A defense of Earth from asteroids and comets requires removing Obama from office, and initiating a strategic alliance with Russia and China in the defense of Earth. This is the lesson to be taken from the flyby of Asteroid 2000 EM26.
On the night of February 17, asteroid 2000 EM26 will pass by the Earth at 9 times the distance of the Earth from the Moon -- a relatively close pass, by Solar System terms. JPL's Near-Earth Object "Close Approach" table lists this asteroid as between 120 and 270 meters in diameter -- much larger than the asteroid that exploded over Chelyabinsk last year (17-meters), or the asteroid thought be to responsible for the 1908 Tunguska event (between 30 and 50 meters). According to the 2010 National Research Council (NRC) report on asteroid defense, an impact of an object of this size range (120 - 270 meters) would release between 200 and 1,000 megatons of energy (the largest thermonuclear weapon ever tested (Russia's Csar Bomba) was only 50 megatons)! By the NRC report, this could devastate an area from the size of a county to an entire continent (if hitting on land), or case catastrophic tsunamis if striking in the ocean.
While 2000 EM26 itself poses no immediate threat to Earth, people should be very concerned about the fact that in this size range (100-300 meters) NASA believes that only 10% of the population has been found. I.e., for every one asteroid we know about in this size range, there are nine more we have't discovered yet. Any one of these could be on an impact course in the next few years and we would have no idea. Going to smaller sized asteroids, 25 to 100 meters we know of less than 1% of the population.
See the LaRouchePAC Basement Team report: The Strategic Defense of Earth
Also noteworthy are the false claims in some press coverage. For example, the Guardian Liberty Voice runs with the claim that "NASA is ready for planetary defense thanks to its newest program, Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)." This is blatantly and ridiculously false. While there have been some marginal improvements in NASA's asteroid observation capabilities (but still no actual defense systems), this is not due to Obama's sham proposal for a manned mission to an asteroid, or the asteroid retrieval mission. These improvements have been the result of the multi-decadal efforts of the planetary defense community -- and the job is far from done. The planet still needs a much more advanced observation system, and an actual defense system.
The only real prospect for a serious defense of Earth from asteroids and comets is removing Obama from office, enabling a dramatic shift in the strategic policy of the United States. Obama is acting as a pupped of the Anglo-Dutch empire, threatening thermonuclear war with Russia and China. Obama must be immediately removed, and Russia and China must become our collaborators in the joint and open development of a Strategic Defense of Earth.