New film highlights NASA’s warning of a potential Solar Armageddon that knocks out power grids across the globe

Perhaps, as a tech-savvy citizen, you are worried about the financial cost of data breaches, or our increased vulnerability to terrorist hackers, or the erosion of our digital civil liberties. Don’t be. Instead, worry about the complete collapse of our power grid. NASA is warning that there’s a 12 percent chance an extreme solar storm will hit Earth in the next decade, sending out massive shock waves that would knock out grids across the world. The economic impact of this doomsday scenario could exceed $2 trillion — or 20 times the cost of Hurricane Katrina, according to the National Academy of Sciences. NASA first made this warning in 2009, when a study it funded detailed what might happen to our high-tech society in the event of a super solar flare — essentially the equivalent of bad space weather. An extreme geomagnetic storm would follow, melting copper windings of transformers at the heart of many power distribution centers. But few listened. And there was very little news coverage. Then in 2012, NASA’s prediction almost came true, with Earth experiencing a close shave by a solar storm that tore into our orbit. The storm hit a solar observatory that was equipped to measure the impact, providing precious data that confirmed NASA’s previous warnings of the severe consequences these storms pose. But again, few noticed. Recently, commemorating the two-year anniversary of the near-miss, NASA put out a press release with even more research, noting there’s a 12 percent chance that such a catastrophic solar storm will actually hit Earth in the next decade, with ramifications to modern society lasting for years. And again, no one noticed. It turns out scientists are really bad at PR. To be fair to them, society’s appreciation for science is abysmal anyway. FULL REPORT