Hey, isn’t it awesome that this part of the world is having the warmest, sunniest start to November in… ever? Well no, it’s not. And not just because of the dubious cause of that unseasonably nice weather, you now, the G-W word *ahem global warming ahem*. But no, something potentially even more sinister and immediately paranoia inducing popped up on my computer screen reminding me that nothing good can last. Not even the sun.
Apparently the US government has released it’s “plan” for when the sun decides to throw a tantrum and sends an EMP our way to knock out all of our electrical grids. The plan, it would seem, is mostly idealistic bullshit.
The first part makes a lot of sense, and is really something that should have been in the works for a long time now.
The National Space Weather Strategy seeks to reduce that threat by focusing on six main goals: 1) Establish benchmarks showing how commonly severe space-weather events occur; 2) Improve the ability to respond to, and recover from, such events; 3) Reduce or eliminate vulnerabilities to flares and geomagnetic storms; 4) Improve predictions about impacts on critical infrastructure; 5) Improve forecasts of space-weather events, and knowledge of space weather more generally; and 6) Increase international cooperation (because impacts of extreme events will likely be felt across the globe).
It’s basically around point six that I start to get leery about this “action plan” The results of solar weather, according to the Guardian, “Solar activity can produce x-rays, high-energy particles and coronal mass ejections of plasma. Where such activity is directed towards Earth there is the potential to cause wide-ranging impacts. These include power loss, aviation disruption, communication loss, and disturbance to (or loss of) satellite systems.” Basically, everything we now take for granted could blow the fuck up and leave us stranded with limited to no communication, electricity, heat, etc. And this “plan” is relying on a lot of cooperation from a lot of groups who are not known to work together particularly well. Academia and the DOD for instance.
For anyone else who is REALLY happy that this is being addressed on an international level, but who has doubts that rescue and normalcy will be swift in the aftermath of a space-weather dilemma, here is an excellent resource to educate yourself on personal preparedness: http://www.ready.gov/space-weather.