Experts: Civilians Not Ready for EMP-Caused BlackoutPosted: April 21, 2014
Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, both congressional advisory boards, said the technology to avoid disaster from electromagnetic pulses exists, and upgrading the nation’s electrical grid is financially viable.
“The problem is not the technology,” Pry said. “We know how to protect against it. It’s not the money, it doesn’t cost that much. The problem is the politics. It always seems to be the politics that gets in the way.”
He said the more officials plan, the lower the estimated cost gets.
“If you do a smart plan — the Congressional EMP Commission estimated that you could protect the whole country for about $2 billion,” Pry told Watchdog.org. “That’s what we give away in foreign aid to Pakistan every year.”
In the first few minutes of an EMP, nearly half a million people would die. That’s the worst-case scenario that author William R. Forstchen estimated in 2011 would be the result of an EMP on the electric grid — whether by an act of God, or a nuclear missile detonating in Earth’s upper atmosphere.
An electromagnetic pulse is a burst of electromagnetic energy strong enough to disable, and even destroy, nearby electronic devices.
The scenario sounds like something in a Hollywood film, but the U.S. military has been preparing its electronic systems for such an event since the Cold War. The protective measures taken to harden facilities against a nuclear attack also help in some cases to protect against EMPs.
The civilian world is another story.
States have been working to fill in the legislative and regulatory gap left by Congress, as previously reported by Watchdog.org, and private companies have been developing technologies that would protect against EMPs.
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Much focus during the past several years has been placed on society’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Sophisticated computer hackers working in secret, most likely sponsored by nation-states, can steal identities, money and even potentially hijackairplanes.
National Geographic, in the movie American Blackout, explored the catastrophic effects a cyberattack on the grid would have on society.
Cyberattacks against the grid are possible. Stuxnet, the computer virus developedby the United States and Israel to sabotage Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, demonstrated that such an attack is not only possible, it can be done.
Computer viruses are software programs designed to attack specific entities. But even computers need electricity, otherwise they are little more than expensive paper weights…(read more)
Contact Josh Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Josh on Twitter at @jdpeterson
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- What Really Happened to the Malaysian Flight MH 370? (world-mysteries.com)
- An electromagnetic pulse attack – the ‘other’ Iranian nuclear threat (timesofisrael.com)
- Congress wakes up to cataclysmic threat (wnd.com)
- What Are You Going To Do When A Massive EMP Blast Fries The U.S. Electrical Grid? (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
- Whom will you call when EMP shuts down U.S.? (wnd.com)
- The Difference Between an EMP and a Solar Flare (patriotrising.com)
- Iran’s ‘Dry Run’ For A Nuclear EMP Attack On East Coast (patriotnetdaily.com)
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