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Apocalypse & Armageddon

At the Edge of the World, Facing the End of the World

Writing about climate change is an exercise in managed insanity. The human mind isn’t equipped to parse a crisis—the greatest in the history of our species—of such complexity and urgency and darkness. With record-breaking superstorms ravaging coastlines at a regular clip, it’s hard to feel good about the impact that Homo sapiens has had on our leafy, temperate, Goldilocks planet.

You might even go so far as to suggest that the human species is a plague, given the untold destruction we’ve wrought on this planet. Once you subscribe to that argument, it becomes nearly impossible to think of a noble pursuit for a person. Doctors save lives—firefighters too. Teachers hope toinspire the next great genius, maybe someone like Norman Borlaug, whose agricultural breakthroughs allowed our population to balloon on a planet with only so much arable land. All noble pursuits in the name of spreading the human plague.

The thing about the human plague is that while it’s busy wrecking the planet, it’s also demolishing us. Climate change will destroy not just our bodies, but our psyches. Supercharged rivers will wash away cities. Even when we should know better, because we have more than abundant science to back it up, the Trump administration prepares to obliterate regulations controlling methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases. That plague theory is holding up.

But unlike a plague, we can think. We can plan. A plague tears through a population indiscriminately. It can’t pull back when it starts running out of victims and say, Whoa, what am I doing? If I keep this up, it’ll be the end of me! We can, and last week at the Global Climate Action Summit, many of the best minds the human species can muster gathered to right the course.

These people included but were not limited to: environmentalists, mayors from around the world, human rights activists, technologists, academics, business leaders, labor leaders, and former secretaries of state. The kinds of folks with noble pursuits. This was climate change activism without borders. If the Paris Agreement, drafted in 2015, was about governments coming together to fight, last week’s event showed that the most ambitious climate action isn’t happening on the national scale—it’s cities and states that are leading the way.

It’s easy to think that our presidents or prime ministers, our queens or our kings, are the undisputed arbiters of a country’s direction. Not so. For several thousand years, it’s been the cities that truly guide a nation. Cities are where citizens trade goods and ideas. Cities are where foreigners bring their own cultures and knowledge. And cities are were innovation flourishes. Cities have always competed with each other, but they have also shared ideas.

And so it goes with developing and deploying green technologies. Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti put it to me best: “When Shenzhen says, I’ve got 100 percent of our bus fleet electrified and all of our taxis, that’s good competition for LA to try to catch. And it’s collaborative in the sense that when people back in LA say there’s no way we can electrify our buses by 2030, I can point to the fact that Shenzhen in China just did it, and it took them two and a half, three years.”

While environmentalists or, really, anyone who cares about the future of Earth, have been getting bent out of shape about Trump, cities and states have been gaining tremendous ground in the battle against climate change. Last week, an organization called C40, essentially a climate-change-busting network of international metropolises, announced that 27 of its member cities had already peaked in their emissions and had come down at least 10 percent from that high.
On the other side of the country, as I write this, Hurricane Florence is tearing the Carolinas to pieces, just days after news broke that the Trump administration had transferred $10 million from FEMA to ICE. Bad enough in a world without climate change, but all the worse in a world where warmer waters are feeding stronger hurricanes. Scientists suspect Florence is no exception.

And so the climate chasm between American cities and the federal government widens. That’s instilled a sense of urgency in mayors, who were already leading the way on mitigation. The president has galvanized that movement, not crippled it. While Trump’s EPA does literally the opposite of protecting the environment (do keep in mind that a Republican, none other than Nixon, created the EPA, cities are scrambling to deploy solar panels and electric bus fleets and car charger networks. It’s what the planet demands, but also what citizens demand—constituents want clean air, no matter what the EPA does.

Al Gore got onstage Friday and said this, his voice crescendoing into a boom: “We are seeing businesses lead the way, we’re seeing investors lead the way, we’re seeing cities and counties and all kinds of civic organizations leading the way. We must we do it, we can do it. I’m convinced ever more because of the success of this summit here in San Francisco that we will do it. For anyone who doubts that we as human beings have the political will to meet our obligations that history is demanding of us, just remember that political will is itself a renewable resource.”

We’re not only the plague. We’re also the immune system, and we’re fighting back.

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Apocalypse & Armageddon

Asteroid Almost Twice as Big as London’s Shard Tower Heading Toward Earth

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has previously claimed that the Earth has no defense against giant asteroids approaching the planet, with NASA and SpaceX currently developing systems that would help to redirect space rocks from bumping into the Earth.

A monster asteroid larger than the world’s largest buildings, including London’s the Shard, will be passing near the Earth at a speed of 23,112 km per hour on 14 September, Live Science reported, citing the Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).

The huge space rock called 2000 QW7 is approximately measured to be between 290 and 650 meters in diameter, which in comparison to 311-metre the Shard and 828-metre Burj Khalifa seems quite immense.

Nevertheless, it is quite unlikely that the giant will hit the Earth, according to CNEOS, as 2000 QW7 will pass within 0.03564 astronomical units from our planet, which is around 5.3 million km.

As the asteroid, just like our planet, orbits the Sun, the last time it approached the Earth was around 18 years ago, on 1 September 2000, and it is expected to come close again in 2038 (if we survive this time).

Previously Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk had sparked fears about Earth not being able to defend itself against giant asteroids, such as the 99942 asteroid Apophis known as “God of Chaos”, that are considered potentially dangerous if they come within 7.4 million km from Earth, according to space organizations.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX and NASA are reportedly working together now on an asteroid redirect mission impeding the arrival of Apophis in April 2029, which will test Earth’s ability to defend itself against giant asteroids.

Sputniknews

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Apocalypse & Armageddon

Elon Musk Warns ‘God of Chaos’ Asteroid May Hit Earth In 2029

A decade from now, a huge potentially hazardous asteroid, named after the ancient Egyptian deity of evil and destruction, will whizz by the Earth with a one in 45,000 chance of hitting our planet.

NASA has already begun preparations for the impending arrival of asteroid 99942 Apophis, also known as the “God of Chaos”, which will pass within 31,000 kilometres of Earth’s surface on 13 April 2029.

God of Chaos

Set, also known as Seth and Suetekh, was the Egyptian god of war, chaos and storms, brother of Osiris, Isis, and Horus the Elder, uncle to Horus the Younger, and brother-husband to Nephthys. His other consort was the goddess Tawaret, a hippo-headed deity who presided over fertility and childbirth. He is one of the first five gods created by the union of Geb (earth) and Nut (sky) after the creation of the world. His name is usually translated as “instigator of confusion” and “destroyer” and he was associated with disorder, foreign lands and people, and the color red.

Potential danger

Roughly the size of four football fields (approx 340 meters across), if the space rock were to hit Earth, it would smash us with the force of 15,000 nuclear weapons detonating simultaneously.

However, Musk rightly cautions that the entire Apophis narrative is a little overblown: during its close flyby in 2029, the asteroid will come within 37,600km (23,363 miles) of our planet, just a tenth of the distance between Earth and the Moon. Scary but not quite apocalyptic.

The scientists suggest while it will travel more than the width of the full Moon within a minute when it screams past Earth on April 13, 2029, the giant asteroid will more likely provide a magnificent spectacle for stargazers than the doom of all life on Earth.

NASA’s preparations

While NASA scientists have been preparing to study the giant rock as it swings past Earth, one particular space connoisseur has been unfazed by the issue.

Elon Musk, Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company CEO, took to Twitter to reassure his pal, podcast host Joe Rogan, who had retweeted an article about the “God of Chaos” that 99942 Apophis was not a subject of concern – for now.

In fact, NASA and Musk’s SpaceX are working together on the space agency’s first spacecraft impact asteroid redirect mission, which will be a key test before the actual need to protect the planet from a giant rock approaching the planet.

Under the so-called Double Asteroid Redirection Test, which is scheduled for June 2021, one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets will launch in the direction of asteroid 65803 Didymos (or “Didymain”) and its tiny satellite Didymoon to see if it could redirect the rock from its intended path. To that end, the space agency has paid $69 million to Musk’s venture.

Aside from this, NASA announced earlier this year that it had teamed up with international partners to perform a “tabletop exercise” on how to handle a hypothetical asteroid on a collision course with Earth.

source: sputnik

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Apocalypse & Armageddon

Debunking the Persistent Myth that Trump Opposes War

Caitlin Johnstone, Contributor
Waking Times

Whenever I criticize the foreign policy of the current US administration, I always get some pushback from Trump supporters who insist that this president is doing more good than harm by “fighting the Deep State” and, even more commonly, by “keeping us out of wars”.

This notion that Donald Trump is some kind of peace president, or even the notion that he puts any more inertia on the US war machine than his predecessor did, is contradicted by all facts and evidence we have available to us. Trump has not ended a single one of the wars his predecessors started, and has added dangerous escalations against VenezuelaIran, and nuclear-armed Russia.

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