Carrington's Nightcap

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4 mins read

Newt Gingrich worries about the night the lights go out in Georgia:

Within a year, nine out of 10 Americans could be dead.* And whatever causes the national apocalypse—be it North Korean malice or the whims of the sun—the downfall will ultimately be our own fault.
That’s the fear of Newt Gingrich and other members of a high-profile coalition who are convinced that our fragile electrical grid could be wiped out at any moment. Their concern?
Electromagnetic pulses, the short bursts of energy—caused by anything from a nuclear blast to a solar flare—that can wreak havoc on electrical systems on a massive scale. And the coalition believes it’s coming soon.
“I think we’re running out of time,” said Peter Pry, a former CIA officer and head of a congressional advisory board on national security…

All of Kim’s weapons work the first time.

Maybe. Call me crazy, but I’m skeptical that the North Koreans are going to be able to wipe out the entire US power grid with a space-based nuclear pulse weapon which has never been tested in any significant sense. It’s not that the Norks couldn’t theoretically build one, launch it into orbit, then detonate it in the perfect spot and with enough power to wipe out electronics on both coasts and everywhere in between. It’s just that nothing ever works like that the first time. There are things to worry about and then there are things to not worry about. Kim Jong Un’s EMP space bombs fall into the second category, IMO.
That big yellow ball in the sky falls into the first. If the earth is hit by a solar storm like the 1859 Carrington Event, then we will likely incur a significant but unknown amount of damage to our power grid. We will likely suffer significant outages of an unknown geographical extent and an unknown amount of physical damage to our infrastructure, resulting in an unknown time-and-cost to fix. Depending on the time of year, an unknown number of people may be exposed to elements that could include extreme heat or bitter cold. And an unknown amount of food may incur spoilage or the inability to be trucked. So that’s what we know.
The fact is that it’s a concern. The fact is also that we don’t really know what might hit us, so it’s hard to know how much to be concerned. Maybe Newt’s plan will save us all, maybe not. We probably have no way to know until it works. Or doesn’t.
So that’s why you prep. Not because the National Journal says 90% of Americans will die – that’s a number designed to attract attention. You prep because you don’t know, because it’s wise to make hay while the lights are on, and because night is coming when no one can work. Maybe.
* Doom pr0n, FTW!

El Borak is an historian by training, an IT Director by vocation, and a writer when the mood strikes him. He lives in rural Kansas with his wife of thirty years, where he works to fix the little things.

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