Power Grid Down: Chapter 2 Excerpt - Weather Disaster, Solar Flares, and EMP Atta

Chapter 2
Weather Disaster, Solar Flares, and EMP Attacks

Weather Emergencies Section Excerpt

The power grid has morphed in size tenfold during the past 50 years. While solar flares, cyber-attacks, and an EMP attack are perhaps the most extensive and frightening threats to the electrical system, the fragile infrastructure could just as easily fail in large portions, due to weather-related events. The power grid is basically a ticking time bomb which will spark civil unrest, lack of food, clean water, and a multitude of fires if the system goes down.

Weather-related events were the primary cause of power outages from 2007 to 2012, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers infrastructure report card. Power grid reliability issues are emerging as the greatest threat to the electrical system.    

The ASCE grade card also notes that retiring and rotating in “new energy sources” is a “complex” process. 

Solar Flares Section Excerpt

The potential for an Earth-directed X-class solar flare to take down America’s overly-taxed power grid is significant. Infrastructure frailties are not a glitzy topic; they are far too mundane for mainstream media to venture away from the latest political scandal or celebrity wardrobe malfunction to discuss, but they are nevertheless important.

The power grid likely would not survive a direct hit by what scientists call a coronal mass ejection, or CME. Scientists have only been able to view, track, and understand solar flares for about the last 20 years. The most powerful known earth-directed solar flare occurred during 1859 and is known as the Carrington Event. Telegraph lines, the most advanced technology at the time, burst into flames. 

If such a powerful event occurred today, life as we know it in America would cease for quite a long time. The Carrington Event brightened the night sky from the North Pole to Central America, and some New Englanders even read their evening newspapers outside, as if it were daytime.          

 America barely dodged a direct hit by a solar flare in 2012. All modern amenities would have ceased to exist for at least weeks or months due to the solar flare, according to University of Colorado Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics Director Dr. Daniel Baker.

EMP Attack - Section Excerpt

Even if the high-voltage protective boxes around transformers are put into place and spare transformers are carefully held in storage until they are needed, the impact a solar flare or EMP would have on America is still extremely dire.

Citizens who have not put their generators, appliances, cell phones, and basically anything else with electronic components and a cord into a Faraday cage, will quickly be living an Amish-style existence. How well a Faraday cage will work if the Earth is hit directly with a solar flare or a massive EMP attack occurs remains largely unknown. If such a disaster occurs and the power grid is down for years, your smart phone is not going to do you much good anyway.

EMP Commission statement about the domino effect an EMP attack would have on the United States:
The primary avenues for catastrophic damage to the nation are through our electric power infrastructure and thence into our telecommunications, energy, and other infrastructures. These, in turn, can seriously impact other important aspects of our nation’s life, including the financial system; means of getting food, water, and medical care to the citizenry; trade; and production of goods and services. The recovery of any one of the key national infrastructures is dependent on the recovery of others.”

Former CIA Director James Woolsey said this about electromagnetic pulse threats:
“9/11 was a wake-up call that enemies of the United States were looking to launch massive attacks. What if the government in North Korea or Iran really thought that the world would be so much a better place and that they themselves would be so much more likely to go to heaven if they could just kill as many Americans as possible? These guys lust after mass destruction.”