Story ideas are all around us. We just have to keep our eyes open and start noticing them. In this new series, ‘Story Ideas’, I’ll offer up a news article each week and some thoughts on how we might be able to spin a story out if it. If you feel so inspired, feel free to use any of these ideas in any way you see fit.
Two years ago, a storm on the sun almost caused a major disasterÂ on Earth. A wipe-out-the-power-grid level disaster. For real.
Here are a couple of highlights from the story:
On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely missed a catastrophic encounter with the Earthâ€™s atmosphere. Â These plasma clouds, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), comprised a solar storm thoughtÂ to be the most powerful in at leastÂ 150 years.
â€œIf it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,â€ physicist Daniel Baker of the University of ColoradoÂ tells NASA.
â€œI have come away from our recent studies more convinced than ever that Earth and its inhabitants were incredibly fortunate that the 2012 eruption happened when it did,â€ Baker tells NASA.Â â€œIf the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire.â€
AÂ CME double whammy of this potency striking Earth would likely crippleÂ satellite communications and could severely damage the power grid.
NASAâ€™s online articleÂ about the science of this solar storm is well-worth the read. Â Perhaps the scariest finding reported in the article is this: Â There is a 12 percent chance of a Carrington-type event on Earth in the next 10 years according to Pete Riley of Predictive Science Inc.
Scary stuff? Yes. Story goldmine? Absolutely!
Post-apocalyptic fiction is great. Some of my favorite books fall into that genre. But how about a quasi-apocalypse?
What if there was a sun storm that took out the grid?Â What if we knew we could rebuild everything in two years, but the population would have to spend the interim without electricity?
What would those two years look like? Imagine the story possibilities!
That’s my Monday story idea. Do with it what you will.
Go tell a story.