X-flares, Hams and a bad day
The snow has ended and the sun is shinning through a window into the loft as I turn the dial of my shortwave radio. Today the only sound I hear, on all the bands from 10 to 20 meters are no different than what I have heard for the past few days… nothing but the background roar of the sun having a bad day. As I continue to turn the dial my mind wonders what would happen to our world if the sun had a “very” bad day,
I think it may, be something like this………….
It had been one of those mornings that started off badly when I tried to log into the ARRES emergency net and heard nothing but static. Then when checking the other frequencies the same quiet roar of S5 static filled his headset. On my way to work I stopped for gas but the gas pumps would not recognize my debit card and when I went inside to get a coffee there was a big sign CASH ONLY our computers are down. I decided to stop at the bank and get some cash in case the pumps were still out after work when I was greeted by yet another sign that said BANK CLOSED computers down. When I tried to call my wife and let her know what was going on my phone showed that there was no service.
Sound like a news story from a place hit with a hurricane or a scene from an apocalyptic movie? No just a simple fact of life in the year 2013. Everyone of us is dependent on a computer somewhere that stores data about us or we deal with a business that is totally dependent on a computer. Our phone system, that can not operate without the aide of massive computers, is as fragile as those computer hard drives are and can be shut down or destroyed in a instant by natural physical forces.
I know in some circles it is ego boosting to complain about the conspiracies that swirl around us. For instance a secret global organization that aims for world domination or a government conspiracy to purchase billions or rounds of ammo and armored vehicles to quell a citizens revolt, but almost everyone is missing one important disaster that will shut down entire portions of the world when it happens, and that is solar storms. Weather caused by a sunspot or a CME, a coronal mass ejection, this energy from a strong enough blast sent off from the sun will shut down every electronic device on the part of the earth facing the sun when it hits us.
I remember, as a child in grade school, walking into my bank and making a deposit. The teller would duly record that deposit in my bank book. Today there is no paper trail whatsoever of our deposits withdrawals or car and home mortgage payments. When we are hit with one of these solar events our money and our ability to communicate will be lost!
Last week there were a number of X-flairs but we were twice blessed because they were small events and more importantly because they were not aimed directly at the earth. When as in the past an X-10 or 11 happens and were are directly in it’s path it will indeed seem for many to be the end of the world. I am fortunate, for many reasons, to live here at the top of the world but I also experience those solar events first because of living so close to the magnetic North pole, and even a small one like the X flair that happened on 5/15 is effecting me.
The story continues….
I arrived back home from work a couple hours later it was a short day because the equipment at work was inoperable. I was concerned but also knew I had planed well. With weeks of stored food and water along with a nice reserve of cash that should hold us over the worst part of this incident.
So I think we should not only be mindful of what the global powers are doing
but what we can do to survive when our part of the world goes dark.