Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lights Out?

Let's admit it, dear readers....we all take the sun for granted.  And nothing even remotely resembling its disappearance is on the horizon, give or take a few billion years.  Nothing suggests it won't rise and set as usual.  On the other hand...what is not predictable is what the sun will DO over the next two years to our technology driven world.   Specifically, according to the latest National Geographic magazine which arrived in yesterday's mail, we're looking at the not-so-remote possibility that heightened numbers of solar flares and supersized solar storms could take down our entire society, dependent as we are on electronics in all facets of our world.  And that, folks, is not simply scare-mongering.  We are just at the beginning of a two-year cycle that will run through the end of 2014 in which heightened solar activity could drastically change our lives. In recent years, technology and science have allowed us to develop more sophisticated tools with which to study the sun.  Those various studies have revealed that we may be in for a catastrophic lifestyle adjustment.
Here's one "take" on the possibilities (from the NG article):  "The morally right thing to do once you've identified a threat of this magnitude is to be prepared...Not preparing for it has intolerable consequences."  Karel Schrijver
When the National Geographic gives the Sun center stage on its cover,  with an accompanying headline that reads, "Solar Super Storms:  How they could impact our high tech world.."  they're not pulling their punches.  It's the real deal.  Time to plan for interrupted food delivery systems, water/sewer, and all the things that makes life "go."
For an overall "take" on the situation go here:
I admit  Demitria's website looks a little suspect...but don't judge a book by its cover.  There's good information here.   Especially since the folks at National Geographic largely agree.  You see, over the past few years, we've been able to study the sun in more detail and that has given us new information.
 And, no....we're not talking here about the Mayan calendar predictions.  Forget that and all the crazy stuff associated with it.  We're talking about the fact that our power grid, our water and sewer systems, global business...could all come crashing down and we could be facing TEOTWAWKI.  All within 20 minutes of a solar storm.  And this risk continues for the next two's just beginning.
If you haven't had a chance to page through the National Geographic, do take time to do so.  Read the article.  Don't just "do" photos.  Then start thinking about how you can improve your chances for survival, if not comfortable survival.
Here's a direct quotation from the NG:
"A solar storm like the one that took place in May 1921 would today turn out the lights over half of North America.  One on the order of the 1859 event could take out the entire grid, sending hundreds of millions of people back to a pre-electric way of life for weeks or perhaps months on end.  In Kappenman's words (solar storm expert), we're "playing Russian routlette with the sun."
As for preparedness?  Well, the reason the power grid might not be easy to fix is that we haven't manufactured enough components of the power grid to be ABLE to get it up and running quickly.  Air travel would instantly come to a complete halt.  Where you are at the moment of warning, will have a lot to do with where you wind up.
It's recommended that you store both food and water--preferrably a year's worth or more; and think about how you would survive a technological "drought."  It just may be "lights out." and life will most certainly change.  At the very least, such an event would certainly create a set of interesting dynamics.  You know those satellites that circumnavigate our earth and predict our weather, and every other facet of life today?  They can't be kept aloft without electronics....
And you know why nobody's been talking about this?  They're afraid we, of the unwashed masses, will panic.


  1. Oh Elora, you've got me back into hoarding mode. I can see the cupboards filling up with basics just when I thought I was on track for de-cluttering. On a more serious note, if we do manage to achieve our dream of building our next home it was always the plan to have massive insulation, possibly using polystyrene blocks, and a rain water collection system.

  2. One more scary thing. We moved to our farm back in the 70's when there was much talk of oil running out (which , of course it will eventually) and we are fairly well set up to live without electricity. But this is certainly a time to check the systems and see what could be improved.

  3. Ruta, you are so funny, girl! Keep on hoarding! At least you'll be safe. You know...I'm curious, and maybe I've forgotten your answer...but you never mention fishing there...are there no fish to catch? I don't don't see any fishing boats, either...where are they (and the fishing)? BTW...I have to look for "Wide" shoes, too! :-)) Hard to find! Usually only the clunky-looking ones that only grandmothers wear! Oh, well...!


  4. Yes, Vicki! We all remember Y2K...we were ridiculed for our panic-driven quest to make ourselves self-sufficient, electric-free, and able to look after ourselves. Seems like there's one of these crises every few years! Out here, JOTOLR, we don't change gears in response. Just keep on doing what we're doing, feeling mostly safe...then again, it's that warning to buy bundles of toilet paper that evokes the question of what we could do without!


  5. Oh my...that is rather alarming, Elora. I don't suppose there's much we can do about the electricity issue at our place (other than the inexpensive things we've done), but we can certainly make efforts to stockpile some food and water.