ICBMs typically carry nuclear warheads, and they can easily target cities on the West Coast such as Los Angeles or Seattle. But even this threat doesn't compare to the "doomsday weapon" that China or Russia could almost certainly launch right now: A high-altitude EMP weapon (HEMP for short, and I'm not joking).
High-Altitude EMP could fry the USA back into the pre-industrial ageHEMP weapons are detonated in the high atmosphere, theoretically as high as 300 miles above the ground (well above the orbits of most satellites, even). Once detonated, the energy released by these weapons interacts with the Earth's magnetic field, producing an extremely fast and powerful electromagnetic burst that rushes to the ground at 94% the speed of light, slamming everything on the ground with as much as 50,000 volts per square meter at high amps.
Not surprisingly, such a phenomenon would fry virtually every piece of electronics they touch, as today's electronics are manufactured with delicate circuitry that simply cannot withstand such extreme voltage ranges.
Instantly taken out of service would be many automobiles, televisions, cell phones, air conditioners, airplanes, radios, military electronics, and many satellites. Even more worryingly, such an attack would also take out the backup generators and control electronics for active nuclear power plants, which as we've already reported here on NaturalNews, could unleash a wave of nuclear meltdowns across the USA As Duncan Long writes on a survival website:
"A major area of concern when it comes to EMP is nuclear reactors located in the US. Unfortunately, a little-known Federal dictum prohibits the NRC from requiring power plants to withstand the effects of a nuclear war. This means that, in the event of a nuclear war, many nuclear reactors' control systems might will be damaged by an EMP surge. In such a case, the core-cooling controls might become inoperable and a core melt down and breaching of the containment vessel by radioactive materials into the surrounding area might well result." (http://www.aussurvivalist.com/nucle...)
Extensively studied by the GovernmentThis is not science fiction. EMP blasts from nuclear weapons have been extensively studied from the very first nuclear tests in the 1940's. Back then, the world didn't have much in the way of electronics, so the early effects of EMP were barely noted. But throughout the 1960's and 70's, as more testing was done, it became apparent that the electromagnetic pulse effects of nuclear detonations could be devastating.
Today, with civilization running on computers, electronics, GPS units and mobile phones, such a blast could literally fry a modern nation back into the pre-industrial age.
Well, at least back to the 1800's anyway, where the only tools you could really rely on were shovels, leather straps and shotguns. Firearms, you see, don't have electronics, so they'll be fully functional even after an EMP attack. Keep this in mind when you consider how to survive a post-EMP scenario.
Interestingly, governments openly admit that EMP attacks would wipe out all the electronics that keep modern civilization working. The Washington state Department of Health, Office of Radiation Protection explains:
When "detonated," an EMP weapon produces a pulse of energy that creates a powerful electromagnetic field capable of short-circuiting a wide range of electronic equipment, particularly computers, satellites, radios, radar receivers and even civilian traffic lights. Since EMP is electromagnetic energy traveling at the speed of light, all of the vulnerable electronic equipment in the detonation zone could be affected simultaneously.
Society has entered the information age and is dependent on electronic systems that work with components that are very susceptible to excessive electric currents and voltages. Many of these electronic systems are controlled in some way by semiconductors. Semiconductor devices fail when they encounter an EMP because of the local heating that occurs. Failure of semi-conductive chips could destroy industrial processes, railway networks, power and phone systems, and access to water supplies.
Commercial computer equipment is particularly vulnerable to EMP effects. Computers used in data processing systems, communications systems, displays, industrial control applications, including road and rail signaling, and those embedded in military equipment, such as signal processors, electronic flight controls and digital engine control systems, are all potentially vulnerable to the EMP effect.
Other electronic devices and electrical equipment may also be destroyed by the EMP effect. Telecommunications equipment can be highly vulnerable and receivers of all varieties are particularly sensitive to EMP. Therefore radar and electronic warfare equipment, satellite, microwave, UHF, VHF, HF and low band communications equipment and television equipment are all potentially vulnerable to the EMP effect. Cars with electronic ignition systems/ and ignition chips are also vulnerable.
A single high-altitude detonation could reboot human civilization in North AmericaIf you still think I'm making all this up, by the way, check out the entry on Wikipedia which explains all this in much more detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electr...
There, you'll find a fascinating map which shows something rather horrifying: A single burst just 300 miles above the Earth would cover the entire United States (minus Hawaii and Alaska) while also nailing most of Canada and Mexico as well. See that graphic here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:E...
This map was created based on testimony given by Gary Smith to the US House National Security Committee on July 16, 1997.
That's right: With one relatively small nuclear weapon detonated high above the Earth, an entire modern nation could be effectively destroyed. Why? Because without electronics, you get runaway starvation, riots, fires, and a complete breakdown of law and order.
A near-instant collapse of modern citiesImagine Los Angeles, for example, if all the water pumps went out. Imagine Chicago if food deliveries stopped. Many of the rigs on the highway, you see, would be instantly shut down with an EMP burst. Every plane, train and automobile -- except for those built pre-1980's or so -- might instantly become road kill.
Imagine police trying to function without police radios. Fire and other emergency services are wholly dependent on electronics. Deliveries of food, water, medical supplies and consumer goods are all dependent on electronics. Oil refineries, nuclear power plants, coal-fired power plants and even renewable energy systems are all entirely driven by complex electronics. All these electronics would be vaporized in a nanosecond.
And no, "surge protectors" cannot protect anything. The EMP wave moves far too fast for surge protectors to trip their own relays. So all the surge protectors get blown out before you can even blink an eye, and then the remainder of the pulse fries all the electronics that were supposed to be protected. Only those electronics specifically shielded against EMP attacks will be protected (and only the military bothers with such expensive retrofits).
As the next graphic shows (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:H...), such a weapon detonated even at just 100km above the surface of the planet would unleash anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 volts per square meter. This chart doesn't cite the amperage of the current, but military experiments have shown it is more than sufficient to fry all electronics that aren't specifically shielded against EMP. If you happen to be underground at the moment the pulse hits (i.e. in a subway station), your cell phone may be spared, but the cell phone towers of course will all be kaput.
Both Russia and China probably already have these weaponsNorth Korea is undoubtedly working on developing such weapons as a way to bomb advanced nations back to the level of low technology found in North Korea itself. But the real worry here is that China and Russia probably already have such weapons and could launch them at any time.
"The non-lethal nature of electromagnetic weapons makes their use far less politically damaging than that of conventional munitions, and therefore broadens the range of military options available," explains the Department of Health website for Washington state (http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/rp/factsh...). "Several nations, with United States at the forefront, are reported to have developed non-nuclear bombs capable of generating EMPs."
This is a game-changer. In the "old" mode of thinking about nuclear war, bombs were unleashed on targeted cities, then calibrated to detonate just a mile or two above the city in order to maximize the intensity of the nuclear burst. But with the rise of electronics-driven societies, the real weakness becomes not the brick and mortar of buildings but the delicate electronic circuits that keep civilization humming. Take away the electronics, and an advanced nation is far worse off than if it were physically blasted by a high-yield weapon. After all, a physical city can be rebuilt as long as you have the electronics to coordinate rescue operations and shipments of materials to rebuild. But if you take away the electronics, the cities destroy themselves with riots, fires, starvation and disease.
Why America is unable to stop such an attack
You see, America has no capability whatsoever to stop some other nation from launching a nuclear device into high orbit (300 miles, say) and detonating it over North America. There is simply no military capability to halt such a missile or to block the EMP effects. Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" defense system never became a reality.
The only real way to stop such an attack is to stop pissing off other nations, and of course America can't even do that because it's running around the world interfering in everyone's business, running secret military ops in Iran right now (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationw...), overthrowing national governments with CIA-funded terrorist rebels (Libya, for example), unleashing economic hit men to enslave developing nations, and basically running around the global playground like a giant bully.
This is not a way to win friends. If anything, the USA has been building resentment among other powerful nations such as China, which not only holds a shockingly high percentage of the U.S. national debt, but also has advanced rocketry technology and an ability to launch nuclear missiles into high orbit.
Both Russia and China are fed up with the U.S. mucking around in the Middle East, and nearly everyone in the Middle East is fed up with U.S. support for Israel. What all this means is that America is making enemies, not friends, and some of those enemies no doubt have EMP technology already developed that could literally "bomb" America back into the pre-industrial era.
Why the real threats have little to do with individual terroristsAs you can tell if you're getting all this, the real threats against America have almost nothing to do with lone terrorists trying to bomb a single airplane, for example. The TSA is a cruel joke. It will no more keep you safe than wishing for a magical unicorn to show up and whisk you away from danger.
Even the events of 9/11 would pale in comparison to the total devastation unleashed by a high-altitude EMP device. Beyond a few skyscrapers being leveled, imagine entire cities being zapped into a state of instant electronic death. Such an act would transform cities into death zones from which few would escape alive. (Cities are not designed to sustain life without huge inputs from outside, including food, water, electricity, fuel, raw materials, and so on. Absent those inputs, they become concrete tombs...)
See, most of the U.S. government is wasting its time running roadside checkpoints and trying to entrap gullible teens into acting like terrorists (http://www.naturalnews.com/034325_F...). What the government should be doing is figuring out how to stop acting like the bully of the world and start making economic trading partners instead of making enemies everywhere.
Why international trade is crucial for halting warThe only way to stop Russia or China, for example, from frying North America with a HEMP weapon is to make it more painful for them to lose the USA than keep it around. And that means engaging in two-way trade to create win-win economic ties that would lose a lot of money for some very rich people if bombs started going off. This strategy has worked for China-Taiwan relations, by the way, where China-Taiwan investments are now so commonplace that the two nations are strongly economically dependent on each other. The best "defense" against a military invasion, it turns out, is to have strong economic trading partners who need your nation to stick around so they have viable trading partners.
It's also effective to have your own HEMP weapons that you can unleash upon your neighbors, should they have any crazy thoughts about bombing you. "Mutually Assured Destruction," believe it or not, is actually a very wise military tactic for self defense. People may bash the apparent insanity of the idea, but it is one of the things that has kept America relatively safe for generations. If we didn't have nuclear weapons ready to be unleashed on other nations, do you really think we wouldn't have already been bombed in the 1960's during the Cuban Missile Crisis? I don't have a lot of kind words for the military industrial complex, but at the end of the day, I must honestly acknowledge the fact that the U.S. military's possession of nuclear weapons has effectively countered the nuclear arsenals of other nations.
In the same way, the most polite place in the world you will ever visit is a small town where everybody carries a concealed weapon. You'll hear a lot of "sir" and "ma'am" in polite conversation. People tend to avoid arguments for precisely the reason you might imagine: Because they're all armed. "Mutually Assured Destruction" is a deterrent to violence at both the local level and the global level. It may sound insane, but on a practical level, it prevents violence and helps keep the peace.
And that's why the USA is no doubt also working on its own HEMP weapons. Even China is extremely vulnerable to the EMP destruction of electronics. It's no longer a developing nation, you see. China left that in the dust decades ago. Today, China is a high-tech, electronically-organized nation in much the same way as the USA. Perhaps only Papua New Guinea would be completely immune to an EMP attack. Nearly all other nations (including North Korea) would be devastated by it.
Solutions: What can YOU do about this right now?Okay, so if you're convinced that the threat of EMP weapons looms over all advanced nations today, what exactly can you do about it?
I'll answer it in three words: Go low tech.
In addition to your high-tech, electronically timed clothes dryer, have a clothesline outside so you can use the sun to dry your clothes.
In addition to your high-tech Toyota Prius that's packed with high-density electronics, have an old "beater" wagon from the 1970's sitting around in case you need it. Heck, you don't even need to keep paying the license taxes on it if you don't drive it day to day.
For every tool you have that's electronic, have a hand-powered alternative standing by: Hand saws, hand drills and other hand-powered tools are easy to come by. Don't rely entirely on electronics.
Think about low-tech items that reliably work. Duct tape. Scissors. Shovels. Quality cutlery in the kitchen. And if you can, find yourself one of those antique treadle sewing machines powered by your foot! (I've been trying to find one of these for months and can't dig one up...)
How are you gonna write things down when the electronics are all melted? You'd be amazed how many people no longer have pencil and paper, especially among the younger generation which has entirely abandoned wristwatches, too. (Their mobile phones tell them the time, you see.) Have you ever tried to MAKE a pencil? You'd be amazed how difficult it is. It's so much easier to just buy a bunch right now and have them stored away. They're cheap, and for the moment, UPS trucks still operate just fine and they'll bring these pencils right to your doorstep in a pretty brown box.
Getting back to basicsIn a way, a world without electronics might actually be a far more "real" world than the one in which we live today. More peaceful... back to nature... a place where local community would mean something once again. But of course there would also be a huge price to pay for that transition in terms of lost lives in the cities where people are so disconnected from the real world that they are utterly unable to survive in it. Today's teens are so addicted to texting devices that I'm pretty sure some of them would just flat-out drop dead within 24 hours if the cell towers stopped functioning.
The good news in all this is that getting back to basics is a wise strategy no matter what threats we may be facing in the near future: Nuclear war, police state tyranny, EMP weapons, natural disasters, Earth changes, and so on. The more you can rely on your own two hands -- and simple tools that leverage your efforts -- the more likely you are to survive the next decade.
It also goes without saying that if EMP weapons are unleashed upon the world, the internet will be destroyed, meaning you won't be able to search Google to find answers like "How do I grow tomatoes?" You'll need to either have the knowledge in your head or have the physical books on your shelf which is one of the reasons why I still buy lots of physical books. They don't break, and they never have to be rebooted.
If there's one thing I've really learned in all these years of analyzing society, history and technology, it's that technology is fragile, and so are civilizations. The society we take for granted today is far more fragile than you might imagine, and the whole thing could come tumbling down in a microsecond. It wouldn't even take an act of war to make it happen: just one high-energy solar flare could accomplish much the same effect.
If you want your children to survive and prosper in our world, teach 'em the basics: How to grow gardens. How to care for animals. How to think for themselves, live off the land and resist buying into the bull being spewed by technocrats. When the electronic heartbeat of modern civilization comes to a screeching halt, all the circuit boards in the world won't help you in any way whatsoever. You'll have to save yourself. And you'd better have a little bit of gold, silver, ammo and garden tools packed away if you hope to have any real chance of making it through the transition.
Learn the skills (and gather the goods) while you still can.
Learn more about EMP weapons and protection methods at:
Read the Critical National Infrastructures Report at:
Editor's note: There is a lot of information about EMPs on the internet, and much of it is flatly false. Beware of all sorts of myths that say things like EMP blasts will "fry your brain" (they won't) or that you can put your electronic gear in a microwave oven and cut off the cord, making it function like a small Faraday cage. That doesn't work, as you can clearly test yourself by tossing your cell phone into a microwave and then calling it from another phone. Some people say you can build your own home-made Faraday protection devices by placing cardboard boxes inside galvanized trash cans, but looking around the 'net, there is a lot of conflicting information on whether this really works. Overall, there isn't much reliable, proven information on the 'net about how to actually protect valuable electronics from EMP attacks. One of the reasons for this is because virtually no one living today has personally experienced an EMP attack, so practically nothing has been tested against it.
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