Space (dot.com!) published an article about NASA’s DART mission by Meghan Bartels.
It starts off fine, with a description of the mission and its historic first-ness. The factual section ends with:
It’s just one rock, just a small change. Just to reduce the odds that we humans go the way of the dinosaurs. But DART’s impact will also mark a new relationship between humans and the solar system we live in, a milestone perhaps worth contemplating.
The author then proceeds to leave facts and run off into craziness as she “contemplates” with a ridiculous set of “experts”. At least one assumes some sort of non-random selection of interviewees. Perhaps they are just her currently unemployed former college friends; that would be encouraging.
“What is our responsibility to our solar system?” Treviño said. “Do we have, as humans, the right to be making these massive changes to the solar system?”Natalie Treviño, an independent critical theorist
Newsflash to Ms. Treviño: The solar system is a (collection of) inanimate objects. We have no responsibility to it. And, yes, humanity has the right – who would deny us?
And it gets worse:
“Even the idea of being able to move and exploit and destroy or change natural capital like rocks and asteroids is very fundamentally pinned to an imperial worldview that sees humans as being allowed to do whatever they want”Armstrong (no further identification provided)
Allowed by whom? Last time I checked, there was no one to stop us from “exploiting” rocks. What does it even mean to exploit a rock? It’s nonsense, not English.
The article then veers toward sanity, but quite misses it, when talking about non-space-faring nations:
A challenge the planetary defense community often considers is how to ensure that non-spacefaring nations have a say in how Earth responds to an asteroid threat.author
Other than, “please, don’t drop debris on our heads,” they don’t have a say. There is nothing to ensure. If someone doesn’t like it, create a space program and get your own asteroid-threat-alleviating systems. It might help to first stop embezzling from the aid those spacefaring nations provide so your “citizens” don’t starve.
“Something that strikes me as really interesting about this is the kind of national savior narrative, this very imperialist narrative of being able to save the world.”Armstrong, the Mysterious
When you’re actually, literally saving the world, it’s not a narrative, imperialist or otherwise.
I could go on, figuratively, but I cannot, literally, because I stopped reading. A major journalistic fail by Space.com. Of course, this drivel is what passes for journalism, these days.
Update: Just two days later, Meghan Bartels has another article that sticks to the facts. It’s a good article about how many asteroids we need to be worried about. Credit where credit is due: Nice one.