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Electronic Armageddon

Posted by Richard on June 22, 2010

The National Geographic Channel's Explorer program is re-airing "Electronic Armageddon" tonight at 6 PM EDT. The episode is about a threat that could knock out 70% or more of America's power grid for months and permanently destroy countless electronic devices:

What do future presidents need to know about existential dangers this country could face? Explorer investigates the science behind the dangers of a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse, or HEMP. Picture an instantaneous deathblow to the vital engines that power our society, delivered by a nuclear weapon designed not to kill humans but to attack electronics. What could happen if an electromagnetic pulse surged to earth, crippling every aspect of modern society's infrastructure?

An EMP event could be caused naturally by the sun, or it could be caused by a terrorist or rogue state attack. Imagine, for instance, a nuclear Iran putting one of those 1500-mile missiles it's been testing on a freighter, sailing it to somewhere in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, and firing it to create an EMP high over the heartland. 

If you miss the show and want to know more about the EMP threat, visit EMPACT America. You'll find lots of information and resources, including the Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack. There are also several interesting discussions of this issue in the email archives (AprilJuly 2009) of ACT! for America, the activist arm of the American Congress for Truth. This is one of them.

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