

If the fungus seems familiar to Legal Insurrection, it is because I have been covering the topic since 2016. Instead of devoting billions of research dollars and a large portion of biotech into chasing down cures for covid (for which vaccines are ineffective at preventing infection and results in mild symptoms for most people), perhaps more of both could have been redirected to treatment techniques and prevention measures that might have resulted in containment of this “super-bug.”

One last science topic, which also has planet-level implications. A New Zealand supervolcano is now being closely monitored after it unleashed a magnitude 4.4 earthquake and several aftershocks.

Taupō volcano, a supervolcano situated underneath Lake Taupō, has shown increased earthquake activity for nearly a year now.

Aftershocks rippled out following the most recent earthquake, which shook the region on March 5. The earthquake may also have caused a small tsunami, according to GeoNet. Scientists have kept the Volcano Alert Level at 1, which signals minor volcanic unrest.

Lake Taupō lies within the giant supervolcano caldera on the North Island of New Zealand. The supervolcano has caused some hugely violent and explosive eruptions in the past.

As an example, the eruption of the Toba supervolcano 74,000 years ago killed off enough human ancestors to create an evolutionary bottleneck.

Like asteroids, supervolcanoes have the potential to truly alter the climate on a global scale. So, instead of targeting geologists who challenge climate change orthodoxy, perhaps more effort and monies should be directed to understanding Earth-mantle dynamics, projecting consequences, and making plans to address what happens when one of them erupts. Because, one day, a supervolcano is going to erupt.

When the next global-scale disaster occurs, and it will, the sad fact is that resources that could have mitigated the consequences were diverted to non-essential, narrative-science quests for accolades and political power.


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E Howard Hunt | March 25, 2023 at 12:05 pm

A truly Starkist tuna

Yes, it seems “political-science” has acquired an entirely new meaning.

    Skip in reply to Q. | March 26, 2023 at 6:07 am

    Science is what the Leftists claim it is, nothing more or less, until they need to change it.

Skipjack or bluefin? Tuna have a wide variety of sizes.

I’m pretty sure I’ve been to Lake Taupo, standing lake side you can’t see the opposite shore. There’s another recently active volcano not far from Taupo – a recent minor eruption there destroyed some very unique geologic formations created by a previous eruption – it was a health resort for the wealthy. So, those thinking NZ is a bolt hole to escape a real pandemic might find themselves going from the frying pan into the fire.

From the first video after the asteroid hit and fiery destruction commenced:

“Just hours ago, North America was a dinosaur paradise. Now, it’s a …”

… BBQ. And from the ashes, rose the great state of Texas!

BierceAmbrose | March 25, 2023 at 4:57 pm

They’ve been bears at a salmon run for time out of memory. Hordes believe there will always be enough, because that’s all they have known.

Mindlessly believing that it’ll all be fine, bleeds into “We can demand whatever we want; you’ll make it work.” “How?” “Oh, you’ll figure it out.”

I don’t know if they can risk taking even one cent to address those priorities. Gain-of-function is very expensive. Especially the mopping up in aftermath of the global genetic experiments.

We don’t have time to worry about life getting wiped out millions of years from now. We have a planet to save and step one is to depopulate the planet by at least 90% of the human population. If an asteroid does it first, so much the better.

There will be other life forms evolving elsewhere in the universe. But there is only one Earth and it must be saved at all costs!

We had a CME recently that had it been facing earth we’d be in a world of hurt.

Based on an analysis by NASA’s Moon to Mars Space Weather Office, the CME was clocked in traveling at an unusually fast 2,127 kilometers (1,321 miles) per second, earning it a speed-based classification of a R (rare) type CME.

Real, Earth-Saving Science
You’re not going to “save the earth”. Quit thinking you’re so mighty that you can undo anything this universe will do to us. Sure, we can divert an asteroid. Maybe. We can prevent some disasters (if we stop creating them ourselves). But this ecosystem is massive, with more energy in it than we can unleash in a global thermonuclear war, is unfazed by us. Stop thinking of scientists, or even humanity in general as the savior of the earth.

I am always amused, when standing at the rim of St Helens and lookings, tht there are ecomentalists who are obsessed with anyone going off the trails below lest they damage the fragile soil and vegetation. They clearly have little grasp of the concepts of scope and magnitude. Carlin had it right when he said that humans were no more than an annoying flea on the butt of a dog. The Earth will be fine, we may not be here, but the Earth will be OK.

On a plus note, by not paying attention the real and big things, Cascadia will solve a lot of the problems currently plaguing the PacNW. The week after it happens, pink hair and piercings will once again be pretty uncommon. Volcanoes and earthquakes are unique in their ability to raise up AND level at the same time.