by Fred C. Wilson III
September 16, 2012
“Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.”
Given today’s technology could we live through another super solar storm similar to that of 1859 that took out the limited technology of those times? If so how could humanity survive another solar emergency? The answer to both questions is yes.
Purchasing a solar powered generator would be of great help. Problem is that they’re cost prohibitive yet vital in maintaining your personal infrastructure; don’t forget candles and matches just in case.
If buildings are rendered unfit for human habitation, buy a sturdy tent. Most Army surplus stores sell high quality military tents at modest prices.
Invest in a decent AM radio. Radios serve as communication tools to keep you and your family in touch with the outside world and its agencies. Radios give vital information about where to get food, water, shelter and emergency services. Buy books on surviving solar and related catastrophes.
A well stocked Medical supply chest or quality First Aid kit is a necessity. What if area hospitals are destroyed, abandoned, and vandalized; what next?
Have a more than ample supply of food and water on hand. Buy a water processing unit to purify water you think contaminated.
Get yourself at least two guns, boxes of ammunition, and learn the real meaning of gun control-SHOOTING STRAIGHT! In event of societal meltdown all semblances of law and order will quickly evaporate. The ‘rats’ (criminals) will rule the streets. Case in point: I was coming home from work. The weather was hot. I boarded the Green Line at Central Park station on the West Side near Oak Park. Blocks into our ride there was a power outage; Green Line trains heading towards ‘the city’ (The Loop) ground to a halt. Entombed among sweaty/smelly bodies (mine included) the heat/confinement made the experience pure hell. Hours later when power was restored we were told to board shuttle busses at Ashland Boulevard. It was there that panic ensued. People were swearing, pushing, and shoving. A young woman and her infant were nearly trampled to death on the staircase by stampeding passengers! When we arrived Downtown people were fighting in the streets! Reader, ask yourself if chaos resulted from a mere power outage along a few miles of track imagine what would happen if the entire planet were in darkness. It would be a hell on earth! Survivalists may have a point.
The Military Book Club has a variety of books, camping hints, combat strategies, field kits, and related resource material cataloged. My research sources predict Earth is in for a solar storm of mega-proportions. (Source: www.news.gather.com) Have a place to safely store emergency supplies to prevent breakage, accidents and tampering by younger family members.
Aforementioned in part one the movie: ‘Knowing’ the Nicolas Cage’s character, an MIT a science professor, warned albeit too late about the coming sudden demise of Earth by solar storm. In the movie the planet was burned to a crisp within minutes. Could a massive CME (coronal mass ejection) fry our planet and if so would be given any advance warnings; the answer is NO! Dr. John P. Mills writing for ‘Space.about.com’ stated ‘Yes, the sudden flux in charged particles would have an adverse effect on our electrical systems (including the entire grid system). And there will be some aurorae where there usually aren’t any. But ultimately, life will continue to flourish on the Earth.’
I don’t think the Almighty would let our sun roast us into oblivion after She/He went through the trouble to bring us to our present point in time. He/She could permit it but I just don’t think so at least not this year or in 2013. Dr. Mills discounts the Mayan Doomsday calendar. In another part of this article he said that the Mayan Calendar never predicted any solar scenarios. He also discounted the previous two movies about solar extinction. Hollywood movies aren’t science primers but entertainment.
Science is fascinating. From my observations Americans in comparison to more science oriented Asians/Europeans, are intimated by science. I was too until very recently. Hailing from a literary, art, and theological background science was like visiting another planet. I never had any issues between Science and Religion but I was mathematically challenged. I’m a volunteer (telescope facilitator) at Adler Planetarium. I sometimes work in our lakeside Doune Observatory behind the building. I enjoy working there. I encourage you to visit us. Our volunteers will gladly show you around.
Americans shouldn’t be science phobic. Science isn’t locked in mortal combat with Religion nor other disciplines. Science explains life. It complements all disciplines. It’s the Math part that scares many away. If you’re not ‘in the business’ (a scientist professional), learn more about this fascinating discipline. Your entry point could be in solar/planetary astronomy; Adler would be a good place to start. Science books can be expensive. If books aren’t in your budget watch the ‘Science Channel’ on television. Channel 284 is the one our cable provider issued me. Surf the Internet. There are hundreds of sites on line to peruse if you want to learn more about our amazing sun.
The June 2012 edition of National Geographic Magazine made no mention of any early CME warning devices in existence with none in the planning stages from my reading. Low budget ($4,000,000.00+/-) solar exploration satellites may be ‘just what the doctor ordered.’
Two weeks ago at the time of this writing the National Research Council issued a report to the science community. The report stressed the necessity of funding more programs to study solar weather and its effects on our home planet as well as others in our Solar System. The main goals established by their decadal (10 year report) were:
* To investigate and study the origins of solar activity and it many variations.
* To examine the relationship between the Sun and Earth by studying the variability of Earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere and atmosphere in response to solar and Earth activities.
* To be able to characterize the process that occurs in the heliosphere and throughout the Cosmos.
* To be able to understand how our sun interact with the interstellar medium and other bodies in our Solar System.
The science community is asking government for funding to study the sun’s unpredictable and potentially deadly storms. We wanna’ protect ourselves and our environmental infrastructure, including our high-tech toys from harm. Go to www.space.com to learn more. I’m outta’ word space; that’s it-God bless.