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Massive Solar Storm Could Kill Grid By 2020

March 2, 2012 by  

Massive Solar Storm Could Kill Grid By 2020

The number of American preppers appears to have grown in recent years. With shows such as “Doomsday Preppers” on major television networks, the prepper lifestyle has become a bit more mainstream. If one space physicist is correct, now may be a better time than ever.

According to research published by Pete Riley, senior scientist at Predictive Science in San Diego, Calif., in Space Weather, there is about a one in eight chance that the Earth will be hit by a massive solar megastorm this decade. The event would likely fry electrical components and cause trillions of dollars in damage.

Solar flares are caused because the sun goes through an 11-year cycle of increased and decreased activity. During solar maximum, sunspots and enormous magnetic whirlwinds erupt from its surface. Sometimes, the flares burst outward from the sun, spewing a mass of charged particles out into space.

The biggest solar event ever to affect Earth, the Carrington Event, occurred in 1859. Astronomer Richard Carrington watched an enormous solar flare erupt from the sun’s surface, emitting a particle stream at the Earth traveling more than 4 million miles per hour. When the energy reached the Earth’s atmosphere, the particles generated the intense ghostly ribbons of light known as auroras.

A 2008 report conducted by the National Research Council concluded that in today’s electronic world a similar event could spark: “disruption of the transportation, communication, banking, and finance systems, and government services; the breakdown of the distribution of potable water owing to pump failure; and the loss of perishable foods and medications because of lack of refrigeration.”

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • FreedomFighter

    Its not if, its when and how big.

    Congress needs to get off its collective butts and harden our power grid. It costs less than what Obummer lost on Solyndra.

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

    • Gregory Romeu

      On the surface, your comment is perfect.

      In stark reality we are dealing with a body of people not only in congress, but roaming all across the country with the intelligence of a rock. They actually voted for and elected Obama to be their, “leader”.

      Semper Fi, Brother

      • George Grover

        I know. I bet you think that if George W. Bush, Richard (DICK) Cheney, Condolezza Rice,
        Donald Rumsfeld, along with Paul Wolfowitz, just to name a few, ALSO KNOWN AS AMERICA’S CRIME FAMILY GONE INTERNATIONAL would have been a much better choice for you.
        I study politics like others study baseball stats, am now and always have been a REGISTERED INDEPENDENT VOTER, and I am what is known as A CONSTITUTIONAL CONSTRUCTIONIST. Not that I agree with that or any other label put on people.

        1) let us start by him giving back to the 50 Governors of each state the COMMAND of those NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS where it is supposed to be. That is why they are called THE NATIONAL GUARD.

        2) No SITTING PRESIDENT has the power to close a military base, which takes an act of CONGRESS A SITTING PRESIDENT as COMMANDER IN CHIEF can have any military prison closed with the stroke of a pen. GUANTANAMO BAY PRISON MUST be closed.

        3) Kill The UNITARY EXECUTIVE DOCTRINE. I am not in favor of anyone, let alone a SITTING PRESIDENT believe that what ever he does, just because he is the SITTING PRESIDENT, even if he does something that is illegal, it is not illegal, because he is the president and PRESIDENTS DON’T DO ANYTHING ILLEGAL. Presidents should have to follow our laws just like every other citizen.

        4) Although CONGRESS controls the purse strings, any SITTING PRESIDENT as COMMANDER IN CHIEF can order his Generals to GO ON HALF RATIONS, meaning start looking for cuts in military spending, like personnel, tools and materials, equipment, in a nut shell, everything is on the table except the base, as only CONGRESS can close a military base.

        5) Officially call an end to MILITARY OPPERATIONS IN AFGHANISTAN and instruct the Generals to implement a TACTICAL WITHDRAW from that theatre. Congress can still control the purse strings, however what kind of purse do they need for a war that isn’t


        If you would like to discuss this subjcetmatter, please feel free to respond.




      • simian pete

        Ditto , Mr. Gregory Romeu ! Ditto !!!

        The American voter has the intelligence of a rock … and that’s being generous !!

  • Sirian

    This is something that everyone should at least take into consideration as very possible. Without question it is very possible for an enormous solar storm to erupt and the result would not be welcomed at all. So many people are totally unaware of this being a possibility, global warmers included and they will be the ones that will be in a total state of bewilderment if and when it may occur. If it’s large enough there isn’t much that could be done to guard against it unless you have the money and time to construct a Faraday cage around your entire property – uh, nope, don’t think so. Especially people that are apartment dwellers. And there’s plenty of those. To most it may seem as nothing to be overly concerned with but still, it could very well take place and if it does, welp, the extreme environmentalists will finally have achieved their desire – no power, no cars, no water on tap, no pollution from coal fired power plants, no airliners since so many will simply drop out of the sky if it were to hit us hard enough. Yep, they’ll get exactly what they want. . . :) Sorry guys, no more X-Box games since you won’t have any power for years. My gosh, you’ll have to revert to pen and paper to communicate – isn’t that terrible? Got a horse? You’ll be required to use that as your means of transportation for many years afterwards. Otherwise you best have plenty of shoes/boots available. Oh well, all in all it won’t be a “happy time” any more. Got a spare bottle of water? Best have.

    • Beth

      Not sure the next generation will be able to “resort to pen and paper to communicate. They not longer teach cursive writing skills in a lot of schools. Not needed since most kids learn to text message in abbreviated form. Forget about sentence structure or phonetic alphabet, they are obsolete also. Maybe the few homeschooled kids will know how to communicate.

    • simian pete

      Just build a steam engine from all those dead cars. You will be fine. Anyhow, nothing like having a horse ! That’s your buddy !! What a good friend !!

  • Ted Crawford

    This artical leaves far more quesstions than it answers. What would the projected duration of this event be, would the disruption cause temporary or permanant damage to most systems, can filters or other blocking methods be used, ETC.
    In any case it has to occure before Dec. 21 , or it won’t matter, Right?

    • Sirian

      It all depends upon the size of the storm – CME/EMP – that we are hit by. If it is on a major scale then you could easily expect that we would be totally down – NO POWER – for a minimum of approximately ten years. Again, if it’s large enough, that’s the unknown. Then again, a nuke can do the very same. That is a possibility as a means to accomplish what the extreme Iranians want to do too.

    • Mike Austin

      A nuke would be localized but a CME could affect everything. Our transformers are made in Korea and take many months to build 1. We have thousands in the US. Do you think Korea would let us take any of the first generation of shipments? No. We would be without until we manufacture our own. The previous comment estimated maybe 10yrs. That does not take into account the loss of life(and knowledge) required to rebuild. My guess is 20yrs and that is a optomistic hope.

      • Gregory Romeu

        “That does not take into account the loss of life(and knowledge) required to rebuild. My guess is 20yrs and that is a optomistic hope.”

        We’ve already had a loss of education over the past generation with removing the fundamental wood shop, automotive shop, electrical shop and metal shop as well as Home economics from our schoold… Instead we opted for the liberalism of allowing feminism to dictate what we do with the family structures by deciding to remove the father from the family structure and impose feminism as the rule, thereby removing all the fundamentals necessary to assure education and intelligence.

        As far as, “knowledge thing”? Our director of DHHS is consifering lessening the pro-creation of the next generation so as to be abloe to afford Obamacare.

        So, what our last couple of liberal generations have done is opted to, “work smarter and not harder” to the point of dissolution of the world’s leading industrialized nation that took over 100 years to build and you come along and want to reconstruct it from a dope fed, brain-dead, entitlement generation of X-Boxers to be your rescue operation?

        I want to watch THIS movie if it ever comes out.

      • Garry Loeffler


        Just a bit of correction: A lower atmosphere or ground burst nuclear detonation could cause a local EMP effect, but if the ‘right sized’ nuclear weapon was detonated in the high atmosphere over the central US, that would have the potential of causing enough EMP to cover most, if not all the Continental US and Canada.

        This could cause a huge blackout of North America and bring every unprotected electrical device to “door-stopper’ status. I worked with the US military’s Nuclear Weapons Programs and at one time could tell you (if you had the right clearance and the ‘need to know’) what sized weapon and at what altitude to detonate to cause this effect. Since I have retired – I’ve forgotten the specifics – but probably with a little research you could find out on-line the generalities for the EMP effect of an upper atmosphere / near space nuclear detonation.

  • TIME

    For anyone who wants to keep an eye on the solar issues, this sight will be of help.


    But – learn what it all means so you understand it.

  • Sirian

    This is another good sight to keep an eye on.

  • Rennie

    For less than what Obozo wasted on “green” energy scams that have gone broke we could have had the 350 or so grounded transformers in place to protect the national grid from EMP/GIC whether manmade or natural. Someone has to make it a priority, unless they want this chaos to occur, to prevent such an event from crippling our nation. Pay attention to the fact that any generator hooked into a system, or solar panel exposed for that matter, at teh time of said event, will also charge up and burn out. They must be insulated from the grisd or any large collection source at time of the event. You should think about some sort of Faraday Cage to store all your valuable recordings and computer/digital/electronic equipment when not in use. I believe GRS/FMRS? shortwave radio are the only communication devices that will work in the immediate aftermath? We need a plan to keep our world moving and sane in such an event, sadly beyong “COG” there does not seem to be one?

    • Sirian

      That’s the problem, the majority of people don’t really know anything about the possibilities and outcomes from a major CME/EMP. Insofar as building a sizable reserve of transformers for both the national grid as well as local grids, yes, I agree, it would be very wise to have but unfortunately it simply won’t happen. Power generation companies live within their budgets, simple as that. Would the guberment subsidize them for this purpose solely? Do we really need to kid ourselves? Faraday Cages would be a very good guard but here’s the problem, they can be very expensive if you want a really good one. If we ever get hit with a major CME/EMP it’s not going to “nice”. I agree with you as to “we need a plan to keep our world moving and sane” but that too is another one of the unknowns. Shoot, have the governments of the world even discussed this matter? Very doubtful, very doubtful indeed.

      • Gregory Romeu

        I don’t know whether to be amused by or cry at the lack of intelligence of the majority of the populous anymore…

        “Faraday Cages would be a very good guard but here’s the problem, they can be very expensive if you want a really good one. ”

        We used to manufacture, “Faraday cages” by the thousands… Except back then they were called, “Ice Chests”! They still make them today and are far cheaper tio buy then to try to engineer..

      • Beth

        Of course governments don’t talk about this. They just want to talk about global warming. Why talk about something that is scientifically proven when you can talk about a theory that is being proven as a fallicy? They can’t control populations with talk of EMP/CMEs.

      • Sirian

        OK, Gregory R., let’s see, rounded up, $400 is cheap for something that would work as a Faraday Cage, even though it doesn’t come with a ground wire. Alright, you could attach a ground wire to it and then have enough room for what? Some of this, some of that? What I was referring to was enabling yourself to basically build a Faraday Cage to guard your entire house, so to speak, in an effort to protect it and everything inside as best as you could. Your TV, computer, refrigerator, freezer, micro-wave, radios, etc. basic day to day conveniences and life support units. But you have to remember, the power lines coming into your house would also be effected and carrying a whale of a load. This would last for an instant yet just long enough to overload everything in line as well. What form of added protection has either been considered or put in place to guard the entire grid? Bare in mind the charge that will exist in the air that not everything will be capable of guarding against. Uh, high tension power lines for instance. This too will also add an additional overload to everything else. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, planes, trains, ships, traffic lights, public lighting etc. and just about anything else that is built with solid state/micro-electronics (chips). In essence, it is a much broader, all encompassing problem then most people realize. Anymore it is near next to impossible to find what we consider basic electronic appliances, entertainment, transportation, utilities etc. that are not susceptible to a major CME/EMP strike. Once again, it doesn’t really matter a great deal if you can save several items since you wouldn’t have power available to operate them for quite some time – and I don’t mean just a few days. So, yes Gregory, I understand what you’re saying but hopefully you now understand what I was referring to as well as the enormity of what we could possibly be confronted with. Will it happen? It could. Will we know when? That depends upon the present and future solar cycles we live through and whether or not it is made public. Is it nutty to take it into consideration and be a bit more prepared than nothing at all? No, not really. So, when it comes right down to it, it’s up to you and everyone else. Try to be prepped as best as you can or don’t worry with it until it happens – then you’ll worry. And with that, go ahead, be amused or cry, fine by me.

      • Gregory Romeu


        Forgive me for utilizing common sense and rationality. I was not aware that I or any other clear thinking human should be engineering a big metal box with which to wrap our entire country in.

        But, it sounds like you’re got a good handle on that project so, by all means you persevere aonward and if I get a chance I will add you along to those that are already keeping me amused,

        In the meantime, I will assure that my data and communication gear is properly protected as will thousands of others that have an ounce of common sense so that we will be able to immediately establish communications once the thast trickle of electronic tickle subsides.

        Others will probably just go turn their circuit-breakers back on, fire-up their generators and carry on… Obviously by your account, without line of sight to the sun as your, “cage” will be interfearing with our view.

  • Sandy Hoyer

    I am a prepper, don’t want to see anything interupt our way of life, but if it does, we will survive, at least untill someone tryes to take it from us.
    If interested in food prep, you can visit my website for food that can be stored up to 25 yrs. see what all it has to offer besides food. Water purfication, seeds, and more.

    • Gregory Romeu

      I guess poking a hole in the ground, dropping a vegetable seed in there and spitting on it is out of the question till the end of time?

  • Andrew C

    When the world ends, it won’t be from natural causes. It will be the judgement of God coming down upon this sinfull earth, you cant hide. Then it will be too late to accept Jesus as your savior and be saved, do it now, the bible says we know not the time when the Lord will return for his faithful. “He’s you’re doomsday prepper.”

    • Gregory Romeu

      HE didn’t advise us to all just sit around, singing Kumbayah like a bunch or morons and NOT do nothing to defend ourselves either!.

  • FreedomFighter

    The End – Remote Viewing Predictions

    Massive solar storm to hit Earth in 2012 with ‘force of 100m bombs’

    For information purposes only, make your own decisions.

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

  • David169

    The whole problem here is most people in the US do not want to be responsible for their their basic needs. A student demands birth control be provided; people who don’t want to work demand shelter, food and money; almost everyone demands that the utilities be omnipresent and affordable by everyone. Oh, I forgot the main theme; somebody else must pay for it.
    This mentality has bankrupted this country. Many people do not realize that our government has laws in place to cover the potential of the grid going down. The plan and the laws allow the government to take the food stored by the preppers, take the stored water and medicines and distribute them to those who didn’t prep.this will work as well as the plan to tax the wealthy more and give it to the non wealthy. Unfortunetly both have a major flaw which is all the money the wealthy have is not enough to benefit the massive numbers of non wealthy and all the stuff the preppers have stored will only amount to a meal or two for the non preppers.
    Many of the commentors have stated the problem correctly which is,”it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when”. Our elected officials will never deal with this problem because they are to busy using tax dollars to buy votes than to use any of those tax dollars for preparation against natural disasters that are foreseeable and occur on a irregular schedule.
    There is not a single necessity that the dependant people rely on that is not on the verge of failure without a major event.
    Food in the US is an endangered item. The trucking, distribution and sales of food in the US is so efficient that only about nine meals for every person in an urban city are available. Those nine meals are being constantly replaced 24/7. If the supply shuts down the nine meals will be exhausted in 3 days. Then what happens? Most preppers do not have enough for their own needs and my observation is preppers are only about 3% of the population. So when the government splits their food among 33 other families the food will only last another 10-15 days. Electricity even for those with a generator will be a difficult item to sustain. If the grid get fried it will take many years to restore it. The 1859 event melted sections of the telegraph wires and caused thousands of fires. Most people examining this looming disaster only consider the transformers but in a huge event all above ground power lines could be melted.
    Lets hope when it happens the ejection hits during our night.

  • Gregory Romeu

    I understand where you are coming from, but it appears you left out one minor element…. 25 Million Veterans that have stood in defense of this country and if need be, if only 3% of those step-up, ain’t nobody gonna take away from anybody, that which is theirs.

    Semper Fidelis is not just some fancy bumper sticker wording…

  • Christopher Pearce

    Don’t expect the government to do anything concerning this. First of all, at least half of the government would love for the citizens of the U.S. to be begging for help. Secondly, the mainstream media has not implied a pressing concern, enough for the government to pay attention.

    Truly, to understand at all, any reason for what the government does and does not do… is 1st, MONEY… then POWER… (pun intended).

  • Gregory Romeu

    Does anybody on here reading all of this remeber what caused the whole northeastern U.S. get blacked-out for such a long period of time?

    ONE CABLE. One freakin cable, somewhere in Ohio that was to have been in charge of maintaining, “THE GRID” for the entire freakin northwest.

    Now I ask you, is it still impossible to pop a couple of nails in a popato or a lemon and create current? Can we no longer wrap copper wire around a toilet paper roll and get a radio frequency? will we no longer be abloe to create fire by rubbing two sticks together? Hunt for food? Fish for yet more food?

    You people appear to have become far too complacent.

    Turn off your computers, your TV’s, get the hell out of wal-Mart and go outside and look around you!

    as long as there is ground to plant a seed, water just dropping out of the sky, all free and unregulated by any government… Just there for the taking.

    DAMN PEOPLE! Pull your heads out of your sanctamonious asses and WAKE UP!

    so you’ll smell a little funny from not bathing as often… I am quite sure if everyone keeps breathing we will all get past any spooky fdangers that lurk around the corner… except of course those that take the purple shrouds and stick quarters in their pockets and drink whatever kool-aid they habe… waiting for their space shuttle from outerspace to come and collect them?

    Give me a freakin break!

  • Jon

    Good news to me, I’ll just set up camp in the wilderness and watch the Revolution from afar make the World whole again……can’t wait till they take the cheeseburgers & potato chips away from Moooooshelle and her watching in disbelief as they strip, tar & feather her Kenyan thug, fraud, Muslim & POS Barry ‘Komrad’ Soetoro….

  • cerebus23

    Shut off everything, 24 hrs of turning off the power grids would be a heck of a lot less destructive than trying to ride things out.

    As far as looming disasters one of the largest volcanoes in the world resides in america, it has been swelling for years, and as far as averages go it is overdue for an eruption. Its the 800 lb gorilla people try hard as hell not to look in the eye but why not ignore it because there is nothing you could do about that particular disaster period.

    I would get used to not having cell phones, wireless services or anything sattelight based working much at all even if they shut those down any solar disruptions can fry their circuits, think they have better shielding in some but i would not hold my breath in a major solar eruption.

    If the power grids get fried, well lets all get used to walking more, building campfires for heat and light and stockpiling gas and generators that you can keep undergound and off safe form any outbursts you could lest have a reliable electricity source when needed.

    But either way, something will happen at sometime to end all this. It can be nature, man made or gods will, but it will happen.

  • Henry

    Don’t forget most generators have electronic ignition (many also have other electronic controls), and solar cells are solid-state devices (diodes), made with the same technology. Also, most batteries chargers use solid-state regulators. And most wind generators use alternators, that use diodes to give DC power.
    Therefore most backup/emergency/off-grid systems will not work either, so resetting circuit breakers will not help.
    Even if the solar cells survive the blocking diodes and charge controllers are apt to fail.

  • John OConnor

    If this thing were to happen wouldn’t it fry all the power to every nuclear plant in the world thus making it impossible to keep the cells cool? How could any one survive no matter how prepared? It would be Japan times a 1000 without the use of modern equipment to get it under control.

  • simian pete

    Here’s something else to worry about ….

    Considering all them hydrogen bombs they used to blow a hole in the Van Allen radiation belt .. I wonder if that did any permanent damage to Earth’s Magnetic shield ..

    So picture this scenario. Not just one EMP ! Not just one event ! But a continuous EMP that will never “shut off”. The minute you turn on your modern electronics, it won’t work – anywhere … even if you shielded it in a Faraday cage. !

    You would have to go back to vacum tubes …. Miniaturize vacum tubes … that’s what you would need to develop ….

  • Larry

    Grover, or is it Grovel, the former United States of America, now the police of the Disjointed States of the Weimer States of America, were never a Democratic State of America, they are, or need to be, a Constitutional Republic, a Demoncratic state is mob rule

  • Keynes

    Power plants are backed up by manual controls and an EMP or solar flare won’t destroy the turbines or boilers. Many electronic devices will be fried along with switchboards ect, but these things are breaking down every day all across the world so it isn’t as though there are none held in stock.

    Engines with points and coil ignitions will be fine and many vehicles with electronic ignitions will run afterwards.

    This is starting to take on an look of the Y2K scam if you ask me.

    The biggest threat will be from the government trying to “help” people after such an event.

    • Vigilant

      Sorry, Keynes, your grasp of what would happen, as with most people here, is about as faulty as the economics of your namesake.

      You want to get an idea of what it would be like after an EMP or CME event? Just read “One Second After,” by William R. Forstchen and you’ll see that most people don’t have the faintest idea of the consequences. You can read a synopsis of the book at or go to the website at Believe me, it’s an eye-opener.

      Setting up campsites won’t do it, and communications would be COMPLETELY cut off.
      TENS OF MILLIONS of Americans would die within a period of months after such an event. Airplanes would fall out of the sky and cars would stop dead in their tracks. Backup generators would also go belly up, as would everything that depends on solid state circuitry. The resupply of food, water and medicines that cities and villages depend upon would cease altogether.

      Anyone on life support would go first; dialysis machines would stop working, pacemakers would quit, and anyone of our drug-dependent public that needed medicines to stay alive would suffer a death I don’t want to think about.

      And kiss goodbye to most of your freedoms. survival would require rationing under a state of martial law, and stealing rations would rise to the level of capital crime. Bands of hundreds, if not thousands, of the criminally-minded would descend upon whole communities to rob them of their supplies. As starvation became more acutely felt, don’t rule out cannibalism.

      These are not Y2K fantasies, they are all too real possibilities. The worse part is that an EMP attack is not a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of when. Believe me, NO ONE would enjoy such a catastrophe.

      • John Maynard Keynes

        Vigilant, Have you ever worked in a power plant? Have you never seen a car struck by lightning? A lighning strike directly through a car is about as severe an electrical jolt you will ever see. Guess what happens? Sometimes the radio is fried. Usually they are fine to drive. All I am saying is don’t get all worked more than is warrented.

  • sambo

    i thought with previous stories all over the net the solar storm was supposed to be in 2012. didn’t that just happen? now you’re saying 2020. you’re either prepped or you’re not.we don’t worry about what may happen 7-8 years down the road, we are prepped for what might happen this week.
    just for giggles and to see where you’re at prepwise-on a weekend or threeday holiday- have your family get up for the day right when it is just getting dark for the night. have them eat their meals in the dark, boil water to bathe, wash dishes,wash clothes, clean the house, walk the dogs in the dark, clean the guns, check ammo supplies, food supplies etc. this is a fast test to see eveeryones capabilities and how they would deal with a blackout situation. this test is easier if you turn off the water heater, heat and lights circuit breakers to keep everyone honest and they all are forced to take part in the test.


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