Sometimes the Sun can be a real jerk

Scientists are warning against solar outbursts called coronal mass ejections that can cause havoc with electrical grids and electronic devices.

From New Scientist:

The most powerful solar outburst on record happened in 1859. At that time, it merely disrupted telegraph communication. But if it happened today, it could cause lasting damage to electric power grids, with cascading effects on the supply of water, perishable food, medicine and other necessities, the report says.

Damaged transformers, which change the electricity’s voltage, could be a particularly big problem. “If a large number of those were taken out, it could take quite a while to replace them,” says Baker. “There’s not a lot of stock of them, and they have to be built to order.”

So in other words, we would be without electrical power for possibly a very long time. We would find ourselves subjected to ridicule by the Amish and the Mennonites for our dependency on highfalutin electricity.

I for one don’t look forward to that.

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