Standing against big government and for the people!
By Roger O’Daniel
A lot of scary misinformation is roaming the public media. The threat is real, but usually exaggerated. A single neutron bomb cannot destroy the infrastructure of an entire nation, a hemisphere, or the entire planet. It is not a “doomsday” weapon. A Faraday shield can protect sensitive items from harm, unless they connect with unshielded hardware. Direct damage is limited by the strength of the pulse. The pulse only lasts for a fraction of a second with no residual effect. Only the consequences remain, but they are awesome and long lasting. Solar flares from the sun can create electromagnetic pulses.
The electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a potential danger that is less awesome than a nuclear air burst over a major city because there is no incinerating fireball and mushroom cloud to vaporize or kill everything beneath the air burst. The best (and most understandable) source about the EMP threat is found in the National Geographic website. Search for “EMP”. Their on-line store offers a DVD video, available only in the USA. Contrary to popular opinion, an EMP affects only a limited area with the intensity needed to cause catastrophic damage. However, that affected area could create secondary havoc in connected surrounding areas. If more than one neutron bomb explodes precisely at the same time while positioned in a strategic pattern, the combination force could focus a higher-intensity pulse on a target, or damage a larger area.
One fact the National Geographic article hints but does not explain is the very real danger of an EMP generated by our sun. We are in for some rather active sunspot activity in the 2012-2013 time periods.
How does it work?
When a whole boatload of free neutrons hit the earth above our lower atmosphere (troposphere), they not only trash our satellites with gusto, but also hit rarified atmospheric particles. These particles shed electrons, creating a wave of electrons that move through our Van Allen belt. This is a magnetic force field that surrounds the earth. The interaction creates an electromagnetic wave that eventually hits the surface of the earth. Any exposed conductors respond to this wave with a surge of electric current at super-high voltage. Any unprotected electronics, no matter how small, also get zapped and fried.
Although the EMP lasts at most only a fraction of a second, the damage it causes is huge. Electronic ignition systems in automobiles fry. Transportation stops. Diesels may continue to run, but cannot restart. Power lines melt. Transformers explode. Power plant generators melt down. Communication systems fry. Any aircraft that rely on electrical or hydraulic controls instead of mechanical controls, fall out of the sky or sit on the ground useless. Refrigerators and freezers no longer work because the electric motors in their compressors fry. Furnace controls don’t work. Air conditioners don’t work. Lights and traffic signals, electric trams, manufacturing machinery, computers, network switches and Internet appliances all fry. Emergency power units cease to function and battery packs explode. Farm machinery doesn’t work. Even electrical spare parts burn out. Food spoils or lays fallow in fields unharvested with no way to get it to market. Oil and gas remains at the wellhead. Electrical emergency shutoff valves don’t close. Refineries shut down or lose process control.
The worst damage of an EMP follows the pulse as the population in the affected area discovers that it is been blasted back into the stone age. We do not know how to deal with that. By the time we rebuild our infrastructure in at least a couple years, much of the population has died from panic riots, starvation, disease, or moved away the best way they could until a herculean effort restores the infrastructure to normal. The EMP is the match that starts the destruction that takes years to recover.
There is also the collateral damage caused by a military response and potential nuclear exchange. That may become the doomsday weapon feared by all.