Electrical Cold Turkey
As the Sun begins to go through a cycle of increased solar storm activity, the US and the UK look to the possibility of scheduling controlled power cuts. By planning these outages around the solar storms, it is hoped that the National Electricity Grids would be protected against damage from the storm that could take "months or even years to repair."
In a world reliant upon the ease of global communication, the US and the UK foresee these solar storms being a very serious threat. The immensity of the power surges created by the sun can overpower our electrical grids by the sheer magnitude of the high energy exchange between solar particles and the Earth's magnetic field. The key here would be a forced respite from our own energetic systems, leaving them passive so that these celestial bursts would pass through the system harmlessly.
According to Dr. Bogdan, director of the US Space Weather Prediction Centre, such an extreme scenario of solar storms could cripple North America and Northern Europe anywhere from a day or years. A joint collaboration between the US and the UK aims to "improve solar weather forecasting to the point where it is possible to warn power companies of an imminent storm."
Of course this leaves conspiracy theorists to wonder whether if and when these solar-storm shut-offs occur, how are we to know that shutting down the grid wasn't just a ploy to cease communications, like with the legislation surrounding an internet kill switch? Or perhaps Dr. Frankenstein will decide to harness the power of the sun next instead of lightning to create life? On the brighter side, this would at least make the US create mandatory holidays for its tireless work force.
Image: "solar storm" by dmitryseliv on Flickr courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing.Tweet