Joseph Pelton wins 2017 Guardian Award

28 Mar 2018 - 16:45

Professor Joseph N. Pelton, a regular contributor to SpaceLab's activities, has received the Lifeboat Foundation’s Guardian Award for 2018 for his efforts to alert world leaders to the dangers of potentially catastrophic damage to the world’s vital infrastructure caused by violent solar storms. His research has focused on the destructive impact of solar coronal mass ejections on world-wide electrical grids, pipelines and supply chains for food and vital supplies particularly for megacities in today’s increasingly urbanized world. He has raised particular concerns about the Earth’s magnetic field reversal which weakens the Earth’s natural defence against violent solar storms. 

The largest such event on record, known as the Carrington Event, occurred in 1859. It set telegraph offices on fire and brought the ‘Northern Lights’ as far south as Cuba and Hawaii for several days. Nowadays, our society would be much more vulnerable to damage from an event of this magnitude. A recent study by Lloyds of London in conjunction with scientific consultants concluded that a major solar storm similar to the Carrington Event today could cause as much as $ 3 trillion dollars in losses worldwide.

Pelton's design concept for a LAgrangean Protector from Solar Ejections (LAPSE) at the Sun-Earth Lagrangian Point L1 could potentially allow the creation of a ‘solar shield’ to protect Earth from trillions of dollars in economic losses and billions of people losing their source of livelihood and vital supply chains for food and water.

The Lifeboat Foundation is dedicated to the spread of scientific knowledge and the preservation of the human race. Other winners of the Lifeboat Foundation's Guardian Award include: Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Elon Musk.

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