Rollin' Like Sisyphus

When The Mayans Were Almost Right

Posted in The Fail Pail by Huckleberry on July 24, 2014

The sun wants you dead.

The sun wants you dead.

So a funny thing happened in 2012 — for all the derisive scorn and laughter directed at the long conquered and dead Mayan Empire, their “predictions” for the END OF THE WORLD may have been much closer to occurring than you’d think.
They missed it by about a week:

On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely missed a catastrophic encounter with the Earth’s atmosphere. These plasma clouds, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), comprised a solar storm thought to be the most powerful in at least 150 years.
“If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” physicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado tells NASA.

So why weren’t we toast?

Fortunately, the blast site of the CMEs was not directed at Earth. Had this event occurred a week earlier when the point of eruption was Earth-facing, a potentially disastrous outcome would have unfolded.

Ah, blind stupid luck.
Okay, then.
But say the CMEs had struck us.
What then?

A CME double whammy of this potency striking Earth would likely cripple satellite communications and could severely damage the power grid. NASA offers this sobering assessment:
Analysts believe that a direct hit … could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket. Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps.

Well, good thing we dodged that bullet then.

Perhaps the scariest finding reported in the article is this: There is a 12 percent chance of a Carrington-type event on Earth in the next 10 years according to Pete Riley of Predictive Science Inc.

Well fuck it then, I’ll be in the basement.
But seriously, have a Goddamn plan for when this type of thing occurs, a plan that broadly contemplates what a few months with limited or no power would look like.
In addition to food, water and the other usuals, scope out the neighborhood and note where your local electrical towers and transformers are, and where the nearby wires run. Make sure that nothing near you catches fire or poses an immediate danger if you suddenly see the sky light up like the aurora borealis. Chances are pretty high that from the outset, you will no longer have access to TV, radio, telephone or Internet. It’s just going to be you and your community almost immediately, and in something like this, help isn’t going to come from the next town over.
This is the one disaster where you’ll be mostly on your own for a good long while, and there probably won’t be anywhere else to go that offers relief.


2 Responses

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  1. Doom said, on July 24, 2014 at 16:32

    Actually, as things could go, that would be a better decline than some that are possible. It would instantly severe the head of several snakes. No communication, no orders, or not fast ones. And folk would very much be a part of the decision making locally. Cities would burn and rot, but they are going to in almost any major scenario. Still, another year to prepare is good by me. The more the merrier.

  2. El Borak said, on July 24, 2014 at 18:54

    So anyway, I was pretty much going to say the same thing about the same thing tonight, but I do believe I’ll take the night off then. Had an excellent dinner at Keltoi Winery with the lovely and gracious Rogue and a dozen exchange students from Korea. The good side of the tracks, of course. That’s more fun than blogging anyway.

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