In the first half, Prof. Ramon E. Lopez talked about space weather, sun cycles and potential solar storms that could knock out the power grids, satellites, and communications. The solar magnetic field transfers the roiling energy of the sun into electrical energy, which heats the upper atmosphere of the sun, which then becomes so hot that it travels out into space as the solar wind, he explained. As the solar wind streams past the Earth's magnetic field, some of its energy is captured, and released as electric currents that flow down to the polar regions. If this current is strong enough then it will cause the upper atmosphere to light up in what we see as the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights, he continued.
In the past few years, we've gained an increasing ability to predict space weather-- in fact there's a Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado, Lopez reported. Yet, satellite data currently only gives us a one-hour lead time on how activity from the sun may affect Earth, he noted. Super magnetic storms have been occurring on the sun throughout history, but it's only in recent times that they could have a significant impact on us by damaging our technology. He cited a solar event from 1859 in which the telegraph system was knocked out for a week. North America's power grid is particularly vulnerable to solar flare damage, he warned. Lopez's book Storms from the Sun is available as a free PDF download from the National Academies Press.
Scholar, award-winning poet, Jungian psychoanalyst, and cantadora (keeper of the old stories in the Latina tradition), Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes discussed manifestations of evil on both psychological and spiritual levels, and in relation to shooting incidents such as Columbine. She defined evil as a profoundly inhumane action or neglect toward innocent beings who are vulnerable. Evil people often seem to have no conscience, and have no reaction to the pain they cause others, she detailed. She believes the cause of this condition is genetic-- they lack a certain locus of control in the psyche which evaluates reality.
On a metaphysical level, some cases of evil could be considered "walk-ins," in which the person is no longer there, and a malignant spirit has entered their body and taken over their mind, Estes stated. "In terms of my experience in doing therapy all these years... if there is some type of aberration that is really inhumane in an individual who otherwise is a good person...it usually comes from an early childhood [psychological] wound," she said, adding that some believe that forces that swirl in this world can feed off of you without your direct knowledge initially, and eventually take your mind over. She noted that there is some similarity of exorcism rituals to "scream therapy." Interestingly, she suggested that the opposite of evil is not good, but informed love and consciousness, and doing what's necessary to create boundaries that will keep people from harming one another.