[FPSPACE] Public opinion and the Moon

David Portree dsfportree at hotmail.com
Sat Jul 18 22:44:38 EDT 2009

I think that you are mistaking criticism for insults. I've pointed out to Ed that his speculations aren't shared by many experts in the field. His response was to resort to ad hominem arguments. As I indicated previously, such arguments do not serve the individual who makes them, nor the cause he espouses. Much better would be to point out where the people with credentials and experience are mistaken. 


Ed's approach is what puts people off. Being passionate is no excuse for being uncivil. One can be passionate and present sensible arguments.


My position is that asteroid and comet impacts happen - it's obvious - and that we should work to detect objects that might pose a threat. We should also explore asteroids using robotic spacecraft and, while doing so, learn enough about them to be able to effectively deal with them. That includes both learning about them as bodies and trialing techniques for deflecting them. 


I think that most people on this list would agree with this, though perhaps not with every detail. I also think that they'd agree with Ed's general point of view, though, again, not with every detail. Now, though, he has alienated many of them, and many have simply ceased to listen. This issue is nothing to alienate people over. Alienating people is counterproductive. 


However - if Ed wants to post stuff people automatically delete, that's his affair, not mine. The only reason I started this thread was to try to counter any confusion Ed may have created through his muddled statements about my day job. I trust that I've done what I can now. I don't have anything else to say on this matter. 


David S. F. Portree

dsfportree at hotmail.com
dportree at usgs.gov


To: fpspace at friends-partners.org
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2009 20:49:11 -0400
From: kosmos327 at aol.com
Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Public opinion and the Moon

Hi Dave,
So, you can say that of the people that emailed you, most of them blah, blah, blah. That's not at all a good way to base something as fact. You can only say that "of the people that emailed you", this is your conclusion. I did not email you. I read every post. But you did not count me. What of the others who didn't email you. What if Ed got more private emails supporting him than you did? 

And since you are not innocent of the same behavior (I can pull up your equally public insulting emails to Ed) I would say, "step back and look at the bigger picture..."

Ed understands that cometary and asteroid impacts occur more often than most people realize. 
Ed is very passionate about his research. Ed has reflected this in his postings. That is easy enough for me to understand, and I'm sure that you are much more knowledgeable than I am.

Were you innocent of insulting posts you would have a leg to stand on. You are not.


David L. Rickman

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