Sports Now
UFC 190: Ronda Rousey KOs Bethe Correia in the first round
Top of the Ticket
Opinion Top of the Ticket

Even deadly meteors and asteroids may not unite the human race

The 10-ton meteor that streaked into Earth's atmosphere at 40,000 mph and exploded above the Russian city of Chelyabinsk was a reminder that the universe is not such a hospitable place. Still, though hundreds of people were injured and thousands of windows were shattered, no one died and repairs can be made. By comparison, the terrestrial havoc wrought by Hurricane Sandy in the northeastern United States was far more devastating. 

In the movies, when humanity is faced with imminent doom, whether from a massive asteroid or an invasion of space monsters, the people of the world forget their differences, band together and save themselves. In the real world, such unanimity of purpose is far more rare. When it came time to help their fellow Americans whose lives were upended by Sandy, quite a few members of Congress balked, delayed and refused to let go of their compulsive quest to scale back government spending. Ideology trumped compassion. 

Similarly, many of the same people refuse to accept the settled scientific facts that indicate the changing global climate is bringing more destructive storms, drought and rising seas. They cannot honestly refute the science, so they willfully ignore it. They have a vested interest in the status quo and so choose short-term political and economic gain over the long-term welfare of the human race. It is oh-so-much easier to blame the president, blame a conspiracy of international scientists or talk about God’s wrath than it is to tell the oil and coal companies and the polluting industries that provide large donations at election time that they cannot do business as they have in the past.

If a gigantic asteroid were barreling toward impact with our planet, you can bet there would be at least a few members of Congress who would insist on leaving it alone, either because they would see it as a warning shot from the Almighty or because a mining company with a savvy team of lobbyists had laid claim to the big rock. Two minutes before Armageddon, somebody will still be trying to figure out how to make a quick buck off of it and he’ll have friends in Congress insisting that it’s the American way.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • Pope Benedict's departure is a surprise; his successor won't be

    Pope Benedict's departure is a surprise; his successor won't be

    Pope Benedict XVI knows how to keep a secret. In a world of strategic leaks, gabby underlings, intrusive paparazzi and cyber-hackers, the pope was able to pull off a surprise when he announced his plan to step down as head of the Roman Catholic Church at the end of the month.

  • Christopher Dorner saga collides with State of the Union speech

    Christopher Dorner saga collides with State of the Union speech

    What appears to be the fiery finale to Christopher Dorner's violent rampage across Southern California nearly upstaged President Obama's State of the Union address. As the seconds ticked down to the start of the speech, it seemed as though Anderson Cooper and the folks at CNN were awfully reluctant...

  • Will Trans-Pacific Partnership hold back new generic drugs?

    Will Trans-Pacific Partnership hold back new generic drugs?

    The Times' editorial board, which has long supported free-trade deals, sounded a note of caution Friday about the next one in the pipeline, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

  • Fixing the imbalance in access to water

    Fixing the imbalance in access to water

    Last fall, farmers working the flat land along the Colorado River outside Blythe, Calif., harvested a lucrative crop of oranges, lettuce and alfalfa from fields irrigated with river water. But that wasn't their only source of income. They made almost as much per acre from the seemingly dead squares...

  • Opinion: Olympic red for L.A.?

    Opinion: Olympic red for L.A.?

    Good morning. I'm Paul Thornton, The Times' letters editor, and it is Aug. 1, 2015. The unusual mugginess in Los Angeles probably doesn't inspire many of us to go outside and exercise; with that in mind, let's start with the Olympics. Subscribe to the newsletter Saying "1984" in most parts of the...

  • Senate maneuvering spares Planned Parenthood -- for now

    Senate maneuvering spares Planned Parenthood -- for now

    A series of hidden-camera videos by anti-abortion activists capturing Planned Parenthood executives discussing tissue harvesting from aborted fetuses has renewed calls by Republicans to eliminate all federal support for the organization. But as bad as it's been lately in Washington for Planned...

Comments
Loading
69°