Picture this: It’s 7 am on Thanksgiving morning, you, being the cook in the house, are going through in your mind all that you have to do to get Thanksgiving dinner on by the time everyone arrives at 4.pm. Your brother and his wife and three kids are coming in for the family Thanksgiving meal. There’s a turkey to baste, mash potatoes and pies to cook, corn and buns, and sweet potatoes…the fridge is packed.
The first thing you think of is: “Oh NO! How long will the electric be off?”
Unfortunately for a long time,—almost a year in fact, but you don’t know that. On top of everything, your radio doesn’t work, neither does your cell phone. Your brother never arrives. You have been thrown back into the 18th century, and all because…your Congressman decided that giving money to Egypt was more important than shoring up the electrical grid for this kind of event.
According to Dr. Michio Kaku, the event of a lifetime, and it’s called The Carrington Event.
Last night on Coast to Coast, Michio was talking about the fear he has: He said the sun is now at its maximum activity for solar flares, and this year, they are monstrous. He is really worried. In fact, the Society of United States Physicists are so worried that they went to Congress and begged for $100 million dollars to prepare our nuclear plants and Satellites for what to them, is more pressing that anything from Iran: An electromagnetic pulse from the sun, which will completely knock out everything electric, not to mention all satellites.
It would literally….cripple us.
Congress, just laughed at them, he said. After all, Congress doesn’t do anything until after the disasters, and Hurricane Sandy proves it. They didn’t prepare New York, unlike many other countries around the world who have built dikes around their vulnerable cities, New York did not.
Why is it called a Carrington Event?
At 11:18 AM on the cloudless morning of Thursday, September 1, 1859, 33-year-old Richard Carrington—widely acknowledged to be one of England’s foremost solar astronomers—was in his well-appointed private observatory. Just as usual on every sunny day, his telescope was projecting an 11-inch-wide image of the sun on a screen, and Carrington skillfully drew the sunspots he saw.
Just before dawn the next day, skies all over planet Earth erupted in red, green, and purple auroras so brilliant that newspapers could be read as easily as in daylight. Indeed, stunning auroras pulsated even at near tropical latitudes over Cuba, the Bahamas, Jamaica, El Salvador, and Hawaii. Telegraph lines were all knocked out, even fires started from the solar blast.
And we’ve been hit before:
A huge solar flare on August 4, 1972, knocked out long-distance telephone communication across Illinois. That event, in fact, caused AT&T to redesign its power system for transatlantic cables. A similar flare on March 13, 1989, provoked geomagnetic storms that disrupted electric power transmission from the Hydro Québec generating station in Canada, blacking out most of the province and plunging 6 million people into darkness for 9 hours; aurora-induced power surges even melted power transformers in New Jersey. In December 2005, X-rays from another solar storm disrupted satellite-to-ground communications and Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation signals for about 10 minutes. That may not sound like much, but as Lanzerotti noted, “I would not have wanted to be on a commercial airplane being guided in for a landing by GPS or on a ship being docked by GPS during that 10 minutes.”
Experts who have studied the question say there is little to be done to protect satellites from a Carrington-class flare. In fact, a recent paper estimates potential damage to the 900-plus satellites currently in orbit could cost between $30 billion and $70 billion. The best solution, they say: have a pipeline of comsats ready for launch.
So, needless to say, even though in all probability– a solar flare won’t happen tomorrow. You won’t have to throw out the Turkey. But…according to Michio Kaku, a scientist who knows, it’s a very real possibility that it could happen very soon, in fact, maybe that’s what the Mayan’s were counting on.
And on that happy note: Everyone Have a Great Thanksgiving! Remember, if your lights are on, it’s a reason to give thinks to your favorite God. (LOL)