The sun is very much like a volcano that, instead of lava, occasionally spews high energy particles into space. When those particles are directed toward Earth we see the beautiful “northern lights”.
The Earth is protected by a type of “energy shield” called the magnetosphere (created by our planet’s spinning molten iron core) that surrounds and reacts to the arrival of solar winds. It is this magnetic and atmospheric reaction that causes the aurora borealis. But occasionally the energized particles that arrive on Earth are so powerful that they penetrate our “planetary shield”.
In 1859 the Earth was last hit by a truly powerful solar storm. That solar storm is now known as “The Carrington Event”. In that year the only “high-tech” on Earth was telegraph lines. When a train of solar flares penetrated our magnetosphere that year, paper on telegrapher’s desks caught on fire and telegraph lines melted. The lines had acted as a “net” that caught highly energized electrical charges from the Sun.
In 1859 there were no electrically driven water pumping stations to keep growing populations from thirst. Gravity-fed water systems and wells were the rule. Today, no modern city would long exist without water plants to treat and pump fresh water under pressure to millions of households and businesses. Those water plants need electricity.
In 2014 the Sun again loosed a massive series of solar flares that missed our planet by a mere few days in our orbit around the Sun. NASA was shocked to see the strength of the solar storm and announced that we had barely “dodged a bullet” that would have destroyed much of our high-tech infrastructure. We were lucky—a few days earlier in our orbit would have sent much of the world back to a pre-industrial time.
One might imagine that these studies would awake our government officials to an unacceptable level of risk. It did but the response has been slow and dangerously ineffective. In essence both Congress and the White House tasked government agencies with studying what the effects would be of massive and lasting disruption of electricity and what steps might eventually be taken. No appropriation of funds for such tasks were provided to agencies or private sector businesses such as utilities or power transmission companies.
Our purpose is to greatly accelerate hardening of the electrical grid to protect massive (and hard to transport and manufacture) transformers from such a storm and to pre-position critically needed equipment, medicines and food stocks for the inevitable solar storm predicted by NASA and others.
There is no question according to respected scientists that such storms will occur—it is only a matter of time until they do. While the federal government is well underway in protecting key government officials (Continuity of Government) from this and other catastrophes there has been little done to protect the general population. We are dangerously unprepared.
Our purpose is to create so much public pressure that steps are taken—now—to protect us all.