Cult of EMP Crazy Infects NY Times

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Extremism at 7:28 am by George Smith

The Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy parasitized the New York Times opinion page today. The courtesy was handed to Lawrence E. Joseph who has been relentlessly peddling books on apocalyptic disaster slated for 2012.

The latest Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy jag is the story of the angry sun.

From June, here:

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).


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.

And so it goes, the coming sun strike being far worse than Katrina, so give taxpayer money to the private sector so risk can be mitigated. What the various gobble-wallahs of the cult fail to add are that there are many pressing problems confronting the US right now, all as bad as Katrina, but that they are of our own devise, not the sun’s. And that the Cult of EMP Crazy is just another special interest posse raid on the middle class.

Here’s the standard line, repeated as necessary, in the newer Cult opinion pieces:

DESPITE warnings that New Orleans was unprepared for a severe hit by a hurricane, America was blindsided by Hurricane Katrina, a once-in-a-lifetime storm that made landfall five years ago this month. We are similarly unready for another potential natural disaster: solar storms, bursts of gas on the sun’s surface that release tremendous energy pulses.

Let’s imagine for a moment someone with the interests of the middle class at heart, besides Paul Krugman, writing similarly for the New York Times opinion page:

DESPITE warnings that the middle class was being systematically beggared and then destroyed by predatory financial policy and the sending of production to slave-labor countries, America was seemingly blindsided by this once-in-a-lifetime perfect storm of economic catastrophe. We are similarly unready for another even worse disaster: The putting down of the American way of life permanently when China puts the US in the rear view mirror as its economy passes ours in the coming decade.

Just for perspective, you see.

Last week, one of the chieftains of the Cult of EMP Crazy, Roscoe Bartlett in the US House of Representatives, was greatly dismayed when his legislation to protect from EMP doom was penciled out of similar legislation in the Senate.

And so the Cult of EMP Crazy quickly marshaled its forces. In the New York Times, it is warned:

Earlier this year the House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow the White House to require utilities to put grid-protection measures in place, then rip off recoup the costs from customers. Unfortunately, the companion bill in the Senate contains no such provision.

It’s not a lost cause, though; lawmakers can still insert the grid-protection language during conference.

Getting back to the author, Lawrence E. Joseph, the Booklist review on Amazon tells us what to know:

Joseph uses [2012] prophecy as a starting point, but claims that his interest lies in more substantial scientific threats to the planet—including cracks in Earth’s magnetic field, the eruption of supervolcanoes and flareups of sunspot radiation. On the other hand, he also gives credence to planetary alignments and The Bible Code before veering into a rant about how the real problem is Christian fundamentalists who want to manipulate the Middle East into Armageddon. When he sticks to science journalism, Joseph is a lively tour guide, introducing readers to Mayan shamans and Russian scientists with equal aplomb. But when he encourages readers to start praying they survive the coming apocalypse, he comes off as exactly the sort of crackpot he claims to eschew. Still, there’s less kookery than in other 2012 books …

Good to know. So get it now, used copies for $0.77.

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