Sunday, January 29, 2012

An EMP Echo .... on Midrats

In the last year, our listenership has roughly doubled. As a result, many have missed some of our more interesting shows.

This week, as your hosts take care of some things in the other part of our lives, let's revisit Halloween of 2010.

When you mention the possibility of an Electro Magnetic Pulse attack (EMP) - people have a reaction of, "What?" - either that or they get all fidgety or roll their eyes. Is the EMP threat trick or treat?

We will discuss the issue from 5-6pm today, Sunday 29 JAN with our guests Jason Sigger, defense policy analyst, opinion writer and blogg'r for the first half of the hour. For the second half of the hour, James Carafano, Ph.D., Deputy Director, The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies and Director, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

Join us live if you can - even though its a best of, I'll open the chat room where you can contribute your thoughts and observations.
If you miss the show you can always listen to the archive at blogtalkradio - but the best way to get the show and download the archive to your audio player is to get a free account and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.


MR T's Haircut said...

EMP.. this is one bad scenario for us.. the fact that the Govt commissioned a study in 2007 to determine the effects and that we have not acted on the results is incredulous.

With Just in time supply chain logistics, we would be so screwed if this ever occured.  I read once that the ability to take and move a 40lb package was the same from the days of Rome up through the invention of the Steam Engine Circa 1840's.. even during the time of Lincoln moving that same 40lbs was a monumental task.  HOW would we move that 40lbs today? simple chuck it into our truck or car and drive.. but what happens when you can no longer get fuel because the lights go out? 

an EMP would set us back to the times before Lincoln circa 1840's... the issue is compounded in a technology required society.  No Banks, No ATM, no internet, no lights, no food, no gas, no anything.. it would be Katrina 1000 fold.  

The Grid is precarious as we speak.. what happens if an EMP stops the Nuclear plants from working and shuts down the back up generators?  Melt down?  maybe. 

What happens when society goes without electricty and lights and AC?  even basic tasks light taking a shower are problematic.

Talk about a large scale DIE off.. to think it cant happen is folly.. the Chinese have the capability.  The Iranians seek it.  It truly wouldnt take much. 

Are you prepared?  Do you have candles? Batteries?  solar power?  How about the ability to pump water from a well with out electricity?  What about food?  Medicine?  you aint seen bad yet..

Recommend 'Lights Out" and "One second after"  but before that READ the US Commission on EMP.

ewok40k said...

And the more advanced technologically nation, the more severe effect of the EMP... Old 50's car would maybe need few new spark plugs and ready to go again, on manually pumped gasoline. Modern car with electronically steered injection and ignition would be dead. 
The good news is only few nations do posses the megaton-range warheads and long range missiles to deliver suborbital strike. Of those, Israel, UK and France are allied, Russia has enough warheads to do things good old MAD way but no reason to do so, China has only few ICBMs so this would be a good "force multiplifier" for them but it would invite disastrous US retaliation. India and Pakistan neither have delivery means to reach US nor any reason to do so. Biggest threat seems to be a short-to-medium range missile used by North Korea or Iran from off-shore naval platform - sub is possible but expendable merchant ship is more probable - as both regimes are quite unpredictable and hard to deter. The short range and altitude of such missiles would limit the area affected, but still even non-nationwide attack on say California or Eastern Coast anywhere between DC and Boston would put millions of US citizens in a very difficult position, and some, especially dependant on advanced healthcare in mortal danger.

Sean said...

As usual, the EMP discussion gets short changed due to no one wanting to talk about it, it being a BUMMER of a scenario if it actually happened, and the sexy topic right next door on men/women !!!!

Any of the books that have dealt with the end of the electrical grid point out how quickly our modern society devolves....

Down here in Florida the gators would make an even stronger comeback to resemble those old photos you occasionally see of gator hunts a hundred years ago where it looks like the killed fifty or so gators all at once! And hardly made a dent in the population....

Guest said...

Good old Wikipedia and Google explain all about EMP and some previous Naval History about testing vs warships:

The article mentions EMPRESS I which was a very small scale test.  IIRC EMPRESS II was an enormous barge based EMP generator tested against an AEGIS cruiser in the early 1990's.

Might as well learn from past NAVY EMPRESS tests:  E.M.P. Radiation Environmental Simulator for Ships =  EMPRESS.