The term “Black Sky” or “Black Sky Hazard” refers to an event that severely disrupts the normal functioning of our critical infrastructures. A Black Sky Hazard is a catastrophic event that severely disrupts the normal functioning of our critical infrastructures in multiple regions for long durations. Think electromagnetic pulse (EMP) or space weather in the form of a massive solar flare, for starters. Given the interconnected nature of today’s hyper-complex societies, a “BLACK SKY” event would “bring society to its knees” in very short order.
In this video, the posited question is what if there was no more oil? What would happen if the world ran out of oil? At that point, the real question would be how long the hyper-complex systems that make the ‘American way of life’ possible could hold together before the whole thing came spinning apart and we were facing an actual cascading collapse scenario…failure of the just in time delivery system, failure of the municipal water treatment plants, economic collapse due to a crashing stock market, depression due to job lay offs and business closures, failure of the electric grid due to a collapse of coal deliveries, disintegration of the mega farms due to a lack of fuel to run the large machinery and a halt in feed deliveries. I could go on.
Heroes do not always wear a uniform. They reveal themselves in times of emergency and the reality is they come in all shapes and sizes. We often call these unseen heroes Nation Makers. People that saw a need in their community and have taken it upon themselves to do something and help to make the world, no matter how broken and lost, the type of world they want to see.
“It is the policy of the United States to prepare for space weather events to minimize the extent of economic loss and human hardship.” That is the language used in Executive Order 13744, Coordinating Efforts To Prepare the Nation for Space Weather Events, signed on October 13, 2016 by President Barack Obama. After years of Congress knowing about the problem and failing to take action, I was pleased to learn that the former President did what he could through the executive office to try and protect the critical infrastructure of our nation. However it is still up to Congress to set aside the funds to follow through and take action in support of the specifics laid out in this order. I’ve read for years about how everyone knows this is a threat, yet no one is willing to take action. Well, the former President did what he could do in response to a lack of action by Congress and now it’s our turn.
In this cataclysmic, blizzard driven romp of a story, Shaw does a wonderful job of world building. I could feel my lungs ache and burn in the frigid temperatures as I stood on the lake shore staring out as wisps of blowing snow spun out and across the body of water’s frozen surface. To further my immersion in this white-bleached, wintry wasteland, Shaw effectively weaves a sense of intimate foreboding throughout the tale as I witnessed Bishop standing like a granite mountain as he shepherds flame-haired, Maeve and her party through the seemingly never-ending storm. Both natural and man made.
I have no doubt that most of you are aware that wildfires raged across eastern Tennessee earlier this week decimating Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas along the way. These fires are not the only ones that have been burning across the southeast in recent weeks, but the they are the first to directly impact large and heavily populated cities. The mountains of eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina and northern Georgia are an outdoor lover’s playground throughout the year. If you live in the region, you have probably visited Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, enjoyed the natural beauty of the area and the warm hospitality of their people. We grew up just a few hours away and visited often, never minding the ride to get there, but rather enjoying the magnificence of the view throughout the trip and we always felt right at home once we arrived. It is for this reason and many others that this disaster is personal for us and we wanted to do whatever we can to help.