In the world of EMP preparedness, the national grid could be compared to the emperor that had no clothes. Or for U.S. citizens, the image of Uncle Sam with his pants hanging down below his knobby knees exposing his comic boxer-drawers (with donkey and elephant print design) for all to see might be emblematic of the nation’s continued vulnerability.
For those of us familiar with the repeated, incontrovertible assessments offered by the scientific and military communities regarding the existential EMP threat to our critical electric infrastructure, it sometimes seems we’re living in a parallel universe of 2 totally separate realities. There’s the world where the authorities, or at-least those who absolutely should be in-the-know, warn every one of the catastrophic consequences of a national-scale EMP event. In the other reality is the world where business-as-usual goes on unperturbed and national leadership remains…, what shall I say?
So far, there still exists a pervasive, unwillingness of thought leaders (mainly in industry and politics) to speak out and bring national attention—with the conciseness and clarity it deserves– to this issue”.
That’s not to discount the progress already being made particularly by some State legislatures that have come to grips with the need to secure the grid –the same grid — their own constituents rely on for their daily electrical sustenance. Indeed some State legislators are seeing the requirement to act decisively in the area of grid protection despite (or because) the Federal government still continues to remain unmotivated and idle, instead of passing the needed legislation to activate a national campaign to address this as a top priority by all major sectors of society.
It appears that without legitimizing this whole EMP problem by Congress with the (seemingly) simple passage of the pertinent measures still pending resolution, there remains too much reluctance—particularly by the business community — to either publicly declare official policy statements concerning the EMP problem in general or to commit the needed additional resources to abate the problem of EMP critical infrastructure vulnerability.
Industry Leaders remain mute on the EMP Issue
I guess it’s sometimes hard to under-estimate the power of conformity and the human need for social acceptance and validation within the community. What can happen is that people on the leading edge of a vital, topical subject that they know will or could impact all the population one day, can — like scouts on the far outskirts of an un-explored frontier, exceed the ability of the masses to see or appreciate the insights offered by those forward-thinking, early-adopters when they report back with their findings.
This is where the whole range of subjects regarding the EMP phenomenon rests today. The early accepters are vocal and increasing their numbers, but the powerful business and financial/industrial corporate interests have resisted lending their support to something that remains to-date – very intangible, theoretical and is (for now), perceived to be at extremely low- probability of occurrence.
Even though this is a very understandable viewpoint for industry leaders to take, the down-side to making the wrong calculations for assuring our energy supplies is likened to a zero-sum game. Literally millions of lives are dependent on uninterrupted power to maintain life supporting systems. Betting on guaranteed profits rather than investing in enhanced security and reliability for your customer base is a calculus that would be much easier to quantify (in favor of end users) if our political leadership gave the appropriate tax and financial incentives to utilities and their corporate boards and shareholders.
In short, our Congress with unanimous or overwhelming support by both Houses on a bi-partisan basis of both the CIPA and SHIELD Acts would effectively give the green light to businesses nationwide to make needed capital investments in EMP protection and mitigation technologies”.
Without the broad endorsement of Congress which essentially legitimizes the EMP-play as a worthy and a de-facto, credible priority that deserves national recognition; until that happens, how can we expect companies to put sizable capital reserves at risk in a field that is only populated by us “fringies”?
Missing: Broad Agreement and Adoption of EMP Preventive Measures
The decision by the Arizona legislature to adopt a measure that recommends that the citizens of that state have some preparedness supplies on hand in case the electric grid experiences a blackout or critical failure has been both applauded and derided. Az. Senate Bill 1476 requires the Department of Emergency and Military Affairs to develop and issue recommendations for how to survive if an electromagnetic pulse hits Arizona or the entire United States.
On reading some of the comments criticizing this Bill, they typically stereotype the sponsors of these EMP preparedness Bills as being “preppers” or tea party extremists. Upon review, what is made clear is that there are enough detractors on the scene who feel that trivializing or making fun of representatives who are proactive in this civilian defense arena, still feel they have the mainstream consensus support that condones such blatant (and un-informed) snubbing of any publicly endorsed efforts to raise the EMP readiness posture of the American people.
Just in the last 2 weeks I have conducted a rather cursory and superficial survey of some of the organizations that could and should step into that (civil defense) arena and make known to the public their unequivocal support of policies and measures that enhance energy security throughout multiple layers of this nation’s critical infrastructure. Without naming names at this time, it is high-time that many professional certifying and training, apprenticeship/journeyman licensing organizations involved in either the electric utility industry or the renewable/alternative energy industry step up to the plate and correct the abysmal lack of confronting this important issue head-on.
It may even require some degree of defiance of entrenched echelons of protected special interests to break through to the core level by deliberately exposing institutional layers and networks that have resisted public scrutiny or accountability. It’s time the regulatory agencies and our public officials arrest practices that allow fat-cat, crony capitalists to buy political favoritism by which private profiteering subverts public safety and fiduciary responsibility.
I for one, am serving notice to these energy-related professional organizations and certifying/licensing bodies that it is now time to either dismiss the EMP threat as a cruel hoax or so much hype, or if it is not, to come out with specific recommendations of how their organization of trained and certified professionals are going to be part of the solution instead of remaining complicit, compliant or silent with-in a regulatory environment that so-far has tried to cover-up the real extent of this nation’s vulnerability to an EMP meltdown.
I’m hoping a letter writing campaign reaching the appropriate players can provide some grist for the mill and keep this conversation going in some surprising and meaningful ways…