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In 2008, the National Research Council of the National Academies released a workshop report entitled - Space Weather Events - Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts
(http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12507). In this report many different researchers from a wide range of industries and academic backgrounds, discussed the impact that severe solar weather - in particular powerful Earth facing X-Class Solar Flares and Corononal Mass Ejections could have on Earth.
They noted that the impact could be catastrophic, given the interconnectedness of modern civilization and our dependence on electrical power. The major risks that were highlighted in this report, are associated with the potential of a single strong or series of strong coronal mass ejections, to cripple the electrical power grids of many nations - particularly the USA (which is the country the report is focused upon). Millions of people could be affected within a matter of hours and days of the Earth being struck by a powerful CME - as in the case of the Carrington Event of 1859 and the CME which affected Quebec in 1989.
The current solar cycle, number 24 is not particularly strong. It is thought that most significant space weather occurs during a strong solar cycle or near the solar maximum. But the Carrington event occurred during a weak solar cycle. It is not unreasonable to assume that severe solar weather could occur any time. Scientists are now predicting a peak in solar activity sometime in 2013. But between now and then it seems likely that the sun will increase in activity.
Should a major solar flare/CME be aimed in our direction, Earth would be exceptionally vulnerable. The above report acknowledges that it is not difficult or expensive to fit transformers with appropriate devices, which prevent transformer meltdown, in the case of the power grid being overloading by energy from a major CME. The lead in time for the manufacture of large transformers is 12-24 months normally and would be impossible to assess if the grid were shut down. It is unclear and uncertain if any government in the world has taken these preventative steps.
I urge you to join this cause and take action to bring this issue to the attention of both the public, media and your government. If you know how to create a website, please do so. If you know how to blog about this, please do so. If you know how to read, please read the report. Please let others know about this issue and this cause. Lets get it off a touchy feely feel good cause page and into the real world.
Preparation of this kind is critical to the survival of our species. We are like children coming of age in the Milky Way and at some stage, we will have to learn think differently about our place in the cosmos and our relationship with the Lord of Fire.
You can find more information about space weather here :
May all beings experience great joy and freedom from suffering, Bright Garlick.
We can stop the killing of Iranian protesters; we can bring the perpetrators to justice.
Serious claims about the Chornobyl nuclear disaster have been made by Elena Zabolotnogo, daughter of a nuclear physicist working in the "dead zone"; and whereas these claims include the following:
(1) radiation levels in Kiev are between 20-30% higher than the average American or Russian city;
(2) radiation will stay in the Chernobyl area for the next 48,000 years, and humans may not repopulate the area for 600 years - give or take three centuries;
(3) 3,500 people still live in the exclusion zone of the meltdown disaster;
(4) 70% of the Chernobyl radiation infected Belorusian territory and entire villages are unaccounted for;
(5) No one knows - not even approximately, the casualties of the disaster. The official casualty reports range from 300 to 300,000 and many unofficial sources put the toll over 400,000.
(6) Grotesque mutations of wildlife have been reported in the area;
(7) poor records and corruption have prevented the accurate registration of the workers who helped put out the fire and entomb the smouldering nuclear plant in 1986;
(8) Seven million people in the former Soviet republics of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine are estimated to suffer phyical or psychological effects from the radiation;
(9) More than 2.32 million people have been hospitalised in Ukraine as of early 2004 with illnesses blamed on the disaster, including thyroid and blood cancer.