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We the undersigned participated in the Erice International Seminars on Planetary Emergencies: 17th Workshop: The Collision of an Asteroid or Comet with the Earth, met in Erice, Sicily from 28 April to 4 May, 1993. Following presentations and discussions on the subject of the threat to humanity from Cosmic Impact, the undersigned concur as to the following points:
1) Cosmic Impact is an environmentally significant phenomenon which has played a major role in the evolution of life on Earth.
2) In any given year there is a very low probability that a large Cosmic Impact may occur which would destroy human civilization or even a significant fraction of life on Earth. However, the threat is real and requires further internationally coordinated public educational efforts.
3) A significant near term Cosmic Impact threat identified at the Workshop is a naturally produced atmospheric explosion of a small Near Earth Object being mistaken for a nuclear explosion, at a time and place of international tension. These events have been observed. Such an event could be misinterpreted as a nuclear attack and trigger an unfortunate reaction.
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