(This is the fifth letter I received from Lawrence Krauss. Click here to start from the beginning.)

August 22, 2026

Dear Friend:

The rocket technology was already in place, of course (this is Elon Musk we’re talking about, after all); it was producing a nuclear blast that would be difficult. That was what it would take to deflect an asteroid of that size. And so the question was this: Did we have enough time to create a nuclear device from scratch, or would it be better to commandeer existing warheads?

With less than four months to go, time was not on our side. Getting our hands on uranium or plutonium and then isolating enough of the right isotopes was almost certainly out of the question. So we would have to go with what was already there. The government had thousands of warheads; we only needed one of them.

We decided to go with a two-pronged approach. First, we would reignite the campaign to convince President Kardashian that the threat from the approaching asteroid was real. Maybe then the government would take action. The rockets were already there; they just had to be aimed and fired. The second approach was to steal one.

One thing was certain: I was going to have to remain behind the scenes. I was already a laughing stock among the masses for being an advocate of science and a believer in global warming (and now because of my “defeat” at the hands of Ken Ham). So it would be up to Elon to present the case again to the public. He still had people’s respect since his company made the cars that they drove.

At first, it looked like the plan might work. He got the president’s ear, at any rate.

“You’re telling me that Lawrence Krauss was right about this asteroid?” Kardashian asked Elon in another TV interview.

“Hard as it is to believe,” Elon said. “Yes.”

The disbelief was plain on Kardashian’s face.

“Even a broken clock is right twice a day,” Elon said.

That stung a little. I knew he respected me. But in public, he had to act otherwise. The masses thought I was a broken clock, and he was throwing them a bone. Yes, you’re right; Lawrence Krauss is an idiot, but he happens to be right just this once, and so we need to listen to him.

Well, they didn’t have to listen to me. They could listen to Elon. And they did. Even Ken Ham came around, in spite of all of his crayon drawings of orbital diagrams. Elon has a charisma I’ll never have. Not a surprise, I suppose.

At the end of the show, it came time for the people to vote. That’s how decisions are made now. The president poses a question, and people vote (often multiple times) using a mobile app. By the end of the evening, the decision is announced. Experts don’t even figure into it anymore. Unless you count Ken Ham.

You’ll never guess the question that was posed on this occasion. (They’re always multiple choice.) It was this:

How should America deal with the approaching asteroid?

a) Deflect it with a nuclear missile.
b) Launch a drilling crew like in the movie Armageddon.
c) Pray.
d) Burn it with a laser.

I watched the percentages climb at the bottom of the screen. I voted myself. Multiple times. (Kardashian didn’t care that the voting process was so devastatingly flawed and insecure.) And I prayed myself. At least, I said, “Come on, please.” That’s as close as I ever come to praying.

It didn’t take long to see how things were going, though. The vote was tallied and the “poll” was closed after only twenty minutes. The results:

a) 12%
b) 31%
c) 45%
d) 12%

And so the people had decided that they were going to save the world by praying. I cried. Then I got to work. There were nuclear weapons to be stolen.

 

(Click here to read the next letter – coming soon.)

Join Henry Rambow on Twitter: @HenryRambow

Advertisements