Thursday, May 08, 2014

EMP: The New "Global Warming"?

"Some would say it’s low probability, but..." that didn't prevent politicians from waxing hyperbolic on imminent doom at an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP): Threat to Critical Infrastructure hearing.
That the "Global Warming" panic is a non-starter is undeniable even to hardcore believers, what with having been re-branded three times now and still drawing yawns. It's lost its cache as a cattle-prod to the masses. An EMP threat, however, has the ideal qualities for a new meme of mass-delusion: it's high-tech, mysterious, has (perhaps) a modicum of credibility, and threatens something near and dear to everyone: their Internet access. Psychologist warn that people become depressed when they can't connect to the Internet. Polls now show that people will take great personal risks to recover a stolen cellphone. On the other hand, just how upset will anyone really get if winter isn't quite as bitterly cold as it used to be?

What the prospect of a warming globe lacked in urgency, the "threat" of an EMP "attack" makes up for in spades.  The scenarios described at the EMP hearing are so fearsome even the Founding Fathers might have been tempted to reconsider the Liberty/Security ratio. That is, if they weren't so preoccupied with a much greater threat: that of elected representatives conning and coercing the populace into handing over its liberty and property for things like enabling "the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement practical steps to protect the electric grid."
Check out the rhetoric:

...catastrophic civilian casualties ...unless Congress acts ...every single facet of modern human life ...crippled, women, and children ...with access to food, water, or transportation ...catastrophic ...weeks or months at most ...devastation beyond imagination ...almost entirely vulnerable ...catastrophic ...existential threats ...kill 9 of 10 Americans... starvation ...disease ...societal collapse ...America’s adversaries may already have the ability to launch an EMP attack ...wipe out 90 percent of America’s population ...must remain vigilant mitigate the effects of an EMP attack ...devastation ...unthinkable ...cataclysmic ...very dangerous and unthinkable...

We cannot say with certainty that the scenario being described is likely or even possible. But we can say with certainty that "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session."
Especially when they're pulling out all the rhetorical stops.


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