Throughout most of today, Monday, March 15, unless you had my cell phone number, I was unreachable. My phone service and my Internet connection including my television service were out. I couldn't get e-mail. Only my radio worked. It was a temporary outage.
But suppose it wasn't.
Suppose, as well, that not only my local communication services were out but those of the entire nation. And that's not as farfetched as it seems. We are utterly dependent upon the conveniences of modern technology.
There is for example, the threat of EMP — electromagnetic pulse — a man-made disaster where a nuclear weapon is exploded in an area of space above the U.S. or parked on a neighborhood sidewalk and knocks out all the nation's electronic devices.
According to an article by intelligence veteran Maj. Scott W. Merkle, back in the 1960s, while testing hydrogen bombs in outer space, hundreds of miles above the planet, American and Soviet scientists discovered that each atomic blast created a pulse of electromagnetic energy similar to conventional radio-made microwaves, but with energy so great that they erased magnetic memories and melted the microscopic junctions in transistors on Earth.
Merkle wrote: "These were veritable tidal waves of energy, sufficient to cripple sensitive microelectronics but too weak to be seen, heard, or felt by human beings. During one U.S. test, in July 1962, a hydrogen bomb was detonated approximately 650 miles in space, roughly where today's space shuttles orbit.
“Simultaneously, 2,100 miles to the northeast, street lights went dark and burglar alarms began ringing on the Hawaiian islands. The reason was an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) produced by the blast."
That dreaded technology is available to any nation capable of producing nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. Merkle reports that "whether fitted into cruise missiles or parked at the side of the road in a van, non-nuclear EMP weapons have the potential to devastate the electronic systems of areas as large as a city or as small as a selected building, all without being seen, heard, or felt by a single soul.”
Merkle asks, “Sound far-fetched? It did not in 1993 to the owners of automobiles parked about 300 meters from a U.S. Defense Contractor's EMP generator test site at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Their alternators and electronic engine controls were accidentally fried by a pulse during classified field trials."
That's one scary future possibility. Another is an eruption of the simmering mass of magma that is edging slowly upwards beneath the caldera at Yellowstone National Park. That event, mostly discounted as probable by scientists, would devastate much of the U.S., spreading massive clouds of volcanic ash across a huge swath of the nation.
According to the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, "During the three giant caldera-forming eruptions that occurred between 2.1 million and 640,000 years ago, tiny particles of volcanic debris (volcanic ash) covered much of the western half of North America, likely a third of a meter deep several hundred kilometers from Yellowstone and several centimeters thick farther away. Wind carried sulfur aerosol and the lightest ash particles around the planet and likely caused a notable decrease in temperatures around the globe."
The result? Instant ice ages.
On the record, we're overdue for the onset of a new ice age. The last one ended about 600,000 years ago and paleological records show that ice ages tend to show up every 600,000 years.
That does not mean that anybody alive today, or even generations of our offspring, can expect to witness the advance of great sheets of ice coming down from the North Pole to bury much of the Northern Hemisphere. But it does mean that the climate is going to continue to get colder until it begins to resemble what we know as the little ice age which occurred between the 16th and the 19th centuries.
According to the U.N.'s less than reliable International Panel on Climate Control (IPCC) the "little ice age" can only be considered "a modest cooling of the Northern Hemisphere during this period of less than one degree relative to the late 20th century."
If they are correct, we can expect the climate to be about 1 degree cooler than what we've been enjoying for at least the last 100 years. While 1 degree doesn't sound like much, it's enough to create a modest ice age and cold enough to expose Al Gore for the alarmist he is.
If there's any justice in this world, he'll soon be suffering from frost bite.
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