I imagined a while ago what would happen if one day I was sitting minding my own p’s and q’s writing an article here at RedState or browsing the interwebs for some useless information that it’s famous for providing.
Suddenly and without any warning all the electronics around me went dead and the white snow screen or the black screen of death just appeared on all my devices. Being that I live in the state of Michigan and the infrastructure here is older than Thomas Edison himself, we have blackouts for no good reason with no storms or anything that you would think would cause one. So the power going out and electronics not working happens on an occasion up here more often than I or others around me would like.
What would happen though if an event caused by a solar flare would knock out electronics or even power for longer than just an hour or two and last week’s or maybe months? Fortunately, my colleague Susie Moore covered an aspect of this phenomenon back in July right here at RedState.
Well, a new report has scientists predicting that the sun is going into a more active period of burping up coronal ejections, and what I described above could very well happen and they cover it right here.
“There have been a lot of (solar) flares,” Becker said. “Flares are when the sun brightens, and we see the radiation, and that’s kind of the muzzle flash. And then the cannon shot is the coronal mass ejection (CME). So, we can see the flash, but then the coronal mass ejection can go off in some random direction in space, but we can tell when they’re actually going to head towards Earth. And that gives us about 18 hours of warning, maybe 24 hours of warning, before those particles actually get to Earth and start messing with Earth’s magnetic field.”
Large blobs of plasma, or superheated matter, fly through space in a CME. A percentage hit the Earth, which distorts our planet’s magnetic field. That third prong on the electric plug, which usually gives excess electrical charges a safe place to go, becomes “like a big electrical circuit.”
“And then you get this kind of insidious thing where you could actually get current from ground,” Becker said. “So everybody thinks, ‘Oh, my computer’s grounded, I’m okay,'” but in an event like this, if you drive inductive currents to the surface of the Earth, it can almost work backwards, and you can end up actually frying things that you thought were relatively safe.”
The power grid, satellites, underground fiber optic cable with copper sheaths, navigation and GPS systems, radio transmitters and communications equipment are all vulnerable.
Now, I know some of you are going to make the correct assertion that meteorologists or scientists can’t predict the weather 72 hours in advance so how do we know that their prediction of a solar flare taking out electronic devices and the internet would be correct? I do also share this view but there is a history of this happening and it’s something that should be considered.
They call it “the day the sun brought darkness.” On March 13, 1989, a powerful coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth’s magnetic field. Ninety seconds later, the Hydro-Québec power grid failed. During the 9 hour blackout that followed, millions of Quebecois found themselves with no light or heat, wondering what was going on?
“It was the biggest geomagnetic storm of the Space Age,” says Dr. David Boteler, head of the Space Weather Group at Natural Resources Canada. “March 1989 has become the archetypal disturbance for understanding how solar activity can cause blackouts.”
Then there was the Carrington Event in 1859, which was so powerful that telegraph stations were damaged and some caught fire from the massive electrical charge.
The Carrington Event was the most intense geomagnetic storm in recorded history, peaking from 1 to 2 September 1859 during solar cycle 10. It created strong auroral displays that were reported globally and caused sparking and even fires in multiple telegraph stations. The geomagnetic storm was most likely the result of a coronal mass ejection (CME) from the Sun colliding with Earth’s magnetosphere.
The geomagnetic storm was associated with a very bright solar flare on 1 September 1859. It was observed and recorded independently by British astronomers Richard Christopher Carrington and Richard Hodgson—the first records of a solar flare.
So this is not really a question if it could happen but when will it happen again?
As you might have already guessed, the government which employs a lot of the scientists who write the papers on these sorts of events, have done very little to prepare for an event like this other than to give us an idea of when one might be on its way. I know this because I watched a fascinating documentary called Grid Down Power Up which is eye-opening on how our power grid is in rough shape without a solar flare.
Our reliance on China for the massive transformers that are used in our electrical grid means that if a solar flare or an Electrical Magnetic Pulse (EMP) were to happen and hit the United States grid system, we would be dependent on the Chinese to produce the replacements for those critical parts.
That doesn’t sound like a good plan at all does it?
In the documentary above, one government estimate shows that if the power were to remain off in the United States due to its inability to replace and repair the damage done to the grid, 90 percent of the population could die off in one year.
No more NFL Sunday football games. No more concerts and large sports stadiums. No more following around Taylor Swift with that dude, she’s dating from the Kansas City Chiefs.
Even in disaster scenarios, you have to try to find a bright side.
Typically the government employs people to write a paper and then does nothing about the problem that was identified and ignores the possible solutions given. In this instance, it is probably because it would cost trillions of dollars to upgrade and protect the system from something as simple as an act of nature with a solar flare. Doesn’t that make you feel all warm and fuzzy?
So the next time you’re outside and enjoying the sunshine (which in the state of Michigan won’t be until July of next year), just remember that that glowing gaseous ball that is part of the system that keeps us alive could also flip us upside down with a belch in a minute.
In the meantime, the next time you’re at the grocery store and fainting at the prices that have gone up under Bidenomics grab a couple of extra batteries and some candles just in case a solar flare happens sooner rather than later.