While many will claim that solar storms are an unrealistic threat to our world, the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom aren’t taking any chances. According to a report put together by Alex Thomas of The Intel Hub, the threat is not only real, but very likely, and could change the world as we know it from one day to the next:
In a stunning announcement, The United States and United Kingdom are likely set to began “controlled” power cuts in preparation of a giant solar storm.
The announcement by Thomas Bogdan, the director of the US Space Weather Prediction Centre, comes a week after a large scale solar flare released a massive amount of radiation and threatened to cause moderate disruption.
The solar flare on June 7th, 2011 was luckily pointed away from Earth but caused many to wonder if another solar flare is imminent, this one aimed directly at earth.
Now, due to the possibility of a large scale solar flare, officials in Europe and the United Kingdom are preparing what they call, “controlled” power cuts. What this actually means remains to be seen.
In an interview with The Independent, Bogdam was quoted as saying, “controlled power “outages” will protect the National Electricity Grids against damage which could take months or even years to repair should a large solar storm collide with the Earth without any precautions being taken.”
Interestingly enough, this information also comes just days after NASA sent out a preparedness warning to all employees and their families.
Source: Full Article at The Intel Hub with info from a power company insider
We may be more scientifically advanced than any other civilizations that came before us, but we really don’t know all there is to know about our universe. Our knowledge is so limited, in fact, that an August 2010 solar eruption was so cataclysmic researchers are having to rework their entire theory of how the sun functions.
What we do know is the sun can discharge flares, particles and bursts so devestating that the military and Congressional members have taken notice. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was quoted as saying that, “EMP or electromagnetic pulse may be the greatest strategic threat we face.” Representative Roscoe Bartlett expressed similar concerns, warning Americans that if such an event were to occur (be it natural or man-made), our power grid could not be restored in any reasonable amount of time – perhaps as long as 18 months to two years.
The following short clip explores the different solar events that could threaten life as we know it:
The Space Weather Prediction Center, which is an organization tasked with watching the sun and identifying potentially damaging solar events, plans on responding to solar flares headed towards our planet by shutting down key power grid systems. Satellites deployed throughout our solar system are constantly monitoring the sun. When they detect a potentially damaging effect, the Prediction Center’s goal is to immediately activate emergency procedures and contact key personnel through the country who would be responsible for shutting down our grid.
A solar flare will give researchers and analysts about 2 – 3 days to respond – which seems to be plenty of time if a massive solar flare is detected. In recent months we’ve seen several X-class solar flares headed towards Earth. If targeted directly at our planet, a high enough level X-class flare could take down elements of the grid, and in several historical instances flares have done just that. But with solar storms heating up, and the recent massive eruption detected last year, scientists are worried about even stronger “X+” flares, or Y-class events. The Space prediction center should be able to detect all classes of these flares, and if executed properly, can protect the grid if one is determined to be heading towards Earth.
But, as you saw in the video above, solar flares are only one of several dangerous emissions that could effect our power grids.
The real threat is no longer in the solar flare arena, because we can detect these days ahead of time. Our problem comes in the form of threats that give us mere minutes to respond.
CME, or coronal mass ejections, are described as a champagne cork popping off the bottle. If that cork is pointed at Earth, it will be nearly impossible for scientists, government officials and power company leaders to react. When a CME occurs, it creates a shock wave ahead of it. That shockwave is made up of particles moving at almost the speed of light, which means we’ll have anywhere from about 10 minutes to a couple hours before we’re hit. Our satellites may detect the wave, but mounting a response to shut down the power grid would be a nearly impossible task.
As we’ve discussed before, the effects of the US power grid going down would be catastrophic, similar to a man-made EMP blast, with some estimates suggesting that within one year a full 90% of our population would be dead.
The United States government is obviously planning for such an event, first by trying to respond to the threat directly by preventing damage, and then by creating contingency plans for everything from nuclear war to asteroid impacts. Governments the world over are spending billions of dollars of the peoples’ money to prepare shelters, regionalized supplies and continuity of government operations in the instance that these outlier events occur. We can be 100% assured that these preparations are not for the general population, but rather, for elite members of society and “essential” personnel.
The average American, if such an event were to occur, will be on his own. It is for this reason that we recommend preparing for worst-case post collapse scenarios by stockpiling several months worth of food, water, medicine and other critical supplies. We buy insurance for our cars, our homes, our lives (or rather, deaths), our pets, and our electronic devices. Is it not prudent to do the same to ensure our survival?