Last updated by The POOG on October 20, 2020.
Solar Flares, EMP, and Loss of Grid
This topic doesn’t fit anywhere else so here it is
A friend wrote to me about the last post that it “scared the crap” out of him. Here’s my response:
Welcome to the crapless state. ANY event that takes the grid down for an extended period of time will be an extinction event. Before I left Ottawa, I interviewed about 3 dozen managers and representatives of a variety of businesses – banks, grocery stores, malls, the Civic Hospital, the Fire Department, etc. Most smaller businesses have battery operated emergency lighting only which gives them as I recall, about 36 hours at the outside. IKEA was an interesting exception. They have enough backup generation to operate their store at full operating levels. Until they run out of diesel. The key issue is the supply chain. Even if you have redundant backup generation like the Ottawa hospital, it’s only good as long as your diesel fuel lasts, your supplier still has reserves and refineries as the last rung on the ladder, still have reserves.
When you lose your diesel backup, the water loop as I call it shuts down. On the front end, you can’t pump fresh water into the purification plant which is now inoperable. On the back end you can’t pump sewage to the treatment plant which is now inoperable. In other words, Ottawa and Toronto have lost their water supply for household use and fighting fires, and sewage is starting to pool in low areas leading to cholera and typhoid, etc.
As for handicapped people above the first or second floor or the person in the penthouse on the 72nd floor in downtown Toronto where the elevator ceased working the first day …
The food industry is a just-in-time supply system. Stores will be cleared out in a couple of days – by looting since they shut down operations when the power fails. Gas stations, even if they could pump diesel which they would not be able to do – will have empty tanks within the week. Transport trucks at this point are off the road and most supply chains are broken, likely at numerous points.
Oh, and point of sale terminals are down, banks are closed because they can’t operate even teller services without access to records which are maintained in central data centers. I don’t know what backup power there is for data communications links OR cell towers. The financial system will have shut down within a week at most I would estimate.
This is off the top of my head. Please show me which if any statement above is incorrect.
Loss of Grid
- Paschal O’Hare, Florian Mekhaldi, Florian Adolphi, et al. Multiradionuclide evidence for an extreme solar proton event around 2,610 B.P. (∼660 BC). PNAS March 26, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1815725116.