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Who defends the Moon?


Every once in a while I think about science. I read a few science blogs, so I guess it’s only natural. The other day, after reading about a comet that somewhat “buzzed” the Earth, I started thinking about The Moon.

Everyone likes The Moon, right? It’s our moon. It is the only moon in the universe addressed as “The Moon”, which gives it sort of a “Cedric The Entertainer” vibe. People sing about The Moon, they depict The Moon in art, they even include The Moon in their songs. There is generally a lot of goodwill directed towards The Moon.

(Unless you are a vampire, then you don’t like full moons. Or a reluctant werewolf, who also despises full moons. But half moons, quarter moons, et al, those are ok in everyone’s book.)

But what if the moon was in trouble? We have many movies about saving the Earth from comets, but I don’t think I have ever seen anyone give a second thought to the Moon. Which I think is a shame.

The moon regulates tides. It’s quite important. But what if it were on course for a collision with an asteroid or a comet? That would severely mess up life on Earth. But it would also surely cost us a lot of money to defend land we don’t live on.

And who would pay for defending the Moon? Would America take charge? Would it come out of our defense budget? I could definitely see Congress debating about the costs and allocations while whatever was threatening the Moon inched closer.

And who would execute this grand plan? Would the US ask the whole world to chip in? What if other nations don’t see the benefit? After all, it is just the Moon. Do the costs of Moon defense outweigh the benefits for the entire world?

Would we feel neighborly guilt if we don’t save the Moon? Romantic evenings staring at the Moon would be a thing of the past if it was taken out by a comet. What if the Moon got whacked out of orbit a bit? According to Discovery Magazine, the Moon might have gotten whacked so hard billions of years ago it actually flipped in orbit. So it can happen.

I’m not too worried about the Moon pinballing into the Earth. If that happens, we are screwed. But I’m worried about the safety of the Moon.

Maybe I am the only one.


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