The left doesn’t care, in fact considering the inroads of both the radical green movement and communist groups who openly call for America to collapse it’s likely that the smart grid they envision is designed to fail. From MarketWatch:
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Apr 12, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The vulnerability of the energy industry’s new wireless smart grid will inevitably lead to lights out for everyone, according to leading cyber expert David Chalk. In an online interview for an upcoming documentary film entitled ‘Take Back Your Power’ ( www.ThePowerFilm.org ), Chalk says the entire power grid will be at risk to being taken down by cyber attack, and if installations continue it’s only a matter of time.
“We’re in a state of crisis,” said Chalk. “The front door is open and there is no lock to be had. There is not a power meter or device on the grid that is protected from hacking – if not already infected – with some sort of trojan horse that can cause the grid to be shut down or completely annihilated.”
“One of the most amazing things that has happened to mankind in the last 100 years is the Internet. It’s given us possibility beyond our wildest imagination. But we also know the vulnerabilities that exist inside of it. And then we have the backbone, the power grid that powers our nations. Those two are coming together. And it’s the smart meter on your home or business that’s now allowing that connectivity.”
Chalk also issued a challenge to governments, media and technology producers to show him one piece of digital technology that is hack-proof.
“The computer companies that are involved, the manufacturers that are involved, bring forward a technology and I will show you that it’s penetrable,” said Chalk. “I’ll do it on national TV, I’ll do it anywhere. But I can guarantee you 100% that there is nothing out there today — nothing — that can’t be penetrated.”
Here’s a clip from Take Back Your Power that will chill your blood. Ignore the crazed hippydom of the narrator and listen to the experts concerns:
There are the usual panicky pronouncements about America being thrown back into 18th century overnight when our electricity is out long-term due to an attack, which is silly since people moved easily from the 18th century (the 1700s) into the 19th and 20th century sans power grid, iPhones and computers. But Harris’ attitude toward a long-term blackout is indicative of the attitude of many Americans – which is why an EMP would be so dangerous. A region wide blackout that lasted more than a week would be seen by many as an Apocalypse and they will act accordingly. And by act I mean loot, riot and lose their collective minds.
Harris makes several suggestions to mitigate the threat which can only be implemented by the government. Among them are hardening infrastructure, creating a national space weather emergency plan and having a missile defense capability aimed at stopping EMP warhead strikes. If we weren’t broke I’d say they’re all great ideas. I would add that each one of us can personally mitigate the threat by being prepared for extended blackouts and the service interruptions that entails. This means having ways to cook and clean without power or running water, food storage that can be utilized without electricity, water storage, heat and shelter that isn’t reliant on the grid and back up plans for procuring necessities when credit cards won’t work, gas won’t pump and stores are closed.
This doesn’t mean going solar (solar systems will be fried as well) it means being able to live a non-electric lifestyle when necessary. Check out stores like Lehman’s to find appliances that work without power. Have multiple oil lamps on hand as well as candles and flashlights, with plenty of lamp oil. Re-learn skills your grandparents had like doing laundry with a washboard and washtub. Have multiple emergency cooking methods including charcoal and wood grills, sterno stoves (I have one which works well) and the old-fashioned campfire tripod.
There’s much more but you get the idea. The EMP weapon threat is a terrorist play. it relies on Americans being afraid of losing their comfortable lifestyle for a long period of time. If Americans can prepare themselves for a few months or *gasp* years of not having reliable power that threat loses much of its teeth.
Which isn’t to say this isn’t a serious threat. High mortality rates are the hallmark of any country without reliable power and sanitation. Disease and starvation will run rampant even if we are all prepared. But the government can’t stop the eventual use of EMP weapons by terrorists or a rogue state, so it’s prudent to prepare for the eventuality.
I was communicating online with a newish prepper and was shocked to hear how much of his limited income on generators, solar power sources and various electrical devices that needed more and more money poured into them to keep them running in the event of a collapse.
I grew up poor in the 70s. We had a deep freezer usually filled with cheap cuts of meat from the butcher and fish we caught. When a blackout happened my grandfather would go get ice from the store while the rest of us emptied ice from the fridge into the freezer. This kept the food for long enough to use it. I understand that people are planning for the electricity to never come back on, but you do that by being less, not more dependent on electricity. Instead of a extra solar generator to run your electric fridge why not invest in an antique ice chest? That’s what people used prior to mass production of kitchen appliances and they got along just fine.
Instead of buying expensive and fragile solar panels why not build an ice house or a root cellar? Why seek power sources for your computer controlled security cameras when even a small dog works well as an alarm for intruders?
The point is that if you are planning for a complete collapse of civilization keep it simple. If you don’t know how to service a generator or make fuel to run it it is not a great long term TEOTWAWKI purchase. That’s not to say they aren’t useful for a bad storm, but if the storm you see coming is more like Patriots or One Second After than Hurricane Katrina you need to plan for not having electricity in the long term.
In this new category I’ll be featuring ways you can keep a moderately comfortable lifestyle without power. For people younger than me this may seem like true roughing it but for most of human history people survived, and thrived, without electricity and you can too.