Great Balls of Coronal Mass Ejection
Isaac Arthur's latest YouTube video is about solar flares as a possible solution to the Fermi paradox. If I had to make a list of the five most likely solutions I am sure solar flares would be on that list.
If a solar flare similar to the 1859 Carrington Event happened tomorrow I think the 2 trillionish dollar estimate the video quoted in possible damage would be low. My guess of what the actual damage would be is admittedly a layman's opinion but it probably doesn't matter. A big enough solar flare hitting Earth might bring down the internet for years and if and when the internet comes back up this post might be lost media.
I like the scenario presented in the video of an alien world developing superstitions due to solar flares being a commonplace experience. When the alien sky glows with an eerie light long metal rods get hot, spark with energy and may start fires. The aliens conclude it must be supernatural. I could believe that is something happening right now somewhere in the Universe. That would be like one of those sci-fi stories from the early 1950s radio shows such as X Minus One or Dimension X.