Amb. Henry F. Cooper, Chairman _____________________________________ Lt. Gen. Daniel Graham, Founder
High Frontier . . Building Truly Effective Defenses . . Reagan’s Vision Lives!
E-Mail Message 121230
An EMP Existential Threat: An Unlikely Event?
December 30, 2012
Last week, High Frontier’s first email discussed the existential threat posed by North Korea, Iran or Terrorists, who could launch a nuclear armed ballistic missile from a vessel in the Gulf of Mexico, to produce an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that, in turn, could within 6-12 months lead to the death of 60-90 percent of all Americans. We recommended to counter that threat deploying “Aegis Ashore” ballistic missile defenses at several military bases around the Gulf of Mexico.
This threat is considered by some to be very unlikely, though for well over a decade it has been understood to be a real possibility. As then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld observed in a September 16, 2002 Pentagon Press Briefing,
“Countries have placed ballistic missiles in ships – dime a dozen – all over the world. At any given time, there’s any number off our coasts – coming, going. On transporter-erector-launchers, they simply erect it, fire off a ballistic missile, put it down, cover it up. Their radar signature’s not any different than 50 others in close proximity.”
And in the middle of the last decade a specially chartered non-partisan Congressional Commission produced ample evidence to justify immediate actions to save so many Americans should the threat materialize. Yet, little has been done to defend against this threat. Maybe our leaders are waiting for Iran to get a nuclear weapon? Some believe Iran may have nuclear weapons as early as in a few months—even if this is the case, seems like it is time to act!
Furthermore, North Korea already has nuclear weapons—and as is well known they are willing to sell to anyone with money. They not only have been helping Iran build better ballistic missiles and develop nuclear technology, they could sell directly to terrorists. Seems like it is long past time to act!
As reported in our last email, we can rapidly provide needed defenses. Some 24 of our Aegis ships can defend against this threat if they are operating near our coasts—and we should assure the usual few off our East and West Coasts are prepared to do so. But they do not operate in the Gulf of Mexico; leaving us totally vulnerable to an attack from the south—hence the need for several “Aegis Ashore” sites, that would be identical to those we are planning to build in Romania (2015) and Poland (2018).
But there is no such plan, still we delay!
Could this delay be because we think this threat is sufficiently unlikely to risk the lives of 300 million Americans who could die at the hands of those openly committed to kill as many of the Great Satan as possible?
While pondering this sad state, consider that there is another well, though not widely, known “unlikely event” that could produce an EMP effect with the same lethal consequences to unwitting Americans. It can, and more importantly, will happen—it is just a matter of time.
The source of this threat? The Sun . . . that’s right, the Sun. If you have doubts about this claim and are suspicious that it might be a Pentagon conspiracy to scare an uninformed public, note as supporting evidence the very reputable National Geographic Magazine, which featured this threat as its June 2012 cover page article, “Sun Struck” (pp. 32-53).
The author, Timothy Farris, referred to a May 1921 solar storm that today would have turned off the lights over half of North America—and a March 13, 1989 solar storm that knocked out the power grid serving over 6-million subscribers in Quebec. This latter rather dramatic solar storm was about a third less powerful than the largest on record, the so-called Carrington event, named for the scientist who observed it on September 1, 1895. That event knocked out some telegraph operations, in and era long before our extensive dependence on electronics, which has grown substantially since even the 1989 event over Quebec.
As also noted b y Farris, a 2008 National Academy of Sciences study estimated that such a storm “could wreak the economic disruption of 20 Katrina-class hurricanes, costing more than one-to-two trillion dollars in the first year alone and taking a decade to recover from.” And as elaborated below, this could be a gross underestimate of the disastrous effects.
So this solar flare concern is well founded scientifically. Such a disastrous event may seem to be unlikely to happen in any given year—since it has been over 20 years since the Quebec experience and over 110 years since the Carrington event. It is perhaps worth noting that such major events are more likely in some years than others, given approximately an 11 year cycle of solar maxima—and 2013 is a year for a solar maximum, but not necessarily the year for a major solar storm.
So, we have an event that is certain to happen, it’s just that when it will happen is uncertain. As perhaps a humorous point to emphasize that a rare event can still be a certainty, consider another infrequent event thatis happening this month—which has 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays and 5 Mondays. This sequence occurs only once every 824 years. This interesting occurrence has only happened TWICE since Yeshua was born to Mary. It is infrequent but predictably certain. The fact that it is infrequent makes it no less certain. A Carrington event is also an infrequent, essentially certain-to-occur, happening—just one not so precisely predictable.
So, we have two reasons to be concerned about the EMP threat—one man-made, by rogue states or terrorists who could get their hands on a nuclear weapon, and the other a sure consequence of Mother Nature—only the timing of its infrequent occurrence is uncertain. Either would have disastrous consequences. The impressive October 12, 2012 National Geographic Channel TV report provided an excellent 40-minute discussion of both sources of EMP and what might be done to prepare for such an event if it occurs.
Our next email will discuss these preventative measures. I hope to make serious progress toward providing such preparation for the American people in 2013. As you consider your year-end giving, I hope you make a tax deductable gift to High Frontier and help us escape the existential threat.
Happy New Year to you and yours.
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