A Month-Long April Fools Festival of Kevin Hassett, Day 2: Economist of Mass Destruction Round I

Clowns (ICP)

I still can barely believe that Kevin Hassett used a law professor and a philosopher to urge that CERN's LHC (a) might destroy the earth and so (b) needed to be stopped and shut down (c) using the only means available to the U.S.--(d) an airstrike on the Swiss-French border:

Hoisted from the Archives from 2010: American Enterprise Institute "Economist" of Mass Destruction Kevin Hassett Strikes Again (Republican War on Science Department): Carrying the Republican War on Science to previously unplumbed depths of human stupidity:

Atom Smasher Exposes Hole in Earth’s Defenses: The Large Hadron Collider... could induce a catastrophic event. A brilliant review of the risks... by University of North Dakota law professor Eric Johnson... creat[ion of] a microscopic black hole that would... swallow the Earth.... The LHC might generate one black hole per second.... The physics community... [said that] even if a black hole were created... it would... evaporate harmlessly.... [and that] high-energy cosmic rays... collide.... If those collisions were going to create a black hole, then Earth would already be gone.... [But] when a cosmic ray rocketing toward Earth collides with a particle, the result of the collision would most likely be blasted into space... a black hole... well beyond our galaxy before it is large enough to harm anything. In the LHC... the result... might stay put and cause significant trouble....

Oxford University’s Toby Ord, a philosopher... estimates that the odds of the LHC producing a disaster are between one in 1,000 and one in 1 million.... The possibility climbs ever higher that the fondest dreams of scientists might entail risks of planetary destruction.... How can we know that things we do not understand will not kill us?... [If] the U.S. wanted to stop the LHC experiment, it would have no recourse short of military action...

As I said at the time, Business Week should be deeply, deeply ashamed of itself. I know that the American Enterprise Institute is not shamed by anything, but even an organization that is not shamed by anything should be ashamed of this.