seeing the Aurora Borealis

Recently I talked about recreating the Aurora Borealis so I could see it in the South (of North America). Well, I learned that it has actually been seen here before. In 1859 there was the most intense geomagnetic storm in recorded history, called the Carrington Event. And it will happen again. So I may get to see an aurora sometime. However, that would be a bad thing. A geomagnetic storm that intense would destroy a lot of electronics, including parts of our power grid. So calamity would ensue. It’s something that we should prepare for (both individually and as a country), but that’s beyond the scope of this article.

In 1859 the aurora was seen as far south as south-central Mexico. And in the north, it was so bright that some people thought it was morning already. It was supposedly really beautiful, with the sky filled with every imaginable color.

There were few electrical systems in 1859, but there was a telegraph system. Some telegraph operators got shocked, and some telegraph systems were still able to send messages while disconnected from their power supplies, using the power supplied from the solar storm.

If you would like to learn more about how this works and what may happen, watch this video by Physics Girl:

One neat way to think about the aurora is that it’s showing how the Earth’s atmosphere is acting as a shield. So when it lights up, it’s working. It looks like magic…

you can help us prevent hurricanes

A while back I wrote an article about how to prevent hurricanes.  It’s been a really popular post lately, and for good reason — Hurricane Isaac was recently causing a swath of destruction along its path through the southern U.S.

Hurricane Isaac in 2012

The article explained some ways to prevent hurricanes, but there has been a noticeable lack of funds coming in.  So obviously investors either haven’t found it, or they didn’t take it seriously.  I realize the presentation could’ve been made in a more “professional” manner.  It started off with some rambling (also known as digressing), and some of the ideas were intentionally over-the-top for fun.  But I make no apologies for the format — this is a humor blog, after all.  Even when legitimate ideas are released into the blogosphere, they are accompanied with humor.  That’s just how I roll.  (Well, I do have a serious blog, and it could’ve went there, but then I would’ve had to edit out the randomness, and what’s the fun in that?)

The last idea was actually somewhat viable, though.  It could make a difference in so many ways.  Obviously we wouldn’t cover the entire Sahara desert with solar panels, but we’d have to make only a something-eight percent difference to improve the current status quo.  And as the post explains, this would reduce global warming AND save money from hurricane damages AND be a clean, green, unlimited, renewable energy solution.  So what’s the problem?  All we need is appropriate funding (and by appropriate I mean a LOT, like billions of dollars), but it would pay for itself many times over.

There may be some people who worry about tampering with Mother Nature, and there are valid concerns to address, but we’ve been doing it for years already.  If things do change for the negative somehow, people will just blame labels like “Global Warming” and “Climate Change” (partly because it gives them political power and enables them to raise taxes with the cleverly named “Cap and Trade”, but I’d better not rant on that or I will surely digress).  Besides, there are solar panels already installed in the southwest U.S., and nobody complains about that changing the weather.

It’s important that we focus on the key initiative here, and that is to solve numerous global problems at once.  Well, that and make billions of dollars in profit.  But as the saying goes, it takes money to make money.  And it takes money to save the world, unless you’ve got super powers like Superman.  However none of us are Superman, and as far as I know, no one on the Buffet o’ Blog staff has any of the super powers of Superman (or we’d know, because it would be awesome to use them).  So we need investment funding, which is another way of saying “send us your money”.  We’ll send you an official certificate saying you contributed to saving the world.  Plus you’ll feel all warm and toasty inside, and you’ll help extend the life of the Earth, and you can’t put a dollar value on that.