You’d probably only notice once you checked your smartphone, or tried starting your car. Neither of them would work.
A few minutes later you might see traffic lights out.
If you need a more obvious sign, planes will probably be falling from the sky.
It was completely silent, and you didn’t feel a thing — not even a slight breeze.
Yet the entire world order has been disrupted. Any electrical connectivity is impossible.
We might make jokes about what our society would do without electricity: “Oh no, no selfies?!”
In reality, every major infrastructure in the United States is tied to electricity. Without it, life as we know it would cease to exist.
In a matter of minutes, our connected civilization would be catapulted into the dark ages.
Unfortunately for mankind, there are two impending sources of electromagnetic pulses, and we're not sure anyone has the ability to mitigate either of them…
Clear and Present Nature
In just a single second, the Sun churns out more energy than has been used in all of human civilization.
The Sun is capable of generating natural electromagnetic pulses that could easily surge our electrical grid, causing continent-wide blackouts.
The largest and only star in our solar system may very well also be the cause of our societal downfall.
Coronal mass ejections, better known as geomagnetic storms, occur naturally on the surface of the sun every year. The ejections interfere with our planet’s magnetosphere, resulting in dramatically increased electric current. The electrical grid on Earth turns into a glorified antennae, picking up the surge in current.
The solar flares ejected from these storms have the same mass as Mt. Everest — flying out of the Sun, through space, towards Earth at over 1 million miles per hour.
Usually, these mass ejections strike the Earth’s magnetosphere at higher latitudes, and lack the power to be classified as catastrophic... but not always.
In 1989, the Hydro-Quebec Storm blacked out half of Canada for an entire day, and resulted in billions of dollars in economic losses.
In 1859, a superstorm known as the “Carrington Event” wiped out all telegraph communications and destroyed the newly constructed Transatlantic cable. The event is considered one of the greatest natural events to occur in the last 150 years, and was 100 times more powerful than the storm in Quebec. Fortunately, civilization was not yet dependent on electricity.
If a storm with the same magnitude as the Carrington Event were to strike the Earth today, worldwide grids would collapse. Billions of lives would be put at risk.
Recovery, if at all possible, would take decades.
NASA recently revealed that just three years ago, the Earth barely dodged another Carrington Event. A mass ejection with the same magnitude as Carrington missed the planet by just three days.
“NASA assesses that the resulting geomagnetic storm would have had catastrophic consequences worldwide.”
NASA also estimates that the likelihood of another geomagnetic superstorm increases by 12% each decade.
Let’s do the math here…
That 12% increase every ten years basically guarantees that within our lifetimes (or those of our children) the human population will be stuck by a catastrophic geomagnetic storm.
Total Blackout War:
As if the risk for a naturally-occurring, catastrophic solar flare isn’t enough to think about, we also have an impending "No Contact War" on our hands.
Several enemies of the United States have added electromagnetic pulse weapons as integral strategies of their war plans.
Before we talk about the potential threat level we’re experiencing from these nations, let’s clear up two of the largest myths regarding electromagnetic pulse weapons:
Myth 1: A sophisticated thermonuclear weapon is needed to carry out an EMP attack.
Truth: Any nuclear weapon — even a primitive, low-yield atomic bomb that terrorists could easily build, would work. Radio Frequency Weapons, which have a smaller focus of attack than nuclear weapons, are as easy to assemble as a kitchen microwave.
Myth 2: A sophisticated long-range missile is needed to deliver an EMP attack.
Truth: Any warhead detonated as low as 30 km over the eastern half of the U.S. would collapse the entire eastern grid, which supports 75% of U.S. electricity.
To launch a nuclear EMP attack, it’s not even necessary for a rocket to exhibit any level of accuracy. The only requirement is that it be able to reach the necessary altitude.
It’s also important to note that the United States' missile defense systems are deployed to counter missiles that approach from the north. From the south, our country is completely vulnerable to attacks.
North Korea currently possesses KN-08 ballistic missiles armed with nuclear warheads. The KN-08 is notorious for its inaccuracy, but could easily be employed to launch a high-altitude nuclear EMP attack.
ISIS has been flaunting its recent acquisition of a Scud missile, which is more than capable of outfitting a nuclear EMP weapon.
Nuclear EMP attacks are listed as the ultimate weapon in the current military doctrines of Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran.
EMP attacks are not a new development. During the Cold War, Russia deliberately conducted EMP tests over Kazakhstan, purposefully wiping out the entire electrical grid.
“Once you confuse the enemy communication network you can also disrupt the world of the enemy command and decision-making center... you will, in effect, disrupt all the affairs of that country.”
An updated version of the classic siege strategy, each of these nations is preparing for a complete cyber operation, intending to defeat nations by blacking out electrical grids and cutting off access to critical infrastructure.
“Therefore, China should focus on measures to counter computer viruses, nuclear electromagnetic pulse... and quickly achieve breakthroughs in those technologies.”
-People’s Liberation Army, World War, The Third World War: Total Information Warfare
“If the world’s industrial countries fail to devise effective ways to defend themselves against dangerous electronic assaults, then they will disintegrate within a few years...American soldiers would not be able to find food to eat nor would they be able to fire a single shot.”
-Iranian political-military journal, Electronics to Determine the Fate Of Future Wars
Just last year, Iran launched satellites capable of carrying a light-weight “Super EMP.”
North Korea and Iran have already practiced launching attacks using short-range missiles launched from a freighter at sea, to the undefended southern side of the United States.
The image below shows the affected area of a Multi-Megaton sized EMP weapon:
Even smaller weapons, at the right altitude, will impact more than half of the grid:
As recently as 2014, North Korea has been observed simulating EMP attacks against the U.S. mainland.
“The EMP problem is surely an existential threat to our society. It can be done by folks who wish us ill and are willing to commit suicide to pull it off. It would make 9/11 look like a piker and hundreds of millions of Americans could die.” -Ambassador Hank Cooper
If any of these nations were to succeed, the entire infrastructure of the United States would crumble. We could not access money, much less control military operations. Even the most advanced military forces would be rendered obsolete.
So, we know for a fact that a handful of our international foes are currently developing and testing nuclear EMP programs.
We also know for a fact that Mother Nature herself could easily beat our enemies to the punch, and send a naturally occurring electromagnetic geostorm through our magnetosphere.
These two facts, combined with our society’s complete and utter dependence on electricity, put the American people in an alarmingly vulnerable position.
The North American Aerospace Defense command (NORAD) is moving back into the Cheyenne Mountains of Colorado, to a hollowed-out bunker fit to withstand nuclear conflict as well as electromagnetic attacks. It’s a smart move on the part of NORAD — it will be safe there. Other military and government departments also have defense protocols in place.
The U.S. Government has sought development agreements with multiple defense contractors — all of them for military or defense strategies:
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) announced just a few months ago that it is beginning testing on an electronic warfare pod, designed to control the electromagnetic spectrum. The pod will be capable of jamming enemy signals or protecting the signals of friendly forces. Lockheed is calling this development, "another round in the chamber" in regards to defense strategies. The firm isn't stopping with the warfare pod. It is furthering the research and testing of electronic warfare and defense systems that can be tailored to respond to any EMP threat. In similar fashion, Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) is developing what it calls "full-spectrum" capabilities to protect information and maintain security during an EMP event.
Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman are currently two of the largest defense contractors working with the United States federal government. If they are taking action against EMP attacks, the rest of us should follow suit.
In the beginning of September, Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (NASDAQ: KTOS) received a $20 million contract from the United States Federal Government to develop an electromagnetic railgun, directed high energy systems, and a hypersonics and ballistic missile defense system. Due to the confidential nature of national security, information on this contract is scarce. However, Kratos' President of its Defense Division calls this area of technology development a "key strategic growth area."
Last year, Leidos Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: LDOS) received a nearly $50 million contract from the United States Air Force Research Laboratory to provide research and development for advanced sensor technologies. These sensors will enable U.S. air combat to detect the threat of electromagnetic interference. Even further, the aircraft will be able to maintain flight despite an EMP attack.
But, what about civilians?
There's more than one reason we're telling you about these companies.
Firstly, even though the federal government possesses the technology and the finances, it is not taking action to protect you or your loved ones from complete societal breakdown.
Despite the public's complete dependence on electric connectivity, we have no formal structure for protecting it. Civilian infrastructures do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission lacks any official mandate for protection, or even protocol for after an attack.
"Nine out of ten Americans could die from starvation, disease, and societal collapse if the blackout lasted a year." -Peter Pry, Director, EMP Task Force
At the risk of sounding like an extremist “doomsday prepper,” it seems like now might be a good time to start taking action to protect yourself and your family from danger.
Secondly, American businesses and households will need to establish defense systems for themselves. As news of impending EMP threats spreads, demand for defense strategies will grow.
Therefore, this industry is likely to grow very soon.
Fortunately, the private sector recognizes the looming threat of an electromagnetic pulse interference, and has developed products to help citizens and businesses defend against the fallout.
At the most basic level, an electromagnetic shield technique involves placing your electronics within a grounded, metal box.
However, as with most electronics — there is a connective wire that carries voltage to and from the product. In case of an electromagnetic pulse attack, these wires can carry electromagnetic radiation into a Faraday cage or other structure meant to protect electronics.
To avoid this taking place, wires will require filters, connectors, and shields.
Based in Tampa, Florida, Leader Tech, Inc. specializes in shielding products for circuit boards, interconnected cables, and electronic enclosures. Leader Tech engineers are able to tailor their shielding methods to your requirements. They are already involved with several contracts in the defense and aerospace sector — including the United States Air Force, Navy, and NASA.
MAJR Products Corporation is another manufacturer of Electromagnetic Interference shielding products, located in Pennsylvania. For the protection of consumer and commercial electronics, MAJR offers board-level shields and thermal materials. The company is also able to manufacture radio-frequency-absorbing materials, shielding tapes, connector gaskets, shielded windows, etc.
Parker Chomerics has been developing Electromagnetic Interference protection devices since the early 1960s. The company offers conductive coatings, laminates, tapes, and the usual shield or absorbency products. Parker is also able to construct shielded windows and integrated displays, made of either plastic, polycarbonate, or glass.
If these products seem relatively simple to you, then you are correct.
Protection against a severe solar storm, or even a nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack, can be established rather easily and inexpensively. That's part of the reason that the lack of government action seems a little absurd to us, especially in the face of such imminent danger.