This week James Arbuthnot, a Tory member of Parliament brought the Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy to the UK, resulting in a burst of stories on how England could be thrown back to the time of the movie, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, or whatever passes for it in merry Old England.
The Defence Select Committee said the resulting radiation pulse could disrupt power and water supplies, UK defence and satellite navigation systems.
Its chairman, Tory MP James Arbuthnot, said an attack was “quite likely”.
Mr Arbuthnot added: “it would actually have a far more devastating effect to use a nuclear weapon in this way than to explode a bomb in or on a city. The reason for that is it would, over a much wider area, take out things like the National Grid, on which we all rely for almost everything, take out the water system, the sewage system.
“And rapidly it would become very difficult to live in cities. I mean within a matter of a couple of days.
“I wish the government would address this with rather more energy and cohesion and focus. I think sooner rather than later.”
Arbuthnot’s House of Commons report on the matter is here.
A quick look at it shows part of the Conservative Party mesmerized by the US Cult of EMP Crazy lobby, specifically EMPAct America, and one of its old members, Avi Schnurr. Schnurr is also part of the Bomb Iran/Israeli missile defense lobby and here he is in an old YouTube video for EMPAct America.
“Airplanes could fall from the sky,” he says. It would be back to the days of horse and buggy, no ice cubes in the ice tray, and so on. Readers know the script.
And reliance on EMPAct America’s old study, referred to as the EMP Commission Report is shown here.
Schnurr testified on non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapons also, a favorite topic of EMPAct America, for at least a decade.
The Chair of the US EMP Commission wrote:
Non-nuclear EMP weapons, like radiofrequency weapons, can damage and destroy electronics locally. Such weapons have short ranges, kilometers for some military systems to meters for devices improvised by terrorists or criminals. Industrial EMP simulators, intended to test commercial systems for hardness against interference from stray electronic and radio emissions, are on the open market and can be purchased by anyone. At least one such EMP simulator is designed to look like a suitcase, can be operated by an individual, and is powerful enough to damage or destroy the electronic controls that regulate the operation of transformers and other components of the power grid. Armed with such a device, and with some knowledge about the electric grid, a terrorist or lunatic could blackout a city.
44. Avi Schnurr said:
The biggest issue with non-nuclear EMP weapons is that the complexity and threshold required to produce them is minimal, to say the most. At the summit meeting in Washington DC, for example, there were two Assistant Secretaries of Defence, a Deputy Under-Secretary and the Pentagon’s chief lawyer, all of whom expressed grave concerns over this risk—the non-nuclear EMP risk in particular, but the risk of EMP in general. The non-nuclear EMP risk is much shorter-range. However, that range, which could be 100 metres, a fraction of a kilometre or a kilometre—under certain circumstances, which I could discuss separately, it could be multiple kilometres—includes the risk of having a field strength that would be even greater, although limited in extent, than a nuclear EMP [...]. We had a speaker at that summit who described, to the extent he was allowed to describe it, a device that he built from hardware he acquired from retail stores in the United States, which he had built into a van.
45. A number of nations are thought to be undertaking research into the development of non-nuclear EMP attack weapons, but the Government does not currently regard them as a serious risk …
In the main, Arbuthnot’s report for Parliament relies entirely on material now five to ten years old, and entirely the product of the US electromagnetic pulse defense lobby.
The Cult of EMP Crazy’s UK office, in action.