Grid down! So what? Based on past experience, the power will be back-on in a few hours–at most it could be a few days and the lights will be back. Wait and see.
But what if the lights don’t come back-on for a while? What if a few days of blackout conditions stretches into a few weeks? Or a few months? How would YOU deal with no electric power to support all the basic necessities of running your home or place of residence?
Imagine that your local neighborhood is not the only area affected by the power outage.
“Imagine an America in a permanent blackout, without electric power, without communications, without mass transportation, without banking and finance, without food and water. Imagine the machinery of modern civilization stopped—in an instant”. (1.) Dr. William Graham in his Foreword to Electric Armageddon
To many Americans, this sounds like the stuff of science fiction. However, there exists a phenomenon called electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that our military and high-level government officials have known about since the early 1960’s that has the potential to cause a massive nation-wide disruption of our critical, commercial electric utility infrastructure.
The facts surrounding this existential threat to our nations electric grid was mostly classified by the U.S. National Security apparatus until 2004. ( 2.)
Now an informed public knows; a single, relatively low-yield nuclear weapon could be detonated high above the United States that would generate a powerful pulse of electromagnetic energy. EMP is a super-energetic radio wave that can destroy electronic circuitry and thereby cause the collapse of the critical infrastructures. And yes, this single burst could conceivably create electronic havoc nation-wide. If the power grid goes down, all other modern systems for maintaining our technology-dependent society follow.
Potential adversaries across the globe are also aware of this provocative, chink in the armor of U.S. National Security.
Except for very brief, comparatively limited emergencies in localized or regional natural disaster situations wherein back-up power systems are made available, all the modern machinery that drives and supports our contemporary, “connected”, lifestyle ultimately relies on a dependable, uninterrupted power supply.
The collapse of the critical infrastructures puts at risk the very sustainability of modern civilization itself and jeopardizes the lives of 310+ million Americans. Especially vulnerable are the citizens that make up this nation’s urban population.
In fact there is a similar, natural phenomenon produced by the sun that could produce an EMP catastrophe that reaches everywhere on planet Earth. In what has been described as a great geomagnetic storm, a coronal mass ejection (CME) could wipe out the electrical system installations across the entire globe.
That is… if that electrical system has NOT already been hardened and upgraded to withstand the effects of EMP, produced either by a solar eruption or a nuclear bomb.
Industry Experts, Scientists, Physicists and Government Officials All Agree
Fully 5, official, U.S. Government sponsored studies conducted over the span of a decade have all reached the same consensus. The nuclear EMP threat is not merely theoretical – it is a clear and present danger. The White House too concurs with this assessment. Not one study of official U.S. policy or National Security Intelligence (made available to the Public) disagrees with this view.
Right now, there exists a national consensus that terrorists or rogue states could use one or a few nuclear weapons to make a catastrophic EMP attack on the U.S. critical civilian infrastructures. Congressional Commission recommendations for confronting this issue were published and entered into the public record in 2008.
The Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS finally in 2012) both acknowledge that an EMP strike represents the #1 asymmetric nuclear weapons attack that with a single blow could cause overwhelming devastation to the United States.
And yet today, despite this unanimous agreement among top level military and civilian authorities, our nation still remains 100% vulnerable to this grave terrorist threat.
“The chief obstacle to protecting the U.S. from EMP is not technological or financial—it is bureaucratic”. (3.)
It requires that the military and civilian sectors together with industry work cooperatively to ensure protection of the national critical infrastructures and the American people.
The EMP threat is formidable because it would affect every part of modern society. And thus its solution would require the cooperation of Federal institutions and national actors that normally don’t work together. Within the U.S. bureaucracy there exist vested – competing interests, agendas and turf-battles or jurisdictional jealousies that interfere with the high level collaboration required to address this National Security priority.
Despite the political rhetoric coming out of the current administration, not much has really been done to protect our citizens against what could best be described as the ultimate, hostile-terrorist threat that could impose disastrous consequences to the normal functioning of Western civilization.
A lot of talk and posturing has come out of Washington. Not much follow-up or accountability has been forthcoming. Results are inadequate. Other policies and national concerns like pre-occupation with the Islamic State have distracted, deterred or detoured our national resolve to redress this nation’s vulnerability to attack.
It is time that we citizens, WE The People, join together and support one another in holding our representatives accountable to protecting the grid we all mutually and vitally depend upon.
In the meantime and before that actually happens, there’s plenty we can do to look after our own best interests. Let’s get to work…
All notes (1,2,3,) are referenced from Electric Armageddon by Dr.Peter Vincent Pry: Published August, 2014 ISBN 9781482348217