To close our look at Tom Horn’s extrabiblical “proofs” for a 2012 wrap-up, we have something that does represent a potential and real threat – just not in 2012. There was some talk of it as a danger in 2012, when Horn first wrote Apollyon Rising, but that’s changed.
The issue: Solar storms. These can indeed have serious effects. But here’s the rub: Solar storms happen a lot. They’re the cause of the Northern Lights (and their southern counterparts). What we have to worry about, if anything, is when these storms get severe.
The last time one of these solar storms seriously spit up our way was in 1859. A British astronomer named Richard Carrington -- who got the phenomenon named after him -- happened to see the sun spit out some gas towards us. The “effects” back then were marginal. 48 hours later, the nighttime sky was as bright as day, even in the tropics, to the point where people could read outside by the light. Telegraphs went haywire.
And that was the worst of it.
Today, a similar blast could cause some serious problems with our electronics. That in turn could indeed cause some serious problems with all our modern services – just like was predicted with the Y2K bug.
So what’s the connect to 2012? Back when Horn wrote his book, 2012 was being predicted as a “peak” time for solar activity. Horn jumped on an item in the Daily Mail (link below) which set out a “worst case” scenario, closing with the words, “Perhaps it would be wise to start stocking up on some candles.” Horn, ever eager, apparently, to shore up his survivalist business, advised readers to go to his website and do what the man said.
But something happened on the way to the solar flare. The experts had some second thoughts about the date. Here are some quotes from articles linked below.
Like most experts in the field, Hathaway has confidence in the conveyor belt model and agrees with Dikpati that the next solar maximum should be a doozy. But he disagrees with one point. Dikpati's forecast puts Solar Max at 2012. Hathaway believes it will arrive sooner, in 2010 or 2011.
"History shows that big sunspot cycles 'ramp up' faster than small ones," he says. "I expect to see the first sunspots of the next cycle appear in late 2006 or 2007—and Solar Max to be underway by 2010 or 2011."
An international panel of experts led by NOAA and sponsored by NASA has released a new prediction for the next solar cycle. Solar Cycle 24 will peak, they say, in May 2013 with a below-average number of sunspots.
"Go ahead and mark your calendar for May 2013," says Pesnell. "But use a pencil."
Solar storms do happen on a cycle. And they’re not all Carrington events. In fact, very, very few of them are. We don’t know when the next one of that type will be and there’s no way to know so early.
Unlike the rest of Horn’s 2012 drumbeats, this one is a real problem that will need a solution. But even before the goalpost shifted to 2013, there was no reason to think we’d see a reply of 1859 in 2012.
I don’t often concern myself with motives when it comes to those whose arguments I address. But given Horn’s high stakes in his survivalist supply business – this is one you have to wonder about.