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News and the What-Ifs

Like many people, I allow my mind to wander before sleep to whatever subject strikes its fancy. Last night it seemed to be enamored with the idea of what-ifs.

Now, writers use the what-if question all the time when plotting or creating characters, scenery, etc. It’s part of the package of writer’s tools. This time I didn’t use the ordinary tool. That’s what surprised me.

Last night my mind went on a tour of some of the headlines from this week’s news, as well as things that have happened to/around us in the past six months. In some ways I found it a great exercise in perspective checks.

For instance, BJ and I moved back up here from Montana to get away from Oklahoma’s summer heat. This summer—if you want to call it that—we achieved our goal. We’ve made the mid-to-high seventies a couple of times so far. Yesterday morning when we drove northwest of here, it was 37 degrees. ‘Course, that was at 7 am. It got all the way into the 50’s later on.

If you watch the science news, you saw a piece recently about the likelihood of our sun going into hibernation. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it.

What the scientists were talking about was sunspot activity, magnetic polar shifts and other normal solar activity being reduced to zero. That condition would eliminate most of the cosmic interference with our satellite operations for communications and the like.

One of those things that sunspot and magnetic activity also does on a regular basis is give us the solar wind which interacts with our magnetic force, helps to keep the Earth’s temp down a notch or two, and works to balance things on this and the other planets.

So, the question becomes what if the scientists are right? What will happen on Earth as a result?

It was proposed that this new cycle will last approximately 70 years. That’s a long time in any boo; one average lifetime, give or take a couple of years. The last time it happened was during the 17th Century’s Little Ice Age. Interesting, huh?

You may ask what this has to do with my moving to Montana to get away from the heat.

Where do you think the ice starts forming first? I can tell you it isn’t Florida. Although this past winter, you would have been hard pressed to convince Floridians of that truth. I know. We were there at the time.

Here’s another little bit of news to think about in lieu of the above report. It seems the Pentagon—according to Facebook—is running a contest for ideas of how to accomplish long-range space exploration during the next century. If that item is true–and I haven’t yet researched it to find out if it is—what was the deciding factor for their sudden public interest in exploring deeper space than the Moon and Mars?

Someone once said that there is no such thing as coincidence. You have to give this one at least a few minutes thought and see where you come down in opinion.

Where does that leave me and my home? To be honest, I have some reservations about all of it. I can work at writing most anywhere I choose. I don’t have to stay here if things turn ugly. I’m no longer tied to one place. I’m lucky in that respect.

What will the world do if the solar scenario proves accurate? I think that depends on whether we’ve grown up into insightful people. We have the potential to make this work and have little difficulty. We have the ability to do most anything we want to better ourselves and our world. It all depends on what we choose as that end goal.

Think about these what-ifs and see what you come up with. There are some great plotlines oozing out of the corners on this one. Science fiction writers are going to be having a grand day in the park with just these two stories in the coming months.

If you’ve got a comment or an opinion, leave it here for people to see. Until we collide here again, a bientot,


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