February 15 2013, The world came together

It was a fleeting moment. Chelyabinsk, February 15, the same day that the meteorite 2012 DA14 passed dangerously near the Earth. Chelyabinsk wakes up today with around 1,200 people injured and a shock wave running through its people, asking what might have happened...

What might have happened, could have been a catastrophe, if the ten-tonne fragment had landed on a crowded bus or train station at rush hour, or slammed into a nuclear power facility, or into the Negev Desert, where Israel does (not) have 100 nuclear warheads...

And here is the crux of the matter. Chelyabinsk, Russia... Negev, Israel; Tripoli, Libya, Washington, USA, London, UK, Paris, France, Kabul, Afghanistan, Damascus, Syria, all buzz words in the international media, all populated with human beings, and all human beings prefer to shed tears of laughter than tears of sadness, and all tears taste of salt.

Salt, the essence of the seven seas and the result of the tears of seventy million slaves transported against their will from Africa to the New World, torn apart from their families and forced to work in plantations to enrich some pot-bellied pig who stole the property from the native owners.

All of this matters little faced with the threat from celestial bodies, or in other words, asteroids, meteorites (small asteroids) or meteors (fragments that fall to Earth), all of these constituting a leveling experience among us, given their superior power and Humankind's total defencelessness against one of these space rocks hurtling into a city at 75.000 kilometres per hour.

And yesterday, February 15, 2013, Humankind came together in a collective expression of concern and questioning as to how far we have come, as a family, as regards "zapping" any intrusive space object. It was nice to see, it was beautiful and it underlines the approach many of us have been trying to follow for decades. February 15 2013 renders any explanation of this approach irrelevant, because everyone knows what it is.

It is a pity that a space object is necessary to bring us all together, and that we had not yet managed to do it by ourselves. However, February 15 2013 saw Humankind come together, standing side-by-side with our fellows, our peers, our equals as we all place our collective survival at the top of the list.

Imagine the irony of a North Korean missile "zapping" an incoming meteorite, with the message written on the side "What part of F*** off and leave us alone do you guys not get?"

At the end of the day, as soccer players say, does it really matter if you are Jewish or Gentile, black, white or green, protestant or catholic, Portuguese, Brazilian, Guinean or Russian, Korean, North or South? Does it really matter whether we are American or Russian or gay or heterosexual?

Thank you February 15 2013 for providing us with a telling lesson. We shall not be capable of learning from it of course, but let articles like these serve for posterity, to show how primary and fickle Humankind is, still, in the beginning of the Third Millennium of our civilization.


Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey



Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey