Russia's space agency has announced an ambitious project to save the Earth from a rogue asteroid, drawing powerful objections from Al Gore.
Anatoly Perminov, head of the space agency, said in an interview broadcast on Voice of Russia radio that the asteroid, named Apophis, 'will surely collide with the Earth in the 2030s' unless something is done about the problem.
The 885-foot asteroid was discovered in 2004, and has a looping orbit that threatens to intersect the orbit of Earth. Russian scientists are unsure how they will change the orbit of Apophis, but have promised not to use nuclear devices.
'This proposal makes a mockery of our real planetary emergency, and in fact, threatens to promise the very real potential of a possible dire threat to the entire solar system', said Al Gore, who discovered global warming shortly after inventing the internet.
'First of all', said Gore, 'this project diverts precious resources away from the immediate threat of global warming. By 2030, Earth will already be destroyed by CO2.'
'Second of all', he added, 'refusal to use nuclear devices in the project means only one thing: the Russians will be using devices that burn noxious, lung-busting petrochemical fuels instead. That means CO2 emissions. But not just in our atmosphere. We will be pumping billions of tons of CO2 into the entire solar system, where dozens of planets could be affected.'
Gore emphasized that this was a the greatest challenge to environmentalism that humans have ever faced.
'All of those planets have precious, diverse, fragile, threatened, pristine, untouched ecosystems that loom on the brink of total, absolute, and irrecoverable disaster or cataclysm, that must be protected', he said.