posted on Apr, 30 2009 @ 05:21 PM
Kappenman also points out that when the transformers blow, they can’t be fixed in the field. They often can’t be fixed at all. Right now there’s
a one- to three-year lag time between placing an order and getting a new one.
According to Kappenman, there’s an as-yet-untested plan for inserting ground resistors into the power grid. It makes the handling a little more
complicated, but apparently isn’t anything the operators can’t handle. I’m not sure he’d say these could be in place by 2012, as it’s
difficult to establish standards, and utilities are generally regulated on a state-by-state basis. You’d have quite a legal thicket. But it still
might be possible to get some measure of protection in by the next solar climax.
Wired.com: Why can’t we just shut down the grid when we see a storm coming, and start it up again afterwards?
Joseph: Power grid operators now rely on one satellite called ACE, which sits about a million miles out from Earth in what’s called the gravity
well, the balancing point between sun and earth. It was designed to run for five years. It’s 11 years old, is losing steam, and there are no plans
to replace it.
ACE provides about 15 to 45 minutes of heads-up to power plant operators if something’s coming in. They can shunt loads, or shut different parts of
the grid. But to just shut the grid off and restart it is a $10 billion proposition, and there is lots of resistance to doing so. Many times these
storms hit at the north pole, and don’t move south far enough to hit us. It’s a difficult call to make, and false alarms really piss people off.
Lots of money is lost and damage incurred. But in Kappenman’s view, and in lots of others, this time burnt could really mean burnt.
Wired.com: Do you live your life differently now?
Joseph: I’ve been following this topic for almost five years. It wasn’t until the report came out that it began to freak me out.
Up until this point, I firmly believed that the possibility of 2012 being catastrophic in some way was worth investigating. The report made it a
little too real. That document can’t be ignored. And it was even written before the THEMIS satellite discovered a gigantic hole in Earth’s
magnetic shield. Ten or twenty times more particles are coming through this crack than expected. And astronomers predict that the way the sun’s
polarity will flip in 2012 will make it point exactly the way we don’t want it to in terms of evading Earth’s magnetic field. It’s an
astonoshingly bad set of coincidences.
Wired.com: If Barack Obama said, “Lets’ prepare,” and there weren’t any bureaucratic hurdles, could we still be ready in time?
Joseph: I believe so. I’d ask the President to slipstream behind stimulus package funds already appropriated for smart grids, which are supposed to
improve grid efficiency and help transfer high energies at peak times. There’s a framework there. Working within that, you could carve out some
money for the ground resistors program, if those tests work, and have the initial momentum for cutting through the red tape. It’d be a place to
So thats about it, sorry about the poor layout and whatnot, I'm pretty crappy with computers, but yeah just read this and thought others might be
interested in it.