We understand that it is psychologically very difficult to humans in general to comprehend a phenomenon like asteroid impacts [1], that we almost never or extremely rarely experience personally.
Even the small asteroids are a big problem however – there are a lot more of them, they are harder to find in the sky and even a 30-300m asteroid can wipe out a major city, causing millions of casualties.
They do not hit often, the last one was in 2013 over Chelyabinsk and the previous one in 1908 over Tunguska, but when they hit, it is a disaster. So even when you take out the threat from big asteroids, which we are already quite in control of, you are still about as likely to be killed by an asteroid as to be killed in an airplane crash…
You can learn more about that in this short entertaining video from our economist partner, Alex Tabarrok:

So fact is that, because of the severity of each rare impact, the average risk for each of us humans on Earth to be killed by an asteroid, is bigger than many other odds we often relate to.
And there has until today been too many people ignoring this, putting all of Earth at a serious risk just because they want a ‘free ride’ and hope somebody else pays.
The odds of anyone to be killed by an asteroid can be said to be around 1:100000 [2] – which is…:

185 times more likely, than the odds of winning the $1 million lottery prize [3]
2600 times more likely, than the odds of winning the Mega Millions Jackpot [3]

Note that these odds could also be compared to for example the risk of being murdered in the USA; 1:19000 [3] or more than 5 times greater than the risk of being killed by an asteroid.

Reducing the odds of the risk of murder much, even just in the USA, is however very complicated and expensive.

Globally reducing the asteroid threat to close to 0 is cheap however, because we already have the solutions for the asteroid threat.

Now we just need to finance and implement them.



[1] Arend Hintze et. al., BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action Michigan State University – Risk sensitivity as an evolutionary adaptation

[2] Alan W. Harris, Senior Research Scientist, Space Science Institute
The Danger from Asteroid Impact

[3] National Geographic
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