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Switch to Forum Live View The Morning After EMP
3 years ago  ::  Aug 28, 2011 - 10:48AM #31
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,301

I have to agree with w'gal on this one: It seems far-fetched, this EMP preoccupation.


An enemy capable of effecting one is by definition sufficiently sophisticated as to not actually do it.


Soft solutions by diplomacy and economics typically are the ones that work better for conflict prevention than all the engineers' technical stuff.


Does this hit the US media now because Obama and GOP finally agreed to substantial cuts in military expenditures?

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 28, 2011 - 1:19PM #32
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833

I suppose it could be said there's some reason for concern but certainly none relative to any recent event in the U.S., Charikleia.


I checked the linked sources and discovered that not only is the OP one hardly reliable due to its reputation for propaganda but that most of those linked subsequently are well over a year old.


The Texas Congressmen proposing EMP gun placement along the border? Dated 6/3/10 (And does anyone actually think THAT would get through Congress???)


Should I Be Worried...? 3/22/10 which is rife with "IF a major EMP weapon wipes out the power grid that serves your home or IF a smaller one hits your neighborhood" (Popular Science magazine, which I was taught not to use for research due to its propensity for inflating sensationalistic topics) In short, the answer to the question appears to be, "Not much."


EMP cannon to be demo'd "next month"? 1/20/10 so next month was February of LAST year


About half of the linked long list from the e!Science News site were on beneficial uses of EMP's such as combatting osteoarthritis and migraine pain. And then, I clicked on the info about that site to find that it's a collection of links blogged from the websurfing of a PhD STUDENT (or so he says he is) and has no association with any publications.


One of those was, however, dated July 2011 on the Chinese developing EMP weaponry, so I suppose that's the huge threat that should concern us.


I'm wondering if Paravani's English instructors failed to teach her how to determine what are truly reliable current sources, or perhaps she cut class or wasn't paying attention when they attempted to do so. Unimpressive choices of supporting evidence is all I can say.

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 28, 2011 - 2:29PM #33
Paravani
Posts: 797

Hi, All!


Physorg has some amusing articles.  I especially enjoyed the New York Times article on anosognosis, and found it particularly relevant to this discussion.  I even enjoyed the comments:


Nassim Nicholas Taleb's The Black Swan treats the subject of unknown  unknowns in a different way -- as a principal source of our poor ability  to predict or forecast.  He posits that we are usually and demonstrably  arrogant about what we think we know.  We tend to forecast on the basis  of the limited data set that we have -- and we're almost always wrong,  as it turns out.


Physorg also reprinted the USA Today article that mentions the Amphibian.  After the two paragraphs I previously quoted, the article continues:


Meanwhile, in Congress, a "Grid Act" bill aimed at the threat  awaits Senate action, having passed in the House of Representatives.


Fear is evident. With the sun's 11-year solar cycle ramping up  for its stormy maximum in 2012, and nuclear concerns swirling about Iran  and North Korea, a drumbeat of reports and blue-ribbon panels center on  electromagnetic pulse scenarios.


"We're taking this seriously," says Ed Legge of the Edison  Electric Institute in Washington, which represents utilities. He points  to a North American Electric Reliability Corp. report in June, conducted  with the Energy Department, that found pulse threats to the grid "may  be much greater than anticipated."


There are "some important reasons for concern," says physicist  Yousaf Butt of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in  Cambridge, Mass. "But there is also a lot of fluff."


At risk are the more than 200,000 miles of high-voltage  transmission lines that cross North America, supplying 1,800 utilities  the power for TVs, lights, refrigerators and air conditioners in homes,  and for the businesses, hospitals and police stations that take care of  us all.


"The electric grid's vulnerability to cyber and to other attacks  is one of the single greatest threats to our national security," Rep.  Ed Markey, D-Mass., said in June as he introduced the bill to the House  of Representatives.


Markey and others point to the August 2003 blackout that struck  states from Michigan to Massachusetts, and southeastern Canada, as a  sign of the grid's vulnerability. Triggered by high-voltage lines  stretched by heat until they sagged onto overgrown tree branches, the  two-day blackout shut down 100 power plants, cut juice to about 55  million people and cost $6 billion, says the 2004 U.S.-Canada Power  System Outage Task Force.


Despite the costs, most of them from lost work, a National  Center for Environmental Health report in 2005 found "minimal" death or  injuries tied directly to the 2003 blackout - a few people died in  carbon monoxide poisonings as a result of generators running in their  homes or from fires started from candles. But the effects were  pervasive: Television and radio stations went off the air in Detroit,  traffic lights and train lines stopped running in New York, turning  Manhattan into the world's largest pedestrian mall, and water had to be  boiled after water mains lost pressure in Cleveland.


The electromagnetic pulse threat is a function of simple  physics: Electromagnetic pulses and geomagnetic storms can alter Earth's  magnetic field. Changing magnetic fields in the atmosphere, in turn,  can trigger surging currents in power lines.


"We have understood the electromagnetic effect since the 1800s,"  says Butt, who this year reviewed geomagnetic and nuke blast worries in  The Space Review.


Two historic incidents often figure in the discussion:


-On July 9, 1962, the Atomic Energy Commission and the Defense  Atomic Support Agency detonated the Starfish Prime, a 1.4-megaton H-bomb  test at an altitude of 250 miles, some 900 miles southwest of Hawaii  over the Pacific Ocean. The pulse shorted out streetlights in Oahu.


-On March 9, 1989, the sun spat a million-mile-wide blast of  high-temperature charged solar gas straight at the Earth. The "coronal  mass ejection" struck the planet three days later, triggering a geomagnetic storm that made the northern lights visible in Texas. The storm also induced  currents in Quebec's power grid that knocked out power for 6 million  people in Canada and the United States for at least nine hours.


"A lot of the questions are what steps does it make sense to  take," Legge says. "We could effectively gold-plate every component in  the system, but the cost would mean that people can't afford the rates  that would result to pay for it."


"The high-altitude nuclear-weapon-generated electromagnetic  pulse is one of a small number of threats that has the potential to hold  our society seriously at risk," concluded a 2008 EMP Commission report  headed by William Graham, a former science adviser to President Reagan.


In the nuclear scenario, the detonation of an atomic bomb  anywhere from 25 to 500 miles high electrifies, or ionizes, the  atmosphere about 25 miles up, triggering a series of electromagnetic  pulses. The pulse's reach varies with the size of the bomb, the height  of its blast and design.


Aug 28, 2011 -- 12:47AM, Roodog wrote:

I'm curious:


Does a nuclear blast put  electronic devices within a specified  distance on the fritz? I heard that a nuclear blast puts out an EMP.



Hi, Roo!


No, it isn't caused by just any nuclear explosion.  A nuclear-blast EMP is only caused when the bomb is set off more than 25 miles above the earth.  (The other types of EMP generators do not have this restriction.)


The EMP is caused not by the blast alone, but by its interaction with our earth's own magnetic field in the atmosphere.  Its effects are strongest where its force is applied perpendicular to the plane of the earth; however, where it affects electrical systems, the EM pulse can travel down the lines, causing damage many hundreds of miles from the directly-affected area.


Remember, electricity isn't "local" -- we are all connected electromagnetically in one way or another.


Aug 28, 2011 -- 10:48AM, CharikIeia wrote:

An enemy capable of effecting one is by definition sufficiently sophisticated as to not actually do it.


Soft solutions by diplomacy and economics typically are the ones that  work better for conflict prevention than all the engineers' technical  stuff. 



Hi, Chari!


I absolutely agree.  What you say is very sensible, and if all the people in the world were as good and sensible as we are, there would be no need for this discussion at all.


I'm not sure if Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, ever made headlines in Europe, but he was a domestic anti-technology terrorist who killed a bunch of people in the US with bombs in the 80's and early 90's.  He was brilliant, and crazy; and had he known about EMP bombs, he would very likely have made at least one of them.


Sorry, but the world does have its share of crazies, even very, very smart crazies.


Love,


-- Claudia

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 28, 2011 - 2:44PM #34
mountain_man
Posts: 38,798

Aug 28, 2011 -- 2:29PM, Paravani wrote:

....I absolutely agree.  What you say is very sensible, and if all the people in the world were as good and sensible as we are, there would be no need for this discussion at all.


There is no need for this discussion since it is based on an irrational fear of the unknown. There are no monsters in the closet and no one is contemplating using an EMP bomb on us.


I'm not sure if Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, ever made headlines in Europe, but he was a domestic anti-technology terrorist who killed a bunch of people in the US with bombs in the 80's and early 90's.  He was brilliant, and crazy; and had he known about EMP bombs, he would very likely have made at least one of them.


No, he could not. I'm pretty sure he didn't have access to billions of dollars. He would more likely have made a "dirty bomb". Those are cheap, and easy. EMP bomb? No way.


Sorry, but the world does have its share of crazies, even very, very smart crazies.


And not one of them is capable of building an EMP bomb and delivering it.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 28, 2011 - 2:44PM #35
Wanderingal
Posts: 5,504

Paravani--as usual you try to make it personal when my posts are discussing the EMP
PARANOIA that is evident in much of what you've posted here.


 


For example--just what do YOU think YOU could have done to stop the Unibomber from making and using EMP style bombs?


NOBODY could to anything about his actions.


His BROTHER turned him in.


Should we all watch our sibs foe any indication that they are evincing interest in various forms of nuclear theories?


That is no way to live and it does NOTHING but fuel the need of paranoics to feel they are in control when they are so obviously NOT in control.


 


Life has a lot more daisies than bombs.


Do you know the origin of that idea?


 


 

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 28, 2011 - 2:46PM #36
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833
A largely tongue-in-cheek opinion piece from the NY Times and a USA Today article???

USA Today is popularist fluff. It's a joke masquerading as a national newspaper.
Even more unimpressive as far as establishing any legitimate cause for alarm.
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 28, 2011 - 2:49PM #37
Wanderingal
Posts: 5,504

Paravani--


 


 


I am fascinated with your assumption that "Something" could be done about Kazinski and people "like" him.


ANY state that has remote areas like forests etc has THOUSANDS of solitaries--many of them artists and thinkers.



Are you suggesting we round them all up and bring them in to detention camps so they can be observed for any "Suspicious ideas"?


Because that's the logical outcome of your paranoid request that we "pay attention" to people like Kazinski.


And if that's what America would turn into--your ideal of anyone who is off the beaten path intellectually is to be detained and restrained "just in case"--we might as well detonate EMPs ourselves and save us the pain of your "brave new EMP-threat-ladened world."


 

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 28, 2011 - 2:54PM #38
Wanderingal
Posts: 5,504

Paravani--you say you are "completely unfamiliar with the Heritage Foundation"--and yet you quoted their "study.""


You might want to research your sources more carefully........it's unscientific to quote from a source you have no knowledge of......

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 28, 2011 - 3:00PM #39
Wanderingal
Posts: 5,504

Paravani says--


 


"So what makes the non-scientist posters here so certain that they understand EMP better than the multitude of scientists who've written about it?"


 


 


WGAL replies--


 


1--


I was trained in the sciences and worke as a scientist. As a matter of fact people trusted me to do cancer diagnosis for them--just in case you think I'm one of the "non-scientist posters here."


 


2--There you go getting personal again instead of just asking for info like--"Anyone who studied science or with a science background--let us know what you think."


 


3--This thread is the same old pattern--as soon as someone--anyone--disagrees with any of what you've posted you go on the attack--often personal--instead of just discussing varying and differeing ideas and info.


 


BTW--your posts here keep making UNscientific assumptions--like the assumption that the people objecting to your EMP paranoia know nothing about EMPs and are ALL "non-scientists."


 

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 28, 2011 - 3:00PM #40
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833
She might do us the favor of researching the reliability of her sources AT ALL.

USA Today???? I'm still laughing.
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