In the 19th century, some inexplicable sunspot activity led to failure in communications on the territory of the United States and Europe. Richard Carrington was an astronomer who spotted and recorded this solar storm, so this phenomenon was named after him – the Carrington Event. It caused considerable damage to the telegraph systems in the whole world. As a matter of fact, sunspot activities are not rare causes, but the one that happened in 1859 provided an unusual effect on the earth.
Back in those times, people were not as dependent on technology and electronic devices as we are now, so their daily lives were not affected that much and the outcomes were not catastrophic. However, if to imagine that such phenomenon could occur nowadays, it would cause malicious harm to the electronic and computer system of many countries. In particular, the damage would be especially severe in economic terms as it would take plenty of money to repair the damage. Besides, according to the words of John Kappenman, a similar event to the one that happened in 1859 could be one of the large-scale disasters of the modern times.
Why Is the Modern World so Vulnerable to Technological Disasters?
- Despite all the advancements and conveniences, the 21st century is more fragile than people are used to think
With huge dependency on technology and electricity, our world is becoming more and more fragile when it comes to facing some natural disasters and technological accidents. Even when the electricity is cut off for a few days, many factories operations are closed down and people cannot live their regular lives. When talking about electricity in particular, people can be even restricted in proper transportation system.
- Scientists need to work hard nowadays on devising new ways of dealing with potential technological threats
The Center for the Study of Existential Risk located at Cambridge University is an institution responsible for dealing with problems threatening humankind. It should be mentioned, however, that the scientists working there are not really optimistic in their prognoses regarding the future of the human civilization. Stephen Hawking, for example, sees the only option of other-worldly survival. In particular, he suggests that people pay more attention towards investigating journeys to the Mood and Mars and establish some bases where they could live.
- Humans need to make some in-depth changes in their views in order to save themselves
According to the popular opinions of other scientists, looking for ways to reside on other planets is not an option for humankind survival. To their mind, if people do not change their approach to living and using the earthly resources, they will bring the same negative existential crisis to the other planets. In this situation, such an escape is not a way out as all the problems will be brought with people wherever they go. Such conviction is another blind spot that humans overlook in their urge of escaping natural and technological disasters.
All in all, the way out lies not in space exploration but in the ability of humankind to reside peacefully on the planet they were initially born onto.