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Solar EMP: The threat

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Solar EMP: The threat)

A.  NASA Plans for Large Scale Failure, Power Grid is “Particularly Vulnerable to Bad Space Weather”
7 June 2010, SHTFPlan.com, by Mac Slavo
Pasted from: https://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/nasa-plans-for-large-scale-failure-power-grid-is-particularly-vulnerable-to-bad-space-weather_06072010

empthreat sunFor many it’s either tin foil conspiracy theory or an action packed Hollywood Armageddon flick. For the National Aeronautics and Space Administration it’s a serious threat, with the potential to wipe out the technologically driven lives we’ve become so used to.

Our sun is approaching a period of high turbulence, referred to as the solar maximum, with many scientists suggesting a peak in activity around 2013. The cycle occurs every 11 years, and the next time around it is predicted to be one of the weakest in decades. However, some contrary opinions hold that the next solar maximum may be stronger than we expect, citing a 26,000 year galactic alignment cycle, scheduled to occur on or around 2012, eerily coinciding with the end of the Mayan calendar.

One organization that isn’t taking any chances is NASA. As the sun begins to awaken, scientists are keeping a close eye on space weather:

“The sun is waking up from a deep slumber, and in the next few years we expect to see much higher levels of solar activity. At the same time, our technological society has developed an unprecedented sensitivity to solar storms. The intersection of these two issues is what we’re getting together to discuss.”

The National Academy of Sciences framed the problem two years ago in a landmark report entitled “Severe Space Weather Events Societal and Economic Impacts.” It noted how people of the 21st-century rely on high-tech systems for the basics of daily life. Smart power grids, GPS navigation, air travel, financial services and emergency radio communications can all be knocked out by intense solar activity. A century-class solar storm, the Academy warned, could cause twenty times more economic damage than Hurricane Katrina.

A 132-page NASA funded report titled Severe Space Weather Events Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts, suggests that the right magnitude storm could be devastating:

The problem begins with the electric power grid. “Electric power is modern society’s cornerstone technology on which virtually all other infrastructures and services depend,” the report notes. Yet it is particularly vulnerable to bad space weather. Ground currents induced during geomagnetic storms can actually melt the copper windings of transformers at the heart of many power distribution systems. Sprawling power lines act like antennas, picking up the currents and spreading the problem over a wide area. The most famous geomagnetic power outage happened during a space storm in March 1989 when six million people in Quebec lost power for 9 hours.

According to the report, power grids may be more vulnerable than ever. The problem is interconnectedness. In recent years, utilities have joined grids together to allow long-distance transmission of low-cost power to areas of sudden demand. On a hot summer day in California, for instance, people in Los Angeles might be running their air conditioners on power routed from Oregon. It makes economic sense, but not necessarily geomagnetic sense. Interconnectedness makes the system susceptible to wide-ranging “cascade failures.”

To estimate the scale of such a failure, report co-author John Kappenmann of the Metatech Corporation looked at the great geomagnetic storm of May 1921, which produced ground currents as much as ten times stronger than the 1989 Quebec storm, and modeled its effect on the modern power grid. He found more than 350 transformers at risk of permanent damage and 130 million people without power. The loss of electricity would ripple across the social infrastructure with “water distribution affected within several hours; perishable foods and medications lost in 12-24 hours; loss of heating/air conditioning, sewage disposal, phone service, fuel re-supply and so on.”

“The concept of interdependency,” the report notes, “is evident in the unavailability of water due to long-term outage of electric power–and the inability to restart an electric generator without water on site.”

empthreat power sys

What if the May 1921 superstorm occurred today? A US map of vulnerable transformers with areas of probable system collapse encircled.

The potential for major disruptions to our lives and our modern day just-in-time delivery systems could lead to total chaos in affected areas:

“A contemporary repetition of the Carrington Event would cause extensive social and economic disruptions,” the report warns. Power outages would be accompanied by radio blackouts and satellite malfunctions; telecommunications, GPS navigation, banking and finance, and transportation would all be affected. Some problems would correct themselves with the fading of the storm: radio and GPS transmissions could come back online fairly quickly. Other problems would be lasting: a burnt-out multi-ton transformer, for instance, can take weeks or months to repair. The total economic impact in the first year alone could reach $2 trillion, some 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina or, to use a timelier example, a few TARPs.

Had the report(s) come from a random SHTF Planning and Preparedness site, we could understand skepticism from the general public. But, since the warnings are coming from NASA, we suggest that citizens interested in preserving their well being, safety and security take note.

While the Quebec incident was a short-term, nine hour down-grid scenario, the US power grid is very much susceptible to a cascading, domino effect across our electrical infrastructures. As suggested by NASA, this would not be limited to your inability to watch television or turn on the lights, but could be much more widespread, affecting critical utility and transportation systems that deliver our food and fuel.
It is quite reasonable to suggest that any significant adverse solar weather event could lead to mass chaos across the entire country as people scramble to acquire necessities like food, water, medicine and secure shelter.

And if the response from our federal, state and local government officials is anything like Hurricane Katrina or the BP oil spill, an event of such magnitude may take weeks, perhaps months to mitigate.

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B.  9 Electric Power Grid Substations Will Bring It All Down
17 March 2014, ModernSurvivalBlog.com, by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/systemic-risk/9-electric-power-grid-substations-will-bring-it-all-down/

empthreat usa

Attackers could bring down the entire power grid of the United States in just a few moves, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
Federal analysis says sabotage of just nine key substations is sufficient for a broad power outage from New York to Los Angeles.

The U.S. could suffer a coast-to-coast blackout if saboteurs launch a coordinated attack and knock out just nine of the country’s 55,000 electric-transmission substations on a hot summer day while the systems are under a strained load, according to a previously unreported federal analysis.

The study’s results have been known for months to select people in federal agencies, Congress and the White House, but were reported publicly for the first time Wednesday (MAR-12). The WSJ did not publish a list of the 30 most critical substations identified by the FERC study.

The study by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concluded that coordinated attacks in each of the nation’s three separate electric systems could cause the entire power network to collapse, people familiar with the research said.

Electric substations are critical to the functionality of the electric grid. Their transformers boost the voltage to very high levels which enables efficient transmission across long distances. The levels are then brought back down to usable levels by similar transformers. On a hot summer day, with the grid operating at high capacity, FERC found that taking out the right amount of substations could lead to a national blackout lasting months.

One particularly troubling memo reviewed by the Journal described a scenario in which a highly-coordinated but relatively small scale attack could send the country into a long-term literal dark age. “Destroy nine interconnection substations and a transformer manufacturer and the entire United States grid would be down for at least 18 months, probably longer,” the memo said.

Informational Source: The Wall Street Journal
See at: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304020104579433670284061220
The fact that the mainstream media is reporting this, is itself ‘telling’.

If we were to experience an event as described here, tens of millions would perish in today’s modern ‘dependent’ society. Breaking out of our normalcy bias and preparing ones-self for such a catastrophe would be life altering, with a tremendous dedication of time and resources to adapt a fundamental change to how and where we live our lives.

tv news3See Fox news video story at:
http://foxnewsinsider.com/2014/03/13/rpt-small-scale-attack-us-power-grid-could-cause-nationwide-blackout

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Waves of Refugees, Part 2 of 2

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Waves of Refugees, Part 2 of 2)
Continued from: Waves of Refugees, Part 1 of 2

E.   Four Waves of Food and Shelter Seekers
23 Aug 2012, Code Green Prep, by David Spero
Pasted from: http://codegreenprep.com/2012/08/four-waves-of-food-and-shelter-seekers/

refugee2 crowd1

Shortly after some type of disaster that disrupts the normal flow of food and energy into your nearby towns, people will be forced to leave their residences and fan out into the countryside, foraging for food (and subsequently shelter too). That is obvious – if there is no food in the town/city, people can either stay where they are and die of thirst or starvation, or they can pro-actively start looking for food.

People will initially look for food on one of two different levels.
The first level is ‘looking for food nearby and returning back to one’s normal home to eat it and continue living’.
The second level is ‘abandoning one’s former residence and moving, as a refugee, towards wherever the possibility of ongoing survival may be greatest’.
A third and fourth type of food seeking will develop later into a crisis.

It is helpful to understand the differing types of contacts you’ll have, because each poses different challenges, problems, threats, and even opportunities, calling for different responses on your part.

And while we consider our four different waves to be more or less chronologically sequential, there will be some overlaps, with some people representing some waves either earlier than most others, or later than most others.

The First Wave

refugee2 hoarde march[The waves of refugees after TEOTWAWKI will be both heart-rending and dangerous.]

The first wave will start shortly after the social disruption occurs, initially as a trickle, and then successively greater and greater as more and more people run out of food and come to realize that the government won’t magically solve the problem that occurred.

It will only take a week or two before the first type of food-seeking necessarily ends, due to people running out of gas for their vehicles, and being reduced instead to only traveling and foraging as far as they can walk or bicycle (although, on flat terrain, fitter people could fairly easily cycle up to 50 miles out and then 50 miles back home again).

We predict that people in this ‘first wave’ won’t be very threatening, because they will be more in a hurry to cover as much ground as possible to find as much easy food as possible, rather than becoming fixated on specific potential targets. Plus, the ‘kill or be killed’ reality of tough survival won’t yet have fully penetrated, and the region will have patches of remaining lawfulness alongside areas of growing anarchy.

Furthermore, these people are primarily seeking food only, not shelter. They’ve not yet accepted that their city residences have become unviable and need to be abandoned.

Your tactic to resist problems from the first wave of food/shelter seekers will be to maintain a low profile, so most of such people pass you by, and to positively respond to people who do come visiting, encouraging them to go find easier targets/food sources elsewhere.

Of course, the further you are from the nearby towns and cities, the fewer the number of people who might stumble upon you. But you’ll never be 100% guaranteed to be safely far from such itinerant scavengers. Fortunately the danger they pose to your retreat at this early stage is low, so while your location choice will ideally not be right next to a freeway exit, a mere 10 miles from the city center, you don’t need to keep yourself hundreds of miles away from any and all population concentrations.

The Second Wave
As the first wave ends and is replaced by the second wave, people’s attitudes will be hardening, because their ability to travel far and wide is massively reduced. They have probably used up most of their emergency food stores, and now, limited primarily by their ability to walk, any source of food becomes one they must take full advantage of. They can no longer afford the luxury of leaving empty-handed, and their lack of mobility now reduces the number of places they can travel to in search of food. They have to make the best of every possible opportunity.

The grim reality of the ‘eat or be eaten’ concept will also be one which the survivors can no longer ignore.

refugee2 crowd2
If these people come across your retreat, they are likely to be a stronger and more determined adversary than people in the first wave (and people in the second wave could well be the same people who visited more peaceably in the first wave, too).

Fortunately, most of these people in the second wave will still be nomadic and itinerant. They’ll be traveling in the hope of finding a Shangri-La somewhere that is full of food, energy, and welcoming people keen to help them, and probably won’t yet be in the ‘looking for anywhere to settle’ mode that will come later. They might hope for overnight shelter, but they’re not yet looking for a place to settle – or, if they are, they’re probably not yet realistic enough to appreciate the value of your retreat.

People will start abandoning their homes anytime after only a very few days of the crisis commencing and once they start to accept that no magic solutions are forthcoming. This won’t only be due to the lack of food and lack of any future food supply, but may also be due to lack of water, lack of plumbing, and lack of energy in general. A high-rise apartment with no water, no working elevators, and no lights or heating/cooling will quickly become uninhabitable, food or not.

The second wave will probably diminish after three or so weeks, because by that point, people will have either left the city, or died, or created some sort of semi-stable ongoing basis of existence in the city.

Your strategy during this exodus stage is to be located somewhere reasonably far from the main routes people are likely to travel along. It is as important that you are off the likely refugee routes, whether you are 1 mile or 100 miles from the major population centers, because people will potentially be traveling long distances in their search for somewhere better to live.

People may fan out slightly from the main routes as they search for food en route, but they will generally follow the major arterial routes.

Major routes will tend to be well maintained highways, and generally we expect people will move to the coasts and south, rather than inland and to the north. People will, either by reason or instinct, seek out warm climates and water/ocean. The warm climate reduces their dependency on shelter and energy, and the ocean has the appeal of ‘free fish’ and also some type of instinctive deep-seated lure.

The Third Wave
The third wave will be refugees, the same as the second wave, but this time it will be people looking for somewhere to settle.

These will be people who are becoming more realistic in their expectations, and now rather than mindlessly going anywhere in the hope of finding (nonexistent) salvation, they are now looking for somewhere they can settle and survive for the medium or longer term.

refugee2 hoarde camp

Your appeal to these people is not just the food you have stored, but also your retreat as a whole, the under-way food cultivation, the energy creating resources you have, and everything else you have done to prepare yourselves for this future.

1) Some of these people will be seeking short-term easy solutions. They’ll want to rob you of your food, your shelter, and everything else you have. They have no concern for sustainability, they want to live for the moment, and when they’ve exhausted everything you have, they’ll move on to somewhere else.
2) Others of these people will be more realistic, but they’ll still want to displace you from your property and take it over.
3) There will also be a very few people who will be fair and honest and decent, and who will offer to work their way for and with you. They’ll offer their labor and their skills, in return for your shelter and assistance – probably as a ‘package deal’ for themselves and their other family members.
It would be good if you had a way of responding positively to such people, because they may prove to be valuable additions to your small community.

The Fourth Wave
The fourth wave is very different from the other three. It is longer lasting and more potentially impactful on your retreat and community.
Due to the importance of this fourth wave, we have devoted a separate article to it – below.

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F.  Preparing for the Fourth – and Deadliest – Wave of Refugees, Bandits, and other Problem Groups
Code Green Prep, by David Spero
Pasted from: http://codegreenprep.com/2012/08/preparing-for-the-fourth-and-deadliest-wave-of-refugees-bandits-and-other-problem-groups/

refugee2 horseman

A 13th century depiction of the red – second – horse and rider of the Apocalypse.
The biblical prophecy of the four horsemen is eerily similar to how we see the four waves of refugees after TEOTWAWKI.

No-one really knows what to expect after TSHTF in an extended Level 2 or 3 situation, but it seems universally agreed that the starving masses will be forced to flee their city dwellings and do whatever it takes to survive, wherever they can find the opportunity and ability to do so.

It is helpful to look at the types of people who will come out from the cities as a series of different waves, each with different characteristics. We’ve discussed the first three waves of refugees in this other article, and the good news is they will be relatively brief in duration and not necessarily ultimately threatening to the wellbeing of your own retreat community – indeed some people in the third wave could well become positive additions to your community.

In this part we wish to instead look at the last of these waves – the fourth wave. And rather like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, this is the most threatening and dangerous wave – not only by its nature, but also because it will be the longest lived of the four waves. (Christians will be impressed at how closely all four waves can be viewed as having characteristics similar to the four horsemen described in Revelations.)

The first two waves were fairly simple and easily understood. In the third wave, we saw how some members were threats but others could be valuable allies. There is a similar dichotomy to the fourth wave, but in a very different sense, and their duality is part of their danger.

Both will be organized groups, and both will probably already have their own shelter and possibly even other food sources. They probably don’t need your shelter, and they may not even need your food and other resources. But, taking advantage of a collapse of law and order, they want to take it simply because they can, and because all around them, other people and groups are acting similarly, just like the looter who takes items from stores in a city riot, even if they are things of no value – they just take them for nihilistic reasons.

Organized Lawless Gangs
The first of these groups will be organized lawless gangs, seeking to dominate and rule their new expanded territory. The might possibly seek ongoing tribute and ‘taxes’ from you in exchange for their ‘protection’.

refugee2 brigand training
Or maybe they’ll be less formal, and will simply be roaming around as an organized and maybe nomadic gang, taking and destroying as they go.

Gangs that seek to impose their own structure and what passes for their version of order may be groups you can negotiate with. But groups who are little more than anarchistic looters will not be people you can negotiate or create win-win outcomes with.

When encountering the former, you need to shift their perception of you from being a one-way source of goodies they can seize from you, to instead being a two-way trading source and resource they can benefit from. Maybe you can help them maintain some of their equipment. Maybe you have medical resources. Maybe you can trade with them – exchanging items they’ve plundered elsewhere and have no use for, and giving them in return food or other things they do need.

When encountering the latter, you are best advised to indicate to them that you are not an easy target, and any attempt to attack you would seriously weaken or destroy their own force, while leaving you relatively unharmed. With most of the rest of the entire continent lying helpless at their feet, encourage them to go after easier targets.

This encouragement is best done in a ‘face saving’ manner. If you challenge the gang leader’s authority, and the overall ‘machismo’ of the gang itself, they may have no social choice but to fight it out with you – and from their perspective, the lives of their junior gang members probably has much less value to the gang leaders than do the lives of your family and fellow community members to you.

We’re From the ‘Government’ and We’re Here to ‘Help’ You
The second of these groups may be more dangerous. They will claim to be semi-official government groups, seeking to impose their definition of emergency martial law on the region they have assumed control of.

Sometimes their intentions may be honorable and well-meaning (even if dysfunctional and dangerous to you in the process), other times they may be as corrupt and despotic as the outlaw gangs, but cleverly seeking to wrap up their dictatorial actions with an ill deserved veneer of assumed legality.

Unfortunately, whether honorable or not, it is almost a certainty that these self-appointed groups of enforcers will be primarily tasked with taking stuff from you – either to keep for themselves, or to give to the unprepared other people in the region who have empowered these people to act for their benefit.

refugee2 militia

They may attempt to claim special emergency powers that suspend all your normal legal protections and constitutionally guaranteed rights, and if they have been sufficiently clever and sophisticated, they’ll have compliant judges ready to issue court orders authorizing things that should never be authorized.

If you don’t like it, they’ll say, you can go appeal, all the way to the US Supreme Court if you wish – this being in a scenario where the Supreme Court may have ceased to exist, and even if it did, it would be close to impossible for you to go there, and may take years for you to get a case heard and resolved. Meantime, you will be told you must comply with what they tell you is a lawful order to surrender your food, to take in refugees, or in many other ways to destroy the viability of the retreat that you built, for yourself.

Some of the people in this fourth wave will be people you might choose to reluctantly ‘do business’ with. If they are realistic and don’t seek to ‘kill the goose that lays the golden eggs’ and understand that only if your are prosperous can they take a levy or share of your prosperity, then all you’ve done is substituted one form of previous law, order, and taxation for another. And whether the people imposing it on you are bona fide government officials, lawless gangsters, or ‘pretend’ government officials, the net result is the same, and you simply have to matter-of-factly strike the best win-win deal you can.

But if they ask too much, and leave you with too little, you have some real problems to face.

Even a True Democratic Elected Government May Abrogate Your Rights
In particular, you know that even in the ‘best’ of our 50 states, the massive majority of the population is not nearly as well prepared as you are. In the normal world, they might be wealthier than you and have more possessions, a fancier house, and who knows what else, but in the post-crisis world of a Level 2 or 3 event, their wealth and possessions become meaningless while yours become invaluable.

Any sort of democratic majority based government, especially one raised on the notion that the ‘wealthy’ are obliged to support the ‘poor’, and doubly especially where the lawmakers themselves are not prepared and are faced with their own pressing life or death challenges, won’t hesitate to urgently pass any needed laws to compel you to give everything you have to them.

This may well be unconstitutional and unlawful and illegal. But who are you going to complain to, when the local mayor, the local sheriff, and the local judge all turn up on your doorstep together, themselves all starving, and demanding by their joint powers that you give them all your food?

We don’t have easy answers to offer you about these ‘fourth wave’ attackers. But we can tell you that the fourth wave will be an ongoing thorn in your side, and you may find it increasingly difficult to tell between the ‘lawless gang’ fourth wave members and the ‘lawful posse’ fourth wave members.

Hiding from Fourth Wave Threats
A continuation of the article from above: http://codegreenprep.com/2012/08/preparing-for-the-fourth-and-deadliest-wave-of-refugees-bandits-and-other-problem-groups/

Many preppers feel that an important part of their overall defensive strategy is to keep as low a profile as possible; to obscure the existence of their retreat, so as to avoid being noticed – both before and after the onset of some type of societal collapse.

Obscuring yourself prior to social collapse is getting harder and harder with every passing year. The ‘information society’ is finding out more and more about us, and with the increasing tendency of government drones, spotting planes, and even satellites to survey vast areas of countryside, and to create extremely detailed ‘GIS’ databases of all the land and structures in a region, your retreat structure will surely be noticed and if not officially registered, sooner or later will cause the authorities to respond.

If you have an unauthorized structure that has not been permitted and which is not compliant with applicable zoning and health and other regulations and restrictions, you risk having it seized and destroyed. You also risk civil and possibly criminal penalties, and being labeled as another crazy group of survivalist/supremacists. You can imagine the headlines now – ‘Anti-government supremacists arrested, large weapons cache found on site’ and so on and so forth. Remember that what we consider prudent, and what is indeed truly lawful, can – and will – be portrayed as evidence of crazy extremism by the news media and the authorities.

refugee2 family prep

Because one of the fourth wave groups you may encounter will be some form of revived local government, it is inevitable that the ‘footprints’ you have created in developing your retreat will be uncovered. Local health department approvals for your septic system. Utility records for electricity or internet or cable services. And so on and so on. Indeed, one of the weaknesses of the generally sensible strategy of locating in an area with low population density is that you become more obvious by your presence than you would in a denser region.

You may delay your discovery, but you will not prevent it. You need to have a more viable plan to ensure the safety and security of your retreat – fortunately, we have some suggestions on this point to share.

Becoming Part of the Solution, Not Part of the Problem
Your key strategy is to position yourself, your retreat, and your community, so it can create ‘win-win’ relationships with organized ‘fourth wave’ groups.
One of the key things about this fourth wave threat is that it is longer term. Earlier waves of threats can be repulsed or ignored or in some other way worked around, but the fourth wave will be a longer term issue that must be resolved.

A confrontational approach risks failure on your part. And any type of exchange of hostilities can be much more damaging to you than to your opponents. Your opponents probably have either greater manpower to start with, and/or greater ability to recruit new members into their forces. They are willing to accept some risk to their rank and file ‘foot soldiers’.
But you have a finite community of friends, family, and colleagues. You can not dispassionately risk their lives in an encounter. Remember also that with a loss of the sophisticated healthcare facilities we enjoy at present, even minor wounds become life threatening, and even if the wounds can be treated and resolved, they risk depleting your precious limited supplies of antibiotics and other medical resources.

There may be times when you must respond to force with force yourself; where the potential outcome associated with giving in to a fourth wave group is worse than the potential outcome of repulsing their attack, and in such cases you must be resolute in your defense of your retreat and its community.
But in general, you want to position yourselves so that you can find ways to co-exist on a win-win basis with these fourth wave groups.
How would you do that? Please see our article on becoming part of the solution, rather than part of the problem, for a discussion on strategies to create win-win situations for you and the community you are close to.

Summary
After an initial period of grave social disruption, during which the first, second and third waves of refugees will occur, the rate of change will slow and some periods of semi-stable social arrangements will probably follow.
Invariably, regional leadership organizations will appear, and whether they are ostensibly benevolent or despotic, you need to position yourselves and your community so that it can co-exist on a win-win basis with these other (and possibly stronger) forces around it

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Waves of Refugees, Part 1 of 2

 (Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Waves of Refugees, Part 1 of 2)

 A. Who Are The Zombie Hordes?
September 2, 2013, ModernSurvivalBlog.com by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/security/who-are-the-zombie-hordes/

refuge1 zombie

Some preparedness websites will sometimes refer to ‘Zombies’, ‘Hordes’, or ‘Zombie Hordes’. A question is, what are they talking about? What’s their definition of a Zombie?

Zombies became particularly popular following the hit AMC TV series, “The Walking Dead”, in which the $hit had hit the fan, the country had collapsed and some sort of virus/plague/? would turn those who died into flesh eating mind-numbed Zombies. It became a battle of survival for the living – versus the Zombie hordes.

Due to the subsequent popularity of the term Zombie, many have been using the word in varying context, including the preparedness sites.

When we happen to use it here, it is to represent some wide generalizations…

  • Zombies represent those who have not prepared, and have reached a point of desperation.
  • There will also be those in the same category who have not prepared, but will not become Zombies because they will find a way to adapt and manage to survive. However they will certainly not be a majority of the unprepared.
  • To become a Zombie, it will be the unprepared who will have not had the ability to adapt and survive in a SHTF world. They will reach a point of desperation which will cause one of several things to happen…
  • Some Zombies will wither away, unable to help themselves.
  • Some Zombies will be given some help by the goodwill of others, and will remain reliant on them for their continued survival. Some in this category will be able to provide some services in return, while others will not be so able.
  • Some Zombies will venture out in a non-threatening way, in search of solutions for their survival. Some of them will succeed, and many will not.
  • Some Zombies will venture out in a threatening way, and ‘take’ what they need by force. Some will succeed, and many will not.

So… when we happen to reference the word, Zombie, it could mean any of the above. It is a generalization of those who have not prepared for a SHTF scenario, and what many will become afterwards.

By referencing Zombies or a Zombie horde, it does not mean that we would not help a Zombie. That would depend upon many things… Not all Zombies will be ‘bad’. Some even useful. However, many will be ‘bad’.

The Zombie hordes reference those Zombies who are branching out from their origins, in search of survival. Some of them will be organized, some not. There will be varying sized groups. Some will be essentially harmless, but many will not be. A desperate Zombie could be a very dangerous Zombie.

If TSHTF, there will be many hard choices to be made with regards to Zombies. Some easier than others.
Don’t be a Zombie. Get prepared now, so you won’t turn into one…
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B.  How to Find Your Way out Of the City on Foot during a Crisis
5 June, by Preparing For SHTF
Pasted from:  http://prepforshtf.com/find-city-foot-crisis/#.UjV_KzEo6zY

refuge1 unprepared populace

You may have seen some of the reality shows where people are practicing their bug-out-techniques. Typically, they are bugging out from large urban areas. Why would you need to know how to escape your own city though?

Large metropolitan areas or areas where there are symbolic structures or events happening are targets. There are certain organizations or even governments that are plotting at this very moment on how to create chaos and havoc in American cities.

Urban areas are heavily populated and creating injuries and fatalities is the objective of these organizations. They do not blow up trees and release chemicals and biological agents to harm the wildlife in rural areas, they will attack where the people are, in heavily populated cities.

You May Have To Escape To Save Your Life
Being ready to evacuate is important, you cannot wake up one morning and hear the sirens and simply flee. You need supplies and a plan, and you can neither plan nor gather supplies once disaster strikes.

Humans have the unique ability to plan for tomorrow by gathering information today and then to make a reasonable assumption about what may happen in the future. Start doing threat assessments for your area to give you some idea of what to expect.

You know that large cities are a target and it is just a matter of time. Just a matter of time before one of the hundreds or even thousands of cyber attacks that occur daily against the United Sates is successful. The power grid can go down, planes would be grounded and trains sidelined.

At anytime, canisters of Sarin gas can be carried away from a rogue nation that has it stockpiled. One drop of the gas the size of a pinhead is deadly to humans, so imagine the destruction if just one canister is left on a subway platform somewhere. You will have to flee and you will need to know how to do it to survive the crisis.

Getting Prepared
You know what a bug-out-bag is but just a quick reminder about priorities. To survive you will need shelter, water, fire and food. In addition, you will need the means to collect and purify water and have the knowledge and skills to forage, fish, hunt or trap for food once you have a base camp set up. You have to assume you will not be able to resupply within a 72-hour period so it is important you have the skills and knowledge needed to obtain what you need from your environment.

Travel Routes
Use Internet mapping software that shows terrain features and landmarks, usually this means satellite imagery and there are free programs that provide this. Have at least three routes mapped out, and ensure none of the routes requires that you travel across bridges, through tunnels or use elevated highways. These are ambush points and they may very well be heavily congested to the point of being impassable even on foot.

If walking alone on level terrain, the average adult can expect to walk at about three miles per hour. With a heavy pack and having to backtrack a few times, you will not be able to maintain this pace. It will take time to clear the urban area.

When to Leave
Avoid leaving at night unless your life is in immediate danger. You will stand out more at night and will be a target for looters and other criminal elements. If Martial Law has been enacted, then troops will be out patrolling at night especially if there are quarantined areas. Mingle with the panicked citizens to make your escape in the early morning hours.

Avoid traveling with others unless they are family or trusted friends and in particular avoid anyone that claims to be fleeing but does not have any supplies with them. They may very well be waiting for the right moment to relive you of your supplies.

Move as efficiently as possible to get clear of the urban sprawl, before sheltering. If you must shelter in the city, do not set up any tents or shelters that you can be trapped in if your camp is overrun. Wrap up in a thermal blanket and sleep with your back to a wall with a clear view of the surrounding area.

Carry all personal protection devices on your belt. Do not pack firearms in your pack you should always carry them on your belt. Use bear spray canisters to repel animals and humans not because it is more potent, but because the canisters can spray farther, up to 25 feet in some cases.

Stun guns are another option but they require physical contact, which is something you want to avoid. An alternative is a stun baton that can extend up to 48 inches, this will prevent anyone from getting close enough to grab on to you or your pack.

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C.   What happens after the SHTF, dealing with being a refugee
14 May 2013, IWillGetReady.com, by admin
Pasted from: http://www.iwillgetready.com/what-happens-after-the-shtf-dealing-with-being-a-refugee/

As good preppers we usually think that we will be the lucky ones and we will not be stuck in an urban area when the SHTF. As we all know that is the ideal situation where we will have all of our bug out bags and survival kits to weather any storm, but what happens if you are visiting family or friends that are not preppers? Or if you are on vacation where you flew into the area? Would you have your emergency supplies with you, most likely not as most of that stuff is no longer allowed on an airplane.

So enter into an urban survivalist mode. This is something that is not widely discussed, and should be. Let’s pretend that you are in a major city (like Boston) and something happens and you are no longer able to get out of the area the way you can into it. Using this scenario you just found yourself a refugee, meaning you are pretty much homeless with little cash on hand, what do you do to protect your loved ones and make sure that you stay safe?

For the sake of this blog, cell phones are up and down because so many people are overloading the lines, the local law enforcement are now too busy to be of much assistance to you or anyone else that was not involved directly when the SHTF.

Do you have your everyday carry items on you? This right here will determine how you act. If you do have it then you are moving in the right direction. If you do not have your everyday carry items, you are at a disadvantage as you will have to require those items or try to make do without.

Ask yourself these basic questions:
> Do you have a place to go?
> Would you enter a shelter?
> Would you find a shelter that is off the beaten path?

We all know what happens when we enter a shelter; that is why we say to never go to a shelter if at all possible. Just remember Katrina shelters and what went on in them. In most situations upon entering a shelter they will search your bags and confiscate most of your survival tools, food, and other useful supplies. So what do you do? Do you hid your kit somewhere and hope it survives the night and has not grown legs and walked away by the time you go back to get it?

If you seek out shelter that is secluded and off the beaten path, can anyone see, or find you? You might not want others to be able to find you as they could be gang members, criminals, and your pissed off refugee who has no survival skills and gear.

Mass people will be trying to leave the area so crowd control is something to watch out for. With all the people trying to go the same way people will become heated, angry, tried, scared, and can lash out at others. So do you follow the mob or do you look for another way? Just remember that natural disasters have taught us many things if you paid attention, just look at news footage of the highways where all the cars are stopped and you can’t move your car for hours. Would you leave your car like half of the others, and start walking?

We all know that the basic items like water and food will be the first things to go when something goes down. Or you get the military trying to round everyone up and move them to an area they set up (shelter).

A thing not to forget is that is you end up in one of these scenarios, you will become sleep deprived. This is something that is often overlooked and needs to be reminded, without sleep your ability to process your situation and your decision making ability will become diminished leading to you making bad choices for your family’s survival.
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refuge1 bug outD.  The Top 4 Reasons Why You’re Not Going to Survive Bugging Out to the Woods
Ready4ItAll.org,
Pasted from: http://ready4itall.org/the-top-4-reasons-why-youre-not-going-to-survive-bugging-out-to-the-woods/

In today’s post we’re going to go over a very common and highly flawed bugout plan that many preppers have apparently chosen as their first response for most SHTF scenarios. We’re going to dissect the fundamental flaws with this plan and give some viable alternatives to bugging out to the woods.

There are many reasons why bugging out just in general is probably the worst idea you can have in a real-life SHTF scenario. We went into detail about this topic in THIS article. However, it seems that not only are a lot of preppers insisting on bugging out for practically any disaster scenario, but that many of them are planning on grouping up like some para-military pack of wannabe Rambos and “living off the land” and shooting anything and anyone that moves.

The other day on Facebook there was a heated discussion in one of the larger prepper groups about the best way to train “firing teams” to be ready for the eventual wilderness bugout that apparently is right around the corner.

Guys….that’s not prepping. That’s schizophrenia, or at best, extremism. Honestly, if you spend all day arguing on Facebook about the best way to place “troops” around your “bugout base camp” to “stalk and take out the sheeple coming in to YOUR woods” you have problems. Please go talk to a professional.

What I found more interesting about this conversation wasn’t the whole para-military thing. I don’t think we’re ever going to get rid of the unstable, wannabe Rambos from the prepper community, but what was really interesting was that practically everyone commenting on this debate apparently had the same plan to bug out to the woods during a SHTF scenario.

So today, we’re going to go over 4 reasons as to why bugging out to the woods is a REALLY bad idea, why you’re probably not going to survive out there if that’s what you’re planning to do and some alternatives to think about when planning a bug out.

_1. Whose land do you think you’re going to bug out to?
Although there are a lot of public and state-owned forests, nature preserves and other non-private lands out there you could theoretically bug out to, it’s not like these areas are just around the corner for everyone. For most people, it’s going to take some time to get out there, and since you’re not the only one with this plan. It’s very likely you won’t be the first ones out there. Now, you’ve got to hope that everyone else that got there first is either going to welcome you with open arms, not see you, or not shoot you on sight and take your supplies. Remember, there are people on Facebook literally right now that are not only planning on doing exactly that, but DEBATING THE BEST WAY TO DO IT.

Planning on bugging out to that nice patch of woods in the farmlands outside of town? Well, those farmers have been keeping people off their property a lot longer than you’ve been trespassing. They’re more self-reliant that you are, they know the land better than you do and they’re probably a lot better armed. Just because the S has hit the fan, doesn’t mean they’re not going to defend their land.

_ 2. There are VERY few people who have the skills to survive in the wild
This isn’t an attack on anyone that’s spent time working on their bushcraft and wilderness survival skills. These are 2 very important skills that all preppers should learn and practice. That being said, there’s a big difference between surviving in the woods, and surviving in the woods during a SHTF scenario. In a real SHTF scenario, rule of law is likely to be gone. We’ve already shown there are people who have no qualms with shooting people on site, just for their resources and to keep them out of “their” A.O.

If you’ve got a family, and for whatever bonehead reason you’ve drug them out into the middle of the woods to bug out after the S has hit the fan, you’re going to have some real problems. Are you going to be teaching little 4 year-old Jimmy advanced military evasion and survival techniques? How are you going to make sure little 2 year old Sally is going to stay silent for the next couple weeks to avoid the hundreds of confused, hungry, angry and hostile people out there? We could give a hundred examples like this, but in the end the answer is “you’re not”. Even if you’re by yourself, surviving in an area without immediate survival resources AND evading hostiles isn’t something that is usually taught on Man vs. Wild or in your average bushcraft course.

_3. It seems like EVERYONE is planning heading to the hills when SHTF. What makes you so special?
As we mentioned earlier, there are a great many preppers whose SHTF bugout plans involved heading out to the woods to survive. If a real SHTF scenario were to happen, not only will these people be headed out there, but after a day or two without food, even non-preppers are going to start thinking about hunting, fishing and gathering in the woods. Before long, you’re going to see a massive population shift from the cities to the country and forests.

This will mean a few things will happen:

  • The roads leading to the rural and wooded areas are going to be come congested, and probably impassable.
  • The roads leading to the rural and wooded areas are going to be a prime spot for anyone that’s thinking about taking supplies from others by force.
  • There will be intense competition for the limited amount of resources in these areas, likely causing more violence there than in the cities everyone is fleeing from in the first place.
  • Local land owners will very likely be shooting trespassers on sight.

_4. You’re not giving animals nearly enough credit …and humans are greedy.
Despite what a lot of people may believe, animals aren’t stupid. They’ve been surviving without guns, MREs or solar panels a lot longer than we have. Their main instincts revolve around protection and food procurement. They don’t just stand out in the woods waiting for humans to come kill them despite what Elmer Fudd might think.

If you don’t have a lot of experience hunting then you probably don’t know this, but towards the end of the hunting seasons, it becomes a lot harder to find game on public hunting grounds. The reason is simple. Animals have been hearing gunshots, seeing and smelling humans and generally fleeing for their lives for a couple months or more. There is a cycle among game animals. Towards the tail end of the season, the animals are leaving these areas to go to less populated areas where there are fewer humans. Several months after the hunting season is over, they start coming back because the humans have left. In a SHTF scenario, the same thing is going to happen. The animals will leave when more humans enter the forests and start hunting them. In fact, if everyone flees the cities, that’s exactly where the animals are likely to go!

Additionally, humans are greedy. There’s a reason why conservation agencies exist. It’s to keep us from destroying entire populations of animals. If you stick 100+ “hunters” in an area with only enough game to support 10 of them, all the game will disappear, either by the animals fleeing or they’ve all been taken. The same is true with fishing. If a pond gets over-fished, there are no more fish to mate and restock it naturally.

What about water? Sure, there’s lots of natural ways to procure water in the wild. There’s plenty of water out there for a few people… but not hundreds. Again, if there’s only a handful of streams or rivers to get water from, and EVERYONE wants water from there, 2 things are likely to happen. The water will be gone, or someone’s going to start thinking about defending “their” water source by force. Don’t think it will happen? Read some history books… WARS have been started over water rights.

In a nutshell, all those resources you thought were going to be in abundance out in the woods are going to dry up extremely quickly, likely before you even get there. At that point, you’re going to be hungry, without a source of food or water, living without a real shelter, exposed to the elements and dealing with a lot of angry and armed people.

Sounds fun huh?
Ok, so now, let’s talk about some alternatives to this highly dangerous and extremely illogical plan. First and foremost, please read THIS article. The term “bugging out” has gotten so much hype in what I’m going to start calling the “vanity-prepper” crowd, (I blame that stupid Doomsday Preppers show) that every new prepper I talk to immediately thinks that having a bugout bag for the BIG SHTF scenario and being able to live off the land is the most important thing they need to worry about right now. They spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on weapons and gear and then within a couple months they get burned out of prepping altogether and sell stuff to me for cheap on craigslist. J

Having a bugout plan IS important. That is a given. If a hurricane is coming that is a definite bugout situation. If your house is in the path of a wildfire, that is a bugout situation. Tornados, flooding… I think you see the pattern here. These are REAL bugout scenarios, and yes you should have a bugout bag for every family member ready to go just for these types of situations. However, more importantly, you need to have a bugout PLAN. We will be going more into detail about preparing a detailed bugout plan and bugout bag in a future article, but for now, you NEED to have somewhere you can go if your residence becomes unsafe like a family members home or even a hotel.

Now, I know what some people are thinking “…but what about SHTF?….when the SHTF hits…when the looters come…when the pandemic hits…when the mutant biker gangs take over…..blah blah blah”

STOP
You’re arguing a situation that has a 0.00000001% chance of ever actually happening. Yes, there is a chance that someday we may face one of the Hollywood disasters, but why is THAT what you’re so worried about right now? Do you have contingency plans for all the natural disasters that could hit your area? What would you do if you lost your job right now? How much food and water do you have stockpiled? What are you planning on doing about hyper-inflation? Heck, do you even have jumper cables in your car?!

You see, these (and many others) are REAL disasters that you WILL face in the coming days. So, with that being said, maybe instead of arguing with someone on Facebook about “the best way to set up firing teams”, … make a real bug out plan, practice it, document it, prepare for it… and most importantly, try to keep some perspective and reality in your preps and your plans. The rest of the world already thinks we’re nut-jobs; we don’t need to prove them right.

refuge1 rapid mass evacuationPeople fleeing Houston preceding Hurricane Rita

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Continued on Thursday, 27 March 2014, in: Waves of Refugees, Part 2 of 2.
Contents:
E.   Four Waves of Food and Shelter Seekers
F.  Preparing for the Fourth – and Deadliest – Wave of Refugees, Bandits, and other Problem Groups
G. Taking over: The governments proactive attempt to remain in control:

 

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Gettin’ by when supplies tighten

(Survival Manual/ 2. Social Issues/ Gettin’ by when supplies tighten)

A.  Report: Farmers Hoarding Food To Protect Against Currency Collapse
29 Apr 2013, SHTFPlan.com, by Mac Slavo
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/report-farmers-hoarding-food-to-protect-against-currency-collapse_04292013
silo1

Which asset is more secure than money in the bank?
The answer is simple.
It’s the asset that will still have value when the money or the bank collapse.

All over the world, when people have been faced with the prospect of having their savings wiped out or confiscated they have turned to hard assets – physical goods they could hold in their possession and trade if necessary – as protection.

Argentina, a country that is no stranger to economic hard times and hyperinflation, gives us a prime example of what becomes money when the system collapses.

At an inflation rate of 25%, while their currency loses significant purchasing power, Argentines have made a mad rush into gold, silver, and other tangible goods that retain their barterable value.

Like many Greeks, who have headed to the countryside to grow their own food in the midst of complete economic destruction, farmers in Argentina are hoarding the one tangible investment they know will not lose value, no matter what their currency does.

With world food demand on the rise, growers in the Pampas grain belt are filling their silos with soy rather than converting their crops into pesos, a currency that hit a new all-time low in informal trade this week.

Considering Argentina’s high inflation, clocked at about 25 percent by private economists, “money in the bank” is not as secure as storing soybeans next to their fields, many say.
“We are going to hang onto our soy. One can see higher prices ahead,” said Jose Plazibat, a partner with the firm of Bandurria and Plazibat Brothers, which farms more than 3,000 hectares near the town of Chacabuco in Buenos Aires province.

With their currency in meltdown and food demand around the world rising, these farmers understand where real value comes from.
1.  Their food can’t be lost in the stock market.
2.  It’s intrinsic worth cannot be vaporized in a banking collapse.
3. And they do not need to wait for anyone to deliver it to them, as they hold it in their personal possession.

Hoarding commodities – not the paper receipts that represent your ownership, but the actual physical good – is a powerful diversification strategy, and one that is a natural response to times of uncertainty and government run amok:

Argentina is going through the classic stages of economic collapse.

The government seized all pensions. They are destroying everything that gives the people incentive to be a society that emerges from the cooperation of everyone.

When government turns against its own people, even as the USA is currently doing, you end up with deflation insofar as the economy collapses and wages are not available, while hoarding emerges as does barter.
……….source: Martin Armstrong

This strategy of buying commodities at lower prices today to consume at higher prices tomorrow can be implemented on a micro-economic personal scale in your own home. Doing so, especially with health and nutrition considerations, will not only provide you with long-term cost savings as global currencies continue to lose purchasing power, but insulate you against the possibility of a rush for food in the event of an emergency or widespread economic instability.

Whether you choose to stock your long-term food pantry by going to a grocery store, grow your own food in your traditional or aquaponics garden, learn to preserve it yourself, or prefer to do your own food storage packing, the key is to develop a plan and implement it now.

The US dollar isn’t getting any stronger over the next 10 years.
But the rice, beans, wheat, and pasta you stockpile will still have the same exact intrinsic value a decade from now as they do today.

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B.  Bartering Supplies That You Haven’t Thought Of; And Some You Have!
29 Apr 2013, American Preppers Network, by Jalapeno Gal77
Pasted from: http://americanpreppersnetwork.com/2013/04/bartering-supplies-that-you-havent-thought-of-and-some-you-have.html
gettin by tradeWhen I think of bartering supplies my mind automatically goes to a SHTF scenario.  There are a lot of lists out there for such scenes, but ultimately what you choose to barter is up to you.  Many people stock things like silver, gold, cigarettes or alcohol or coffee.  While these can be great items, they are also expensive.

I will admit, stocking up on cigarettes, coffee and alcohol do go against my health and religious beliefs, but it doesn’t stop me from storing it.  I would much rather barter an item that I will never use or need, than to barter precious items I do need.  In the end, what you decide to spend money on is your choice.

 Below is a list of items I feel would make good barter items if, and only if, I have enough extra to get away with it:
• 
Salt:  We store a LOT of salt.  It has multiple purposes and back in the day, people actually used salt as currency because it was considered such a high trade value and hard to find.  Salt can/was used to preserve food and it helps to eliminate the season availability of certain foods and allowed long distance travel.
• Toilet paper:  Take the cardboard out and put them in a large vacuum sealed bag storage bag.
• Kitty litter or dehydrated lime for sanitation or easy clean up of human waste in buckets.  Can you imagine what someone would trade for this?
• Matches/lighters
• Bleach
• Sugar
• Feminine supplies
• Flu/Cold Medicine
• Allergy Medicine
• Antibiotics/ Pain killers / fever reducer
• Bar Soap
• Seeds
• Toothpaste/toothbrushes
• First aid bandages
• Hydrogen peroxide (You could trade this by the cup or half cup.)
• We store small bottles of alcohol for trade.  We also have bigger bottles for refills if they want to bring it back for more.
• Coffee: We vacuum seal coffee in smaller portions with 1-2 coffee filters in each bag of coffee.  We also have 2 percolators to prepare the coffee if the person has no way to do so.
• Cigarettes: We do not store these but many people use them as barter items.
• Pipe Tobacco: Vacuum seal it to keep it fresh longer
• Spices
• Ramon Noodles: Very cheap and if someone is hungry then this would be good trade value.
• Beans: We stock the 15 bean soup because it comes with a spice packet in the soup.  You could trade these by the bag or by the cup depending on the size family they have or if it’s an individual.
• Razors
• Coats/Warm Clothing: We purchase used coats at goodwill and thrift stores.  All different sizes but especially kids coats.  These can be stored in large vacuum sealed storage bags and hardly take up any room.
• Small candles (or wax , wicks and wick tabs for making candles.)
• Chickens: Chickens produce meat and eggs, both of which people will want.
• Fly tape/mouse traps
• Pesticides
• gel, diapers, formula
• Socks/underwear
• Information on growing food or slaughtering animals.  You could print off some easy instructions and place them in binders.
• Fish hooks, weights, fishing line, bait
• Glow sticks
• Laundry soap powder
• Measuring spoons

These are just a few ideas to help you get started.  Notice, I did not put silver or gold on the list.  While this is a great item to have, I believe that if we are in a grid down situation, not many people are going to barter for something they cannot eat or use to stay alive.  Please don’t misunderstand me, it is alright to have these items for yourself, but for bartering, I just don’t feel it will be helpful in that area.

gettin by battery

[Mr. Larry ideas:
_a) If you develop or buy a 12 volt battery bank (several deep cycle 12 volt batteries) and a couple hundred watts of  PV panels (150-300 watts), solar charger,  inverter, and  a battery charger for AAA and AA rechargeable batteries, you would continue to use your personal electronics during a local disaster or SHTF event.
_b) Additionally, if you stock  an extra 50 to 100  AA and AAA Sanyo Enloop batteries, you would be set to operate a local “rent and recharge” battery service, thereby developing a “for food” customer base during a grid down scenario; it would only take recharging the batteries of maybe a half dozen families batteries to provide a significant portion of your “daily bread” or for the accumulation of other barter/trade items/services.]
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C.  40 Items to Barter in a Post-Collapse World
28 Aug 2012, Backdoor Survival.com, by__
Excerpt pasted from: http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/41-items-to-barter/

There are a lot of different opinions as to what items will be best for barter in a post-collapse world where the underground economy may be the only viable economy for the passing of goods and services.  That said, consider this a starting point as you begin to acquire goods for barter.

In no particular order, consider accumulating some of the following items for barter purposes.  And keep in mind that in a post-collapse world, the items do not necessarily have to be new, but simply serviceable.

  • Water purification supplies including purification tabs and filters, household  bleach.
  • Hand tools including hatchets, saws, machetes and general fix-it tools
  • Fire making supplies, including lighters, matches, flint fire steel
  • Sanitary supplies including toilet paper, feminine products and diapers
  • Disposable razors and razor blades
  • Fuel, any and all kinds (gas, diesel, propane, kerosene)
  • Prescription drugs, painkillers, and antibiotics
  • First aid remedies such as cough syrup, cortisone cream, boil-ese, calamine lotion and topical pain relievers
  • Spirits such as bourbon, rum, gin, and vodka
  • Coffee and tea (instant coffee is okay)
  • Solar battery charger and rechargeable batteries
  • Standard Batteries
  • Reading glasses
  • Paracord
  • Bags, including large garbage bags as well as smaller zip-close bags
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Tie Wraps
  • Heavy plastic sheets and tarps
  • Toiletries including toothpaste, dental floss soaps, shampoo (tip: save those small sized toiletries that are provided by hotels and motels)
  • Condoms
  • Latex or Nitrile gloves in a variety of sizes
  • Hard candy
  • Fishing supplies
  • Knives  of various types including fixed blades, kitchen knives, and box cutters.
  • Condiments and Spices
  • Paperback books on a variety of subjects
  • Tobacco and cigarette rolling supplies
  • Amusements such as playing cards, crossword puzzle books, Sudoku
  • Pencils & paper
  • Pepper spray
  • Garden seeds
  • Flashlights
  • Vinegar  and baking soda to use in DIY cleaning supplies
  • Empty spray bottles and squirt bottles
  • Hand pumps for both air and liquids
  • Mylar blankets and tents
  • Hand warmers
  • Sewing  and mending supplies
  • Knitting  or crochet needles and yarn

One thing you will notice that I have not included firearms or ammo and for good reason.  In a post-collapse society, you might not know your barter partners well and may run the risk that they will use these items against you so that they can steal the rest of you stuff.  One person’s opinion, anyway.

. .
C.  10 Forms of Currency if Paper Money Becomes Useless in Any Crisis.
18 Mar 2013, EmergencyHomesteader.com, by katalystman
Pasted from: http://www.emergencyhomesteader.com/10-forms-of-currency-if-paper-money-becomes-useless-in-any-crisis/

gettin by dollar burns

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gettin by PM & ammo

..gettin by water food.
gettin by seeds medical

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.gettin by liquor light

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gettin  by camping knowledge

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Filed under Survival Manual, __2. Social Issues

Food and water during SHTF

 (Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Food and water during SHTF)                  

RainManPost SHTF Food for thought
13 Sep 2013, TheSurvivalistBlog.net, by M.D. Creekmore
Pasted from: http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/post-shtf-food-for-thought/

This is a guest post by M. Dotson and entry for our non-fiction writing contest.

We are in the post SHTF era, current timeframe, late spring/early summer. Electricity and water are still available and flowing for now. Stores have been picked clean and the population is beginning to get hungry. Most people aren’t working, but looking for food. The inner city population have begun the exodus out of their normal haunts in search of food. Their population is thinning due to the few police and determined resistance from homeowners, but they still present a huge danger. I don’t know how close I am to being right in this, but I’ve been thinking about it for a while now. Pick this scenario apart so we all learn from it.

From your perspective…You and yours have managed to escape the immediate danger. You have bugged in with your food, weapons and knowledge in Suburbia, USA. Your kid and spouse has shown up at your door with their kids and the spouses parents wanting refuge. The kids in-laws cannot stay. You tell them they can stay the night, but they have to move on in the morning.

Next morning the electricity goes out. No problem for now, but how long will that last? You pick up your cell phone to call the problem in to the electric company. Great! They’re working on it, but there are issues everywhere you’re told. It may be a while before service is restored. After breakfast, the in laws of your kid make their teary goodbyes and leave.

Break out the handy-dandy solar cell phone recharger and set it outside in the sun. Check the landline phone and it’s still working. Starting to get warm so let’s get a drink of water… uh oh, no water now. No problem, you break out a jug of water from your stores to quench your thirst.

Curious, you move up and down your street, knocking on doors trying to find out if this water outage is local to you, or the immediate area, or the suburb, or the town. You don’t know all your neighbors, just the ones next door, a few doors down or across the street. Most people have left by now searching for food. Very few people come to answer the door. The few who do don’t know you and demand you leave their property immediately.

Returning to the house you enter a heated argument between the kid and their spouse. It has escalated to your spouse, as well. Why did the in laws get sent away? They have no place to go. That’s why they came here. You didn’t have to do that, there’s plenty of food. You’ve been preparing for years!! Wonderful!

It’s starting to get hot. The AC is off and everyone is cranky and sweating like crazy. Your bodies, used to the wonder of AC, has difficulties adjusting your core temperature and is trying to find balance. You’re hot and the only thing the body knows to do is sweat. AC is also the same thing that drove people inside so they didn’t get to know their neighbors on those warm summer nights. Folks used to sit on their front porch, go for walks or visit friends who had some cool lemonade. AC took care of that.

You have plenty of water, but with all the sweating, it’s going at an alarming rate. The toilets got flushed early in the day and now are not functional other than a container. Lid down, door closed and a towel at the bottom of the bathroom door to keep the smell down. You plan to use the water from the hot water tank to flush once a day. Urinate in the back yard. Girls over there behind the tarp, boys over there by the tree. There’s about 40 gallons of water in the tank. Takes about 3 or 4 gallons to flush the commode so you have ten days or so. Surely the water will be flowing again by then.

You call to find out when the water will be coming back on. You’re told that the electric water pumps will return to service when the electricity comes back on. When will that be? When the lights come on at your house you may get water then. The person hangs up on you angrily. They’re in worse shape than you. They didn’t prepare for this. Their kids are hungry, too, and they are only at work on promises of overtime pay when all this stuff settles down in the next day or two.

Several days go by and still no water or electricity. You have to make plans for the sake of your family. Flushing water from the hot water tank is low. You decide to raid the homes next to you, if the occupants are gone. You don’t consider it stealing, per se. The occupants aren’t going to use it, the only damage you’ll do is to break a window to gain entry and you’ll pay for that in silver or food. By now the water in the tanks is cooled off enough to supplement your drinking water supply. It’s going to rain so everyone is ready with a bar of soap, boys on one side of the house, girls on the other. You set out buckets and pans to catch as much as possible. You use suspended tarps to channel rainwater into anything that will hold water. You get to flush the toilets early today.

‘You gave up calling anyone because no one is manning the phones. The cell phone don’t work now – no service. The only service available to you is the landline and it’s worthless. It’s beginning to smell terrible in the house. The trash is piling up. You don’t want to waste water cleaning out all those empty #10 cans of food. You really don’t want to pile them outside to give away the fact you have food, so you put them in the garage. You have some solar ovens to cook with, but they don’t work so well on cloudy days. So, you make some rocket stoves out of the cans and use cardboard for fuel. Takes care of some of the smell and most of the combustible trash. You have to open windows to let the smoke out.

f&w food1You’re beginning to see activity in your neighborhood. Men are roaming the streets picking over the remains hoping to find some food. They’re kicking in doors in the middle of the night and taking what they can. Your house has been approached several times, but your faithful dog has alerted you every time. You met force with force. You’ve shot at a few and even hit one pretty hard judging by the blood trail you found the next morning. Makes you feel kinda queasy knowing you may have just killed a man, but it was him or you and you were protecting your family.

Late one night you hear your dog howl in pain. Running outside you see men have used a fishing rod and treble hook with a piece of meat. The dog ate the meat, they set the hook and had reeled the animal where they could club him to death. He was going to be several meals, otherwise they would have just used antifreeze or some other poison. You fire several shots to scare the men off.

You wait til morning to bury your friend. While digging the grave a shot rings out and a bullet misses you by mere inches. Retreating to the house, you post your family to have a 360 degree view of the outside of the house and surrounding area. A window is smashed in with a brick and the glass has lacerated your wife pretty badly. She’s bleeding profusely so you have to stitch her up. You break out the first aid kit, clean and dress the wound. You worry about infection. She’s in a great deal of pain and lost a lot of blood so all the self-defense training she has with guns, knives and clubs is pretty much useless for the time being.

More bricks come into the house through the windows. You see a man and open up on him, dropping him in the street. A shot is fired in your direction and ricochets off your homes’ brick siding. You holler out to the assailants that there are children in the house, you have no food and to leave you alone. You’re told to come out with your hands up, get into your vehicle and leave, now. You won’t be harmed.

f&w food2From my perspective….I’m hungry. I’ve been hungry before so used to it. I grew up poor and got mean quick. I was in a gang for a while but they’re mostly gone now. Only a few of us left. The only food we’ve been able to find is when we kick in doors out in the suburbs. Even then food is scarce. We caught a cat once and cooked him. Tasted like crap, but it filled the belly. One of the guys’ grandmothers used to live on a farm so she told us how to do it.

One night while ‘shopping’ at a house one of my guys got shot pretty bad. He died a few days later. We knew where the shot came from so we got to watching the place. Two men, two women, and a couple kids…piece of cake. They also have a dog, a big sucker. Gotta get rid of him before anything else. Hey, I know! I watched Swamp People once where they catch alligators with a big fishing hook. I bet it’d work on a stupid dog.

Went to Wal-Mart and got a big fishing pole. I found out they make some fishing hooks with three points called treble hooks. Then we found an old dead rat and chopped some meat off him for bait, just like in the show. I threw the bait into the backyard. That stupid dog found it and ate it whole. I reeled him in like a fish. He howled a couple of times, but we clubbed him good to shut him up. The old man of the house came running out shooting and yelling at us. We had to run. I didn’t think the dog would howl…the alligators didn’t.

Next morning I was on the roof of a house so I could see into their back yard. The old man came out with a shovel to bury the dog. I shot at him, but missed. My crew was watching the house from the street so we pretty much had the place surrounded. One guy threw a brick into a window. He heard a woman scream in pain. He didn’t know if had hit her or cut her with the broken glass, but everyone grabbed bricks and started throwing them into the windows.

Some shots came from the house and one of my guys went down. He didn’t move again. The old man is a pretty good shot so I open up on him, but miss again. I guess I should have practiced more. I ain’t too good a shot, but he has to be lucky all the time, I only have to be lucky once.

The old man yells out the window he ain’t got any food, but I know he’s lying. I can smell cooking food coming from his house now. I’ve smelled the odor of his cooking fire and seen the smoke coming out of his windows. Let’s see what happens if I offer him a deal….

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 B.  Hard core water conservation for when the taps run dry
21 Feb 2014, The DailySheeple, by Lizzie Bennett (Undergound Medic at http://undergroundmedic.com/)
Pasted from: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/hard-core-water-conservation-for-when-the-taps-run-dry_022014

f&w water

At this point drought conditions are devastating crops and even causing shortages of drinking water in California. Texas has also recently experienced a crippling drought that killed tens of thousands of cattle who had no access to drinking water. There are things other than drought that can cause a massive and rapid reduction in the amount of water we have available to us. Water will be a major problem post-collapse, we all know this, and we store water accordingly but we can never, ever have enough stored water to keep us going indefinitely. We are going to have to become very savvy about how we use what we have whilst still trying to maintain enough to drink, to maintain basic bodily hygiene and to prevent major contamination in our homes. This is going to be a major challenge, possibly the biggest challenge we will face in a collapse situation and anything we can do to seek out our supply will be a major boon in what will surely be very difficult times.

We all know the rule of three, three minutes without air, three days without water and three weeks without food. Assuming the air is good enough to breathe water becomes the first thing on the priority list. As much of this precious liquid as possible needs to be saved for drinking so what measures can we employ to make our water last longer and go further?

We all know a good bit about water conservation, showering with a friend, a brick in the toilet cistern and turning off the tap when cleaning out teeth, all saves on our usage. I am interested in what we can do when lowering our usage of what comes out of the tap is not enough, because nothing is coming from the tap.

Rainwater collection methods usually centre around a water butt collecting what comes off the roof, and this is the most effective way of collecting rainwater, but there are other ways. Every drop of rain that lands on your car, the pavement or anywhere else that’s not harvested for watering edibles, drinking or washing is wasted. Children’s paddling pools should be set upon any ground not used for growing, cheap car washing sponges can be put on  shed roofs, brick walls, children’s  play  equipment or anywhere else that will be hit by rain showers and these can be wrung out giving a decent amount to use elsewhere.

People living in low rainfall areas need to be much more mindful of having everything in place for when rain does occur than those of us living where it is pretty much guaranteed  on a regular basis. A decent rain storm or even a heavy shower can prove a Godsend if you are ready to collect it in any way you can.

Little of the rainwater that lands on a tree actually waters the roots of that tree, the branches cause it to drip onto the ground some distance from the trunk, and as little edible produce is grown in the shadow of a tree again the water is wasted. Plant edibles that like cooler shadier conditions in these areas to make better use of the land and the water that drips from the branches. Small raised beds work well as the soil is often impoverished in these areas. All varieties of lettuce do well in cooler conditions and their soft leaves prefer some shade.

Paper plates and plastic cutlery are often sited as they reduce the amount of water needed for washing up. This can be taken a step further by using dry sand to clean out saucepans and skillets as many people in desert countries do. Dry sand is put into and rubbed around a scraped out pot absorbing liquid and acting as a scourer to remove debris. Cleaning done the pot is left to dry out at which point any sand left behind is easily dusted out.

Removing the trap under the sink and placing a bucket underneath means no water at all is wasted transferring from one receptacle to another. A sponge stuffed up the pipe will filter out any debris. You can do several things with this water:

* Flush the toilet (with bleach added)
* Wash down outdoor areas soiled by pets (with bleach added)
* Water the garden
* Soak heavily soiled clothes to remove the bulk of the dirt (with laundry soap added)
* Mop hard floors(with bleach added)

Gardening is going to become the mainstay of survival post-collapse.  The growing season also tends to be the warmest time of year and much of the water we put on the garden is lost to evaporation. Weep pipes that allow water to constantly seep through their sides reduce this, but not enough in a situation where every drop saved may make the difference between life and death. Watering plants where they need it, under the soil is optimum, and this is very easy to achieve cheaply.

Connect a regular hose pipe to a water butt, this can be filled with grey water that has been previously used, or be allowed to fill with rainwater, or even a mixture of both. The hose should then be laid in a trench some six inches deep around the plants you are aiming to water.  That done, cut the hose and make small holes on both sides of it, covering the entire length that will be buried. Using a funnel fill the portion of the hose that will be buried with grit and that done block the open end. Put the hose back in the trench and cover with soil. Turning the tap on the butt (slowly) will allow water to be delivered underground, the grit stops the wet soil from getting into the hose and blocking it. This method prevents water being lost to evaporation and significantly reduces the amount used for irrigation. The same method can be used with a funnel in the end of the pipe allowing for manual watering.

A similar set up can be used in the centre of a group of fruit bushes or near trees. Dig a hole the size of the large lidded buckets that are often used to store rice and grain in. It should be three inches shallower than the bucket so it stands proud making refilling easier. Make some small holes in the bottom, a heated fine knitting needle works well. Put an inch of grit in the bottom and top that with a couple of inches of damp sand, dry sand would just fall between the grit and leach out. Put the bucket in the hole and fill with water before putting the lid on. The water will slowly seep out keeping the roots watered but saving an immense amount as you have not had to wet the top eighteen inches of soil before it gets to them.

A smaller version of this can be made using soda bottles. Make a hole in the cap, fill with water and invert into a hole in the ground, this supports the bottle as well as getting the water deeper into the soil where the plants can better utilise it.

Much is made on survival programmes of building a solar still to produce clean drinking water, and the principle is great and it works. Problem is it takes up a lot of space, has to be dismantled to get to your half cup of water, and there is more condensate on the underside of the plastic than is in your cup. A soda bottle still is far easier, takes less space, involves no digging and is easy to move around.

Take several soda bottles and cut them in half. Set the bottoms aside. Make a few vertical cuts about an inch long from the cut edge of the top section of the soda bottle, this will enable the top to fit easily into the bottom of your still. Put a small container of whatever liquid you are going to evaporate into a small container placed in the bottom of the soda bottle and then slide the top section into it, making sure the slits you have made go down inside the bottom section so water does not seep through them.

Condensate will run down the inside of the bottle into the reservoir…the bottom section of the soda bottle. Just like any other solar still you are never going to have enough to take a bath but when every drop counts it is a way of getting a drink from dirty water.

Anything you like can go into the central pot to be evaporated, coffee grounds, grey water, rain water even urine will evaporate giving clean drinkable condensate. Larger stills will work using organic matter such as grass, leaves and even faeces, all will produce safe drinkable water that requires no boiling or treatment before consumption. Knowing that anything organic, even water from a polluted stream, or stagnant water you have found, can be utilised for a still, is something that could prove very useful long term in areas that are rain deprived, but have sunshine in abundance.

If you are fortunate enough to have trees they too can provide you with drinking water. Strong clear plastic bags, such as large zip locks slipped onto the end of a leafy branch and duct taped or tied with string to hold them there and seal them will cause a decent amount of water to collect in the bag if left over night. To harvest your water make a small hole in the bag near where it is taped/tied and tip the bag up collecting the water as it trickles out. Fold the bag over the hole and hold the fold closed with a paper clip, taping the hole will rip your bag when you go back to it. The water droplets left on the inside of the bag will act like liquid in the still and will form even more condensate than the tree produces on its own, adding to the amount you collect the next day.

Dew collection may sound ridiculous, but it can produce quite a volume of liquid. Most of us have walked through dew covered grass at some point and come out of it wet up to our knees. Laying a sheet or large towel over dew covered grass will collect  enough moisture to have a sponge bath. Rolling across the grass and then using the wet towel may be the nearest thing to a shower we can get if the water supply is compromised.

Where water is concerned nothing should be discounted. We need to think laterally regarding its collection in order to procure as much as possible for drinking. Methods of getting clean drinkable water without having to use fuel to boil it before consumption is the optimum as that also may be in short supply.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just suggestions that may help trigger ideas that would work in your own locations. Innovation is going to be key to surviving in a post-collapse society. Thinking about these things now may well save your life in the future.

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Climate and Conflict

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Climate and Conflict)

A.  Report: Warming could cause greatest human migration ever
6/10/2009, ABCNews.go.com, By Arthur Max, Associated Press Writer
Pasted from: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=7808902
“BONN, Germany — Global warming is uprooting people from their homes and, left unchecked, could lead to the greatest human migration in history, said a report released Wednesday.
Estimates vary on how many people are on the move because of climate change, but the report cites predictions from the International Organization for Migration that 200 million people will be displaced by environmental pressures by 2050. Some estimates go as high as 700 million, said the report, released at U.N negotiations for a new climate treaty.
Researchers questioned more than 2,000 migrants in 23 countries about why they moved, said Koko Warner of the U.N. University, which conducted the study with CARE International.
The results were “a clear signal” that environmental stress already is causing population shifts, she said, and it could be “a mega-trend of the future.”
The potential for masses of humanity fleeing disaster zones or gradually being driven out by increasingly harsh conditions is likely to be part of a global warming agreement under negotiation among 192 countries.
A draft text calls on nations to prepare plans to adapt to climate change by accounting for possible migrations. At U.S. insistence, however, the term “climate refugees” will be stricken from the draft text because refugees have rights under international law, and climate migrants do not fill the description of “persecuted” people, said Warner.
The report, “In Search of Shelter: Mapping the Effects of Climate Change on Human Migration and Displacement,” studies people in some of the world’s great river deltas who could be subject to glacial melt, desert dwellers who are vulnerable to increasing drought, and islanders whose entire nations could be submerged by rising sea levels.
It did not try to assess conflicts caused by climate change. The war in Sudan’s desert Darfur region has partly been blamed on contested water supplies and grazing lands, and concern over future water wars has mounted in other areas of the world.
The report said 40 island states could disappear, in whole or in part, if seas rise by six feet. The Maldives, a chain of 1,200 atolls in the Indian Ocean has a plan to abandon some islands and build defenses on others, and has raised the possibility of moving the entire population of 300,000 to another country.
Melting glaciers in the Himalayas threaten repeated flooding in the Ganges, Mekong, Yangtze and Yellow river basins, which support 1.4 billion people, or nearly one-fourth of humanity, in India, southeast Asia and China. After the floods will come drought when seasonal glacier runoff no longer feeds the rivers, it said.
In Mexico and Central America drought and hurricanes have led to migrations since the 1980s and they will get worse, it said.
Homes are not always abandoned forever, the researchers said. “Disasters contribute to short-term migration,” especially in countries that failed to take precautions or lack adequate responses, said Charles Ehrhart of CARE. Most migration will be internal, from the country to the city, it said.”
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B.  Scenario planning for climate change
March 2011, Climate Cassandra.blogspot.com, by David Flint
Pasted from: http://climate-cassandra.blogspot.com/2011/03/scenario-planning-for-climate-change.html
“The science of climate change is good enough to show that global temperatures will rise unless we cut back drastically on greenhouse gas emissions. What no science can do is show whether we will do so – or what policies nations will adopt if we do – or if we don’t. Nor can we predict the human – health, nutritional, political and economic – consequences of rising temperatures. Yet these are what people care about.
We badly need ways of thinking about the implications of climate change. Most of what’s written gets hung up on the uncertainties of the science. If we don’t know, and we don’t, whether temperatures will increase by two or four or six degrees how can we prepare?

The answer is scenario planning.
In scenario planning, a method pioneered by Shell, we focus on the uncertainties, not on forecasts, and use these to define a set of possible scenarios. If we get this right the actual events will follow one scenario or, more likely, fall between several scenarios. But in any case we’ll have considered what we can and should do before we have to do it.
Climate change is a long-term problem so let’s look at the long-term – 2030 and beyond On that timescale little is certain but there are two big uncertainties.
1.  The first uncertainty is the temperature increase. The global temperature is currently 0.6 degrees higher than that in the pre-industrial period. By 2030 we ought to know whether we’ve managed to keep the increase below two degrees. That’s hardly risk-free but it should be manageable. If we haven’t then we’ll already be aware of the positive feedback effects that will drive the temperature to a four or even six degree increase. (Some models suggest that rises over ten degrees are possible but let’s not go overboard; four degrees is bad enough.) (The environmental consequences of various possible temperatures have been discussed by Mark Lynas in Six degrees. Prof. James Lovelock has discussed the positive feedback effects in The Revenge of Gaia.)
2. T he second uncertainty is the degree of international collaboration on dealing with climate change. The Montreal treaty on CFCs showed that international collaboration is possible. The post-Kyoto experience shows that it’s very hard to get when it requires significant economic sacrifice. However, even politicians and civil servants can learn from experience and worsening climate will provide many powerful lessons. The real uncertainty is whether governments will commit to enough change soon enough to avoid triggering the positive feedbacks.

Now we combine the two to get our four scenarios as shown in the figure above. I ignore the possibility that we can keep the temperature increase below two degrees without international collaboration because it’s impossible (unless the scientific consensus is badly wrong).
There are two scenarios for a world without catastrophic climate change. In the Lifeboat scenario this is achieved by international collaboration. In the Emergency Braking scenario collaboration fails and its achieved by unilateral action, mainly geo-engineering, by a major power.
There are also two scenarios that do involve catastrophic climate change. In the Police World scenario the nations collaborate to manage the consequences whilst in the New Dark Age scenario they don’t.
Plausibility
I’m aware that two, perhaps three, of my scenarios may sound more like science fiction than sober reflection. However, these scenarios run forward from 2030 and much of today’s world would have seemed like science fiction to our parents. It’s almost impossible to overstate the impacts of four degrees of warming. It’s inconceivable, at least to me, that our civilization will be unchanged by these impacts and it’s time we took this seriously.

Scenario 1: The Lifeboat Scenario
See: http://climate-cassandra.blogspot.com/2010/12/scenario-1-lifeboat-scenario.html
In this scenario the nations collaborate soon enough to restrain greenhouse gas concentrations and the temperature increase is kept below two degrees. As a result we avoid catastrophic climate change. I call this the Lifeboat scenario since it requires that every major state recognizes that we are all in the same boat and that its resources are barely adequate.

The technology base
In his book, Heat, George Monbiot has described the technology changes needed in the UK to reduce its emissions sufficiently. He believes that the UK and developed European nations can retain their standard of living (except for flying) by making an extensive set of changes to our industrial base. Most of this is plausible but almost every part is challenging. His conclusion that we can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80% by 2050 requires that we meet every one of these challenges. Given the lack of political will and lamentable failures of Kyoto this would be absurd even if we started immediately. And, that, of course, requires a binding international agreement.
It’s now clear that the failure at Copenhagen was not a temporary or anomalous result but a true reflection of the understandings and priorities of the major powers – especially China and the USA. It follows that the required international agreement will not be established in the near future. The most optimistic view with any plausibility is that the nations may have agreed on the need for effective action by 2015 – though 2020 is more likely. This has major implications for the actions needed to keep us below two degrees.
In brief we’ll have to use geo-engineering methods either to remove CO2 from the atmosphere or to reduce the amount of sunlight falling on the planet. Since all geo-engineering methods have disadvantages we’ll probably have to do both – and to use multiple methods for each.
We will need to do more either by cutting our standard of living or by reducing our numbers.

Global organization
The key assumption for this scenario is that the nations collaborate but this collaboration will not be easy. As with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) there will be disputes and we will need a World Climate Authority (WCA), analogous to the World Trade Organization, to deal with them. The WCA will have, at minimum, to issue emissions permits and to check that actual emissions do not exceed these permissions. It will have to impose sanctions against defaulters. These sanctions will have to be backed by at least the threat of military force, though it’s unclear whether this will require a world police force.
It will also have to regulate the geo-engineering systems. Since these are likely to damage some countries and regions even as they improve world climate this regulation will need to include payments, probably very large payments, of compensation. Such payments are needed not only in the name of justice but also as a highly visible sign of the unsustainability of the combination of excessive GHG emissions and geo-engineering.

Cultural change
This scenario requires changes in production with fewer new products, more repair and recycling and longer product lifetimes. It’s likely that the developed countries will see falls in their standards of living; at least according to such usual measures as GDP per head.
A cultural change will be needed to ensure long-term support for the often uncomfortable policies needed to meet our environmental targets, and I’ll call this Green Puritanism. Green Puritans will disapprove of excessive consumption and travel and these attitudes will reinforce and be reinforced by laws against waste. They will emphasize human solidarity and regard competition as a dangerous force – like fire in the proverb, a good servant but a bad master. They will be skeptical of innovations that do not reduce energy use and our environmental impact.
Green Puritans will disapprove of much fashion, since annual changes drive waste, and of its handmaiden, celebrity culture, since that celebrates excess. Indeed they will disapprove of a great deal of advertising and commerce.
Green Puritans will insist that the public and charitable sectors have inherent value and are not to be seen as inferior copies of the private sector. Indeed, they will demand that these sectors behave differently and will the transformation of public companies into mutual societies and co-operatives.
Green Puritans should not be hostile to pleasure (as conventional puritans have usually been). They will applaud the local and home-based pleasures of food, drink, conversation, sport, sex and family life. They will disapprove of energy-intensive pleasures such as motor-racing and holidays in remote places.

The economy
The Green Puritan change will affect business profoundly. In the developed economies growth will cease to be an acceptable objective and may in some cases actually be penalized. Business leaders will have to find other measures of value, such as sustainability and human well-being, and discover how to link them to their internal performance assessment systems.
Much of the Lifeboat economy will be less volatile than we’ve become used to with fewer fashion shifts and less random change. Exceptions will include:
o  Energy generation – where the greenhouse gas emissions targets will prove highly demanding.
o  Energy use – where new opportunities will be sought in all sectors
o  The use of ICT to replace travel through telepresence, simulations and games.

Life in the lifeboat
Lifeboat will be different from our world, but could be a good world to live in. Let’s look at the advantages for people in the developed countries – who would be most affected:
o  It’s sustainable. People living in this scenario would not be dooming their grandchildren to catastrophe; and would know it.
o  It’s more relaxed. Without the economic pressure for growth and the psychological pressures of advertising life would be less frantic and people less stressed. People in developed countries would gain health benefits.
o  It’s healthier with stronger communities. As Wilkinson and Picket have shown inequality undermines health, communities and social order. It increases many bad things including ill-health, drug abuse, obesity and crime.
These advantages will take time to become apparent. The first ten years of the Lifeboat scenario will therefore be especially difficult.
It’s tempting to claim that there would be benefits for the less developed countries too. Sustainability would certainly be a benefit for them – most immediately those, like Kenya, Bangladesh and low-lying island states, in the front-line of climate change. Later, states dependent on seasonal snow-melt for irrigation would see benefits. These include India, Pakistan and China.

In general the emerging middle classes of India, China, etc., would share the other benefits too. Continuing economic growth – with its benefits for the poor – is certainly compatible with this scenario but the degree to it occurs will depend political decisions.
In the long run, of course, the Lifeboat scenario is best because it avoids catastrophic climate change whilst allowing for some justice in the allocation of scarce resources.

Scenario 2: Emergency braking
See: http://climate-cassandra.blogspot.com/2010/06/scenario-4-emergency-braking.html
In this scenario the nations do not collaborate effectively but the temperature increase is kept below two degrees nonetheless. Here’s how this might happen.
Copenhagen showed that the USA and China were unwilling to make the changes necessary to achieve the lifeboat scenario whilst China wasn’t even willing for other countries to make the necessary commitments. In this situation most major GHG emitters will give climate change a low priority and the pace of climate change will accelerate in line with the IPCC’s business-as-usual scenario.
By about 2020 the political leaderships of China, India and USA will have recognized that the threat of climate change is serious and urgent, but they will remain locked into existing attitudes and policies.
There will then be a serious climate crisis. It might be a storm, flood, drought or fire. Its immediate consequences may be very severe – thousands of deaths and billions of dollars lost in property damage. However its largest impact may come from symbolic damage, eg. the collapse of the Statue of Liberty in a major storm-surge.
This will lead one major nation, let’s call it Maverick, to a realistic re-examination of the climate change threat. It will conclude that it is already too late for the orderly conservation-based approach described in the Lifeboat scenario. As a result, Maverick will take unilateral action in the form of one or more major geo-engineering programs. Maverick will also introduce strong domestic emission-reduction policies and launch a major campaign for international collaboration. These programs will restrain the temperature growth within ten years, but will probably have a variety of adverse effects on other nations.
At least some of these nations will oppose these geo-engineering programs but Maverick will use its diplomatic, cultural, financial and commercial muscle to neutralize this opposition. It’s not clear whether war can be completely avoided in this scenario, but I’m assuming that any military action against Maverick will not stop its geo-engineering efforts. Maverick will also use its leverage to prevent other powers from benefiting disproportionately from its expenditure on geo-engineering.
The initial hostility to Maverick’s unilateralism will, eventually, be followed by acceptance of its inevitability and even desirability. This scenario is unstable and could degenerate into either of the high temperature scenarios. However, Maverick’s unilateralism may buy enough time for the creation of a consensus between the main powers. This consensus could allow this scenario to evolve into Lifeboat. It will not be sustainable if it doesn’t.

Scenario 3: Police World
See: http://climate-cassandra.blogspot.com/2011/02/scenario-3-police-world.html
In this scenario the nations collaborate against climate change but not in time to prevent catastrophe.
By 2030 China will be suffering from water shortages and the USA from increasingly severe hurricane damage. Every government will have recognized the direction and pace of change. Corporate lobbyists who currently deny the reality of anthropogenic change will have shifted to demanding government help in adapting to that change (whilst denying any meaningful responsibility). It will also be clear that even geo-engineering schemes cannot reverse the trend.
Climate change will already have reduced the area under cultivation and the availability of water for irrigation causing starvation in areas, such as those south of the Sahara, where governments are already weak. The reduction in global food production will make it impossible to provide enough food aid leading to major population movements and wars.
Governments will recognize that the Earth cannot support its current population and that existing human institutions cannot survive the huge population movements that these changes will provoke. (In Collapse Jared Diamond has described a variety of precedents for social collapse due to overuse of natural resources.)
Once the inevitability of this collapse becomes clear governments will shift their focus from mitigation to survival. The worst governments will seek their own survival – the best that of as many of their population as they think feasible. Most countries will adopt a ‘war footing’. Specific policy responses will vary according to geography and political feasibility but will typically include:
o  Bans on immigration – enforced by tighter borders and internal controls
o  Central direction of food production – including use of genetically-modified crops and lower animal welfare standards.
o  Forced relocation of people from threatened areas – sometimes to farmlands where human labor will replace diesel engines.

To deal with the inevitable resistance to these measures most governments will suspend many civil rights. Some will suspend elections ‘for the duration of the emergency’ – a suspension that will become permanent.
Even so, most governments will realize that these measures can provide only temporary relief. With large parts of many countries becoming permanently uninhabitable and new farmlands becoming available in the under-populated north the only long-term solution will be a wholesale northward relocation of people and industrial facilities coupled with a reduction in total numbers.
The inevitable strategy will be to identify the territories remote from the equator where the prospects are best and then limit and direct migration into these refuges. The rest of the Earth will be progressively abandoned together with a large part of its population. International institutions will be redirected or created in order to manage the transfer and, more critically, the abandonment and starvation of many millions of people.
This process will play out over many decades and its reality will be generally denied at first.
• By 2050: The temperature rise will have exceeded two degrees and major positive feedback effects will be visible. Major floods and severe hurricanes will be much more common making and major habitat changes have already occurred, eg. in the Sahara and Amazon basin, leading to a marked reduction in the Earth’s carrying capacity. An increase of at least four degrees will now be certain.
• Beyond 2050: The refuges will take on a life of their own. Life in these refuges will be hard but life outside them will become literally impossible; most of those outside them will die. These deaths will be spread over many decades and will mainly be from starvation, though natural disasters and warfare will contribute.
Resistance to the new world order will be severe, but the multinational authorities will take large-scale military action to maintain the borders of the refuges. This scenario assumes that the multinational authorities succeed in maintaining law and order and an industrial base but this will be at the price of human rights and ordinary human compassion. The need for vigorous military action against those outside the refuges and direction of labor within them will lead to severe rationing of almost everything and a police state covering all the refuges; in effect a Police World.
If the authorities are unable to maintain law and order and an industrial base we will get scenario 4 <>.

Scenario 4: The New dark Age
See: http://climate-cassandra.blogspot.com/2011/03/scenario-4-new-dark-age.html
In the final scenario attempts at international collaboration have failed to prevent temperature rises and have broken down. As temperatures rise nations and subnational groups will fight for survival destroying civilization and creating a new dark age.

2030: Change will have become irrevocable and some previously fertile land will have gone out of use. Food shortages will be normal and famines common. During famines there will generally not be enough spare food available from outside the stricken area to feed the hungry making starvation common.
Institutions and individuals will generally have recognized that long-term survival with any degree of security and comfort will be possible only in places remote from the equator. Only in these places will the impending climate catastrophe leave land for agriculture.
Since the majority of countries are not remote from the equator their governments will attempt to negotiate access to places that are. Countries that do include high latitude regions will recognize their value and will generally be unwilling to provide access; preferring to keep them for their own inhabitants. They will increase military expenditure and strengthen their defenses.
As temperatures rise food shortages will increase and people will migrate away from the equator and the lowlands. Conflicts will arise as the migrating populations press upon national boundaries or encroach on lands previously used by other ethnic groups within the same countries. Darfur may be seen as an early example of such a conflict. These conflicts will arise even where the disputed land provides no long-term security. If faced with the choice between violence and starvation those not actually starving will choose violence.
Some large nations, the USA and Argentina for instance, will include some refuge areas though not enough for their whole populations. Civil wars will result in these nations. In some cases these wars will be encouraged by neighboring nations who hope to grab some of the more attractive land.
These conflicts will often be exacerbated by religious and ethnic differences and recollections of past grievances, actual or supposed. These differences and grievances will be emphasized and exaggerated, and sometimes invented, by unscrupulous opportunistic politicians. (These processes could be seen operating in Rwanda and Yugoslavia.)
Detailed predictions of these conflicts is impossible, but with stakes so high – both national survival and the physical survival of whole populations – there is no reason to expect much restraint. Nuclear, chemical and biological weapons will be used.

2060: Repeated wars will inflict major damage on the very resources, both agricultural and industrial, that they are trying to control. Continued warfare will also destroy much of humanity’s capacity to innovate, except in military matters, and to do or even understand science and the arts.
As climate pressures increase (over a period of many decades) military power will become the dominant reality in human affairs. Political authority will give way to it. Jared Diamond’s, Collapse gives examples of this breakdown.
A new global Dark Age will follow in which most of the survivors will live in militarized refuge areas in high latitudes. Food will be scarce and almost all resources will be devoted to survival – water supply, food production and defense. Commitment to survival goals will be enforced by the authorities and underwritten by new religious ideologies. Dissent will not be tolerated and punishments will be both severe and quick.
Survival outside these refuges will be limited to hunter-gatherer bands and small agricultural villages. As between them, suspicion and violence will be the norm.

After the Dark Age
The new Dark Age will doubtless last several centuries, during which the human population will fall to a fraction of its current level. The best that can be said of this scenario is that it need not last indefinitely. Neither the Greek nor the later European Dark Ages lasted for ever. Each ended and was followed by a notable period of cultural flowering – the Athenian Golden Age and The European Renaissance.
Though we have not previously experienced either a global Dark Age or such abrupt climate change there is reason to hope that our descendants will ultimately be able to rebuild civilization.
From: http://climate-cassandra.blogspot.com/2011/03/scenario-planning-for-climate-change.html
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C.  Climate Change and Global Conflicts
March-April 2008, WFS.org, by Cynthia G. Wagner
Pasted from: http://www.wfs.org/node/370
‘Cold’ wars have existed throughout history; now we may see ‘heat’ wars.
Traumatic climate cooling may have launched wars in the past, like the Little Ice Age of the mid-sixteenth through mid-nineteenth centuries. Cold-induced stresses on agriculture led to wars, famines, and population declines, an international team of researchers believes. Now, they warn that future climate change that turns up the heat could also increase conflicts.
Sudden changes in temperature don’t directly cause conflict, but they do disrupt water and food supplies. Shortages of such critical resources can lead people to rise against their governments or invade neighboring countries, according to research led by University of Hong Kong geographer David Zhang and published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
To study the relationship between climate and conflict, the researchers collected data on temperature change and wars from A.D. 1400 to 1900. They discovered that cycles of turbulence followed historic low temperatures, with tranquility restored during more-temperate times. Sources for the study included a database of 4,500 wars, assembled by co-author Peter Brecke of Georgia Tech, and climate records reconstructed by paleontologists from historical documents.
The researchers found that there were nearly twice as many wars per year worldwide during cold centuries as there were during the milder eighteenth century. More than 80% of countries around the world experienced more wars in a cold climate, according to Zhang.
The researchers reason that the link between climate shock and conflict is the supply of food: Decreases in agricultural production trigger increases in food prices, and when grain prices reach a certain level, wars erupt.
Population growth and decline are also affected by these climate change driven conflicts, the researchers believe. After peak periods of war in Europe and Asia, such as during the frigid seventeenth century, populations declined. In China, population dropped by 43% between 1620 and 1650, then rose dramatically between 1650 and 1800, when the next cooling period began, bringing another global demographic shock.
“Climate change may have played a more important role on human civilization than has so far been suggested,” says Zhang. The depletion of resources on which livelihoods are based is the most critical effect of such change and is “the root cause of human miseries—e.g., wars, famines, and epidemics.”
Abrupt global warming is upon us now, they warn, and may pose just as dire threats to resource supply and demand as did global cooling in centuries past.
“The speed of global warming is totally beyond our imagination,” says Zhang. “Such abnormal climate will certainly break the balance of human ecosystem. At the moment, scientists cannot accurately predict the chain of ecological effects induced by climate change. If global warming continues, we are afraid that the associated shortages of livelihood resources such as freshwater, arable land, and food may trigger more armed conflicts (e.g., Darfur in Africa) or even general crises in the world.”
As Brecke of Georgia Tech points out, global warming may have some beneficial effects in the short term, but “with more droughts and a rapidly growing population, it is going to get harder and harder to provide food for everyone and thus we should not be surprised to see more instances of starvation and probably more cases of hungry people clashing over scarce food and water.”
Human beings are unlikely to sit still with such dire prospects before them, notes Zhang. Responses to resource shortages extend beyond fighting over dwindling crumbs of bread and drops of water, but include economic change, trade, technological and social innovation, and peaceful resource distribution. In eighteenth century China, for instance, the frequency of war decreased “because the Qing emperors had united all troublesome tribal states in the western and northern marginal areas,” the authors write. “We hope that positive social mechanisms that are conducive to human adaptability will play an ever more effective role in meeting the challenges of the future.”–Cynthia G. Wagner
Sources: “Global Climate Change, War, and Population Decline in Recent Human History” by David D. Zhang et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (November 20, 2007).
Pasted from: http://www.wfs.org/node/370

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 D. Global Warring: Climate Change Could Be The Root Of Armed Conflicts
Excerpt pasted from: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070709111427.htm
Warfare frequency in eastern China, and the southern part in particular, significantly correlated with temperature oscillations.  Almost all peaks of warfare and dynastic changes coincided with cold phases.
Temperature fluctuations directly impact agriculture and horticulture and, in societies with limited technology such as pre-industrial China, cooling temperatures hugely impact the availability of crops and herds.  In times of such ecological stress, warfare could be the ultimate means of redistributing resources, according to Zhang and his team.
The authors conclude that “it was the oscillations of agricultural production brought by long-term climate change that drove China’s historical war-peace cycles.”  They recommend that researchers consider climate change part of the equation when they consider the reasons behind wars in our history.

E.  Will Global Warming Cause World War IV?
BUSINESS & POLITICS (NEWS), by Eric Leech, New York, NY
Excerpts pasted from: http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/will-global-warming-cause-world-war-iv.html
Global warming is the cause of a number of damaging effects to the earth and its inhabitants, such as climate change, glacier retreat, rising sea levels, and now we may have a new threat on the horizon… world war! According to the 2007 CNA Corporation report, there is clear indication that as the tensions of global warming continue to heat up, so may the possibilities of war… a Hot War!
There are two obvious factors which will be the cause of the increasing threat of a World War IV (some military historians believe that WWIII has already occurred):

1.  Crowding and Territorial Tensions - The number one cause of such tensions will be the migration of different cultures to other territories in search of new resources to replace the increasingly depleting ones. Not only will many cultures find their resources disappearing, but the rising sea level will cover over parts of much of the land, minimizing usable farm area, fresh water, and cattle herds. In some cases, entire islands may become submerged.
Instead of allowing their sovereignty to disappear along with their dry ground, many of these endangered cultures will choose to battle with nearby countries in order to set-up their governments and house their citizens upon alternative soil. Inevitably larger powers will become a part of such squabbles and before you know it, we’ve got a world war on our hands.

2.  Competition of Newly Habitable Lands – The opposite scenario of crowding may also occur as the open space around the Arctic regions becomes available due to the increased air temperatures. As these uninhabitable areas become habitable for the first time in history, competition from the various coastal countries and islands who have lost their native homeland will become fierce.
In addition to the smaller powers, larger world powers who previously ignored such land will eventually see the profit potential of such areas and involve themselves in the competition. The large nations will be less interested in the usable space and more keen on the possibility of exploiting the relatively untapped oil resources of these areas for strategic economic positioning.

See also, Survival Manual/1. Disaster/War, EMP
Survival Manual/1. Disaster/War, Radiological
Survival Manual/1. Disaster/ Volcanic Winter and
Survival Manual /1. Disaster/ Climate- Global Warming

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Solar flare EMP (electromagnetic pulse)

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Solar flare EMP)

Solar Flares, Coronal Mass Ejections and the Carrington Effect
The ‘Super Solar Flare’ of 1859
6 May 2008, Science1.NASA.gov, Authors: Trudy E. Bell & Dr. Tony Phillips
Excerpt pasted from: http://science1.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/06may_carringtonflare/
At 11:18 AM on the cloudless morning of Thursday, September 1, 1859, 33-year-old Richard Carrington—widely acknowledged to be one of England’s foremost solar astronomers—was in his well-appointed private observatory.
 Just as usual on every sunny day, his telescope was projecting an 11-inch-wide image of the sun on a screen, and Carrington skillfully drew the sunspots he saw. On that morning, he was capturing the likeness of an enormous group of sunspots. Suddenly, before his eyes, two brilliant beads of blinding white light appeared over the sunspots, intensified rapidly, and became kidney-shaped. Realizing that he was witnessing something unprecedented and “being somewhat flurried by the surprise,” Carrington later wrote, “I hastily ran to call someone to witness the exhibition with me. On returning within 60 seconds, I was mortified to find that it was already much changed and enfeebled.” He and his witness watched the white spots contract to mere pinpoints and disappear. What Carrington saw was a white-light solar flare—a magnetic explosion on the sun.

It was 11:23 AM, only five minutes had passed.

Just before dawn the next day (2 September), skies all over Earth erupted in red, green, and purple auroras so brilliant that newspapers could be read as easily as in daylight. Indeed, stunning auroras pulsated even at near tropical latitudes over Cuba, the Bahamas, Jamaica, El Salvador, and Hawaii.
Even more disconcerting, telegraph systems worldwide went haywire. Spark discharges shocked telegraph operators and set the telegraph paper on fire. Even when telegraphers disconnected the batteries powering the lines, aurora-induced electric currents in the wires still allowed messages to be transmitted.

The auroral current could be used for transmitting and receiving telegraphic dispatches. This was done between 8:30 and 11:00 in the morning, on September 2, 1859, on the wires of the American Telegraph Company between Boston and Portland, and upon the wires of the Old Colony and Fall River Railroad Company between South Braintree and Fall River, among others. The length of time during each positive wave was only, however, 15 to 60 seconds. The following account came from between Boston and Portland.

Boston operator (to Portland operator): “Please cut off your battery [power source] entirely for fifteen minutes.”
Portland operator: “Will do so. It is now disconnected.”
Boston: “Mine is disconnected, and we are working with the auroral current. How do you receive my writing?”
Portland: “Better than with our batteries on. – Current comes and goes gradually.”
Boston: “My current is very strong at times, and we can work better without the batteries, as the aurora seems to neutralize and augment our batteries alternately, making current too strong at times for our relay magnets. Suppose we work without batteries while we are affected by this trouble.”
Portland: “Very well. Shall I go ahead with business?”
Boston: “Yes. Go ahead.”

At which point, the Boston operator began transcribing 19th Century Vintage erotica (ok, just kidding on that one).
The conversation was carried on for around two hours using no battery power at all and working solely with the current induced by the aurora, and it was said that this was the first time on record that more than a word or two was transmitted in such manner.

Meanwhile on the early morning of 2 September 1859.
The clipper ship Southern Cross was off Chile when, at 1:30am, it sailed into a living hell. Hailstones from above and waves from all around whipped the deck. When the wind-lashed ocean spray fell away to leeward, the men noticed they were sailing in an ocean of blood. The color was reflected from the sky, which, they could see – even through the clouds – was wreathed in an all-encompassing red glow.
The sailors recognized the lights as the southern aurora that usually graced the skies near the Antarctic Circle, just as their northern counterparts cling to the Arctic. To see them from this far north was highly unusual. As the gale subsided, they witnessed an even more astonishing display. Fiery lights loomed against the horizon as if some terrible conflagration had engulfed the Earth. Vivid bolts flew across the now clear sky in spiral streaks and exploded in silent brilliance, as if the very souls of all humanity were fleeing whatever cataclysm had befallen the planet.
Upon their arrival at San Francisco, the ship’s company discovered that theirs was not an isolated experience. Two thirds of the Earth’s skies had been similarly smothered.

Effects of past ‘modern era’ storms on older, less sensitive electronics technology
“…..Fast-forward one hundred and fifty-three years to late 2012 or 2013 . A globalized world is extremely dependent upon electronic communications to operate banking, communications, health care, computers, transportation systems, and a massive electric grid serving billions of people. A super solar flare on the scale of the one in 1859 could shut down modernity for days, weeks, perhaps months depending on the size of the white solar flare eruption from within a sunspot. One could equate such a possible episode as a Cosmic Katrina-like event on a nearly global scale happening in say less than twenty-four hours and possibly affecting millions of people.

A giant solar storm is expected in the range of every one-to-five hundred years, but scientists today have no means to predict them only observe them hours before the electric charge hits the upper atmosphere of Earth. There may be sufficient time to power-down a few hundred of the orbiting satellites but electric power would probably be lost and the hard-drives of computers and servers may crash without hardened back-ups somewhere underground or otherwise properly shielded from the magnetic field….”

Still, more recent examples include the events of March 13, 1989, in which Hydro-Quebec’s power output was completely shut down within 92 seconds, courtesy of two solar CMEs. Power was restored in nine hours and a large transformer in New Jersey was destroyed. There was also the supply disruption that took place on Halloween 2003, including the destruction of 14 transformers in South Africa, which contributed significantly to that country’s long-running struggle to adequately provide its people and industries with electricity.

Aurora-induced power surges even melted power transformers in New Jersey. In December 2005, X-rays from another solar storm disrupted satellite-to-ground communications and Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation signals for about 10 minutes. That may not sound like much, but as Lanzerotti noted, “I would not have wanted to be on a commercial airplane being guided in for a landing by GPS or on a ship being docked by GPS during that 10 minutes.”

Unfortunately, current projections by NASA suggest that we may soon be due for a CME on the scale of the 1859 event. According to Dr Richard Fisher, director of the agency’s heliophysics division, solar flare activity varies in accordance with an 11-year cycle and is currently emerging from a quiet period, while the sun’s magnetic energy peaks every 22 years. As a result, solar activity is set to reach its maximum during the 2012-2015 period.
The point of greatest vulnerability in our electricity networks is the transformer.
A simulation conducted by Metatech indicated that a geomagnetic storm roughly 10 times the strength of that seen in 1989 could melt the copper windings of around 350 of the highest voltage transformers in the US,  effectively knocking out a third of the entire US power grid and impacting an area 10 times that of the 1989 storm. Furthermore, the large size of the damaged transformers would effectively prevent field repairs and in most cases, new units would have to be shipped in from abroad, ensuring that their replacement would take weeks or even months. Given that other countries could also be adversely affected and that the majority of transformers are manufactured in Brazil, China, Europe and India, there is no guarantee that the US would be the first priority for resupply in such an event.

Although the industry has weathered geomagnetic storms of the highest (K9) classification since 1989 with little impact on performance, thanks to specialized operating procedures, all these storms were much less intense than the 1989 storm.
Vulnerability has been increased by the fact that in the US, there has been a marked increase in the voltages used in today’s networks. Now, networks operate at around 345-765kV, compared to the 100-200kV design thresholds seen in the 1950s. The higher the voltage, the lower the resistive impedance per unit distance and the higher the geomagnetically-induced currents (GICs) generated in the event of an EMP.

Solar Flare Classifications
Class                         Effects
A                                   none
B                                   none
C                                   C flares are small with few noticeable consequences here on Earth. (think, rain)
M                                  M flares are medium-sized; they can cause brief radio blackouts that affect Earth’s polar regions. Minor radiation storms sometimes follow an M-class flare. (think, thunderstorm)
X                                   X flares are big; they are major events that can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms. (think, hurricane)

Some notable events
1)  ‘Valentine’s day’ X2.2 flare occurred Tue. 15 Feb 2011, particles began arriving at Earth Fri. 18 Feb 2011. This was kind of a small one, it wasn’t a big solar eruption, about one-tenth of the biggest that we have ever seen. *It wiped out radio communications in the Western Pacific Ocean and parts of Asia and caused airlines to reroute some polar flights to avoid radio outages.
2)  X28  The largest measured solar flare occurred on November 4, 2003, fortunately this flare only grazed Earth. The x-rays from this storm were so powerful that it overloaded the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) that was measuring the sun.
3)  X20 Flares on April 2, 2001 and August 16, 1989. Had these flares been pointing at the Earth, the damage to the satellites and power systems could have been substantial.
4)  2 September 1859: There was a solar storm (discussed above) that hit in the late 19th century; had it occurred today would probably take out most of the world’s power grids, it could induce electrical currents that would knock out at least 300 of the USA’s main transformers cutting off power to 130 million people, all within 90 seconds.

The solar flare events
•   Solar Flares: Arrival Time: Instantaneous, Effect Duration: 1-2 hours
•   Solar Proton Event: Arrival Time: 15 minute to a few hours, Effect Duration: Days
•   Coronal Mass Ejection: Arrival time: 2 or 4 days, Effect Duration: Days
•   The UV and light effects of a solar flare arrive at Earth in about 8 minutes traveling at the speed of light. Particles ejected from a powerful, concentrated explosion may arrive in as soon as 12 hours and are referred to as a plasma bullet’. Typically, the technology disrupting CME’s charged particle storm front take about 3 days to travel the 93 million mile intervening distance.
• Each category for x-ray flares has nine subdivisions ranging from, example, C1 to C9, M1 to M9, and X1 to X9+.
• Solar Flares are not visible from earth with the naked eye.

Solar Tsunami Responsible for Higher Incidence of Sneezing Around World
The latest solar flare, one of the strongest felt in decades, has been likened to a solar tsunami that seems to be coming in waves and crashing into the earth’s atmosphere.
What was originally thought to be nothing more than a nuisance causing an hour or two of mild electronic disruptions on the morning of August 4th, 2011 has now turned a bit more sinister. There continue to be intermittent outages of radio and television broadcasts as well as cell phone and internet services well into day two of the flare.
The most bizarre by-product of the solar tsunami seems to be an unusually high amount of sneezing going on all over the world. People are calling clinics and emergency rooms asking if there is anything that can be done about the non-stop sneezing they are experiencing when outdoors…
Residents in extremely sunny locales around the globe are cautioned to remain indoors until the threat of solar flare-induced sneezing has passed. Symptoms include an itching in the nostrils and then a sneeze, sometimes coming in rapid succession. It is not know how the solar flare is affecting the outer body but residents are warned against going outdoors without wearing protective clothing until more information can be gathered on this most unusual occurrence.

What happens if the industry fails?
Assuming a CME of sufficient magnitude was to knock out power supplies across the US for a period of several weeks, the most pressing immediate issue, particularly in arid states such as Nevada would be the loss of water supplies, due to the lack of electricity to pump water. In terms of time scale, the UK’s National Risk Register, points out that loss of mobile communications occurs within one hour of disruption, water and sewerage within six hours.
Other important concerns include the knock-on effects in terms of primary fuels. Coal mining operations require electricity supplies as do oil and gas extraction. As of writing, the US has around 23 days of crude oil and gasoline supply in hand (and ~44 days of distillates). However, electric pumps are needed to deliver oil and gas via pipelines and even to deliver petrol at the pumps.

There are also the massive logistical issues that energy companies would be faced with in the event of a long-lasting power disruption. In the absence of computers and electronic records, ensuring steady deliveries of fuel would become a nightmare, not least due to the horrors of processing transactions when all major financial institutions are effectively compromised. Furthermore, the potential for civil disorder would create an unwelcome dilemma for any workers, given the conflict between keeping watch over their families and reporting for duty.

In the case of the UK, the National Risk Register, which was revised this April, warns that organizations should “prepare for the possibility of total loss of electricity for an entire region for up to 24 hours, and to some rural areas for up to one week.” It somewhat confidently states that “if there is an unexpected shutdown of the grid, power will begin to be restored across the grid over three days.” Given the issues associated with transformer replacement as detailed, earlier, this suggests that UK contingency plans may be inadequate in the event of a major GMD (geomagnetic disturbance).

The ice storm that affected Eastern Canada in 1998 and its immediate aftermath is a good example of what happens when electricity supplies are disrupted. It left 4 million people without electricity and resulted in the cessation of almost all economic activity for weeks. Only the continued operation of a single power line to the Montreal island prevented the need to evacuate 1m people due to water shortages. The disruption  is estimated to have cost US$5-7bn for all affected areas. In contrast, a similar outage in 1961 had much less of an effect, as the transition to IT-based systems for infrastructure had yet to take place.

The National Academy of Sciences puts the total economic cost of a widespread power disruption triggered by solar activity at 20 times that of Hurricane Katrina, which after devastating New Orleans, racked up damages equivalent to around US$125bn. At US$2.5tn, this would be roughly equivalent to 17.5 per cent of entire US annual GDP. It also warns that such an event could knock out GPS navigation, air travel and emergency radio communications, adding to the difficulties in bringing an appropriate response to bear.

Space storm alert: 90 seconds from catastrophe
(Excerpts) – “IT IS midnight on 22 September 2012 and the skies above Manhattan are filled with a flickering curtain of colorful light. Few New Yorkers have seen the aurora this far south but their fascination is short-lived. Within a few seconds, electric bulbs dim and flicker, then become unusually bright for a fleeting moment. Then all the lights in the state go out. Within 90 seconds, the entire eastern half of the US is without power.
“A fierce solar storm could lead to a global disaster on an unprecedented scale.”
“A year later and millions of Americans are dead and the nation’s infrastructure lies in tatters. The World Bank declares America a developing nation. Europe, Scandinavia, China and Japan are also struggling to recover from the same fateful event – a violent storm, 150 million kilometers away on the surface of the sun.
“It sounds ridiculous. Surely the sun couldn’t create so profound a disaster on Earth. Yet an extraordinary report funded by NASA and issued by the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in January this year claims it could do just that.”
“We’re moving closer and closer to the edge of a possible disaster,” says Daniel Baker, a space weather expert based at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and chair of the NAS committee responsible for the report.
“From time to time,” the report says, the solar wind “carries a billion-ton glob of plasma, a fireball known as a coronal mass ejection. If one should hit the Earth’s magnetic shield, the result could be truly devastating.”
“The incursion of the plasma into our atmosphere causes rapid changes in the configuration of Earth’s magnetic field which, in turn, induce currents in the long wires of the power grids. The grids were not built to handle this sort of direct current electricity.”
“A severe space weather event in the US could induce ground currents that would knock out 300 key transformers within about 90 seconds, cutting off the power for more than 130 million people.”
First to go – immediately for those in high-rise buildings – is drinkable water.
With no trains, no trucks, no cars (filling stations wouldn’t be able to pump gas) supermarket shelves would empty very quickly.
Back-up generators would run out of fuel in less than 72 hours. After that, hospitals shut down. No more modern healthcare. And with the factories shuttered, no more medications.
And forget nuclear power. The stations are programmed to shut down in the event of serious grid problems and are not allowed to restart until the power grid is up and running, the report says.
With no power for heating, cooling or refrigeration systems, people could begin to die within days.
“It could conceivably be the worst natural disaster possible,” the report says, “a planetary disaster.”  “It is questionable whether the US would ever bounce back.”
See entire article by Michael Brooks.

Solar flares: the threat to come
8/1/10, Alt-Country.org, by Dr Samuel Fenwick
Excerpt from: http://alt-country.org/Thread.aspx?ID=3048352
Recent warnings by NASA that the Sun’s current lack of activity may soon come to an end with dire implications for the world’s power sector have refocused attention on the effort being made to harden the world’s electricity networks against electromagnetic interference.
Current projections by NASA suggest that we may soon be due for a CME on the scale of the 1859 event. According to Dr Richard Fisher, director of the agency’s heliophysics division, solar flare activity varies in accordance with an 11-year cycle and is currently emerging from a quiet period, while the sun’s magnetic energy peaks every 22 years. As a result, solar activity is set to reach its maximum during the 2012-2015 period.
The point of greatest vulnerability in our electricity networks is the transformer. A simulation conducted by Metatech indicated that a geomagnetic storm roughly 10 times the strength of that seen in 1989 could melt the copper windings of around 350 of the highest voltage transformers in the US,  effectively knocking out a third of the entire US power grid and impacting an area 10 times that of the 1989 storm.
Furthermore, the large size of the damaged transformers would effectively prevent field repairs and in most cases, new units would have to be shipped in from abroad, ensuring that their replacement would take weeks or even months. Given that other countries could also be adversely affected and that the majority of transformers are manufactured in Brazil, China, Europe and India, there is no guarantee that the US would be the first priority for resupply in such an event. Although the industry has weathered geomagnetic storms of the highest (K9) classification since 1989 with little impact on performance, thanks to specialized operating procedures, all these storms were much less intense than the 1989 storm.

Massive Solar Storm Could Cause Catastrophic Nuclear Threat in US
6 August 2011, International Business Times, By Satya Nagendra Padala
Excerpt pasted from: http://www.ibtimes.com/massive-solar-storm-could-cause-catastrophic-nuclear-threat-us-825205
“A severe solar storm could cause global chaos, wrecking satellite communications and would take down the most important power grids in the world for a period of years.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts four “extreme” and many “severe” solar emissions which could threaten the planet during the current decade. NASA has warned that a peak in the sun’s magnetic energy cycle and the number of sun spots or flares around 2013 could generate huge radiation levels.
This is a special problem in the United States and especially a severe threat in the eastern United States. Government studies showed that “extreme” solar flare emissions can cause blackouts for weeks, months or even years, in very large areas of the nation.

An extremely large solar storm would induce geomagnetic currents that could destroy a substantial fraction of the very largest transformers on the power grid.  If this happened, electric power loss due to a large solar storm would be out for a period of years and possibly decades.

Last month, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said that U.S. plants affected by a blackout should be able to cope without electricity for atleast eight hours and should have procedures to keep the reactor and spent-fuel pool cool for 72 hours.
Nuclear plants depend on standby batteries and backup diesel generators. Most standby power systems would continue to function after a severe solar storm, but supplying the standby power systems with adequate fuel, when the main power grids are offline for years, could become a very critical problem.

If the spent fuel rod pools at the country’s 104 nuclear power plants lose their connection to the power grid, the current regulations are not sufficient to guarantee those pools won’t boil over, exposing the hot, zirconium-clad rods and sparking fires that would release deadly radiation.

A recent report by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory discloses that over the standard 40-year license term of nuclear power plants, solar flare activity provides a 33 percent chance of long-term power loss. This is a risk far greater than most other natural disasters, including major earthquakes and tsunamis…”

Hope n’ Change
Our highly technological modern society is great in a lot of ways…and really, really bad in one specific way: it’s very delicate.   The electronics, computers, and circuit boards that run everything in our lives could be instantly fried by either a naturally occurring solar flare, or the “electro-magnetic pulse” of a single nuclear weapon fired high in our atmosphere.  Electricity would be shut off. Water, pumped from afar, would stop coming out of faucets. There would be no communications. Most recent cars wouldn’t run. Access to food and emergency care would be cut off. And in the resulting chaos, there are estimates that as much as 90% of Americans could die.
As if that wasn’t scary enough, we’re now entering a new period of strong solar activity – with a major X2 coronal ejection 15 February 2011.  The good news is that scientists have determined we could “harden” our electrical grid for $100 million dollars, and the House unanimously passed a resolution saying “Yes! Let’s do it! Quick!”
But in the Senate, they said “where are the votes for us if we fund this?” and, not finding any, they killed it. And maybe us. Of course, $100 million is a lot of money. But it’s only 1/1650th of what congress added to our debt in just one week. And only 1/260th of what the Democrats just decided to give to teachers’ unions to buy more votes for November.
By comparison, potentially saving the Earth seems like it could have been a pretty good deal. But since it didn’t happen, we can all continue to look toward the sun…and hope for no change.

 An Overview of Solar Activities
The Sun provides the energy needed for life to exist on Earth. Every so often, sunspots and solar flares occur on the Sun’s surface and can cause disruptions in our daily lives. From the invention of the telescope in the 17th Century to NASA’s Nimbus-7 satellite, innovations have allowed us to gaze into space and study the sun and moon in amazing detail. The sun is constantly changing and we have been studying sunspots, solar flares and other solar phenomena for hundreds of years.

The sun emits radiation across the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
• Visible: This part of the spectrum, which we can detect with our eyes, allows us to see and provides the energy for plants to produce food by photosynthesis.
• Ultraviolet (UV): We cannot see this part of the spectrum, but it can damage unprotected skin, producing anything from a mild to severe burn to skin cancer.
• Infrared: This part of the spectrum is made up of invisible rays that provide the heat that helps keep the Earth warm.
• Charged Particles: The sun continuously emits energy and particles that make up the solar wind. When the charged particles interact with the Earth’s magnetic field, particularly near the poles, the result is the aurora borealis, which is a spectacular display of color in the night sky.

1.  A gusty solar wind
The solar wind has a speed ranging from 300 to more than 1000 km/s, with an average of about 400 km/s. Its composition is very similar to the solar one, i.e., it’s 80% hydrogen with 20% Helium. However, as the outer solar atmosphere (solar corona) has an extreme temperature of about 1 million K, this highly rarefied gas is fully ionized, a condition called a gas plasma. Therefore, the solar wind is made mostly of protons (hydrogen nuclei) and free electrons (>50% of solar wind particles). This vast medium permeated by this steady outward stream of particles is often called the heliosphere, and extends to about 170 times the Sun-Earth distance where its merges with the interstellar medium.
Despite its very low density (about one particle per cubic cm at the distance of the Earth), the solar wind exerts a substantial dynamical pressure on the Earth magnetic field. The Earth magnetosphere thus takes the shape of an elongated “bubble” floating in the solar wind, with a bow shock on the Sun-facing side and a very long magneto tail away from the Sun. Acting as magnetic bottle, the magnetosphere stores particles originating in the solar wind in toroidal radiation belts, the so-called Van Allen belts, a few solar radii above the Earth Equator. One can then easily understand that any change in the speed, density and direction of the wind will cause deformations and compressions of this magnetic container with various drastic consequences that we will describe soon.

2.  Sunspots
Sunspots are dark areas that form and disappear on the surface of the Sun over periods of days or weeks. Sunspots are caused by concentrated magnetic fields that reduce the amount of energy flow to the surface of the sun from its interior. The reduced energy flow causes the area to cool from about 10,800 ºF (the average temperature of the Sun’s surface) to 7,600 ºF. Because sunspots are cooler than the rest of the Sun, they appear dark on the Sun’s surface. Sunspots are so big that all of planet Earth would fit into a sunspot.

3.  Solar Flares
Solar flares are the release, in a single burst, of energy in many forms – electro-magnetic (from radio waves through the visible spectrum to gamma rays and x-rays), energetic particles (protons and electrons), and matter that is so hot it is in the form of plasma. Flares are characterized by their brightness in x-rays. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration monitors the x-rays from the Sun with detectors on some of its satellites. Observations for the last few days are available at NOAA’s website, Today’s Space Weather.
Flares are closely related to the cycles of the Sun’s magnetic field, and they emerge from relatively cool, intensely magnetic regions of the solar surface – sunspots.
The energy released during a flare is typically ten million times greater than the energy released from a volcanic explosion. Even then, it only releases a fraction of the total energy emitted by the Sun every second. The radiation and radioactive particles released during solar flare activity can damage satellites and interrupt radio communications on Earth. Coronal mass ejections are the sudden release of large masses of plasma from the very hot corona, which is the atmosphere just above the surface of the sun. CMEs expand away from the Sun at speeds as high as 4 million miles per hours! The light and x-rays accompanying a CME reach earth in a few minutes. The mass of particles may take three to five days to arrive. Solar flares are occasionally accompanied by Coronal Mass Ejections.

4.  Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs)
A typical CME is composed of 1-10 billion tons of particles and combined with solar flares are the biggest “explosions” in our solar system, roughly approaching the power in ONE BILLION hydrogen bombs! See image at left.
Coronal mass ejections are the sudden release of large masses of plasma from the very hot corona, which is the atmosphere just above the surface of the sun. CMEs expand away from the Sun at speeds as high as 4 million miles per hours! The light and x-rays accompanying a CME reach earth in a few minutes. The mass of particles may take three to five days to arrive. (The associated picture, taken by the SOHO [Solar and Heliospheric Observatory] spacecraft, shows a CME.
Coronal mass ejections are more likely to have a significant effect on our activities than solar flares because they carry more material into a larger volume of interplanetary space, increasing the likelihood that they will interact with the Earth. CMEs typically drive shock waves that produce energetic particles that can be damaging to both electronic equipment and astronauts that venture outside the protection of the Earth’s magnetic field.

5.  Geomagnetic Storms
While a flare alone produces high-energy particles near the Sun, a CME can reach the Earth and disturb the Earth’s magnetosphere, setting off a geomagnetic storm. Often, these storms produce surges in the power grid and static on the radio, and, if the waves of energetic particles are strong enough, they can overload power grids and drown out radio signals. This type of activity can also affect ground to air, ship to shore, and navigational communication, military detection, and early warning systems.
Observing the ejection of CMEs from the Sun provides an early warning of geomagnetic storms. Only recently, with SOHO, has it been possible to continuously observe the emission of CMEs from the Sun and determine if they are aimed at the Earth.

“Solar Shield” experimental forecasting system studied
NASA has created a new project called “Solar Shield” in an effort to prevent damage to key transformers in the case of a severe solar storm.
Unfortunately, a report composed by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009 warns that modern power systems, though several utilities have taken the necessary steps to strengthen and secure their power grids, have a “significantly enhanced vulnerability and exposure to effects of a severe geomagnetic storm.”
To protect power systems in the event that another powerful solar storm should occur, NASA has developed a project called “Solar Shield,” which has the potential to shelter high-voltage power lines that crisscross over North America. Considering the length of these power lines has “increased nearly 10 fold” since the beginning of the Space Age, it is critical to consider the effect a solar storm could have on power systems in the United States and throughout the world.
“Solar Shield is a new and experimental forecasting system for the North American power grid,” said Antti Pulkkinen, project leader and Catholic University of America research associate currently working with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “We believe we can zero in on specific transformers and predict which of them are going to be hit the hardest by a space weather event.”
Geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) are the main problems when it comes to power grids during geomagnetic storms. When a CME approaches Earth’s magnetic field, it causes the field to shake. This quiver causes currents from the ground to Earth’s upper atmosphere, and powerful GICs can trip breakers, overload circuits and melt the windings of transformers. Transformer damage leads to large-scale blackouts, and these transformers cannot be repaired in the field. They must be replaced, which is both expensive and time consuming.
“Solar Shield springs into action when we see a coronal mass ejection (CME) billowing away from the sun,” said Pulkkinen. “Images from SOHO and NASA’s twin STEREO spacecraft show us the cloud from as many as three points of view, allowing us to make a 3D model of the CME, and predict when it will arrive.”
The CME typically takes 24 to 48 hours to cross the Sun-Earth divide. During this time, NASA researchers at the Goddard Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) are gathering physics-based computer programs to model the CME. Thirty minutes before impact, ACE, a spacecraft stationed 1.5 million km “upstream from Earth,” uses its sensors to make in situ measurement’s of the CME’s magnetic field, density and speed, then sends the data to the Solar Shield team on Earth. The data is fed into CCMC computers where models predict currents and fields in Earth’s upper atmosphere and transmit this information to the ground. The Solar Shield team is then prepared to send alerts to utilities with details about the GICs.

ACE Spacecraft
The Earth is constantly bombarded with a stream of accelerated particles arriving not only from the Sun, but also from interstellar and galactic sources. Study of these energetic particles, or cosmic rays, contributes to our understanding of the formation and evolution of the solar system, as well as the astrophysical processes involved. The Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft carries six high-resolution sensors and three monitoring instruments to sample low-energy particles of solar origin and high-energy galactic particles.
From a vantage point approximately 1/100 of the distance from the Earth to the Sun, ACE performs measurements over a wide range of energy and nuclear mass, under all solar wind flow conditions and during both large and small particle events including solar flares. ACE provides near-real-time solar wind information over short time periods. When reporting space weather, ACE can provide an advance warning (about one hour) of geomagnetic storms that can overload power grids, disrupt communications on Earth, and present a hazard to astronauts.
ACE orbits the L1 libration point which is a point of Earth-Sun gravitational equilibrium, about 1.5 million km from Earth and 148.5 million km from the Sun. The elliptical orbit affords ACE a prime view of the Sun and the galactic regions beyond.

Sun’s protective heliosphere ‘bubble’ is shrinking
The protective bubble around the sun that helps to shield the Earth from harmful interstellar radiation is shrinking and getting weaker, NASA scientists have warned.
By Richard Gray, Science Correspondent 1:30PM BST 18 Oct 2008
New data has revealed that the heliosphere, the protective shield of energy that surrounds our solar system, has weakened by 25 per cent over the past decade and is now at it lowest level since the space race began 50 years ago.
Scientists are baffled at what could be causing the barrier to shrink in this way and are to launch mission to study the heliosphere.
Dr. Nathan Schwadron, co-investigator on the IBEX mission at Boston University, said: “The interstellar medium, which is part of the galaxy as a whole, is actually quite a harsh environment. There is a very high energy galactic radiation that is dangerous to living things.
“Around 90 per cent of the galactic cosmic radiation is deflected by our heliosphere, so the boundary protects us from this harsh galactic environment.” The heliosphere is created by the solar wind, a combination of electrically charged particles and magnetic fields that emanate a more than a million miles an hour from the sun, meet the intergalactic gas that fills the gaps in space between solar systems. At the boundary where they meet a shock wave is formed that deflects interstellar radiation around the solar system as it travels through the galaxy.
Without the heliosphere the harmful intergalactic cosmic radiation would make life on Earth almost impossible by destroying DNA and making the climate uninhabitable. Measurements made by the Ulysses deep space probe, which was launched in 1990 to orbit the sun, have shown that the pressure created inside the heliosphere by the solar wind has been decreasing.
Dr David McComas, principal investigator on the IBEX mission, said: “It is a fascinating interaction that our sun has with the galaxy surrounding us. This million mile an hour wind inflates this protective bubble that keeps us safe from intergalactic cosmic rays. “With less pressure on the inside, the interaction at the boundaries becomes weaker and the heliosphere as a whole gets smaller.”
If the heliosphere continues to weaken, scientists fear that the amount of cosmic radiation reaching the inner parts of our solar system, including Earth, will increase.

Potential Health Effects
Solar flares and coronal mass ejections result in the release of radiation across the spectrum, from x-rays to light waves to fast-moving protons to plasma. We know that satellites can be affected (even made non-functional) and astronauts need to be aware of the risk and seek shelter during these storms. Astronauts on the Space Station receive increased exposure during these solar phenomena. The energetic particles from a flare or CME would be dangerous to an astronaut on a mission to the Moon or Mars. As for sunspots, they are merely cooler regions of the sun and do not cause any particular harm.
Out of all of the Sun’s activities, it is actually the Sun’s UV rays that pose the greatest risk to human health.

What you can do to protect yourself (on a normal, daily basis)
UV rays pose a much greater risk to human health than the radiation from the Sun’s other activities. Here are some of the ways in which you can better protect yourself from the Sun’s harmful UV rays:
•  Cover Up: Wear tightly woven, loose-fitting, and full-length clothing.
•  Wear Sunglasses that Block 99-100% of UV Radiation: Sunglasses that provide 99-100% UVA and UVB protection greatly reduce sun exposure that can lead to cataracts and other eye damage.
•  Always Use Sunscreen: Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher liberally on exposed skin. Reapply every 2 hours, or after working, swimming, playing, or exercising outdoors.
•  Check daily the UV Index: The UV Index provides important information to help people plan outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun. This information is commonly found near weather predictions in newspapers and on the internet sites, like EPA’s Sunwise UV Index site.

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