If the power grid were to go out on a national scale, it would be lights out for America, in more ways than one. The bulk of the nation’s infrastructure, including cell phones, computers, hospital equipment, credit card readers, gas pumps and refrigerators would cease working. This is one of the greatest threats to potentially plague the United States, and yet, it scarcely makes news headlines.
An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack would plunge America into darkness overnight. Given how dependent society is on technology, very few would be equipped to survive in a world without gadgets. In fact, tech guru John McAfee wrote in a recent article that approximately 90 percent of the population would be dead within two years if such an attack were to take place.
“Experts agree that an all out cyber attack, beginning with an EMP attack on our electric infrastructure, would wipe out 90% of the human population of this country within two years of the attack. That means the death of 270 million people within 24 months after the attack,” he writes.
Government agencies take threat of EMP attack seriously
This may sound like an inflated estimate. To the contrary, the EMP commission used the exact same figure in their report to Congress in 2008:
“What would a successful EMP attack look like? The EMP Commission, in 2008, estimated that within 12 months of a nationwide blackout, up to 90% of the U.S. population could possibly perish from starvation, disease and societal breakdown.”
“In 2009 the congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, whose co-chairmen were former Secretaries of Defense William Perry and James Schlesinger, concurred with the findings of the EMP Commission and urged immediate action to protect the electric grid. Studies by the National Academy of Sciences, the Department of Energy, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the National Intelligence Council reached similar conclusions.”
President Barack Obama has failed to address this imminent threat. Nevertheless, there are other government agencies that take the threat very seriously. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) recently relocated to the Cheyenne Mountains, citing a potential EMP attack as the main motivation for the move.
The threat of an EMP attack has grown with the technological advancements of other countries. Both Russia and China already have the power to unleash an EMP attack. Rogue states like Iran and North Korea aren’t far behind, either. Iran actually simulated an EMP attack many years ago with short-range missiles launched from a freighter. North Korea, meanwhile, even acquired blueprints for an EMP attack back in 2013.
Iran is arguably one of the most imminent threats. In a story for an Israeli news source, author Dr. Peter Vincent Pry explained that Iranian military documents reveal the country’s plans to launch an EMP attack on the United States.
America highly susceptible to EMP attack
To make matters worse, it wouldn’t be too difficult to disrupt America’s power grid. If nine interconnection substations and a transformer manufacturer were destroyed, the entire country would be without power for at least 18 months, explained Michael Snyder, a writer for The Economic Collapse blog.
An EMP attack doesn’t necessarily have to be orchestrated by a terrorist group. Scientists say that a large enough solar storm is bound to occur, which will severely disrupt satellite communications. The last major solar storm to strike Earth occurred in 1859, well before the development of satellites. NASA estimates that there is a 12 percent chance of a solar storm, on par with the one that occurred in 1859, striking Earth in the next ten years. Such a debacle would produce $2 trillion worth of damages.
The threat of an EMP attack is real, and if we are to believe the folks at NASA, inevitable. An EMP attack would bring society to its knees overnight. Meanwhile, such an attack is virtually never talked about on a national stage, let alone when American politics is involved. Rather than rely on the federal government for support, the best move is to learn how to support ourselves.