Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Could We Defund the TSA and Start Spending Money on This Major Threat?

As readers of this blog know, my professional specialty is mitigating the risks posed by extreme weather and related natural phenomena. From the start of the blog, nearly three years ago, I've talked about the real and horrendous risks posed by electromagnetic pulses (EMP) whether they come from the sun or whether they come from an enemy attack.

Should an giant EMP occur it would literally take us back to the 1870's -- only without the infrastructure we had had then (how many of us own horses, how many of us get our break from a miller using water power?).

Finally, others are starting to realize the threat.

LONDON (Reuters) - The delicate threads that hold modern life together are dramatically cut by an unexpected threat from outer space, with disastrous effects.
It's the stuff of science fiction usually associated with tales of rogue asteroids on a collision course with earth.
But over the next two years, as the sun reaches a peak in its 10-year activity cycle, scientists say there is a heightened risk that a whopping solar storm could knock out the power grids, satellites and communications on which we all rely.
"Governments are taking it very seriously," says Mike Hapgood, aspace weather specialist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK. "These things may be very rare but when they happen, the consequences can be catastrophic."
Hapgood said that solar storms are increasingly being put on the national risk registers used for disaster planning, alongside other rare but devastating events like tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.
The statistics support this, he said. There is a roughly 12 percent chance of a major solar storm every decade, making them a one-in-a-hundred-year event. The last major one was over 150 years ago.

The full story is here

We spend far too much on the TSA (relative to the threat passengers pose to a flight) and far too little on EMP. We know how to harden the electrical infrastructure to resist EMP. It is past time to get going on this. 

To pay for it, disband the TSA and go back to private security with passenger screening at the level it was prior to September 11. We should continue with air marshals, screening checked luggage, and begin guarding the aircraft themselves. This would provide better security -- at less cost -- than the TSA and all of its nude gizmos.  


  1. I know this post is more about the potential for EMPs...

    But I have truly wondered about the lack of discussion in general about the sun's impact on climate change by the Warming Warners.

    I've gotten into several long discussions/debates with people like Peter Gleick (who I think would be better suited to sticking to reforming our culture around the waste and expense of bottled water than about climate change, but that's just me...) about the percieved warming in general, but those people pick and choose their data and, as you've rightly explained, start with incorrect assumptions.

    The sun is the source of our energy. It warms our planet (clearly) and provides the energy for plants to grow, which allows all of the rest of our processes to function correctly. It affects our weather in ways we don't even really know.

    We have only been able to detect and chart sun spots and solar flares since the mid 19th century (discovered 9/1/1859) and we've extrapolated the data we've been able to collect to other historic events (ice ages, etc), but we really DON'T know the full effect of the sun on our planet and how that changes from day to day and year to year.

    So, even if our planet is warming, there are other, far greater factors that go into our climate (such as the sun) that we have absolutely no control over, compared to our O2 emissions. ... Though, as you wrote earlier, we don't have control over the emissions of China, India, and the rest of the developing world anyway, so even if we were to blame, we couldn't do anything about it anyway!

  2. And isn't the sun warming the rest of the solar system? Are not the other planets getting warmer as well? This is never mentioned.

    The solar flare "kill shot" is only a matter of time. Who knows how long?

    I hope the "enemy" EMP is something that never occurs, of course.

    Yes, this is one reason I do live in the country and do have horses and...a hand pump on our water well!



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.