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2013: an Ominous Year For Warnings and Predictions 94

Posted by timothy
from the it's-all-here-in-the-quatrain dept.
dcblogs writes "This year may be remembered for its striking number of reports and warning of calamitous events. The National Intelligence Council released its Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds report that included a number of dire possibilities ahead, including the prospect of a catastrophic solar storm, on par with the 1859 Carrington Event. Historical records suggest a return period of 50 years for a repeat of the Quebec-level storm that knocked out the power for 6 million in 1989, and 150 years for very extreme storms, such as the Carrington Event, according to Lloyd's, in a report this year. Scientists at the Idaho National Laboratory recently demonstrated in tests that 'geomagnetic disturbances have the power to disrupt and possibly destroy electrical transformers, the backbone of our nation's utility grid.' This was also the year the average daily level of CO2 reached a concentration above 400 parts per million. In a recent National Academies report this year, 'Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises,' scientists recommend creation of a global early warning system to alert mankind to abrupt climate changes. A recent paper in Nature, Abrupt rise of new machine ecology beyond human response time, said financial trading systems are driving transaction times down to the speed of light, and 'the quickest that someone can notice potential danger and physically react, is approximately 1 second.'"
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2013: an Ominous Year For Warnings and Predictions

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  • by WillAdams (45638) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @12:04PM (#45775853) Homepage

    How are we going to harness tech and knowledge to create a better world for our children and grand-children?

    Is it really an improvement to have machines such as the ShapeOko: [] rather than teaching children how to use a set of carving gouges, chisels, saws, &c.?

    Is it inevitable that we will see the banning of commercial fishing as commercial hunting was out-lawed during our grand-parents' day?

    What technologies or organizations are there which offer options for making the world a better place?

      - [] --- and their ``global village construction kit are one bright light --- arguably the ShapeOko has a place in that though.
      - [] --- teach a man to fish and all that

  • I was there! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @12:39PM (#45776069)

    for a repeat of the Quebec-level storm that knocked out the power for 6 million in 1989

    I was there. And it was really, really creepy. From my apartment building I could see the electrical arcing from the power station way on the other side of town. The lights went out everywhere, and then the Aurora Borealis started lighting up the sky - something that rarely happens at that lattitude (Montreal). It was - surreal.

There is hardly a thing in the world that some man can not make a little worse and sell a little cheaper.