Previously I have written about EMP attacks and Solar Flare activity which could wipe out our electric grid. While the likelihood is questioned, the Shield Act could help safeguard us in the case of such an event.
The Iranians claim to be working on EMPs with the intention of wiping us out (another reason for Iran to NOT get a nuclear bomb). N.Korea has made the same claims.
A report from 2004, EMP Commission to Assess the Threat of An EMP Attack to the United States determined that a single EMP warhead exploded over the center of the US could bring down the entire power grid.
The U.S. power grid is extremely vulnerable to an attack by an EMP weapon. The Department of Defense is now warning about EMP’s and have said the DOD would be completely wiped out with one attack.
A solar flare could have similar consequences.
Holdren wrote, “Their impact could be big — on the order of $2 trillion during the first year in the United States alone, with a recovery period of 4 to 10 years.”
John Holdren and his British counterpart, John Beddington, have stated in an oped of 3/10/11 that a solar flare could have catastrophic events. Space weather can affect human safety and economies anywhere in the world, sending blasts of electrically-charged gas from the sun at up to five million miles an hour and it can happen with little warning.
An actual solar flare hitting earth in March of this year:
Read about recent events surrounding the Shield Act and the claims by DOD that the DOD systems, which are heavily reliant on the electric grid, could be destroyed at Government Computer News