• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Solar Flares Remind of Greater Dangers

    Last Thursday, the earth experienced a powerful solar flare, one of the most powerful types of storms that the sun can create. According to NASA, this flare “triggered some disruption to radio communications on earth beginning about 45 minutes later.” A massive solar event could create disturbances that are far worse.

    The sun is likely going to produce more solar flares from this area, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    The first unusually large solar flare was first observed by British astronomer Richard Carrington in 1859. Telegraph operators were shocked unconscious and their machines caught on fire as the electro-magnetic forces from the flare surged through the lines. If solar activity on a similar scale occurred today, the results might be devastating, crippling the electrical systems that sustain modern life.

    According to Heritage’s James Jay Carafano:

    Communications would collapse, transportation would halt, and electrical power would simply be nonexistent. Not even a global humanitarian effort would be enough to keep hundreds of millions of Americans from death by starvation, exposure, or lack of medicine. Nor would the catastrophe stop at U.S. borders. Most of Canada would be devastated, too, as its infrastructure is integrated with the U.S. power grid. Without the American economic engine, the world economy would quickly collapse. Much of the world’s intellectual brain power (half of it is in the United States) would be lost as well. Earth would most likely recede into the “new” Dark Ages.

    The United States cannot afford to ignore the potential devastating effects of massive solar activity. The U.S. should develop a national plan to respond to space weather emergencies. This would also involve educating federal, state, and local officials along with the public about the risks and response options.

    Along with a national plan, the U.S. should host international disaster exercises to increase the ability of countries that are friendly with the United States to readily accept aid from one another when disaster strikes.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Solar Flares Remind of Greater Dangers

    1. Rick says:

      Very soon Al Gore will be telling us that solar flares are caused by humans, and then begin trading in solar flare commodity credits.

    2. @gbmaxx says:

      Just wait for my brother… December 21, 2012 is just around the corner.

    3. GaryC says:

      Solar proton events are more dangerous than CME's or solar flares. In fact, the latest research suggests that a solar proton event wiped out the megafauna at the end of the last ice age. Check out this article:
      http://2012quest.com/2012-news/did-a-massive-sola

      And the sun recently experienced one of the largest solar proton events ever measured. So we may be entering a new active period. We haven't studied the sun long enough to know what it's capable of.

    4. 2012Quest says:

      Solar proton events are more dangerous than CME's or solar flares. In fact, scientists now think such an event wiped out the megafauna at the end of the last ice age. You can read about it here: http://2012quest.com/2012-news/did-a-massive-sola

    5. Bobbie says:

      alert and warn? yes. opening another bank of corruption? NO!

    6. Ahswapper says:

      Why aren't you people calling solar flares a hoax and the libs hyping it up like frightened chillin.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×