What Is Going On In Our System That Can Be Improved In Our Future?

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We have a short list of the big issues facing the industrialized world, and a short list of the big questions surrounding our future. But as I mentioned in my previous articles, we already know why we’re in an energy crisis. We should expect a lot more of that in the future, as energy sources become limited.

So this will not be long or complex, as many articles have been on this subject. This article will focus on our consumption of energy in the developed world, and what will happen if we don’t cut our consumption.

Before moving on, let’s look at what is currently happening on this Earth. On June 23, 2016 the Solar Eclipse was visible all the way from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast. This was the first total solar eclipse in 99 years (since 1918) and it was seen all the way through North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. It was the first total eclipse to have been visible all the way from the western part of North America. This was so very interesting that scientists were shocked and surprised by the huge number of people who decided to watch it while using the Internet during the eclipse (and more people were surprised to know that they were also able to watch it through some special telescopes, such as binoculars, on websites and social media). What do we expect to happen in 100 years when a total solar eclipse is visible all the way to the U.S.?

This is a view of Las Vegas with the total solar eclipse on the horizon. Credit : AP Photo/Steve Marcus

We’ve been here before. We expected it a century ago when a total solar eclipse was visible through most of North America. Some parts in North America experienced the eclipse, and the U.S. saw the total eclipse over much of the South on August 21, 1997. The total solar eclipses have been visible in the South every year for the last century.

It is hard to predict exactly when an eclipse will happen, but it is easy to tell how far away the eclipse will be from us in years to follow. The Sun is rotating around the Milky Way galaxy, and the farther away the Sun is, the more time does pass. So if you could look to the past, you would notice that the total solar eclipses happened in a short span of years, and the long-life of the solar system was very short. The solar system will go through several events of extinction, but it always comes back to life after those events. 

We are only a little bit farther into the future than the year in our prediction above, because for every century that passes by at the rate we are going, it takes 25 years for us to experience a full cycle of evolution from the time of a solar eclipse. 

This is a view of the total solar eclipse path of totality taken from NASA’s live-mapped webcast live. You won’t believe the number of people that made an effort to stay up to watch this amazing spectacle, and NASA is reporting that there were up to 50 million people in total darkness for an amazing 2 minutes and 39 seconds during the total eclipse. Credit: NASA/SDO

Another way to look at this is that if we kept the Earth from rotating at 2.5°, the Earth could never experience a total solar eclipse again.