FINALLY! Pres. Trump’s Exec. Order concerning EMP preparedness

FINALLY!

Long-time readers here will recall that I’ve written on occasion about the devastation that a large Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) would cause.  A large enough EMP could take out much or all of the electrical grid that our lives have come to depend on as babies for their mothers.

EMPs can be natural occurrences (as produced by your planet’s yellow star) or manmade (as produced by the detonation of nuclear weapons).   On the natural side, we are overdue for a repeat of the infamous Carrington Event of 1859.  **shudder**

I read now at In Homeland Security that Pres. Trump issued an Executive Order concerning EMPs.

[…]

The Executive Order on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Threats mandates that the White House take charge of national EMP preparedness. This order circumnavigates the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Energy (DOE).

Putting the White House in charge of EMP preparedness is a bold, but vital, component of the president’s executive order. Traditionally, cabinet departments – including DOE and DHS – have a long history of playing down the seriousness of the EMP threat.

The new executive order states that the president’s National Security Advisor, coordinating with the National Security Council and the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, “shall coordinate the development and implementation of executive branch actions to assess, prioritize, and manage the risks of EMPs.”

President Trump’s executive order also directs DHS to liaise with DOE and other agencies, along with the private sector, to “develop a plan to mitigate the effects of EMPs on the vulnerable priority-critical infrastructures.”

Rare Bipartisan Progress on EMP Preparedness

Getting an EMP preparedness executive order is one of those extraordinarily rare bipartisan successes on Capitol Hill. Republican and Democratic factions in Congress have emphasized for years how important EMP preparedness is, but past administrations were mostly indifferent.

Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and former Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.) have all led calls for EMP preparedness legislation. U.S. Representatives Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Doug Lamborn (D-Colo.) also played a big part, as did many other current and former lawmakers at the state and federal level.

“It is way past time to stop admiring this problem,” Sen. Johnson told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Operations Committee on Feb. 26, “and actually begin to do something concrete to protect our vulnerable electrical grid, control systems, and the ever- increasing array of electronic devices our society has become dependent upon.”

[…]

This is a really important development as our world gets more dangerous by the day and as the clock ticks.  It is just a matter of time before your planet gets nailed by a serious CME.  Then it’s lights out and about 90% of everyone will die.

Try to contemplate what would happen were you to lose all electricity, and even most things that run on batteries would simply not work.  What would happen to your life? What would your world look like after a week of zero electricity?  A month?

If you haven’t read much about the impact that a large EMP might have, try…

One Second After by William R. Forstchen US HERE – UK HERE
This is a standard in the genre.  The author, who’s got game, has written two sequels.

He also has a newish one out.  Far more dire, however.

US HERE – UK HERE

Check it out.

Lights Out by David Crawford.  US HERE – UK HERE

And not exactly an EMP scenario, but in the same line:

Patriots by James Wesley Rawles. (It’s sequel HERE) UK HERE

 

There are quite a few now that explore the impact of an EMP.  One series, the Perseid Collapse, by Steven Konkoly, starts with a pandemic and then moves to an EMP scenario.

You get the drift.

Some sharing options...

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Look! Up in the sky!, Semper Paratus, TEOTWAWKI, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to FINALLY! Pres. Trump’s Exec. Order concerning EMP preparedness

  1. KateD says:

    Now if we could just find a means to provide white hats on the wild west that is the internet to protect the townsfolk from malware, etc., while maintaining liberty and privacy…Electronic life would feel so much more safe.

    We live in hope……

  2. KateD says: if we could just find a means to provide white hats

    Remember when I suggested the creation of a Catholic Signal Corps?

    HERE

  3. Puts me in mind of the old cartoon from the ‘50s or ‘60s, of the dazed-looking guy wandering through the blasted wasteland with a broken TV, holding the plug, looking for somewhere to plug it in.

  4. Semper Gumby says:

    Good news. Thank you to Pres. Trump and a host of people from EMP Commission members to concerned citizens.

    Back on October 13, 2016, Pres. Obama signed an Executive Order: “Coordinating Efforts to Prepare the Nation for Space Weather Events.” The Order concerned itself with matters such as CME and the power grid. That’s fine, but not addressing EMP was a glaring omission.

    Here is how the Ars Technica website a week ago, March 27 2019, framed Trump’s Executive Order. First, the headline and sub-headline:

    “Trump signs executive order to make America greater than EMPs.
    Order combines hardening against mythical high-altitude attack with space weather readiness.”

    Well, that’s a falsehood. There’s nothing mythical about the capability. One wonders if Ars Technica has heard of data on EMP going back to the 1962 Starfish Prime test.

    “The aurora created by the Starfish Prime high-altitude nuclear test in 1962, as seen from Honolulu. The electromagnetic pulse from the blast has fed a host of worries about the potential for North Korea or some other state to destroy America with an EMP weapon.”

    Ok, so Ars Technica has heard of Starfish Prime. Notice how they framed it: “…fed a host of worries…” “Worrying” is one way to dismiss or diminish this topic. Ars Technica should consider that other ways to approach the topic of EMP are with “concern” or “due regard,” and with “proper prior planning.”

    Then, Ars Technica wheels out the bogeymen: the Heritage Foundation, “former House Speaker and FoxNews analyst” Newt Gingrich, and “former Republican Maryland Congressman and survivalist Roscoe Bartlett.”

    Ars Technica continues with:

    “Bartlett railed against the EMP menace for much of his congressional tenure and was behind the language in the 2001 and 2006 Defense Authorization Acts that mandated the creation of the EMP Commission—language that was assisted by post-9/11 fears over new types of attacks on the homeland.”

    “Bartlett’s concerns sprang from the science-fiction thriller One Second After, a book he cited in Congress. The book now includes a forward by Gingrich.”

    If Bartlett “railed” and was “behind” the Acts dating to 2001 and 2006, then his concerns did not “spring” from a book published in 2009 (though the manuscript was circulated months before publishing).

    As for “…post-9/11 fears over new types of attacks on the homeland” Ars Technica has an opportunity here to excel at basic research by taking a look at the dozens of attacks thwarted against the US mainland since 9/11. Ars Technica can also take a look at Super EMP and various news items relating to missile tests from freighters at sea.

    One more quote:

    “Some conservative pundits have warned repeatedly of the EMP threat potentially posed by North Korea (and occasionally, Iran) as they develop ballistic missiles.”

    More than “conservative pundits” have warned. Also, note the several Democrat Congressmen named as supporters of Pres. Trump’s Executive Order.

  5. Semper Gumby says:

    While we’re at it, here is what the, er, Washington Post had to say about this on March 29 in an op-ed by four PhD students in international relations and political science at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Title and sub-title:

    “Trump issued an executive order to prepare for an EMP attack. What is it, and should you worry?
    Nah. But the U.S. should get ready for a very similar threat — from the sun.”

    “Nah.” Policy-making and intelligence collection and analysis are performed by flawed human beings. It will never be perfect. However, one must make the effort to: 1) not underestimate your enemy and 2) not predict the future. These students would benefit by envisioning scenarios and ranking them by probability, thereby lending a sense of order that will assist in crafting policy and budget decisions.

    Here we go with a bit of framing early in the article:

    “President Trump believes the danger of an EMP is not just a Hollywood plot device.”

    So do quite a few others.

    The students continue with a discussion of EMP and solar storm basics. Reasonable. Then:

    “Fortunately, there’s little cause for concern about an EMP attack in isolation, because a nuclear EMP attack would be just that: a nuclear attack. Such brazen aggression would prompt an overwhelming — and most likely nuclear — American response. Such deterrence makes it unlikely a nuclear EMP attack would happen in the first place.”

    So “Nah” has shifted to “little cause for concern” and “unlikely.” The students should recall that game theory and rational actors are not a permanent controlling feature in international relations. In 1945 Hitler was willing to let Germany burn. Then there are apocalyptic non-state actors and regimes.

    “Public data are scarce, but Nobel Prize-winning physicist Jack Steinberger says [an EMP weapon’s] destructive capacity is overstated.”

    An appeal to authority.

    “This all makes it hard to predict how much damage an EMP will cause, reducing its strategic value for governments that have only one chance to inflict damage before being destroyed by the response.”

    Yes, however, this is the 21st century not the Cold War.

    “Nor is it likely that terrorist groups could conduct a large-scale EMP attack against the United States. Doing so would require acquiring both a powerful nuclear warhead and a sophisticated ballistic missile able to detonate at high altitude.”

    Define “powerful”, “sophisticated”, and “high.”

    “Governments have many reasons not to give nuclear weapons to terrorists.”

    Yet, this does not exclude the possibility. There are governments, and then there are regimes.

    “And if by some small chance terrorists managed to acquire such technology, would they really risk it on a relatively untested concept?”

    A well-equipped international terrorist is unlikely to think along the same lines as UPenn graduate students.

    “For a lot of reasons, governments and terrorists are highly unlikely to launch an EMP attack. Space weather events, on the other hand, happen with some regularity. The first might occur; the second eventually will.”

    So, two-thirds into this op-ed the students have moved from “Nah” to “might occur.” This is a positive development, but raises the question of why we are reading an op-ed that requires a significant amount of corrections, additions, and clarifications.

    “A nuclear EMP may very well be less likely than a GMD[solar event]. But either way, we don’t know whether further investments into U.S. resilience can reduce the impact.”

    Well, let’s not give in to futility.

    “Working to better understand the hazards to U.S. infrastructure may be a good investment to evaluate if greater protection against EMPs is worth pursuing.”

    It seems that these students are unaware of the various post-EMP damage assessments and casualty estimates. Scenarios can range from partial EMP coverage to complete coverage of the country. Common sense suggests Pres. Trump’s Executive Order is a step in the right direction.

    “Will Trump’s executive order help accomplish this? Perhaps. But the burden of proof remains on the administration to demonstrate whether taxpayer dollars invested in resilience are worth taking away from other national policy priorities.”

    One wonders about the national policy priorities held by these students, and why those priorities are omitted here.

  6. Glennonite says:

    Several years ago, your words on this subject really got my head in the game; I don’t think I ever thanked you. Thank you, Father.