Today I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Bishwa Shakar from India Today!  Here’s the transcript!


[Bishwa Shekhar]

hi,I am Bishwajeet,a journalist from a leading news channel of India (aaj tak) and would really like to discuss with you solar flare

[Rick]
Hello Bishwa
Absolutely
I’d be honoured.

[Bishwa Shekhar]
firstly,it would be very kind of you telling your designation and organisation so that I could quote in our news channel

[Rick]
I’m the founder of SolarIMG

[Bishwa Shekhar]
Great Sir;Yesteday in my wall you wrote that communications was affected by the blasts;is it the first time amd to what degree

[Rick]
No, it’s not the first time that communications have been affected. I didn’t notice any effects with consumer communications, but the STEREO, SOHO and SDO satellites were affected.
Historically, the Canadian ANIK E1 and E2 communications satellites were very seriously affected previously
They were able to be recovered.
Also back in 1989 the Hydro-Quebec power grid was adversely affected by a major X class flare.
In 2003 all Sun facing GPS satellites were taken out of commission by a large solar radio burst.
As Solar Cycle 24 continues to rise, peaking around what is projected to be around 2013, we will most likely see more of these effects.
The Government of Canada and other OECD member nations are now investing heavily in solar storm risk mitigation strategies.
Not only do these flares affect technology, but they also have many effects on the human body and brain.
Unfortunately, many health providers are unaware of the effects that Geomagnetic Activity or “GMA” have on humans.

[Bishwa Shekhar]
Sir,Hoe does it affect brain

[Rick]
Well, it appears to affect theta waves as well as the amplitude/frequency of others in both a restful and excited state, Elchin Babayev of azerbaijan has done some amazing work proving this with EEG and other medical diagnostic equipment and I highly recommend his work.
GMA can also induce mania in manic-depressives, when GMA is weak they revert to the depressive state.
Basically the Solar activity excites our brains.
In a nutshell.
But there are also physiological effects, persons who are immunosuppressed or prone to heart attacks or high blood pressure can be affected adversely.
GMA can change blood viscosity, blood pressure and heart rate as well as affect the central nervous system. Heliophysiology and Heliopsychology are only now in their infancy, so much work needs to be done.
The risks are also dependent on other things such as location and more.
My personal belief is that here in North America, this research is discouraged or suppressed by academia and the pharmaceutical industry.

[Bishwa Shekhar]
It was said that yesterday solar blasts were not directed toward earth;what would have been the impact had it been directed towards earth

[Rick]
Well there have been very many non Earth directed blasts recently and this will increase over the next couple of years. The effects are wide ranging. Every blast is different in size, shape, content – so while one blast may affect us seriously another one may not – it depends on the magnetic field orientation of the solar ejecta. We can see effects with our eyes in the form of aurora, plant growth may increase, ground currents can also form impacting power grids and corroding pipelines. The effects are mostly pronounced at high and low geographic latitudes, depending on the severity of the storm the energies may travel towards middle latitudes but events like the 1859 Carrington created aurora as far South as Cuba.
There is a potential for disruption to basic infrastructure systems and other events that people are working very hard to protect against right now.

[Bishwa Shekhar]
Thanks a lot ,Sir

[Rick]
India is at such a latitude so that unless a huge, unlikely event that the risk is minimal however.
That being said, technical reliance on GPS and computer communications for simple aspects of societal function such as food production or delivery could potentially be affected and considering the current global food situation, could exacerbate the problem.

[Bishwa Shekhar]
Yes sir
which countries are at risk

[Rick]
Canada, the US, parts of Europe, Norway, Rusisa.
With space weather monitoring becoming a priority and professionals being aware of the affects and technology to mitigate the problem available I am very hopeful that we would be able to mitigate the effects of a major solar storm.

[Bishwa Shekhar]
Thanks for amazing and mind boggling information

[Rick]
You’re very welcome.
These energies affect us to the core.
I must stress that this is not a time for fear.
But yes, this is not a time for fear – These energies are generally GOOD for us humans.
The Sun is the driver of life on our planet.
The Sun literally gives us our life, and our spirit.
Traditionally over history, the peak of solar maximum is a joyus time for people.
However we must continue to be aware of the potential risks and prepare, just in case.
But if we can liberate ourselves from fear and face the future with informed ideals, we could have a very bright few years ahead of us indeed.
The recent exceptionally deep solar minimum has had global consequences, I need not go over the last decade..

[Bishwa Shekhar]
thanks sir and good bye