This is my open response to Jarhead’s How Paranoid Should We Be? post.
Heeeere it comes …. SOLAR STORM!
Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it, “solar storm”? Sssssay it with me now – ssssssssssolar STORM! That’s awesome. And it is, of course, HAPPENING!
Scope this news vid, scope it now:
As our doomsday prophets have predicted, the electrical grid will soon be destroyed, and society will, of course, collapse. Pandemonium and anarchy will set in. Everyone for themselves. We’re all gonna die!
Now c’mon, do I really think this solar dust up is going to fry the grid like an EMP? No. But just because I’m not that paranoid, doesn’t mean the thought isn’t there. After all, it is the biggest flare up in 6 years, and another solar storm could happen at any moment, another …. Solar SUPERstorm! Oh yeah, I’m talking about the solar storm of 1859, the Carrington Event! Of course, it wasn’t a big deal then, back when we didn’t use electronic banking, when everything from our cars to our phones didn’t contain mini-computers, back when we had FARMS all over the place, not grocery stores carrying food from far away delivered just in time.
You trust National Geographic, yes?
*hint – nod yes*
They asked the question – What if the Biggest Solar Storm on Record Happened Today? In summary – SERIOUS SHTF! I recommend reading the entire article, but if you’re only going to read a clip, read THIS:
“We live in a cyber cocoon enveloping the Earth,” Baker said. “Imagine what the consequences might be.”
Of particular concern are disruptions to global positioning systems (GPS), which have become ubiquitous in cell phones, airplanes, and automobiles, Baker said. A $13 billion business in 2003, the GPS industry is predicted to grow to nearly $1 trillion by 2017.
In addition, Baker said, satellite communications—also essential to many daily activities—would be at risk from solar storms.
“Every time you purchase a gallon of gas with your credit card, that’s a satellite transaction,” he said.
But the big fear is what might happen to the electrical grid, since power surges caused by solar particles could blow out giant transformers. Such transformers can take a long time to replace, especially if hundreds are destroyed at once, said Baker, who is a co-author of a National Research Council report on solar-storm risks.
The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s Cliver agrees: “They don’t have a lot of these on the shelf,” he said.
The eastern half of the U.S. is particularly vulnerable, because the power infrastructure is highly interconnected, so failures could easily cascade like chains of dominoes.
“Imagine large cities without power for a week, a month, or a year,” Baker said. “The losses could be $1 to $2 trillion, and the effects could be felt for years.”
This latest solar explosion might not do it, but - it’s only a matter of time.
Should I be better prepared than I am right now? Yes. Does knowing that make me paranoid? A little.
- Ranger Man