EMP threat to infrastructure

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Chairman of UK's Commons Defense Committee says country must harden infrastructure

The chairman of Britain's Parliamentary Defense Committee said in a statement in February 2012 at the release of a report on the subject that the UK's national infrastructure needs hardening in the face of EMP threats.

While the report looked also – and especially – at a “Golden Eye” electromagnetic pulse attack from space, and at nuclear devices exploded as very high altitude or “dirty” EMP bombs used by terrorists, our greatest and most imminent real threat that we all face comes from EMP released by solar activities such as sun spots and solar flares.

The so-called Smart Grid, our communications, our power generating stations, other utilities, and basically everything else sensitive to such electromagnetic pulse or -spikes could be disabled by such solar flares or EMP bombs and such like.

We are, at time of writing in April 2012, in an era of a great upheaval on the face of the sun with sun spots at a maximum and masses of small and large to super large flares. Some of those have the potential to release enough electromagnetic energy to create a serious EMP effect and threaten communications and more on the entire Planet.

While the talk is about hardening the infrastructure what really needs to be cdone is to look at bringing more manual control back into play.

The Smart Grid is not a very smart move at all but a very dangerous undertaking. It is only intended for people control and nothing more. The truth is that the Smart Grid makes our infrastructure more vulnerable than ever.

We must change the way we work with our technology and as far as power generation is concerned, and also communications, and not just that, and consolidate back to a real local and human level.

Recently a small town in Germany cut itself off totally from the national power grid and is producing all its electricity locally. That is also what Fritz Schumacher talked about in his book “Small is Beautiful”.

Our over-reliance on, one could say vulnerable, technology to run our vital infrastructure could cost us deadly in the event of an EMP “blast” or a cyber attack. But we continue relentlessly on this path, regardless, it would seem.

One of these days we will wake up and realize that it has happened and that the systems that we rely on for almost everything has gone down because of a serious solar flare, and EMP device or a cyber attack. Will it take such an event first before we wake up?

Our planes and ships communicate primarily nowadays by satellite communications equipment and no longer by shortwave radio; they use GPS to find their way instead of map and compass and those systems are easily knocked out.

Telephone companies, presently primarily in the US, want to abandon landlines and go over entirely to mobile traffic. That is a recipe for disaster if an EMP “blast” occurs as the system, including the handsets, will then be knocked out; period. Not that our automated digital landline exchanges will fare any better and would still function. Good God! How much more vulnerable do we want to make ourselves?

Our vital infrastructure is so vulnerable that it simple beggars belief and we make it worse still.

The military in Afghanistan in 2011 could not operate for several weeks outside their bases as the necessary GPS satellites were not working properly. Obviously, no one knows anymore how to use map and compass and how to navigate using them.

We have gone too far, methinks, in our reliance on technology and it may prove, in many ways, our very undoing if we are not very careful indeed.

Time for some common sense, some reappraising of how we do things and some serious hardened infrastructure that does not rely (solely) on microchips. The latter may require the use of older, harder technology. Does anyone remember shortwave radio telephony and Morse code?

We left ourselves so wide open to problems that it is almost too difficult to believe. But, we were taught, over the last decades that our modern and ever more sophisticated technology was going to be so great for us.

Yes, until it fails and it is very much headed that way unless we prepare and prepare now before it happens.

© 2012