Fact #1: There will be a solar event in the next five years that wipes out the electrical grid for the US.

Fact #2: Solar and space weather prediction is about as accurate as hurricane predictions-- lots of maybes and false warnings, but great after-disaster analysis.

Fact #3: It's hard to educate and convince at the same time, and the public doesn't know what space weather is, yet.

Query: Are we doomed?

In Solar Cosmic Katrina and Chicken Little, we find out that:
Congresswoman Clarke at the Space Weather Enterprise Forum noted that “the likelihood of a geomagnetic storm that will disrupt the electrical grid is 100%. 100% [she emphasized]. It will happen. It is just a matter of when.
The same article/podcast reports that, once the damage happens, “replacement of transformers could be 4 to 10 years out at current world production levels.".  This was all discussed at an ordinary workshop, not a press op or a rally.  It's the facts, as we best understand them right now.
At least with space weather disasters,
we don't have to worry about this.

On the radio, I heard the weather report, then an air quality report (code Orange, stay inside if possible).  There was no terrorism alert (no code Orange on that), but if there had been, I would have understood it.   Neither air quality nor the terrorism index existed when I was a kid, but now people take them as routine.

So there is hope.  My hope is that we'll have space weather reports tacked onto the end of the conventional weather, along with air quality.  We're Americans, we can take it!

"Cloudy today with a 50% chance of rain.  The air quality index is Orange, so people with asthma or breathing trouble are advised to stay indoors.  Solar activity is high so we may have cell phone outages and mild GPS trouble from 8pm to midnight along the eastern seaboard.  And now, the sports."

Until next week,
Tuesdays at The Satellite Diaries and Friday at The Daytime Astronomer (twitter @skyday)