Imagine the power just went out. How would your life be immediately affected? Likely, in the short term, you’d be minorly inconvenienced. You’d have to find a candle or a flashlight to read or do household tasks. You might have to change your dinner plan, because you can’t use your electric stove to cook.
But now imagine that the power didn’t come back on – for weeks, months, or years – and imagine the outage is everywhere.
Now, all the food in your fridge (and your grocery store) will go bad. Your cell phone will become useless. Your car might not start – and if it does, gas station fuel pumps will not operate. If you require medication that needs to be refrigerated, it will be ruined – and replacements will be unavailable. (If you require dialysis or some other regular procedure that requires electricity, you will likely die.) The same goes for all of your neighbors and loved ones.
This the scenario we might face if the United States is attacked (or naturally suffers from) an electromagnetic pulse (or EMP) – the topic of this week’s episode of "Newt’s World."
An EMP is a super energetic radio wave that could be caused by an enemy attack, or a large solar flare from the sun, and it causes electric grids to blackout and shut down for an extended period. The net result is the life-sustaining critical infrastructure, which helps maintain modern civilization everywhere on the planet, is threatened.
The consequences of an EMP attack could be dire indeed, although there are steps the U.S. can take to harden our electrical grids and vital infrastructure. In this week’s episode, I speak with Dr. William R. Forstchen, who has written a series of illustrative and didactic novels about an EMP attack. His books "One Second After," "One Year After," and "The Final Day" have sold millions of copies worldwide. I also speak with Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, who served as chief of staff on the Congressional EMP Commission for 17 years and has written and testified extensively on this important topic.
I hope you will listen to this week’s episode. If we, as a society, don’t start moving to protect ourselves from the threat of EMP, our very civilization may be put in jeopardy.