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Technology on a Thread

Updated on February 13, 2018

The sun

In the past centuries, humankind has made astonishing and remarkable advancements and achievements in technology. It wasn't until the introduction of electricity, electronics, computers and a worldwide global interlink where things kicked off. As time passed we developed vital infrastructures important for everyday life. We basically live in a digital age where various aspects of our lives are governed by computers. However, there is one issue of great concern that has always worried me, EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse). You see, in 1859 a powerful geomagnetic solar storm caused by a solar coronal mass ejection that hit the earth's magnetosphere. Fortunately it didn't do any damage because that was before the use of electricity that began at the earliest in 1882 when Edison through the financing of JP Morgan launched a company which we know today as GE (general electric) and later on that year on September he opened the first US central power plant in lower Manhattan—the Pearl Street Station. However, in may of 1921 another solar coronal mass ejection hit the earth's magnetosphere, only this time it was of greater magnitude. In may 10th of that year, it was estimated that the span of the geomagnetic storm spanned from 94,000 by 21,000 miles (131,000 km by 33,800 km) in size. The end result was damage to much of the US telegraph service, which took place on the 14th of may of that year. Because the current infrastructure was primitive at the current time, damage only affected certain sectors. It wasn't until march 13th of 1989 where another coronal mass ejection would once again hit the earth's magnetosphere. This time, even though it was not as intensive as the one that hit in 1921, it did much greater damage due to the fact that at this point there was already a rather large infrastructure like power grids. The extent of the damage resulted in a blackout in great parts of northeastern north America. There wasn't another coronal mass ejection up until 2012 which fortunately missed the earth, which could have caused catastrophic damage to our infrastructure considering that it is way much more massive than the previous decades and each year it tends to exponentially grow in size. The worst part is that we have become very dependent on it and it's very vulnerable, that's what this blog is about. What has been done to protect our infrastructure from such threats, whether they are natural or manmade? I suspect not much has been done in regard to this issue. Yes, there are some systems that have faraday cages, diamagnetic casings but I don't see anything regarding the widespread implementation of anti-emp technology and I think this is an important issue to not only address but work on as well. It's important to protect our current technology in order to have the means to address other important issues. Remember should infrastructure fall it means the decent of civilization into chaos. When hurricane Ike struck, it left various regions without power, scarcity of food in the supermarkets, people fighting for food and supplies but most of all a rise in crime rate. So I leave yall with this to think about it.

© 2018 Lisandro Garcia


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