How Many Times Do You Cry Wolf?
BY KEITH TUCKER
Special to The Enterprise
Over the years we have been told many times that the end is near. So many times, we may have become like the story goes and not ready to believe a call to action when it is real. Let me recall a few of our more famous calamites that did not materialize.
Y2K. Planes were going to fall out of the sky. About the only real problem that came out of that was all the tombstones that had dead dates cut for 19 and the people did not die before the calendar turned over 2000. That still has not been all ironed out yet.
The next one was 2012 when the Mayan calendar ran out. They surely knew something we did not. That was when those coo coos thought the mothership was coming to pick them up. Well, let me tell you what the real-world, changing events are that could befall us.
If you are not keeping up with space weather, the sun is in a very angry mood. It’s been throwing out some big, sun-spot eruptions. There was one that happened around 1859 that damaged our telegraph system. It started fires at the terminals and shocked the operators trying to use it. It was reported that the northern lights were so intense one could sit outside at night and read a newspaper in Chicago.
There was a magnetic storm of equal intensity in 2012 but the blast missed the Earth by nine days. We had been at that spot in our orbit around the sun just nine days prior. That’s a near miss.
Today an event of that size that would take out most of our space satellites and cause extensive damage to our electric grid. The power could be out for years. It could take up to 10 years to repair all the damage.
Another life-changing event most of us know about are space rocks that come whizzing by. One only has to look at the moon craters to know that there have been many impacts on every planet. At the present time, we have no way to protect ourselves.
It has not been that long ago a space rock blew out thousands of windows in Russia when it exploded in the air, and we did not even know it was coming. Let’s just hope our number does not come up before we come up with some kind of plan.
Editor’s note: Keith Tucker is a Greenfield resident and owner of The Marble Shop.