March 2, 2000
Subject; Green Files 6: THE BIGGER MYSTERY BEHIND ELIAN'S SURVIVAL + HOPE (Heal Our Planet Earth) World Petition + Books and news from Earth Day + NO MORE FRANKENFISH + Scientists fear that global warming has now gone beyond the point of no return
I have some more interesting material for your attention, this time all related to the environment but with a generally positive and hope-filled slant, except the last article that is more unsettling to read, I prefer to warn you -- but it also contains a glimmer of hope as you will see and some damning revelations about presidential hopeful Al Gore.
I hope you can make time to review this material and take some action in response such as supporting the HOPE World Petition presented below.
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
THIS AMAZING STORY REALLY DRIVES HOME THE NOTION THAT WE ARE DEFINITELY NOT THE ONLY SENTIENT, INTELLIGENT BEING ON THIS PLANET AND THAT WE OUGHT TO CARE FOR ALL OTHER LIFE FORMS, ESPECIALLY THE DOLPHINS IN THE CASE...
Subject: Ocean Sanctity: THE BIGGER MYSTERY BEHIND ELIAN'S SURVIVAL
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000
From: Larry Morningstar <email@example.com>
Hello Dear Ones,
Following is an article about the young Cuban boy who recently survived an ordeal at sea while fleeing Cuba with his mother. The media has concentrated on the issue of whether he would be granted asylum in the US or returned to his father in Cuba. This story by Hawaiian writer Bobbie Sandoz, focuses on his amazing survival. Read on... and please feel free to forward this message far and wide.
All the very best.,
Larry Morningstar firstname.lastname@example.org
THE BIGGER MYSTERY BEHIND ELIAN'S SURVIVAL
Little Elian, the young Cuban boy, has been in the news for the past few months as family members and governments quarrel over where he will live.
But the bigger story according to Bobbie Sandoz, Honolulu therapist with two graduate degrees in education and social work and author of Parachutes for Parents and Listening to Wild Dolphins, is that Elian was surrounded by dolphins during his ordeal in the ocean following his mother's death.
Sandoz who is the Jane Goodall of dolphins, believes their presence explains why Elian lacked the kind of sunburn and other medical problems that would normally go with this kind of exposure, since an abundance of stories align with the research that suggests their healing abilities are related to the power of intention and directing their energy, yet go far beyond our own understanding of this new field of study.
Sandoz, who has swum with dolphins throughout the world for the past decade, also believes it is why Elian has not demonstrated the usual symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that would be expected from a child taken abruptly from his father in order to ride uncharted seas to America, then forced to watch helplessly as his mother drowned, followed by days alone in the open ocean before being rescued off a Florida beach.
Sandoz, a veteran therapist skilled in the new "energy psychology" that employs tapping specific points on the body to effectively release old trauma and pain, much like the dolphins pinging us with their sonar, believes the dolphins' well documented capacity for healing contributed to this unexpected outcome for Elian, whose fellow adult survivors required hospitalization to recover from their lesser traumas.
Sandoz also points out that the dolphins responded to this human child with great kindness at a time when their own families are dying by the 100s along the same Florida coast where Elian was found -- most likely at human hands from exposure to intense levels of low frequency active sonar (LFAS) rumored to be in that area prior to these strandings.
Sadly, this carnage is accompanied by similar strandings on the west coast last summer and Europe this February, while the dolphins and whales continue to approach our boats, swim with us, and offer us rescue and healing. In fact, one group of San Juan Orcas even showed up to listen to a human concert given in their honor and displayed a particular interest in "Amazing Grace" or forgiveness without merit.
By contrast, our species has failed to work very hard to understand the intelligence of these large brained beings or uncover the "mystery" behind their deaths by checking their ears and lungs for rupture or tissue shearing: all symptoms of LFA sonar exposure predicted by the Marine Mammal Commission in 1997 to result in deafness, starvation, and eventual death of marine mammals if deployed.
Even more disturbing is that our government is moving swiftly toward premature activation of this risky technology of unprecedented force and untested power in 80% of the world's oceans, apparently to get it underway and classified before the public has a chance to hear about its potential to threaten all marine life.
Meanwhile, there seems to be a campaign against the friendliness of cetaceans, perhaps so that we won't care that our government is killing them. Yet, Sandoz says she has never seen one aggressive act in her decade of time with dolphins and whales in the water and questions the motives of those depicting them as unkind.
Sandoz further believes the sonar, if deployed, will surely result in a holocaust beneath the sea, which appears to already be underway. And, rather than watch passively as we have during past holocausts, she suggests we reach deep into our hearts to see if there is enough intelligence and caring in us to call our congressional representatives and insist that they halt all forward movement of the LFAS program.
Sandoz also hopes we will care more about Elian than politics and assure him the best placement for his spirit and life that she believes the dolphins helped to save.
I highly recommend the following book by Bobbie Sandoz, the author of this article:
Listening to Wild Dolphins, Learning Their Secrets for Living with Joy by Bobbie Sandoz, MSW Author/Therapist/Columnist/Speaker ISBN: 1-58270-019-2 Available at Ingram
Larry Morningstar email@example.com
Ocean Sanctity Mail List
STOP LFA SONAR & ATOC NOW!
Purpose of this list:
To Preserve Ocean Sanctity.
To ensure a safe home for Whales and Dolphins and all creatures of the sea, and a safe place for humans to visit.
To Stop Navy LFAS & ATOC Sonar Testing and Deployment
Providing: Updates and Alerts about efforts to end the Navy's use of these technologies which are exceedingly dangerous to all marine animals, especially whales and dolphins with their super-sensitive hearing
Volume - low, usually not more than one message per week, except when there is the need for an **Alert**
To subscribe to this list: just send a message with the words:
"subscribe: Ocean Sanctity Mail List" to: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world:
indeed it's the only thing that ever has!"
- Margaret Mead
For information on the litigation that will soon be filed to stop
the Navy from spending any more money on LFAS until after their
final EIS has been filed and reviewed by the court, go to:
For lots more information on LFAS, go to :
Calendar of events related to the Stop LFAS Worldwide campaign:
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2000
From: "Anthony Marr" <email@example.com>
Subject: HOPE (Heal Our Planet Earth) World Petition
HEAL OUR PLANET EARTH Global Environmental Organization
(HOPE-GEO) http://www.HOPE-GEO.org ; Anthony_Marr@HOPE-GEO.org
Dear fellow world citizens:
This letter is being sent out to environmental and peace organizations around the world. It is to invite your participation in the international and multilingual
HOPE World Petition
* 1 million names needed worldwide by Dec. 31, 2000 *
[We, the people of Earth, in view of its global environmental crisis, hereby petition the UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY to vote towards a U.N. RESOLUTION for all nations to each reduce its own annual military budget by 10% of its 1999 spending, thus collectively reducing the $1.6-trillion annual global arms expenditure by $160-billion per annum. The funds thus liberated shall be placed into a U.N.-administered Global HOPE Fund - to heal our planet Earth.]
To sign this petition and/or download the petition forms, please click here or go to: http://www.HOPE-GEO.org .
To distribute this petition, please forward this invitation-letter to your friends and colleagues worldwide, and link http://www.HOPE-GEO.org to your website, thank you. HOPE-GEO will do likewise.
So, why the HOPE World Petition?
For a deep philosophical view, please read Earths Shining Destiny a New Millennium Vision (see http://www.HOPE-GEO.org - New Articles section). This article has been published in newspapers globally.
For a short, direct answer, please read on.
This is a crucial time for our Earth. The term Global Environmental Crisis is serious, true and real. 1500 of the worlds leading scientists are giving us 10 years before the chance to avert the threats we now confront will be lost and the prospects for humanity are immeasurably diminished. (The World Scientist - Warning to Humanity) And yet, how many worthy and needed environmental projects are gathering dust on shelves due to lack of funding? How many people in shopping malls, who vote and ultimately determine the future course of history, are not walking in a state of blissful denial? Tell us that our loved ones have fallen seriously ill, and wed rush to their aid, but tell us that our beloved Earth has not one, not two, not three, but six serious illnesses, and what would we do?
Consider the following analogy of the Six Planetary Ailments: 1. Planetary Fever - global warming, caused by excessive emission of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. 2. Planetary Auto-Immune Deficiency Syndrome (P-AIDS) - damage to the ozone shield - Earth's own auto-immune system (protecting her biosphere from harmful solar UV radiation) - caused by releasing CFCs and other ozone-depleting gasses into the atmosphere. 3. Planetary Cancer - human and cattle populations multiplying unchecked, corrupting and destroying natural ecosystems. (Some say that the only difference between us humans and cancer cells is that we have a choice.) 4. Planetary Wasting Disease - unsustainable consumption of Earth's resources, resulting in rapid loss of biomass (trees, fish, etc.), biodiversity (extinction of 6 species per hour) and soil (50,000 super-tanker-loads per year from India alone). 5. Planetary Blood-Poisoning - no aliens are dumping pollutants and toxic waste into our atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere; we are doing a good enough job ourselves. 6. Planetary Suicidal Tendency - no aliens are going to nuke us, but we may nuke ourselves.
Those who are still with us will begin to ponder the planetary medical bill, which basically is to calculate the incalculable. To save just one species, say the tiger, will cost millions, and this is but one tiny part of just one out of six planetary ailments - the Wasting Disease. To research and develop alternative energies enough to replace fossil-fuels technology - to just alleviate the Planetary Fever a little - will cost billions. To cure all six Planetary Ailments simultaneously - trillions, just for starters.
When must we pay? The Global Environmental Crisis says, Now or never.
What do we pay with? THIS is the question. One thing we do know. Our Earth has no medical insurance, and full-scale treatment must commence without delay. Grants and donation are needed and always appreciated, but they are but a spoonful in the bucket, enough perhaps to barely keep the dedicated planet-healers from starvation. So, does this planet-healing fund exist at all?
Thankfully, yes. Where is it? Finally, we're in a little luck, for there is a clue, and this clue, ironically, is in one of the planetary ailments.
While doing recent tiger conservation work in India (see the Tigers Forever Campaign section of http://www.HOPE-GEO.org ), I found at least 6 tigers poached in one year at Bandhavgarh National Park from a supposed population of only 40, and witnessed what little left of wild India besieged on all sides, losing ground on most fronts. At the same time, I saw desperately needed work, such as anti-poaching, anti-smuggling, anti-poverty, species preservation, habitat protection, birth control and techno-change (e.g. solar cooking and biogas to displace wood burning) not being done or done inadequately due to shortage of government funding, while reportedly, the government was spending US$1.8 billion (Times of India, March 1997) to develop a new Star Wars system, in addition to their nuclear weapons program. In India at least, the answer is glaringly obvious: her tiger conservation funds should come from a reduction of her military budget.
Look to other nations and what do we see? Parallel scenarios in various ways, to various degrees. The result is that worldwide, the global military expenditure stands at an atrocious $1.6 TRILLION PER ANNUM, and to what civilized end? Just 10% of this colossal waste can fund thousands of much needed environmental projects worldwide, towards the healing of our Earth.
To facilitate this Third Millennium swords-to-ploughshares process ñ to free two birds with one key, as it were - a possible first step is for all concerned citizens of the world to exert their collective will by means of an international, multilingual petition. The HOPE World Petition is the realization of this possibility:
To answer several main objections:
1. No nation will suffer any weakening of military strength relative to any other, since all will be set back by the same proportion. There will be no significant disturbance of the current balance of power. Rather, the resulting multilateral international treaty will be a document of trust amongst nations, by which global security will be strengthened.
2. No nation need suffer financial drain since all nations (their GOs and NGOs) can reclaim their portion of the HOPE Fund to solve their own environmental problems.
3. No military personnel need be laid off, since they can be retrained for environmental projects and conservation operations, such as anti-poaching, anti-smuggling, reforestation, remediation and restoration.
4. No arms manufacturers need lose business, since their technical capabilities can be channeled towards making high-tech conservation tools and environmental instruments.
5. Some say that the arms race spurs technological advancement. But we say, a "peace race" can do the same or better.
6. Regarding the UN's internal workings as well as those of the various national governments, the HOPE World Petition will doubtless encounter a bureaucratic nightmare of unprecedented proportions. But all dreams, good and bad, big and small, must end each in its new dawn.
A petition is worth little more than its weight in paper, unless it can generate a media wave in its wake. The HOPE World Petition has the potential to generate a global media tsunami. To achieve this, HOPE-GEO will deliver the first million signatures by means of a 5-month, 70-city, media-oriented road tour from Vancouver via California and the Great Lakes to the UN HQ in New York for formal presentation (see Road Tour Itinerary section of http://www.HOPE-GEO.org ). Meanwhile, the HOPE World Petition will keep on growing, until its critical mass is surpassed, and its aim achieved.
Some say, "It is possible, but difficult." We say, "It is difficult, but possible." And further, that given blood, sweat and tears, and global solidarity and commitment, and time, it is inevitable.
Again, please sign the petition, link our websites, and forward this letter to your friends worldwide. Together, speaking out in diverse languages yet in one voice, we can make it happen.
For Earth's sake,
Anthony Marr, Founder Heal Our Planet Earth Global Environmental Organization (HOPE-GEO) 4118 West 11th Ave., Vancouver, BC, Canada V6R 2L6; (604) 222-1169; http://www.HOPE-GEO.org ; Anthony_Marr@HOPE-GEO.org
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000
From: Denis Hayes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Books and news from Earth Day
In a couple of months, on April 22, Earth Day 2000 will enlist hundreds of
millions of participants in 180 nations. Its goal is audacious. Like the
first Earth Day in 1970, it is seeking to change history. Earth Day 2000
will begin to force the world to get serious about climate change.
I hope you will join the campaign. Visit our website at
http://www.earthday.net to learn how to get involved.
Also, here are a couple of tools you may find helpful. One of them is
cheap, and the other is free.
#1 -- THE OFFICIAL EARTH DAY GUIDE TO PLANET REPAIR
My new book, published by Island Press, is rolling off the presses right
now. The Guide is a humorous, provocative, pull-no-punches assessment of
what we need to do about global warming. It offers a wealth of up-to-date
advice for consumers. It describes a cheap, simple strategy to meet
America's duties under the Kyoto Protocol. It exposes some of the
corporate and political villains who have been fooling around with our
climate. And it distills the political, economic, and scientific lessons
I've learned in a lifetime of fighting for clean energy -- as organizer of
the first Earth Day in 1970, former director of the National Renewable
Energy Laboratory, and head of the Earth Day 2000 campaign. (I should note
that I don't have a personal stake in the book's sales. All the proceeds
go to the nonprofit Earth Day Foundation.)
The Guide will be available at bookstores across the country within a few
weeks for $11.95. Or you can order one right now on the web and save some
-- The Earth Day Store is offering the Guide for $9.00
http://www.earthday.com/store/ (click on "Books & Art")
-- Amazon.com is selling it for $10.16
#2 -- FREE DAILY NEWS WITH A SENSE OF HUMOR
Earth Day Network also produces a free, daily email update of a half dozen
brief environmental news stories from around the world. THE DAILY GIST is
written with humor and attitude, and each item has direct web links to
original sources. We've pasted in today's edition below.
To subscribe for free to the Daily Gist, click here
http://www.gristmagazine.com/grist/gist/ or send an email to
email@example.com with the words "subscribe dailygist" in the body
of the message. Try it for a few days and see whether you find it useful.
If you don't, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the
words "unsubscribe dailygist" in the body of the message.
Please help us make Earth Day 2000 a turning point in history.
TO CHECK WHAT THE DAILY GIST LOOKS LIKE GO AT: http://www.gristmagazine.com
To subscribe to the DAILY GIST, click here
http://www.gristmagazine.com/grist/gist/ or send an email to
email@example.com with the words "subscribe dailygist" in the body
of the message.
Gloom and doom with a sense of humor. Impossible, you say? Nah. Visit
GRIST MAGAZINE, a beacon in the smog, at http://www.gristmagazine.com.
GRIST MAGAZINE is a project of Earth Day Network, http://www.earthday.net.
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000
From: Helen Engel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Frankenfish Caught
NO MORE FRANKENFISH
(from Winnipeg Free Press, February 26, 2000)
"Blenheim, N.Z. (AP)--A controversy involving leaked secret documents,
deformed fish heads and gargantuan salmon has ended with a New Zealand
firm agreeing to kill all its genetically engineered fish.
More than a year after New Zealand King Salmon Co. Ltd. was first
accused of breeding mutant chinook salmon in a so-called frankenfish
experiment, the company announced Friday it will bury the remains of the
fish and suspend its research."
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2000
Subject: As The World Boils...
Report from.... Johannesburg, South Africa. February 28 2000
Scientists fear that global warming has now gone beyond the point of no return, reports ROBIN MCKIE
In Mozambique, 300 000 people are left homeless and hundreds have
been killed in devastating floods. In France, storms cause 90
fatalities, destroy 270 million trees and trigger R750-billion
worth of damage. In Austria, a series of avalanches sweeps 11
people to their deaths. And in the Arctic, scientists discover that
over the past two decades the polar ice cap has thinned from a
modest 3m thickness to a flimsy 2m.
And that is just a brief selection of the environmental horrors
that have beset the planet over the past few weeks, although it is
enough to confirm meteorologists' worst fears. With wearied
resignation, they are now admitting what was long suspected - that
global warming must be accepted unambiguously as the trigger for
increasingly unstable weather fronts, storms, melting glaciers and
The world is slowly sliding into climatic uncertainty - yet there
is little sign that we are capable of taking action that can halt
this descent into elemental catastrophe.
"We can no longer say we are still unsure whether extreme weather
events are caused by global warming," says Dr Mike Hulme, of the
Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University. "When we look at
the Mozambique floods, at the storms that hit France, at the
absence of winter in Britain this year, at the avalanches in the
Alps, we are witnessing events that are now clearly tainted by
Yet, as Hulme points out, even if mankind stopped pumping carbon
dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere tomorrow, we would have
to wait a very long time to reap the benefits. It would take
several hundred years to stop the world's oceans from rising, for
"Even if we closed every factory in the world at midnight tonight,
there would be enough carbon in the atmosphere to keep it warm for
generations, and enough heat permeating through the oceans to keep
sea levels rising for hundreds of years," Hulme says.
That is bad enough. But now, three years after the Kyoto
environmental summit at which the leaders of the industrial nations
hammered out meagre proposals for reducing industrial gas emissions
by 5,2% of 1990 levels by the year 2010 - the chance of mankind's
willingness to reduce output by even a modest amount looks remote
Some nations responded fairly well, of course - including
relatively bad polluters like Britain, which was obliged to agree
to a 12,5% reduction. In fact, British Prime Minister Tony Blair
has decided to go further, and has pledged the country to a 20%
cut. Other European nations have been equally enthusiastic.
The world could be slightly encouraged - were it not for one major
blot on the political landscape. Although President Clinton signed
the Kyoto Treaty, committing the United States - by far the biggest
carbon dioxide polluter in the world - to reduce emissions by 7%,
Congress has simply refused to ratify the agreement or cut US
carbon dioxide output by a single ton.
This failure can be traced to US experts who claimed that signing
the Kyoto treaty would cost every American $2 000 a year in higher
fuel bills, a line that was promoted with particular vigour by the
Global Climate Coalition, an alliance of car manufacturers and oil
companies, including Peabody Coal, the powerful Western Fuels
Association and Exxon.
The coalition's aim - as revealed in internal documents - has been
to turn global warming from a "fact" into a "theory" in the minds
of the American public.
The origins of this extremely powerful, well-funded lobbying group
predate Kyoto and can be traced to the days when George Bush Snr
was President, a man who promised to "counter the greenhouse effect
with the White House effect" and then spurned the 1992
environmental summit in Rio de Janeiro.
The election of Bill Clinton in November 1992 subsequently gave
hope to reformers. "This was the moment for the US to take the
lead," says author Mark Hertsgaard in his book Earth Odyssey, which
he spent six years researching. "We led the global economy, there
was an economic boom, and we had a vice-president who had just
written that global warming was the greatest emergency facing the
Unfortunately, the reformers, and the world, have been undone by a
combination of factors: the election of a right-wing Republican
Senate opposed to any attempt to curb Americans' right to have
lives as wasteful and profligate as they like, the entrenchment of
the global climate coalition, and - as Hertsgaard puts it - "the
long-time and deeply ingrained relationship between the Gore family
and one of the industry's giants - Occidental Petroleum".
In this latter case, it was discovered that Vice-President Al
Gore's father had invested in Occidental Petroleum, to the tune of
$500 000 in stock. When Gore came to supervise the "Reinventing
Government" plan of 1995, he handed over a vast US Navy oil reserve
at Elk Hills, California, to Occidental. The sale order was signed
"It was a windfall for Occidental," says Hertsgaard, "and it was
sure a windfall for the stockholders. Anyone with stock in
Occidental amassed a fortune."
The current impasse over Kyoto can be attributed to a number of
factors, including "the political influence of the fossil fuel
industry and its friends in Congress, coupled with the inability of
the Clinton Administration and its own personal entwinement in the
corporations themselves", as Hertsgaard put it.
The world's bid to reduce its headlong flight towards climate
disruption, rising seas and drowned coastlines has been thwarted
primarily by this depressing combination of effects. Just as it has
done with moves to curb gun use, the US has stubbornly refused to
accept what the rest of the world, and its own liberal politicians,
have been saying: that it has to change its ways - drastically.
However, this deeply depressing situation has been lightened by
recent encouraging signs. The global climate coalition, the nemesis
of environment campaigners, is beginning to show signs of
instability. General Motors, Ford, Shell, Amoco and BP have
recently quit the organisation, although others, such as Exxon and
"These companies have watched the tide of public opinion change and
moved far away from their entrenched position," said Hulme. "The
future of car engine technology lies in the development of ways to
reduce carbon and other emissions, and more and more of these
companies are now accepting that this is inevitable."
Many experts predict that the family of someone killed in a storm
or avalanche may soon follow the example of litigants against
cigarette companies - and sue oil companies for pumping carbon
dioxide into the atmosphere.
Intriguingly, Britain is currently on course to reach its Kyoto
targets by 2010 but has had to do very little to achieve this goal.
By switching from coal to gas burning, and by improving energy
efficiency, it has cut emissions by several percent, a trend
further boosted by the fact it is now enjoying warmer and warmer
winters - which, of course, are linked to carbon dioxide output.
This irony is not lost on scientists.
However, to achieve its goal of a 20% emissions cut Britain will
soon have to take more direct action, and next year is expected to
introduce a climate change levy on companies. Employers will be
taxed according to the amount of energy they consume. How this cash
is then distributed by the treasury is still uncertain, however.
One thought is to use the cash to offset National Insurance
contributions, making it cheaper to employ people, but dearer to
use electricity and gas. Alternatively, the money could fund
research into solar, wind and wave energy devices that would then
replace the gas, oil and coal plants which generate most of
In other words, global warming, already an influence on British
society, is going to touch its people's lives increasingly. "We can
take action to mitigate its effects, but we must also try to
anticipate what is inevitably going to happen to our country," said
Dr Geoff Jenkins, of the Meteorology Office's Hadley Centre.
Bridge builders, architects, health services, lawyers, civil
servants, biologists, doctors and many others will have to prepare
for a future in which the climatic certainties of the past can no
longer be taken for granted.
This point is summed up by geographer Professor Nigel Arnell of
Southampton University. "We know the climate is going to change but
we don't know specifically how or where," he says. "For the first
time, the immediate past is not going to be a good guide to the
immediate future, and we don't know what that future will be like."
However, no organisation or unit as yet exists to provide guidance.
It is for this reason the British government is preparing to
establish a climate change research centre at which engineers,
social scientists, meteorologists and other scientists will attempt
to identify the unavoidable changes that will soon sweep the
country and devise ways to mitigate their effects.
"We need to pool our resources and deploy them now as best we can,"
said Hulme. "We cannot stop global warming, but we can arm
ourselves against it if we act promptly."
-- The Observer, February 28 2000.
LAST MINUTE ADDITION:
CHECK THE NASA WEBSITE Spaceweather.com ABOUT "A Twisted Tale of Sunspots"
Two large sunspots near the Sun's central meridian have developed complex magnetic fields. If solar flares erupt from these regions Earth could be in for stormy space weather.
The NOAA Space Environment Center is forecasting a 70% chance of significant M-class solar flares from at least one of the two large sunspots currently visible on the solar disk. Because of their placement on the Sun, like a double-barreled ray gun, these two sunspot groups are likely to produce solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) aimed toward Earth. Stormy space weather could be on the way sometime during the next 72 hours.
Solar flares are the biggest explosions in the solar system. A typical eruption can release the same amount of energy as millions of 100-megaton hydrogen bombs all exploding at the same time. The energy source for solar flares is the Sun's magnetic field. Whenever the magnetic field around a sunspot group becomes twisted and sheared, like a stretched and twisted rubber band, an explosive release of energy could be just around the corner.
Intense M-class and X-class flares can overload electrical power grids and cause blackouts if operators do not take precautions. Satellites can be damaged or even destroyed when their electronics are saturated by charged particles from large flares.
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