We can handle Natural Disasters but what about EMP?

In the book One Second After author William Forstchen paints a bleak picture of America after an EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) – caused by the detonation of a nuclear device in the atmosphere. Almost all of the electrical grid is destroyed, cars made after 1980 cannot run, appliances and electronics ruined. Faced with mass starvation and rampant disease, society collapses. While this was fiction, the threat of EMP is very real and it could happen naturally from a massive solar flare.

A recent article by Clifford May indicates:

The strongest solar storm on record is the Carrington Event of 1859, named after Richard Carrington, an astronomer who witnessed the super solar flare that set off the event as he was projecting an image of the sun onto a white screen. In those days, of course, there was nothing much to damage. A high-intensity burst of electromagnetic energy shot through telegraph lines, disrupting communications, shocking technicians, and setting their papers on fire. Northern Lights were visible as far south as Cuba and Hawaii. But otherwise life went on as normal.

The same would not be true were a solar storm of similar magnitude to erupt today. Instead, the infrastructure we depend on would be wiped out. Most of us would not adapt well to this sudden return to a pre-industrial age.

How likely is a repeat of the Carrington Event? Scientists say it is not only possible — it is inevitable. What they don’t know is when. The best estimates suggest that super solar storms occur once every 100 years — which means we are 50 years overdue.

We have committed $100M in aid to Haiti but for some reason we cannot come up with even that much in a $3.8T budget to address something that could potentially kill America as we know it?

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