The new story which the Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy now regularly shills is that of the angry sun.
The sun is waking up from a long period of quiet — which is true — and erupting solar storms and mass ejections may shatter advanced civilization, it goes.
Just like in “The Road,” the movie nobody went to see (or maybe “The Book of Eli,” another apocalypse-themed flop).
For instance, some insignificant GOP pol from
Missouri Michigan thinks so:
“Some of us read the book ‘The Road’ [a post-apocalyptic tale by Cormac McCarthy],” said Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI). “Lots of different scenarios are out there. We need to be prepared.”
And Fox News has covered it, using the screen headline “Solar Flare Could Mean End of Life as We Know It.” All explained by the current dancing bear of ’science’ as infortainment on cable TV, Michio Kaku.
It’s a new meme, a fresh piece of groupthink for non-thinkers.
You’ll see it everywhere because it panders to entrenched American extremist beliefs in tech superstitions and catastrophism. (Bubbling underneath are messages that white people will lose their piles to ravening hordes unleashed by the fall.) And the entertainment industry and parts of the corporate national security biz can monetize this by peddling titillation and fear, respectively.
Which brings us to the Huffington Post, a place where anyone can repeat what someone else said five minutes ago and get it in the Google News feed.
The sun is growing unquiet, writes D. K. Matai. This caused bad juju in lightning bolts:
1. BP temporarily suspended siphoning operations on its Gulf of Mexico oil gusher after a drill ship collecting the oil was hit by lightning;
2. A 62 feet — six storey [sic] — tall statue of Jesus Christ in Ohio came to a blazing end when it was struck by lightning in a thunderstorm and burned to the ground; and
3. A bolt of lightning struck a local gasoline storage tank in North Carolina, erupting into a wall of flames that leapt as high as 100 feet and belched a plume of smoke in the shape of an arch across eight lanes of US interstate highway.
To this stew is added the news of a ‘brown dwarf’ nearing or entering the solar system, the Nemesis object popular with fans of end-of-times tales set for 2012:
Some scientists believe an incoming brown dwarf star, several times the mass of Jupiter, is responsible for disrupting our solar system’s heliosphere. The brown dwarf has disturbed Pluto’s orbit. It is also disturbing the orbit of Jupiter and the rest of the celestial bodies in our solar system. The sun is emitting Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) during the last few months that are having a significant impact on the earth’s geomagnetic axis and electromagnetic field.
Matai runs a company called mi2g. And he used to be infamous for press releases warning about Y2K and cyberterror.
“The chief charge against mi2g is its regular predictions of withering cyber-assaults which, critics say, rarely seem to materialise,” wrote the Register a number of years ago in a piece entitled “Why is mi2g so unpopular?”
However, the disturbed angry sun story is now ascendant.
“Several causal factors are now in play that could bring life as we know it to a stand-still,” writes Nora Maccoby at something called the WIP.
“My husband and I are both extremely concerned about a catastrophic disruption to our electrical grid,” she adds. “Though the government and military have emergency plans in place, when you look at what happened with Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil spill response, it is egregiously naive to believe that the government will be able to handle the impacts of an event that will collapse the power grid.”
Iran might launch an electromagnetic strike via ballistic missile. This is the old and common overused story, beloved by the Heritage Foundation.
Or it could be much worse:
While details remain classified, some scientists believe an incoming brown dwarf star, several times the mass of Jupiter, is responsible for disrupting the solar system’s heliosphere, as well as celestial bodies throughout our solar system.
“We have bought property in the mountains, we are working out bartering arrangements with neighbors, and we are planting fruit trees and growing our own food,” asserts Maccoby.
“Deep in California’s Mojave Desert, about halfway between Barstow and Las Vegas, a real estate entrepreneur is counting on a big catastrophe,” reports one newspaper. “He’s building a string of luxury disaster shelters. Investors believe it’s their best hope in the event of natural disaster, terrorist attack or worse.”
“If your house burned down because of wildfires, you’ll have to find other accommodations,” the disaster bunker developer tells the newspaper reporter. “This is a mega-catastrophe facility … ”
“Think nuclear war. Or an electromagnetic pulse attack that knocks out electrical grids across the U.S.”
At $50,000 per person, the bunkers are marketed to those who can’t quite afford them — specifically, I’m talking about chumps. The rich, after all, can buy much more spacious disaster resorts.
Or as the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday, they buy contiguous and adjacent compounds in Bel-Air.
“The middle class may be able to buy Louis Vuitton bags and nice holidays but they can’t buy two mansions in Bel-Air,” reads one prime quote. “This is the way the global elite differentiate themselves.”
However, the newspaper story on the electromagnetic pulse doom bunker developer reveals a much more prosaic and overstretched class of buyer:
[A] 40-year-old former civilian military employee is married with three kids. [The man] says he wants to be ready, and more importantly he wants his family to be safe. Hodge is trying to pull together the $25,000 needed just to reserve spaces in the Terra Vivos bunker. It’ll cost another couple hundred thousand dollars to actually close the deal. He may dip into family savings, or seek a bank loan. If it sounds risky to put up your family savings for a piece of property you may never use, [the buyer] doesn’t think so.
“Duluth electronics expert talks armageddon on TV,” reported yet another newspaper last week.
It’s the stuff of science fiction. A strong blast of energy from outer space knocks out electricity over much of the planet, imperiling millions of lives.
But it’s not fiction.
The danger of geomagnetic storms and a human-produced electromagnetic pulse is the subject of “Electronic Armageddon,” a show airing Tuesday on the National Geographic Channel. John Kappenman of Duluth is one of the experts featured in the program.
Readers may recall Kappenman from last week.
In a post on DD blog:
Common sense would seem to dictate that leaders of corporations ought not to be empowered by the US government to provide threat assessments which stand to directly enrich their interests.
A report just issued by the Energy Department and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, known as Nerc, an industry group that polices the power grid, lists three categories of threats to the grid: coordinated cyber- and physical attacks, pandemic disease and electromagnetic damage.
What [a New York Times reporter] does not mention, or perhaps has failed to notice, is the “report” [had] essentially been written by the small interests which make up the Cult of EMP Crazy, with government workers as their staff.
Three of the report’s authors are part of the bomb Iran/ballistic missile defense lobby.
These include John Kappenman — billed as being part of something called Storm Analysis for the report, William Radasky of Metatech and Michael Frankel of Roscoe Bartlett’s old EMP Commission.
“Electronic Armageddon also looks at the damage caused by the high-altitude detonation of a nuclear device,” reads the Duluth newspaper. “The electromagnetic pulse would have effects beyond those of a geomagnetic storm, including gamma rays that would fry computer chips.”
DD has written about beliefs in catastrophism as it relates to the Cult of EMP Crazy previously. Most recently, here in “Scared Stupid.”
One of the more dubious ‘gifts’ of the Cult of EMP Crazy – a richly manipulative group, if there ever was one — is the cruel brain haircut it imposes on its lessers. Think of it as a cynical tax on the IQ reserve for the sake of the missile defense/Bomb Iran lobby.
It’s quite the accomplishment. Thanks to the Heritage Foundation’s press machine, GOP voters in a placid place like Lancaster, Pennsylvania, think they have to worry about national collapse.
And here in “Gold, Pemmican, Ammo.”