Friday, April 9, 2010

Is Fox Only Network Pushing Solar Apocalypse?

I'm working on my novel and doing a little research on the sun. My novel, however, is not about the sun. But something happens in it that may be explained by miscalculated sun activity. (The image here is not from my book but a foreign music album cover.)

While researching sunlight, I ran into articles published around last year this time on the so-called Solar Apocalypse, meaning a great solar storm that will disrupt communications and electricity possibly for months or something like that. Fox News appears to be the only network hyping this message, giving special love and time to Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist. If it's not the only network giving this much time to the solar storm story, then it's the one that pops up more prominently in Google on this matter.

Anyway, Kaku says scientists made a mistake in predicting the intensity of the solar storm in 2012. However, Kaku dismisses the 2012 hysteria related to the Mayan calendar speculation, the story in that dumb movie last year called 2012. Nevertheless, he calls the predicted 2012 solar storm "a Katrina from outer space."

The news coverage was prompted mostly by NASA warnings given in 2009 about the eleven-year cycle of solar storms.
For scary speculation about the end of civilization in 2012, people usually turn to followers of cryptic Mayan prophecy, not scientists. But that’s exactly what a group of NASA-assembled researchers described in a chilling report issued earlier this year on the destructive potential of solar storms.

Entitled "Severe Space Weather Events — Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts," it describes the consequences of solar flares unleashing waves of energy that could disrupt Earth’s magnetic field, overwhelming high-voltage transformers with vast electrical currents and short-circuiting energy grids. Such a catastrophe would cost the United States "$1 trillion to $2 trillion in the first year," concluded the panel, and "full recovery could take 4 to 10 years." That would, of course, be just a fraction of global damages.

Good-bye, civilization. (Read More at Wired)



To be fair, the newscaster doesn't seem to take any of the Solar Apocalypse talk too seriously, but the network and same newscaster also had Kaku on another day to talk about leaks in the Earth's magnetic field.

More from Wired Magazine:
Worse yet, the next period of intense solar activity is expected in 2012, and coincides with the presence of an unusually large hole in Earth’s geomagnetic shield. But the report received relatively little attention, perhaps because of 2012’s supernatural connotations. Mayan astronomers supposedly predicted that 2012 would mark the calamitous "birth of a new era."

Whether the Mayans were on to something, or this is all just a chilling coincidence, won’t be known for several years. But according to Lawrence Joseph, author of "Apocalypse 2012: A Scientific Investigation into Civilization’s End," "I’ve been following this topic for almost five years, and it wasn’t until the report came out that this really began to freak me out." ... Read More
I'm starting to think FOX may stand for Fear Output eXreme. However, it's possible we are not paying enough attention to the coming solar storm around 2012. If you read about the Carrington Event of 1859, it sounds as though what Kaku says in these videos is not so far fetched.
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.

Even more disconcerting, telegraph systems worldwide went haywire. Spark discharges shocked telegraph operators and set the telegraph paper on fire. Even when telegraphers disconnected the batteries powering the lines, aurora-induced electric currents in the wires still allowed messages to be transmitted. (NASA.gov)
It seems that Kaku is saying if we have a bad solar storm today, considering our dependence on technology far more advanced than the telegraph, we may be in very deep trouble.

To be fair, ABC News also reported on the Solar Storm warning, reporting that research scientist Dr. Roberta Balstad said, "It's one of those events that is of low probability but high consequence."

Image credit: The picture is from an album cover on an Italian website.

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