Posts Tagged ‘NNEMP’

I’ve written about this EMP stuff before, and for those who are new to the thing, you should see my first post about it which presents a summary. One of the more recent WND scare pieces is an article from August 31, 2014, which is unattributed, and it is entitled, “Expert: ‘Imminent’ ISIS Threat to U.S. Power Grid.”

Their expert is a former CIA officer who was speaking to Aaron Klein, who readers may remember I wrote Part 7 about yesterday for how he keeps writing fake news thinking its real because he appears to lack the basic ability of a journalist to fact-check.

I have the same problem with this as I did with George W. Bush constantly keeping the terror alert level at “elevated” or orange or yellow or whatever it was. For over six years. The problem is, you can only claim something is “imminent” for so long before people who actually did believe you at first realize you’re full of excrement.

In this case, since I’ve been writing about EMP “threats” related by WND for over a year, each threat has been imminent and immediate and yet nothing has happened. Just as I said nothing would happen.

The only thing new this time is that it’s a new delivery group. While in the past when I wrote about it it had been the generic “terrorists” or China or Iran or the Sun, this time, it’s ISIS. Or ISIL. Or IS. Whatever they want to call themselves in English.

Annoyingly and perhaps expectedly, there are a lot of comments that support the article’s position — 612 of them, in fact. Even more annoying is that most of the comments are only peripherally – if at all – related to the topic at hand. Rather, most use it as a jumping point to complain about the standard über-conservative boogey man du jour, including Obama, Muslims, immigration, and Democrats.


Much like Chicken Little claiming that the sky is falling, E. Michael Maloof still gets his EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) weapon warning in every few weeks. I wonder if he writes anything else for WND? His latest two were published on January 30 and February 10, and there was a third snippet of an article on February 14: “China Reveals ‘Ace’ Against U.S. Military,” “Approaching Iranian Warships Raise EMP Threat,” and “Expert: Iran Ships a Dry Run for Later Nuke/EMP Attack.” Maloof is also an occasional guest on the late-night radio program, Coast to Coast AM, also talking about this threat.

As usual, if you want background on what an EMP is, see my first post on the subject from August 1, 2013.

The latest can be summarized by the opening paragraphs of the first two articles:

Members of the Chinese military are looking to use an electromagnetic pulse as part of a “one-two punch” to knock out – literally within seconds – all defensive electronics not only on Taiwan but also on U.S. warships that could defend the island.

National security experts have expressed alarm over the announcement by Iran that it will position its warships off the coast of the United States, from where they could launch a nuclear warhead to explode at high altitude to create an electromagnetic pulse.

The posts got 207 (4.64/5 average), 458 (4.65/5 average), and 24 ratings (4.5/5 average) each. They also got 507, 778, and 49 comments each.

Pretty much all the comments are anti-Obama. What a few of the lower-rated comments mention that Maloof seems to ignore is that, well, it’s not like we can’t do this to them. The United States has the largest military in the world, by far, and much of the military technology is hardened against this kind of thing. Not to mention all the bases and ships (submarine, surface ships, planes) around the world that could retaliate practically instantly if such an attack were ever launched. Yes, if an EMP attack were ever launched and successful, it would be bad news, but it would be worse news for whomever launched it.

Another week, another article by F. Michael Maloof. Six days ago (from today) it was, “White House Report Ignores Life-or-Death Threat.” Three days ago it was, “States Ignore Feds, Ramp Up EMP Fight.”

The first one is yet another, “But this could happen and it would be bad!!!” The second is that while the US Congress does nothing, some states are apparently trying to pass legislation forcing the power companies to harden their parts of the grid against large electromagnetic fluxes.

I’m actually for that. Businesses will do what’s in their best interest: Make lots of money for the least amount of money. I’ve been fighting with Comcast for the last three weeks to cancel my service, so I’m well aware of utility companies being asinine and do-nothing. And, the country’s power grid is fairly weak, where the American Society of Civil Engineers gave it a D+ in 2009.

Yet, very little about what Maloof writes is new. The vast majority is repeated from earlier articles, and it’s just mostly fear. Perhaps he has the same mentality of many others: An easy way to control the masses is through fear. Weekly articles about this seem like a way to do that, though the WND comments seem to hover around 20 to each one, so not many seem to care.

First, you should see my first post on EMPs if you are unfamiliar with the basic concept and science.

With that in mind, F. Michael Maloof is at it again with the article, “Sun’s Magnetic Field Flip Raises EMP Threat.” One need go no further than the second paragraph for his idea and third paragraph for his warning:

The sun is about to flip its magnetic field, at the peak of its 11-year solar cycle or at the half-way point of what scientists call a solar maximum – when the star is at its most violent in terms of solar flares and the Earth is most vulnerable to an electromagnetic pulse.

That’s the surge of sun energy that scientists say could in an instant return the developed world to an agrarian society, essentially without any electronics, and leave millions dead.

As I said in my first post on the subject, this is, for the most part, nonsense. Yes, an EMP could be thrown off from the Sun and it could encounter Earth, but the real threat is actually very minimal. Consider as evidence that in the last 150 years, it hasn’t happened (we don’t have data really going back further). Okay, you can point to the 1859 Carrington Event, or the 1989 event in Canada, and both of these were during solar max.

But, chances are small we’d have something of that level, and even MUCH smaller that we’d actually have something big enough to do what Maloof is suggesting. In fact, it was in the early 2000s that we had some of the largest solar flares on record, and yet there were no power grid issues.

That doesn’t stop Maloof from telling half-truths, like this one: “Indeed, solar flare activity on the sun recently has increased as sun spots begin to shift and are aligned on a direct path toward Earth.”

Sounds scary, right? Like they’re doing this now and it’s never happened before and OMG we’re gonna die (the very next two sentences are: “The solar flares create an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, effect that can wipe out electrical grids and communications systems and fry electronics. Some of these solar flares can be more than 20 times the size of the Earth.”).

But, this is what happens during every sunspot cycle, made visual by the Butterfly Diagram that shows year on the horizontal axis and where the sunspots are on the sun (latitude-wise) on the vertical axis. Yes, during solar max, more sunspots are near the sun’s equator.

The rest of the article is more about trying to scare you and has ads for his book on EMPs. It was only posted 6 hours ago so has a mere five comments, none of which are particularly interesting or noteworthy.

In an ongoing saga to make sure people are properly afraid, WND has been publishing a lot this week about EMPs, short for “ElectroMagnetic Pulses.” Their EMP guy is F. Michael Maloof, a guy who’s written a book on the subject (sold through WND’s store for only $19.95!) and who also happens to be a WND staff writer. Maloof has been on late-night radio show Coast to Coast AM talking about EMPs lately, as well.

In a pair of “articles” (or, to use Richard Hoagland’s term for some stuff, “fear porn”) I’m going to talk about, Maloof wrote, “DHS Taking National Security to New Lows” and Jim Fletcher wrote, “Will You Be Ready When the Lights Go Out?” As I said, fear porn.

At a base level, an EMP is just a burst of electromagnetic energy. Briefly turning on an electromagnet could be thought of as an EMP. A lighting strike is an EMP. You can also weaponize it, mounting it on a missile, and have both a non-nuclear EMP (NNEMP) or a nuclear EMP (NEMP). It’s only the NNEMP and NEMP that WND’s fear-mongers are trying to get you to be afraid of.

Why am I so certain about this? Isn’t it possible some nation could launch some sort of EMP attack on the US? Sure, it’s possible. But just like during the Cold War that began over 50 years ago, we’d blast any country that launched a missile at us back to the stone age before any EMP hit the US. That fear of other countries alone gives me some confidence on this issue. It’s more likely some country would hit us with nukes rather than an EMP — it would do much more damage. There’s no special “stealth” about an EMP … it’s a missile flying towards us.

In addition to that, there is a basic way to shield from an EMP, and it’s called a Faraday Cage. When I first moved to Colorado, my apartment was a Faraday cage (I got no cell reception). The basic concept is that a Faraday cage is an enclosure formed by conducting material or a mesh of conducting material. The enclosure protects anything inside by taking the electric charges within the cage’s conducting material and distributing them around the cage, canceling out the incoming field.

It’s basic physics that was figured out by Michael Faraday in 1836. And it’s used today to shield electronic equipment … as in, I can almost guarantee you that important military hardware is protected by Faraday cages. Heck, we have a computing cluster at my university that’s inside a Faraday cage. That protects against EMPs.

Now it is true that electric companies don’t have to harden their lines and protect their facilities with Faraday cages. And most probably don’t because it costs money. But we still have missiles aimed at any attacking country.

But they’re not going to tell you that in these WND articles. The Maloof article du jour is saying that the Department of Homeland Security is cutting back on training for electric companies on how to protect their hardware. That’s just the first few paragraphs. All the rest of it is fear porn, and there’s a lot of it. All trying to scare you about natural EMPs from the Sun or NEMPs or NNEMPs.

The commenters really have no common thread running through, so it’s not worth mentioning ’em. Well, except for the second-highest comment at the moment by “TomPalermo” who says, “Mr Obama never cared about protecting this country as he stated his contempt for America as being too powerful! His only concern is to protect his administration and those that will continue to erode the United States and our Constitution!”

Fletcher’s article is a “review” of Maloof’s book, “A Nation Forsaken.” He reminds us: “Keep in mind, Maloof not only expects something like this to happen – he [Maloof] expects it to happen soon!”

The comment section is people listing their kits for when the apocalypse happens. I find it fascinating that “MingBucibei” lists about 30 different items, and over half of them are weapons or armor, including “long bows,” “bowie knives,” “body armor & chain mail.” I wonder if they’re punking WND.

One person, “robert88871,” lists “Bible, water filter” as the only two items.