Prepare for impact

NASA announced yesterday that asteroid Apophis will not strike the Earth for at least another 100 years. That’s good news, given that the impact we had feared for 2036 could have killed more than 10 million people. The question is, will we prepare for an eventual impact?

The last time we lost tens of millions of humans on the planet, it was 100 years ago, during the pandemic of 1918. We knew it was going to happen again, but we didn’t really prepare for it.

Near-term catastrophes seem to light a fire under our chairs, but far-away ones leave us apathetic.

For publicly traded companies, the next quarterly earnings report is the near-term catastrophe. For politicians, the next election is the near-term catastrophe. For NGOs, the next round of funding is the near-term catastrophe. All resources are marshaled to avoid an impact. Few resources, if any, are allocated to preparing for the 100-year events.

And so today we see pandemics and social injustice.

And so tomorrow we will se water shortages, and food shortages, and natural disasters caused by climate change.

Prepare for impact.

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