Several unplanned conversations have arisen because of this series, which has only one more instalment, after today. Some commentators with a strong background in science, especially those from institutions outside the country who are familiar with contemporary science, even hinted at the need for a forum to emphasise most of the issues raised.
The logic being that ours has always been a world made up of an unthinking majority who need to be 'rammed to wakefulness' occasionally. But there are many such platforms today. In fact, the 2012 bogey has become a thriving industry; offering interesting and intellectually titillating workshops, but with practically no spiritual content.
There were also commentators who stoutly declared, through mail and otherwise, that Africa is free and that Nigerians need not worry about disasters. They should remember the following:
(1) Lake Nyos is a little to the North-eastern part of the country and has wiped out villages in the resent past simply by gas emission. This can recur at any time without warning. It can also assume a more massive scale in subsequent recurrence.
(2) The nearby Cameroun mountains is a volcanic mountain. It is also active and can erupt with devastating consequences.
(3) We have had more than one tremor around Ibadan in the last 20 years, with no indication that there is clear knowledge of its cause(s) or the extent of damage it may cause in future.
(4) The Bar Beach water front used to be almost a kilometre from the road, but the ocean waters have claimed the beach, part of the road, the
School of Oceanography and is still coming. The new developments in Lagos will only compound the problem, because Victoria Island (a sponge Island) has been in trouble for a long time, partly because it should not be carrying the type of high-rise buildings on it today. So let dancing Nigerian sceptics watch their dance steps.
At the global level, the number and frequency of earthquakes is being downplayed by a faulty analysis. World authorities measure the frequency
of earthquakes using the 100-year average, thus hiding the fact that large-scale quakes, with over 50 times the negative impact of earlier quakes, are spiralling everywhere. Once information is distorted by analysis and interpretation, truth is obscured. The the earth recorded double the average of one great earthquake in '94, triple the average in '95 and quadruple the average in 2000. This is a big statistical departure, as does the jump from 120 strong on average to 161, 185 and 153 in the 1990s. Those are leaps of 30-50%, which are statistically significant.
They cannot be dismissed as fluke one-year deviations. As seers and modern scientists and their instruments speak of "signs" in the sky, nonscientists and non-seers are using scripture and ancient writings to remind us of wars (and rumours of wars) and of 'strange diseases' and predicted increase in'natural disasters'. We can say that the wars, strange diseases and natural disasters are here with us, because there are several deadly wars and many of them have been going on for over 20 years. The number of incurable disease is also on the increase and at a time medical science is at its most advanced ever. But why are conquered diseases developing new, incurable variants?
Yes, we can see all that, but can we see any signs in the sky? The concept of 'sky' here does not refer to the cloud we see when we look up. It was the 'sky' that told the three wise men from distant lands when the Messiah was born in Israel. The signs were not hidden, but many of those who saw it did not know what it meant. Thus the sky 'speaks' only to those who understand its language and who are attentive to its 'speech'. It tells them about the cosmic 'weather', crop harvests and failures, as well as the future of the earth and of its inhabitants. So, can we see any signs 'in the sky', and would we know what signs to look for and how to interpret them? Science has shown that we have been living badly and mismanaging the ecosystem called earth.
This easily overloads the earth's magnetosphere with certain radiations from the sun and sets the stage for magnetic storms whenever there are solar flares. At its worst this can disrupt life on earth, by changing the earth's magnetic field and overwhelming high-voltage transformers with vast electrical currents that easily short-circuit energy grids. It has happened before. Today it could induce ground currents that would knock out transformers in some parts of the world within 90 seconds. This is in addition to other damages expected to cost the United States alone (if struck) "$1 trillion to $2 trillion in the first year, with full recovery projected to take four to 10 years.
China is expected to be worse hit, since its high-power electrical grid is more vulnerable than that of the US then think of Europe and the rest of the world. It is not cheery news to hear that the protective shield of the earth is compromised, or that the heliosphere is shrinking, no! Even less cheery is the discovery of May 8, 2004, when NASA's two Double Star satellites (TC-1) and all four Cluster spacecraft were buffeted by intense
flows of electrically charged particles from the sun. The cluster crafts were bombarded every eight minutes for about six hours, while the Double Star TC-1 got blasted every four minutes for eight hours.
From this incident, scientists discovered that the same location could undergo magnetic reconnection several times; creating new successive magnetic flux tubes to channel more charged particles towards the earth. The day this phenomenon was discovered was just another normal day for the earth's magnetic field. There were no large magnetic storms anywhere. Yet the energetic particles from the sun were blasting their way through the earth's magnetic shield and penetrating our environment. The conclusion is that our knowledge of our material environment is very limited. It also shows that the actual relationship between us, the sun and our living environment is still largely unknown. But this environment affects organic and inorganic material in the short, medium and long term; sometimes reprogramming the biological and spiritual equilibrium of the earth.
Take, for instance, the global uproar that greeted the 'faulty', or sticky, pedals of the Toyota Camry brand, which made the car to sometimes accelerate by itself. The company was forced to recall over nine million of the vehicles in 2009. The official suspicion in scientific circles is that the car's problem may actually have been caused by cosmic rays from space. Livescience staff writer, Denise Chow, said in a report that: "While ongoing inquiries attempt to locate the source of the problem and figure out a fix, investigators might find it useful to examine a far-out culprit: cosmic ray radiation from deep in the cosmos, which has been known to plague vulnerable data and memory chips in electronics. If cosmic rays could even be partially to blame for Toyota's mechanical defects it means that the problem could get worse in the future.
The widespread practice of now replacing mechanical parts with tiny computer chips makes cars more and more vulnerable to space radiation. So, will your car wake up one glorious morning and set out on its own; simply because it is made with electronic controls that radiation bombardments from space can make to 'lose control'. The increase radiation entering the earth creates some worry for our technology facilitated life of ease. We can lose it all in one fell swoop. Electronic devices perform most functions on smaller circuit chips in almost all our machinery, especially automobiles.
This makes them vulnerable to corruption and also more sensitive to all sorts of electromagnetic activity. In simple words, they are more prone
to interference from many and diverse types of radiation. That is why car manufacturers and gadget companies may yet be supplying the world with potentially death-dealing devices, without knowing it. Lest we forget, knowledge of this problem is not new. The Vanderbilt Institute for Space and Defence Electronics at Vanderbilt University has been researching related phenomena since 1987. The high-energy particles from
space that pass through electronic chips (which generally record, store and process information in the form of "bits") can alter, or "flip", their programme. This is what leads to what experts call a Single Event Upset (SEU), which induce anything - from data loss, or altered programming, to serious corruptions of circuitry functions.
Think of what happens when a child's electronic toy that is damaged by immersion in water. It may spin on one spot,'disobey' the usual commands, or give electric shocks. This occurs in living things when harmful cosmic radiations, or radioactive materials like uranium, alter the genetic information in living cells and induce mutations and cancerous malignancies. So, welcome to mutant electronic equipment and revolting automobiles! Brain cancer in cars and electronics! The pace of technological innovation so overwhelms the institutions that are supposed to monitor standards that they cannot monitor everything, even if they have the time and the resources.
Electronic circuits and digital information processors have replaced cables, gears and other manual and mechanical components of most machinery. Once something goes wrong, the programme corruption can shut down an entire national grid, stop millions of vehicles simultaneously on the road all over the world and make airplanes to drop from the skies! This is because satellites orbiting the earth today have Altitude Control Systems (ACS), which use the direction of the earth's magnetic field to know where it is going, or whether it is facing up or down. If the earth's polarities become unstable during magnetic storms the satellites are 'misled' to turn upside down, or go bonkers altogether, they will also mislead navigators who depend on them for direction. The 1997 major satellites incapacitation by adverse space weather, like the AT&T Telstar 401 satellite, which had a massive power failure days after a solar storm hit the earth, is one example. There have been hundreds of similar cases since.