should we fund comet search

Heres NEO the site for near earth objects. Center for NEO Studies It shows the near earth objects that have been found so far. They are the size of a fooball stadium or bigger. However some would like it to be spread to much smaller ones that would cause a huge amount of damage but not necessarily wipe out all life.
It seems to me all countries would have a stake in this and the United Nations would be the place to start. The funding about a billion dollars should be spread to more countries.
Do dopers find this a good place to spend tax money? Are they fatalistic and say so what ?

The United States spends research money through grants on anything and everything that might interesting to basic science. Basic science meant there needs to be no practical value at all. Whether or not it get funded depends on someone writing a good grant. That is the way it all works and doesn’t need to involve any other countries although they are free to pay as well.

If we have advance knowledge of when a comet or asteroid is going to collide with the Earth – what are we supposed to do about it?

A guy that owns an oil company will fly up to the asteroid with his wacky buddies, drill then explode a nuclear device. He won’t make it back but one of his buddies marries his hot daughter.

Do you need to do something. ? Would you want to know.?
NASA wants to know . Could it be they have plans we do not know about. ? Some will give us a very log time to plan. With that kind of time we would certainly work hard to come up with a solution of some kind.

We actually have a few options, ranging from “nuke the sucker” (not ideal, lots of small meteors may no longer pose an extinction level threat, but they wouldn’t be fun for civilization, either) to parking a heavy spacecraft near it and letting the gravitational pull tug it off course. If we had a few years’ warning, we’d be able to take care of it.

Finding the things is the tricky part.

Depends on how much time we have.

If we’ve got less than six months or so… well, we could do a pretty good job of ducking and covering. Stockpile food and medicine, move people away from the immediate area (or hemisphere) of impact. Some of the ICBMs in our arnsenal might be able to nuke the meteor, although that might only break it up, which might or might not be better- smaller but more areas of impact. A tradeoff, really.

Given more time, we might actually be able to do something productive. Realistic options might include everything from the aforementioned “nuke the sucker” option to a slightly more refined approach of exploding lots of nukes sequentially right to one side of the meteor, maybe pushing it off course. Science fiction has proposed a host of different ideas, like actually strapping an engine to the thing and pushing it off course, attaching a solar sail to push it off course, building a rail gun on the surface to push it off course… you see the general pattern here.

Or, if you prefer snarky answers:

“Nuke it from orbit- it’s the only way to be sure.”