A bold new theory about the Sun–Earth relationship, its role in history, and its potentially disastrous future.
We are in the midst of one of the most massive, powerful, and relentless solar storms in history, reports science journalist and solar expert Lawrence Joseph, and a single, random blast from the Sun could well destroy our way of life at any time. Tracing the Sun's behavior and its influence on Earth from the most recent Ice Age to the present and connecting groundbreaking research in solar physics to biology, politics, and culture, Joseph alerts us to the tremendous vulnerability of our infrastructure and delivers the tools and strategies we need to outsmart the Sun and protect Earth's satellites and other vital systems from the coming solar apocalypse.
Solar Cataclysm implores us to rethink our understanding of human history and redefine our relationship with the 4.57-billion-year-old thermonuclear behemoth in order to defend our future.
The connection between human history and solar activity has gone largely untold—until now. Carefully examining the 4.57-billion-year story of our relationship with the Sun, science reporter and bestselling author Lawrence Joseph demonstrates how nearly every aspect of earthly existence and human behavior has always been and continues to be susceptible to changes in the Sun—the basis for his "Moody Sun Hypothesis." As we come to realize that the Sun is far more turbulent and explosive than imagined, we must also come to terms with the fact that our future is more vulnerable to the Sun than ever suspected.
From the Sun's role in global climate change to its constant threat of catastrophic solar blasts, and from stories of solar activity causing rifts in religion in the Middle Ages to the way sunspots are messing with our moods and minds today, Solar Cataclysm examines the myriad ways the ever-changing Sun disrupts our personal lives, determines the course of history, and shapes our destiny.
But this isn't a tale of doom. Our fates, collectively and individually, aren't tethered to the Sun's ups and downs. With captivating storytelling and witty prose, Joseph shows us how to draw on the tools and expertise—including the very latest solar science research and technology advances, as well as human ingenuity and survival instincts—to respond effectively to the Sun's threats and to shield ourselves and our atmosphere, satellite system, power grids, and nuclear power infrastructure from the Sun's impending assault.
How did the Sun King, Louis XIV, ban sunspots for virtually all of his seventy-two-year reign? What makes Stanford and Purdue University scientists so sure that the Sun is sending out secret, vitally important messages today?
Smart and engaging, Solar Cataclysm guides us to a new, dynamic, life-affirming level of interconnectedness among self, planet, and sustaining star.
Futurist and science writer Joseph (Apocalypse 2012) describes the fascinating and subtle science underlying his "Moody Sun Hypothesis," asserting that variations in the Sun's radiation output have influenced history, climate, birthrates, migration trends, even the stock market (sunspot and solar flare activity cause disturbances in the electromagnetic field that can affect the brain and one's judgment). Although ancient Babylonians recorded observations of sunspots around 1000 B.C.E., Aristotle's ideas of "heavenly perfection" led the Church to deny the existence of sunspots until early telescopes proved otherwise. Measurements show that decreases in solar activity coincide with declines in Earth's temperatures. Joseph discusses evidence for what scientists call the Medieval Warm Period (900-1200 C.E.) and the subsequent "Little Ice Age" (1300-1750), when long winters and damp, chilly summers brought crop failures, famine, and political collapse. After a strong argument that global warming, though largely the result of human activity, is partly due to the Sun's variability, Joseph looks at biological effects, such as skin cancer and the value of phototherapy (the use of light to treat skin diseases and mental disorders). Joseph's argument is provocative food for thought for science readers. Agent: Andrew Stuart, the Stuart Agency. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.