Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Extinction Clock Nears Midnight- 3

When scientific facts are spoken or blogged about, sometimes the person asserting those facts can be called a "doomer", or worse.

For example, talking about "the doomsday clock" could get you branded as a religious heretic, even though scientists are the ones who crafted and who manage that clock.

So I guess that NASA will be called the official "doomer" of the federal government now:
Britain could face widespread power blackouts and be left without critical communication signals for long periods of time, after the earth is hit by a once-in-a-generation “space storm”, Nasa has warned.


“There is a severe economic impact from this. We take it very seriously. The economic impact could be like a large, major hurricane or storm.”

The National Academy of Sciences warned two years ago that power grids, GPS navigation, air travel, financial services and emergency radio communications could “all be knocked out by intense solar activity”.

It warned a powerful solar storm could cause “twenty times more economic damage than Hurricane Katrina”. That storm devastated New Orleans in 2005 and left an estimated damage bill of more than $125bn (£85bn).

Dr Fisher said precautions could be taken including creating back up systems for hospitals and power grids and allow development on satellite “safe modes”.

“If you know that a hazard is coming … and you have time enough to prepare and take precautions, then you can avoid trouble,” he added.
(NASA Warning, July 2010). On the other hand, having any hope that civilization will pull through by a course correction can get you labelled as a "utopian" thinker.

Dredd Blog has been advocating that the U.S. government start a stimulus work program to beef up the U.S. power grid to: 1) be more protected from solar storms, and 2) while upgrading it, to also make it a "smart grid" that can receive intake from wind, solar, and other ways of generating electricity.

This could provide jobs at a desperate time, make our nation more economically viable for the future, make it more secure, and it could avoid a cataclysm:
... on 22 September 2012 and the skies above Manhattan are filled with a flickering curtain of colourful light. Few New Yorkers have seen the aurora this far south but their fascination is short-lived. Within a few seconds, electric bulbs dim and flicker, then become unusually bright for a fleeting moment. Then all the lights in the state go out. Within 90 seconds, the entire eastern half of the US is without power.

A year later and millions of Americans are dead and the nation's infrastructure lies in tatters. The World Bank declares America a developing nation. Europe, Scandinavia, China and Japan are also struggling to recover from the same fateful event - a violent storm, 150 million kilometres away on the surface of the sun.

It sounds ridiculous. Surely the sun couldn't create so profound a disaster on Earth. Yet an extraordinary report funded by NASA and issued by the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in January this year claims it could do just that.
(Knowing - The Movie). The Sun, the nearest star, is no different than the other stars out there in the cosmos, the universe.

They all have a familiar pattern and lifestyle they go through, which literally means we can't live without them, and we can't live with them, depending on "where they are" in their life cycle.

The bottom line is that the human species simply must pay close attention to where we live and the conditions for survival, lest we like thousands of other species become an extinct civilization, or worse, an extinct species.

The low-grade governments of the world are self-serving and selfish, thus the new public will need to become more assertive to offset the lack in governments.

1 comment:

  1. The brain-dead policy toward the power grid is going to get a lot of people hurt.

    Doing nothing is the same as hurting the nation.