from the quill of Antisthenes
At the moment the north magnetic pole moves sixty-four kilometers a year, apparently faster than observed previously. At that speed it will make those five hundred miles of the song in about 12 years. So far the panic merchants see no way how to blame western capitalism for it, so hardly anybody worries. Perhaps it would be different if instead of moving towards Russia it moved towards USA. It was there, near the coast of present day California before. In Precambrian times to be exact. So what, you may say. I do not use a compass in my adventure activities, i.e. watching Attenborough’s TV shows, he and a few others use GPS.
The problem is that the earth magnetic field (magnetosphere) protects us and other living organisms from solar radiation, a stream of charged particles, also called the solar wind. Too much of it and we mutate, unlikely for the better. Magnetic polarity reversed three times during the last few million years, and scientists believe another reversal is now well overdue. How will it happen? Suddenly, in a split second? Unlikely. Over years? Perhaps on this point even unreliable Wikipedia can be trusted:
“There is no clear theory as to how the geomagnetic reversals might have occurred . Some scientists have produced models for the core of the Earth wherein the magnetic field is only quasi-stable and the poles can spontaneously migrate from one orientation to the other over the course of a few hundred to a few thousand years. Other scientists propose that the geodynamo first turns itself off, either spontaneously or through some external action like a comet impact, and then restarts itself with the magnetic “North” pole pointing either North or South.”
Some relatively short mutation time we could probably survive, but a few hundred years? Even short time could cause problems. Remember, those Global Positioning satellites are also protected by our magnetosphere, extending tens of thousands kilometers into the space.
Of course, the capitalists of the Peoples Republic of China will sell us billions of radiation proof umbrellas, which will disintegrate upon impact by the first seriously determined positron, if not earlier. For all we know big pharmaceutical companies are already spending trillions on research into anti-mutation pill, which will appear on the market just in time, duly endorsed by the unimpeachable experts of the World Health Organisation. Governments would buy them by shiploads. Big money could be made. The only thing stopping it, besides the above mentioned missing guilt of western society, is that the another scam has yet to run its course. As most people would know, the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming, relabelled as a climate change is on its last “scientific” legs, but the global CO2 mafia is still poised to make enormous profits and increase its political and economic power at the expense of the rest of us.
As the climate had been changing through the millennia, so had the magnetic polarity. It happened, is happening, will be happening. We will never run out of fanciful dangers to panic about.