Doug Bedell — May 18, 2012, 11:59 am

EMP: Something Really Scary To Ponder

Suppose we lost all our electrical power for an extended period, maybe years? Can’t happen? We hope not. But there keep popping up on the Internet posts on the dire consequences of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) striking the Earth from space. Many of them are inspired by the Heritage Foundation’s concern about the subject.

“An EMP,” advises The National Terror Alert Response Center,  “is typically described as occurring when a nuclear weapon is detonated at a high altitude, resulting in a high-intensity burst of electromagnetic energy caused by the rapid acceleration of charged particles. The second scenario involves massive explosions on the sun’s surface (“space weather”).” It’s said that an EMP could send the U.S. back to the 18th Century, just like that.

Don’t mean to spoil your weekend, but Eric Hannis has an article on EMPs in the “Defense Dossier” of the American Foreign Policy Council. As a security challenge, they’re well worth being mindful of, understatement though that might be.

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