Let’s say you’re minding your own business. Maybe you’re playing WoW, or maybe you’re walking the dog. You go about your business, when, suddenly, an electromagnetic pulse strikes, destroying our way of life as we know it. Electronic bank records, traffic lights, netbooks—all gone in a matter of seconds. What to do?
Well, you can thank your lucky stars for the existence of EMPACT Aemrica, Inc., an organization that “works with local citizenry, civic-minded companies, and grassroots activists to help prepare communities in New York and across America to prepare for an EMP attack.” Former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate (and current Fox News host) Mike Huckabee will be the keynote speaker at the group’s upcoming conference in Niagara Falls, NY. While I’d question the man’s scientific credentials—he doesn’t believe in evolution, for one—perhaps his experience as a governor could be applicable when it comes to crisis management. Then again, governing Arkansas, population 2.8 million, versus figuring out how to manage a terrorist attack in New York City, population 8.3 million, isn’t exactly the same thing. Still, that’s a discussion for another Web site. (And I do see a few Ph.D.s on the speaker list, so it’s not all grandstanding politicians.)
The point is, EMPs are a threat to our very way of life. Can you imagine a world where your MacBook doesn’t wake up from sleep? Or a world where the red ring of death is the leas of your concerns? That one scene in GoldenEye rings a bell…
You know, I seem to remember an article in 2600 that had the schematics to build a tiny EMP device, for the express purpose of knocking out a noisy neighbor’s car radio.
Of course, a giant meteor could smash into Earth, wiping out all life before we have the chance to EMP ourselves into oblivion, so this could all be moot.