Earth Day Essay April 22, 2022

Two major challenges now exist for the future viability of human society. These threats to all world societies are in the context of widespread global warfare that became rampant with the advent of WWI and has only slightly dissipated since the end of the Vietnam War. Multiple sectarian wars, as in Ukraine, Myanmar, and Trigay region of Ethiopia, are examples of the propensity of global consumer society to indulge in chemical warfare on the biosphere.
The first threat to the viability to human society is global climate change. Widely recognized components of catastrophic climate change include global warming, rising sea levels, melting icecaps, declining biodiversity, deteriorating air and water quality, and the gradual loss of available agricultural biomes due to growing urbanization and pollution. The second threat to the viability of global consumer society is the increasing danger posed by solar storms to the world’s electric grid due to sunspot activity. A solar storm as intense as the Carrington event in September, 1859, could incinerate the world’s electrical transformers. These electrical transformers are the key ingredient of the world’s interconnected power grid and essential to the functioning of global consumer society. The consequences of widespread electrical grid burnout and the subsequent long term loss of electricity to all urban and most suburban communities will result in the simultaneous loss of worldwide telecommunication systems, including the internet, television, and radio and the destruction of most suburban and urban water and food supply systems. The sudden widespread loss of electrical power will make it impossible to operate many water supply networks, medical facilities, airlines, transportation networks, and educational institutions. A severe solar storm, which is derived from a coronal mass ejection event due to the disruption of the sun’s geomagnetic field, will usher in an Age of Fried Transformers, disrupting our interconnected modern consumer society and global trading networks.