BIGGEST ISSUE RIGHT NOW: Power Grid Security
Today, access to two of my major blogs is ending (I’ll explain why in later articles), but I just want to hit the highlights in some of the posts over the years.
First, as to national security: the gravest threat the United States (and maybe Canada and maybe western Europe) faces is probably an electromagnetic pulse attack, which Russia could deliver. I think it is more likely than conventional strategic blasts if Russia really wants to destroy the West (or if North Korea or China later on does). Particularly, Putin could conceivably mobilize much of his population (like with a May 9 announcement), try to send much of it to eastern rural areas to escape obvious retaliation and believe he could survive to take the entire world for himself. Rhetoric over climate change can also dive into this thinking. We’ve heard other varieties from hawkish military leaders in Russia, like tsunamis from submarines (which could be possible on the US coasts too).
In previous posts I had discussed the various kinds of EMP weapons and stages and different kinds of damage. Some do more damage to ordinary electronic devices (they do not have to be nuclear – can be magnetic flux and are used by armies in ground forces). The overwhelming of transformers happens with the larger high-altitude blasts.
There is also a major risk from large solar storms with their accompanying (and slightly delayed) coronal mass ejections. We run a risk of major damage event of about 1% every year. In July 2012 we dodged a bullet.
We are way behind the eight ball in protecting ourselves from both of these.
On climate change, the forecasts with successive reports seem to get more dire. There will be more coercive reports in the future.
Activists are calling for personal sacrifice, getting arrested, gluing themselves to highways, hunger strikes, and accepting disruptions. The best local measures might be all homeowners and residential buildings generating their own solar power and selling it back, which might make the grid less centralized and more resilient. (What happened in Texas in Feb. 2021 is a shocker).
Getting everyone to buy at least hybrids would help. Fully electric vehicles would need a much better recharging infrastructure in more remote areas and may not be practical everywhere. I will look into getting a hybrid later this spring.
On the COVID pandemic. Yes, I think generally the American public is getting functional immunity, from the vaccines and multiple mild infections, especially with Omicrons. We keep hearing disturbing reports of the likelihood of long COVID even after mild disease, which don’t hold up with people you know. “Conservatives” have asked valuable questions about vaccines and some controversial proposed medications. It seems almost certain now that China’s Wuhan Lab was involved and may have been experimenting with multiple animals. We don’t have definitive information on what the first cases were.
But the issue of “lockdown ideology” or “zero Covid” is a serious one which the CCP can use to show the weakness of “liberal” individualistic western societies. (In Russia, on the other hand, communism has been replaced by a kind of forced collective ethno-nationalism.)
On the culture wars, especially critical race and critical gender theory in the schools, I think you have to teach (at appropriate grade levels) full historical and medical facts without indoctrination.
On the SCOTUS leak, here we are again, going back to looking at what defines a “fundamental right” implied by the Bill of Rights and 14th and other amendments. What distinguishes abortion from the other issues is that arguably there is a new human life at stake (to be balanced with the privacy and autonomy of the woman).
(Wednesday, May 4, 2022, 2 PM EDT)