coronal mass ejection

Many individuals are concerned about a variety of potential natural catastrophes that may transpire here on Earth. I’ve been debating on whether or not to write about this particular one but the very recent coronal mass ejection from the Sun pushed me ever forward.

Ostensibly there was a time when human ancestors had not yet begun to speak. Wikipedia proclaims that “modern” humans emerged from Africa 300,000 years ago. There were proto humans prior to that date in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia/Oceana.

After speech evolved, objects were signified by an associated sound. This happens in other mammals as well. Domestic cats, for example, often make one sound if they see birds out the window and another when asking their humans for food. Chances are very great that human ancestors made associative sounds more than 300,000 years ago.

Then came writing which was a huge development for humans. The first writing was pictographs, a small somewhat standardized drawing of the object being communicated. This is commonly estimated to have happened around 9000 BC around the inhabited world but especially in Mesopotamia. I am persuaded that it actually happened somewhat earlier than that, before the end of the last Ice Age, but that is a story for a different day, fascinating though it is. Terence McKenna opined that pictographic writing is superior to phonic writing because it comes more directly from nature, while phonic writing associates a letter with a sound. Eckhart Tolle often uses the phase that this word or that merely points to the concept. It is important to remember that the word is not the object or idea itself, it just suggests or points to it.

During ancient times and the Middle Ages, countless hours were spent copying manuscripts by hand and were sometimes beautifully “illuminated” or illustrated with careful drawings. Many of these manuscripts were religious or devotional in nature. Prior to widespread writing people like Homer in ancient times, and today aboriginal singers in places like Australia and the Dogon people in East Africa have preserved knowledge and stories through memorized songs and chants that have changed little in millennia .

Everything began to change with Gutenberg’s perfection of moveable type in 1450. Moveable type was also developed in China and Korea perhaps 100 years earlier but not popularized nor as automated. Mostly Gutenberg printed Bibles. But soon other things were printed as well. In the mid 19th Century totally automated printing was developed in New York City by Richard M. Hoe and then the average American could afford to buy a book or a newspaper. Things were really changing. There were fewer illiterate people in developed countries. (This short narrative is not meant to be a definitive history of printing, but rather it is meant to establish a time line.)

Fast forward to around 1990 and personal computers have become affordable for the masses in industrialized countries. This was followed quickly by the Internet, which really revolutionized human interaction and socialization and it was followed quickly by cellphones which are owned by people all over the world in many disparate cultures. Now a rancher in Oklahoma can call or text an imam in Egypt who can call a factory worker in Thailand who can call a Saami reindeer herder in Northern Lapland who can call her stockbroker in London who can call me for an intuitive reading. :-D!

Up until at least 2000 many scholars and erudite people had large libraries of books some of which were rare and on arcane subjects not of interest to many, such as pastoral Bulgarian poetry of the 17th Century or Blood types present in Ecuadorian red parrots. 

I received an article from my friend Rox, about how people who were downsizing their book collections were not able to sell the books to used bookstores or donate them to libraries. Most of these books were unwanted due to “THE CLOUD”!!! Most of us know that the cloud is a place in cyberspace where one can store digital copies of books and archives. One can also store bunches of books and photos from one’s digital device (cell phone or computer). The cloud in cyberspace is a network of servers. To understand the cloud better, I recommend an article in Medium.

East Village Books owner Donald Davis pointed out that books bought from Amazon and similar sellers and stored on Kindle are only leased and not owned by you, the “buyer”, or more accurately the renter.

So what I have hoped to do above is to establish an ever quickening pace of collection, sharing and storage of human knowledge.

Language 300,000 years ago, symbolic writing more than 11,000 years ago, first printing perfected 600 years ago, mass printing 170 years ago, computerization of communication about 30 years ago and human knowledge stored in the cloud for about the last 10 years. Can you see the quickening?

So back to the idea that books are being discarded in favor of the cloud. This may not be best practice because on September 1, 1859 the Sun sent out coronal mass ejections from sunspots that fried much of the world’s telegraph systems. Telegraph was cutting edge technology at that time and a British astronomer named Richard Carrington saw the eruptions happen through his telescope and so the disaster bears his name, the Carrington Event

Since that time the world has depended more heavily on electromagnetic media in the cloud and nearly every home is on the electric grid of its country or state. Should that grid massively fail as it is very likely in a huge geomagnetic storm or an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack by a global adversary, civilization would be taken back to the Dark Ages or worse. A geomagnetic storm can fry the large transformers that carry electricity across a nation’s electrical grid. There is not a huge supply of new transformers out there to reinstall an entire nation’s grid and all information stored in the cloud would evaporate faster than a puff of smoke. It seems like a foregone conclusion that this will happen. The only question is when.

When it does happen much of human knowledge would be eradicated forever.

Of course this blog, Shattered Reality Podcast, online banking, and all your personal photos stored on your computer and in the cloud will also be irretrievably lost. Saving a hard copy of your favorite picture of your mother or your cat is recommended, however an event like this of great magnitude would likely be the end of civilization as we know it.

Though I would never say I channeled this blog spot, I was very pushed by something outside myself to write it.

Fahrusha is a blogger, podcaster and professional intuitive. She encourages all polite comments to this blog and endeavors to answer them in a timely fashion.

 

credit:NASA skylab

credit:NASA skylab

 

 

There have been very few sunspots on the sun for the last two years. So far it has been cool for late Spring in the greater New York City area. These two facts may be related.

Sunspots are magnetic storms that well up from the solar depths to the surface of the sun. It is believed that jet streams within the sun are responsible for sunspots appearing on the surface. Coronal mass ejections and the related solar flares are associated with sunspots. Historically sunspots wax and wane in eleven year cycles, though this is variable. The low point when there are few sunspots is known as the solar minimum and the high point of a cycle is called the solar maximum. We are now in a deep solar minimum. The year 2008 had the fewest sunspots since 1913.

During a solar maximum, the next of which was predicted for 2012, there is much solar magnetic activity in the form of sunspots and often solar flares and coronal mass ejections. There is disagreement among scientists as to whether this coming solar maximum will actually happen in 2012, because we are currently in a deep solar minimum and whether or not it will be a mild solar maximum. When the solar maximums are severe they can disrupt life on earth, particularly within our electrical grid. A high solar maximum replete with coronal mass ejections can cause power outages due to melting of the transformers within the electrical power grid. If you think of everything in our culture that we use that is dependent on electricity, you can imagine how severe such an event could be. Unlike a typical power outage, which can usually be fixed within a few days, melted transformers could take a long time to replace, especially if the problem were widespread. To get an idea of what might happen we need to study the great geomagnetic storm of May 1921 and the Carrington Event of August-September 1859. As dire as those events were, a similar event today would cause greater devastation due to the obvious fact that we use so much more electricity today compared to then. In 1859 there was virtually no dependence on electricity at all. The upside of solar flares are beautiful bright auroras observed close to the poles.

Getting back to solar minimums: There were few sunspots observed during a time in the second part of the 17th Century called the Maunder Minimum. This time was also known as the Little Ice Age. It is believed by most solar scientists that when there are few sunspots and few solar flares less energy reaches the Earth from the Sun and therefore lower general temperatures result. Does this mean that global warming is not true? No! Solar weather is a different force put upon the Earth’s climate than manmade global warming. It is unlikely that the current solar minimum will last long enough to vastly affect the results of manmade global warming. Obviously if the Sun’s output dramatically changed that could end life on Earth. However such changes usually occur in geologic time across millenia, in other words, very, very slowly. 

Is it possible that some being or entity is giving us a second chance to remedy global warming? I wonder if either a Supreme Being, or the emotional energy of this biosphere called Earth (Gaia and the other living entities on Earth including humanity) or the influence of an advanced alien culture interested in the preservation of a habitable planet is exercising influence on our star the Sun, giving us, the foolish and myopic human race a second chance to fix the global warming problem we created?

I support Earth Hour taking place on Saturday March 28, 2009 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. This is a world wide (84 countries) action by the World Wildlife Federation to have people turn off their lights and non-essential appliances. I’ll be turning it all off except for my refrigerator and I call on everyone to do the same. Last year 36 million in the USA took part. Hopefully this year there will be even more participation.  The organizers of Earth Hour state that the purpose of it is “to make a global statement of concern about climate change and to demonstrate commitment to finding solutions.”

This brings to mind an article I very recently read on New Scientist about how a large sunspot array on the Sun could cause a major catastrophe on Earth. It seems that on an equinox when the sunspot cycle has reached its peak, the sun could shoot out a blast of highly charged energy particles called plasma in a coronal mass ejection and if the solar wind makes a direct hit on Earth it could take out communications and electrical power on our planet by delivering a major overdose of direct current to large electrical transformers. This could easily cause a domino effect destroying various aspects of our infrastructure. Oddly this event could happen in the much feared year of 2012, due to a possible peak of sunspot activity at that time. Currently the sun is virtually devoid of spots which is in itself slightly unusual.

All this reminds me that it would be preferable to “get off the grid” and become energy independent. Solar and wind energy seem very attractive at this time. I also wonder about zero point energy and how technologically far away  that might be.