There’s been a lot of talk lately about the nuclear threat from terrorists, and the potential for a dirty bomb or bombs deployment in one of our cities. But with the recent nuclear summit of a few dozen world leaders I believe we have much more to be worried about than a simple suitcase bomb in the subways of New York. The mass destructive power that exists in the world today is phenomenal, and yet this nation wants to reduce our ability to protect pur selves and our interests around the world.

According to an AP article; In full accord on a global threat, world leaders Tuesday endorsed President Barack Obama’s call for securing all nuclear materials around the globe within four years to keep them out of the grasp of terrorists. Of course, there were few details available to suggest how that would be accomplished. But of greater concern are the points the main stream media seems to not want to bring attention to. For one, there was no treaty signed by or between any leaders. All efforts were pledged without the specific backing or directive of these nations governing bodies, and were simply of a voluntary accord. I have to wonder how many of these world leaders had their fingers crossed behind their backs.

The story behind the headlines doesn’t say much beyond the normal drivel that usually pours from political figures in that we have once again sidestepped taking a firm stance on our position, and instead deferred action to the UN. But that’s all business as usual. The real threat of mass destruction comes not from a suitcase bomb in spite of the devastation one of those babies can inflict. The real damage comes from an ICBM sized warhead, and from one of two types of detonation. Were a nuclear warhead to detonate at or below ground level, the fallout would last for days and spread for hundreds, maybe thousands of miles causing contamination across the continent.

The blast damage would be incredible alone, but to add the millions of Americans that would be affected by the resulting fallout spread would add exponentially to that damage. But perhaps an even more serious attack would be the high altitude detonation of a nuclear device resulting in an electromagnetic pulse(EMP) that would cripple the entire continent in a matter of minutes, theoretically throwing us into a third world class of nation. Provided that the altitude of the blast was just right, any unprotected solid state electrical device would immediately fry from the electrical overload. Our electrical distribution system or the “grid” would cease to transmit electricity to the millions of Americans whose very lives and livelihoods depend upon it.

But there is still another source of threat to the grid that we seem to want to ignore, that of the geomagnetic storm. An article in a recently received edition of the quarterly Journal of Civil Defense brings to mind the geomagnetic storm of 1859, which demonstrates the severity of damage such a storm would bring today. In those days of emerging electrical uses there were no solid state devices, however, the geomagnetic storm of 1859 shorted out telegraph wires in both America and Europe resulting in a lack of communications ability and causing an untold number of fires.

This was a totally natural event of which politics has no control over. This was a massive storm, and experts seem to believe another one of this magnitude is imminent. Other storms have occurred in recent years, according to the article, causing widespread power disruptions. On 9 March, 1989, a storm caused the circuit breakers to trip in Hydro-Quebec’s grid in 90 seconds, causing a massive blackout lasting at least nine hours. This same storm also interrupted short wave radio transmissions around the northern hemisphere. Some satellites lost temporary control, and there were many other stories of damage caused by a comparatively mild storm. Later that same year another storm wiped out the Toronto Stock exchange’s computers when the microchips were fried.

There have been other storms in recent years with accompanying levels of damage, so you can guess as to the damage a storm the magnitude of the 1859 Carrington Super Flare storm would cause. While there is a lot we can do to negate the potential of mankind’s stupidity with the use of nuclear devices, there isn’t a thing we can do about the damage the sun can cause with one of these storms.

It will take little to cause much damage. Take this source of disaster to mind as you make your plans to prepare for the coming times. Make sure you have plenty of non electric fuels, appliances and tools to help you cope with the aftermath of such a storm. Don’t count on the power coming back for some time, possibly even years after such an event.

Learn how to make and protect your sensitive electronic equipment safe by using circuit protectors and Faraday cages to store your equipment in. and even then they may be no good. Remember, if the infrastructure goes down, so doesn’t the internet.

For more information on this threat I invite you to visit The American Civil Defense Associations website. Use this link or click onto the one on your right under the Knowledge Links category.

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