In other words, is mankind foolish to have ever staked civilization's continuity on it?
Can't for the life of me find the thread discussing the assertion that solar surges of some kind or believed to pose a massive danger to everything electric on "the planet", based on their (for instance) having knocked out connections lines 100+ years ago. Latest of such pulchritudinous possibilities, making Amish life look smarter and smarter:
Congressman Warns US Grid Can be Wiped Out By Electromagnetic Weapons</font>
There's been plenty of evidence recently that the Smart Grid could
become a serious security risk for IT and households. Now comes
something potentially just as troubling: A U.S. Congressman warns that
the grid can be taken down by an electromagnetic weapon.
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (Rep.-Md.) issued that warning recently. He's not
your typical "the-sky-is-falling" Congressman --- he's a former
research scientist and engineer and has previously has worked on
projects for NASA and the military. Bartlett issued his warning
yesterday at a House Science subcommittee hearing about how to roll out
the Smart Grid.
At the hearing, he warned that a weapon that fired an electromagnetic
pulse (EMP) could wipe out significant sections of the Smart Grid.
According to a Science News account of the hearings:
EMP is a powerful and potentially devastating form of electromagnetic
"fallout." It's usually associated with nuclear weapons, although it
can be triggered by any major explosive bursts. Unlike radioactive
fallout, this rain won't directly harm living things.
It will just
catastrophically fry all electronics and modern electrical systems by
inducing staggeringly large and rapid current or voltage surges.</font>
The magazine goes on to report that Bartlett warns small nations could
use the weapon against the Smart Grid, when it is developed:
All one needs to wreak some serious EMP damage, he charges, is a
sea-worthy steamer, $100,000 to buy a scud-missile launcher, and a
crude nuclear weapon. Then fling the device high into the air and
detonate its warhead.
Such a system might not paralyze the entire United States, he concedes.
"But you could shut down all of New England. And if you missed by 100
miles, it's as good as a bulls eye."
At the hearing, various people testified about how the grid might be
hardened against attack, by protecting key components of it. Bartlett,
though, isn't convinced that we're doing enough and wants EMP
protection built directly into it.</font>
Edited by: Nelson3