Hopefully everyone knows that I’m not a fear monger, nor am I a religious zealot. In fact, I don’t worry about much despite all of the talk about the end of the world coming from some fanatical extremists. However, there is actually an argument to be made when it comes to preparations for the unlikely, but possible, complete and utter breakdown of society as we know it. Let me explain…
Plenty of Trump supporters have told me lately that the Muslims are going to initiate a jihadi war and end the world. And tree hungers have long warned that we’re destroying our only lifeline. But let’s forget about all that manmade crap. Because if humanity kills ourselves, we kinda deserve it… Instead, let’s look at an actual scientific end of the world event – that has already occurred once in recent memory!
The World Already Nearly Ended
In 1859 a coronal mass ejection from the sun generated an EMP that wreaked havoc on the “ancient” technology systems of the day. An EMP, or electromagnetic pulse, is a burst of energy that can destroy sensitive equipment. And in 1859 the “Carrington Event” was powerful enough to damage telegraph stations and the primitive electronics that existed at the time.
And before you say, “well that was probably a rare occurrence….” Not so Mr. Smarty pants! Another occurred in 2012, but missed the planet by just 9 orbital days. So, the world almost ended – but we didn’t even know it happened because we were too busy watching Dancing with the Stars.
By the way, the solar flares that create EMPs will generally occur during the Solar Maximum – which occurs every 11 years or so. So there’s that.
This is a Governmentally Recognized Threat
In 2012 the National Intelligence Council, which is made up of representatives from the entire US intelligence community, pub lied a report saying that “an EMP is one of only eight Black Swan events that could change the course of global civilization by or before 2030.”
NASA has a whole paper addressing the fact we almost all died in 2012, which you can read about on the NASA website here. But the short version is:
Analysts believe that a direct hit by an extreme CME such as the one that missed Earth in July 2012 could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket. Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps.
They also said:
A similar storm today could have a catastrophic effect. According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina.
And of course:
In February 2014, physicist Pete Riley of Predictive Science Inc. published a paper in Space Weather entitled “On the probability of occurrence of extreme space weather events.” In it, he analyzed records of solar storms going back 50+ years. By extrapolating the frequency of ordinary storms to the extreme, he calculated the odds that a Carrington-class storm would hit Earth in the next ten years.
The answer: 12%. So basically we now have about a 1% chance PER YEAR of a humanity ending event occurring from natural disaster, not including the normal threats from each other.
Back to the NIC. The other threats on their 166 page document that outlines the eight Black Swans list are:
- Severe Pandemic
- Much more rapid climate change
- Euro Collapse
- A Democratic or Collapsed China
- A Reformed Iran
- Nuclear War / WMD / Cyber Attack
- Solar Geomagnetic Storms
- US Disengagement
Back to the Story
Now that we’ve established that unlike the threat of Nuclear War which “may” happen, the threat we live under of an EMP “WILL” happen – what can you do about it?
First of all, those in charge need to immediately get on the process of hardening the national electrical grid against EMPs. If we keep the grid going, everything else can at least have the power to try and get things going again. Hopefully we’ll also harden the water treatment systems, and sewage, and transportation, and everything else… A huge list of important people has issued a letter to the President urging attention on this matter.
But assuming some things aren’t going to be ready when the shit hits the fan, you probably want to stockpile some water, food, weapons, clothing and general supplies. It also wouldn’t hurt to live in a place where you had your own well and the ability to hunt, fish or farm for food.
They estimate that 90% of the US population would die in an EMP / complete systematic failure event. And of course if ANY other country were prepared, the US would be invaded and… Well, how’s your Korean? Because our supreme leader doesn’t speak Engrish.