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Space Earth Government News

UN Plans Asteroid Response Framework 152

Posted by samzenpus
from the where's-bruce-willis dept.
chrb writes "The Association of Space Explorers, a non-profit group of people who have completed at least one Earth orbit in space, has presented a report to the United Nations titled Asteroid Threats: A Call for Global Response. The UN will now meet in February to discuss the issue and try to define a global political framework for dealing with asteroid-based threats to the Earth."
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UN Plans Asteroid Response Framework

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @11:23PM (#25984491)

    If you think it should be based on percent of GDP, you'll be happy, because it is.

    And yes, that means that the EU (taken as a group) gives more to the UN in dues than the US.

    All of this ignores the question of whether or not the US pays what it owes (which it has been lately, I think)

  • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @11:35PM (#25984583)

    If a non-planet killing asteroid is targeting a nation which has not contributed to the fund/program, should we defend it?

    That's much less likely than the asteroid hitting an ocean. After a glance at the globe, it looks to me like most of the world's ocean area has straight shot to at least some portion of the US coastline. So if the goal is to avoid those 1000-foot high tsunamis, the US probably has more interest in ensuring that the program gets implemented than to worry about who's not paying.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @11:51PM (#25984687)
    so kick us out of the un. we don't give a fuck you stupid bitch.
  • by faffod (905810) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @02:25AM (#25985599)
    The US donated the troops in the 1950s to the UN for Korea. I think that you are correct that the US is still providing troops for that agreement. However, since then, any time the US has deployed troops it has been outside of the UN infrastructure.
  • by faffod (905810) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @03:25AM (#25985869)
    I agree I could have phrased it better. Also, a bit of poking around led to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peacekeeping [wikipedia.org] which states that the US and S. Korea took over the DMZ in 1967 I started to check on the various deployments over the years: Both gulf wars were "Coalition troops", not UN. US troops in Kosovo were under NATO. Then I found an error on my part: the US troops in Somalia were part of a UN command. So, yes the US has donated troops, I was wrong. That said, the vast majority of the UN troops are not US. Which the OP claimed. US troops in Lebanon were part of the Multinational Force. Vietnam was not a UN operation, rather is was a war.

    So, going back to the OP comments about the US donating the building, the "defense budget" and the troops. Let me try my reply again.
    Others have pointed out (not to the OP but in a thread above this one) that the US contribution is proportional to GDP. The EU as a block makes a similar contribution. Also note that a country does not contribute to the "defense budget" just like I don't pay the taxes that go into building the Interstate Highways (part of my taxes do, but I also pay for the military, medicare, etc).
    With the rare exception, the US never contributes troops to UN operations. From the wiki link above, "About 4.5% of the troops and civilian police deployed in UN peacekeeping missions come from the European Union and less than one percent from the United States (USA)"
  • by Shag (3737) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @06:21AM (#25986835) Homepage

    I don't think this is going to be the UN General Assembly.

    I doubt it'll even be the UN Security Council.

    I'd half expect it to be the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs, which handles the treaty on the peaceable use of outer space, and does things that are actually useful, like maintaining the registry of what's been launched and is whizzing around up there... but this sort of thing is a bit different than what UNOOSA has been doing.

    My Christmas-vacation homework will thus be:
    1. Ask friend at UNOOSA whether they're involved, and
    2. Ask Dave Tholen (Apophis discoverer) whether he knows anything.
    Optionally:
    3. Report back.

  • by Shag (3737) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @06:38AM (#25986917) Homepage

    Okay, I poked around a bit... looks like the Working Group on Near-Earth Objects (mentioned in the BBC piece) isn't (as I had initially thought) the IAU WGNEO, but an occasionally-convened body under the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

    Evidently UN HQ in NY has hosted a couple lil' conferences on the subject of NEOs in the past decade or so. Dunno whether this next gig in February will be there, or in Vienna, but I'm gonna start asking around. Might be an interesting thing to check out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 04, 2008 @07:08AM (#25987067)

    Head in the sand much?

    How is his head in the sand? His remark indicates that his head is clearly not in the sand and that he's been paying attention.

    Your head on the other hand...

It is surely a great calamity for a human being to have no obsessions. - Robert Bly

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