Gregg Easterbrook

  • Aired:  04/28/10
  •  | Views: 21,875

Instead of another moon landing, Gregg Easterbrook would like to see taxpayer money used to protect Earth against asteroids. (5:16)

EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS AN OPPONENT OF MANNED SPACE FLIGHT.

I CALL HIM BUZZ KILL ALLDRIN.

PLEASE WELCOME GREGG EASTERBROOK.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

HEY, GREGG EASTERBROOK, THANKS FOR COMING ON, SIR.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Stephen: YOU HAVE A NEW BOOK CALLED "SONIC BOOM." IT IS GOOD?

IS IT A GOOD BOOK?

>> WELL, I THOUGHT SOME.

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT.

LET'S MOVE ON.

[LAUGHTER]

NOW, LET'S START WITH YOU ARE AN OPPONENT OF MANNED SPACE FLIGHT.

WHY?

>> NO, I AM NOT.

I AM JUST AS INSPIRED BY MANNED SPACE FLIGHTS.

>> Stephen: YOU'RE ALL BEHIND OBAMA KILLING THE MOON MISSION.

YOU SAY WE SHOULDN'T FLY BACK TO THE MOON.

THAT MOON IS OUR, SIR.

YOU WANT THE CHINESE TO HAVE IT.

>> IT WILL BE THERE IN 50 YEARS.

>> Stephen: THE CHINESE WILL OWN IT.

WE WANT TO PLANT OUR FLAG UP THERE, WHICH WILL ALSO BE THEIR FLAG BECAUSE IT WILL SAY "MADE

IN CHINA" ON IT.

>> IF CHINA GOES TO THE MOON,

THAT WON'T THREATEN MY SENSE OF MANHOOD.

OR IF COSTA RICA GOES.

>> Stephen: IF COSTA RICA?

YOU WOULDN'T LOOK LONG AND HARD IN THE MIRROR AND SAY, WHAT HAVE WE BECOME?

>> STEPHEN, WE'VE BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT.

I FIND THE MOON LANDING INSPIRATIONAL, JUST AS YOU, DO BUT IT'S TIME WE RATIONALIZED

OUR PROGRAM.

>> Stephen: THERE'S NOTHING RATIONAL ABOUT OUR SPACE PROGRAM.

IT WAS AN ATTEMPT TO RUB RUSSIA'S FACE IN IT, AND WE WON.

THAT'S EMOTIONAL.

>> WE DID WIN.

WE WERE SUCCESSFUL, BUT THEY DIDN'T SURRENDER AFTER IT, DID THEY?

>>

>> Stephen: IT'S DELAYED.

WE ARE STILL IN A SPACE RACE,

RIGHT?

>> IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT CHINA'S GOT TODAY.

THEY'RE USING HARDWARE LIKE WE HAD IN 1965678 I DON'T FEEL THREATENED.

>> Stephen: NEITHER DID THE HARE WHEN THE TORTOISE WAS COMING UP BEHIND.

I DON'T FEEL THREATENED BY THE TORTOISE.

I THINK I'LL REST FOR A WHILE AND NOT GO TO THE MOON.

THEN THE TORTOISE WINS AND THEN YOU GOT SPACE TURTLES.

[LAUGHTER]

YOU KNOW IRAN WILL GO TO SPACE.

YOU KNOW THAT?

>> WAS IT AN ISLAMIC TURTLE?

I DON'T KNOW.

>> Stephen: I DON'T KNOW.

>> WHAT I FEEL THREATENED BY IS US FAILING TO DO IN SPACE THE

THINGS THAT WOULD ACTUALLY SERVE THE TAXPAYER.

>> Stephen: LIKE WHAT?

>> RESEARCH TO IMPROVE OUR TECHNOLOGY SO WE CAN GET TO SPACE MORE CHEAPLY AND MORE

EFFECTIVELY AND SECONDLY PROTECTING THE EARTH FROMS ASTEROID STRIKES.

WE'RE TOTALLY DEFENSIVE AGAINST ASTEROID STRIKES.

>> Stephen: WE KNOW HOW TO DEFEND OURSELVES AGAINST ASTEROID STRIKES, SIR.

YOU GET A RAG-TAG TEAM OF DRILLERS, LED BY BRUCE WILLIS,

AND YOU FIRE THEM INTO SPACE.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

THAT'S HOW YOU DO IT.

>> PEOPLE REACT THAT WAY.

THEY THINK THIS ISN'T A SERIOUS FEAR BECAUSE IT WAS A BRUCE WILLIS MOVIE.

>> Stephen: BRUCE WILLIS MOVIES FRIGHTEN THE HELL OUT OF ME.

DID YOU SEE "THE SIXTH SENSE"?

DID YOU SEE THAT MOVIE?

HE'S DEAD.

[LAUGHTER]

>> I SAW "DIE HARD 4" AND THAT ONE FRIGHTENED ME.

ALL THE RESEARCH OF THE LAST 20 YEARS HAS SHOWN THAT ASTEROID STRIKES ARE MUCH MORE COMMON AND

RECENT THAN SCIENTISTS PREVIOUSLY ASSUMED.

SOMETHING ENORMOUS HIT THE GULF OF CARPENTIERA NEAR AUSTRALIA IN THE YEAR 536.

IF IT HAD HIT SOUTH CAROLINA INSTEAD, YOU WOULD NOT NOW BE ALIVE, YET WE CAN DO NOTHING TO

PROTECT THE EARTH FROM ASTEROID STRIKES.

>> Stephen: WAIT A SECOND.

ASTEROIDS ARE COMING FOR ME.

THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE SAYING?

[LAUGHTER]

WHAT ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION.

WE GOT THAT UP THERE.

THAT TAKES EFFORT.

THAT TAKES PEOPLE.

YOU'RE NOT GOING TO SEND PEOPLE TO THE SPACE STATION.

>> THE SPACE STATION PROVES WE CAN LIVE AND WORTH IN SPACE.

>> Stephen: YOU CALL THAT MASSIVE WASTE OF MONEY.

YOU CALL THAT A MASSIVE WASTE OF MONEY.

>> IT'S $100 BILLION FOR WHAT SCIENTIFIC ACHIEVEMENT?

>> Stephen: IT MAKES A LOVELY DISPLAY CASE FOR MY TREADMILL.

>> I'M SURE IT DOES.

BUT THAT'S IN THE CATEGORY OF BEEN THERE, DONE THAT.

WE HAVE TO MOVE ON TO THINGS WE HAVEN'T DONE.

ONE THING WE HAVEN'T DONE IS LEARN THE OPERATE IN DEEP SPACE TO PROTECT THE EARTH FROM ASTEROIDS.

STEPHEN, WE'VE BUILT THOUSANDS OF NUCLEAR ICBMs IN THE HOPES THAT NONE OF THEM WOULD EVER BE USED.

THOUSANDS OF ROCKETS THAT COULD DESTROY THE PLANETMENT WE'VE NEVER BUILT ONE SINGLE ROCKET TO

PROTECT THE PLANET.

THAT'S WHAT I WOULD WANT TO DO.

>> THIS IS REALLY FOR YOU ALL ABOUT ASTEROIDS?

>> THAT'S THE GREATEST FEAR.

AS RECENTLY AS 20 YEARS AGO, IT WAS COMPLETELY REASONABLE TO LOOK AT THE SCIENCE AND THINK AN

ASTEROID WOULD STRIKE ONCE EVERY MILLION YEARS.

NOW IT LOOKS LIKE YOUR ODDS OF BEING HIT BY AN ASTEROID IN A CENTURY ARE ONE IN TEN.

>> Stephen: WHAT ABOUT ALL THE THINGS WE GOT FROM MANNED SPACE FLIGHT EXPLORATION?

WE GOT THE MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS,

THE TEMPER SPEEDIC.

IT'S LIKE SLEEPING IN GOD'S BEARD.||||

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