Monday, January 03, 2011

 

2011 THE YEAR IS IN FULL GEAR

JOHN LOEFFLER ON 2011-REVIEW OF LAST DECADE
http://britanniaradio.blogspot.com/2011/01/john-loeffler-steel-on-steel-looking.html#links
GERALD CELENTE ON UPCOMING YEAR 2011
http://britanniaradio.blogspot.com/2011/01/gerald-celente-whats-in-store-for-2011.html#links
Helenism, Anti-Semitism and the Media-TAMAR-EUGENE
http://britanniaradio.blogspot.com/2011/01/helenism-anti-semitism-and-media.html#links
Soros Calls For IMF One World Currency
http://britanniaradio.blogspot.com/2011/01/soros-calls-for-imf-one-world-currency.html#links

George Soros: The United States Must Stop Resisting The Orderly Decline Of The Dollar, The Coming Global Currency And The New World Order
The Economic Collapse Jan 3, 2011


In the video you are about to see, George Soros talks about the creation of a New World Order, he discusses the need for a managed decline of the U.S. dollar and he talks at length of the global need for a true world currency. So just who is George Soros? Well, he is a billionaire philanthropist who came to be known as the Man Who Broke the Bank of England when he raked in a staggering one billion dollars during the 1992 Black Wednesday currency crisis. These days Soros is most famous for being perhaps the most politically active (at least openly) billionaire in the world. His Open Society Institute is in more than 60 countries and it spends approximately $600 million a year promoting the ideals that Soros wants promoted. Soros and his pet organizations have played a key role in quite a few “revolutions” around the globe over the last several decades, but these days the main goal of George Soros is to bring political change to the United States.So exactly what is it that George Soros is trying to accomplish? Well, in a nutshell, what he wants is a Big Brother-style one world government based on extreme European-style socialism, strict population control and the radical green agenda. It would be a world where the state tightly regulates everything that we do for the greater benefit of the environment and of society as a whole.

However, Soros is not the mastermind of the New World Order that some have tried to make him out to be. The truth is that to those in the international banking elite, Soros is considered to be something of a black sheep and an outsider. Much of what Soros is trying to accomplish lines up with the goals of the international banking elite, but what they don’t like is that Soros won’t stop publicly talking about a global currency and a New World Order. Of course the international banking elite very much want a global currency and a New World Order, but what they don’t need is a squeaky wheel like Soros running around drawing unneeded attention to those goals.

Also, Soros does not seem to understand that both sides of the political spectrum in the United States are deeply influenced by the international banking elite. Sadly, the truth is that the same handful of elitist organizations has dominated the cabinets of every single president that we have had since World War II. If you doubt this, just check out how many members of each presidential administration over the last 40 years have belonged to either the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission or the Bilderberg Group. If you have never looked into this before, you will be absolutely shocked. No matter what president we elect, it is always the exact same organizations that always dominate their cabinets.But Soros still seems very much trapped within the left/right paradigm and he seems absolutely obsessed with destroying the Republican Party. For example, Soros spent an insane amount of money attempting to defeat George W. Bush back in 2004. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, George Soros donated $23,581,000 during that election cycle to political organizations that were trying to keep Bush from being reelected.Soros has also been a tremendous backer of Barack Obama, although lately Soros seems a bit disenchanted with him. Through organizations such as the Center for American Progress and MoveOn.org, Soros is constantly trying to influence the state of American politics.So what is George Soros thinking about these days? Well, in the video posted below you will see Soros discussing an orderly decline of the U.S. dollar, the coming global currency and the importance of the New World Order….

Did you noticed how uncomfortable Soros was when he was saying the term New World Order? The truth is that he knows exactly what that phrase means. He knows that it is a phrase that he probably shouldn’t say and that will get a lot of attention.
But he said it anyway.Soros also seemed a bit uncomfortable as he discussed an orderly decline of the U.S. dollar.Soros has been saying the the U.S. dollar needs to go down for quite a while now, and he speaks of the coming fall of the dollar as if it is inevitable.The only thing that Soros seems to fear is that the managed decline of the dollar could get out of hand and could lead to global financial chaos.

Soros even had the gall to say that having the dollar be the reserve currency of the world is not in our national interest and that a move to a global currency is a healthy, if painful, adjustment that we are just going to have to endure for the greater good of the world economy.But shouldn’t the American people have something to say about all of this? Perhaps the American people do not want a managed decline of the U.S. dollar.Perhaps the American people do not want any part of a new global currency.Perhaps the American people do not want any part of a New World Order.

But to men like George Soros, it doesn’t really matter what the little people think. In the world that Soros lives in, those with overwhelming amounts of money and power know what is best for the rest of us, and if the little people don’t seem to want to go along initially then public opinion can be bought if you just spend enough money.The sad truth is that we already live in a global economy. Just go into just about any store across the United States and start picking up products to see where they were made. Very few of the things we buy are still made in the United States.Today, labor is a global commodity. American workers must now directly compete for jobs with those making slave labor wages in China and India. The fact that millions of U.S. jobs are being offshored and outsourced does not bother advocates of globalism at all because it is supposedly a beneficial thing for the overall global economy.And most Americans have little to no idea just how much influence international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO have over our daily lives.The truth is that we already live in a world that has been deeply, deeply integrated. As this continues, at some point it will only seem natural for America to agree to a true global currency and full global political integration.Let us hope that day never arrives. Or at least let us hope that the American people wake up enough to not just go passively into a New World Order.A global economy is bad for America and a global government would be really bad for America.But perhaps you disagree. Perhaps you believe that integrating our economy, our currency and our government with the rest of the world would be a wonderful thing. If that is the case, please feel free to leave a comment explaining exactly why globalism is such a wonderful thing for all of us….

COVER: GET READY FOR A WORLD CURRENCY thanks to jc for article.
Title of article: Get Ready for the Phoenix Source: Economist;
01/9/88, Vol. 306, pp 9-10


THIRTY years from now, Americans, Japanese, Europeans, and people in many other rich countries, and some relatively poor ones will probably be paying for their shopping with the same currency. Prices will be quoted not in dollars, yen or D-marks but in, let's say, the phoenix. The phoenix will be favoured by companies and shoppers because it will be more convenient than today's national currencies, which by then will seem a quaint cause of much disruption to economic life in the last twentieth century. At the beginning of 1988 this appears an outlandish prediction. Proposals for eventual monetary union proliferated five and ten years ago, but they hardly envisaged the setbacks of 1987. The governments of the big economies tried to move an inch or two towards a more managed system of exchange rates - a logical preliminary, it might seem, to radical monetary reform. For lack of co-operation in their underlying economic policies they bungled it horribly, and provoked the rise in interest rates that brought on the stock market crash of October. These events have chastened exchange-rate reformers. The market crash taught them that the pretence of policy co-operation can be worse than nothing, and that until real co-operation is feasible (i.e., until governments surrender some economic sovereignty) further attempts to peg currencies will flounder.

But in spite of all the trouble governments have in reaching and (harder still) sticking to international agreements about macroeconomic policy, the conviction is growing that exchange rates cannot be left to themselves. Remember that the Louvre accord and its predecessor, the Plaza agreement of September 1985, were emergency measures to deal with a crisis of currency instability. Between 1983 and 1985 the dollar rose by 34% against the currencies of America's trading partners; since then it has fallen by 42%. Such changes have skewed the pattern of international comparative advantage more drastically in four years than underlying economic forces might do in a whole generation. In the past few days the world's main central banks, fearing another dollar collapse, have again jointly intervened in the currency markets (see page 62).(Pg 62 is an advertisment, para 4 says pg 66 j's edit ) Market-loving ministers such as Britain's Mr. Nigel Lawson have been converted to the cause of exchange-rate stability. Japanese officials take seriously he idea of EMS-like schemes for the main industrial economies. Regardless of the Louvre's embarrassing failure, the conviction remains that something must be done about exchange rates.

Something will be, almost certainly in the course of 1988. And not long after the next currency agreement is signed it will go the same way as the last one. It will collapse. Governments are far from ready to subordinate their domestic objectives to the goal of international stability. Several more big exchange-rate upsets, a few more stockmarket crashes and probably a slump or two will be needed before politicians are willing to face squarely up to that choice. This points to a muddled sequence of emergency followed by a patch-up followed by emergency, stretching out far beyond 2018 - except for two things. As time passes, the damage caused by currency instability is gradually going to mount; and the very tends that will make it mount are making the utopia of monetary union feasible.

The new world economy

The biggest change in the world economy since the early 1970's is that flows of money have replaced trade in goods as the force that drives exchange rates. as a result of the relentless integration of the world's financial markets, differences in national economic policies can disturb interest rates (or expectations of future interest rates) only slightly, yet still call forth huge transfers of financial assets from one country to another. These transfers swamp the flow of trade revenues in their effect on the demand and supply for different currencies, and hence in their effect on exchange rates. As telecommunications technology continues to advance, these transactions will be cheaper and faster still. With unco-ordinated economic policies, currencies can get only more volatile. Alongside that trend is another - of ever-expanding opportunities for international trade. This too is the gift of advancing technology. Falling transport costs will make it easier for countries thousands of miles apart to compete in each others' markets. The law of one price (that a good should cost the same everywhere, once prices are converted into a single currency) will increasingly assert itself. Politicians permitting, national economies will follow their financial markets - becoming ever more open to the outside world. This will apply to labour as much as to goods, partly thorough migration but also through technology's ability to separate the worker form the point at which he delivers his labour. Indian computer operators will be processing New Yorkers' paychecks. In all these ways national economic boundaries are slowly dissolving. As the trend continues, the appeal of a currency union across at least the main industrial countries will seem irresistible to everybody except foreign-exchange traders and governments. In the phoenix zone, economic adjustment to shifts in relative prices would happen smoothly and automatically, rather as it does today between different regions within large economies (a brief on pages 74-75 explains how .)(This is incorrect, the hard copy says pg 70-71, see hard copy pdf attachment)

The absence of all currency risk would spur trade, investment and employment. The phoenix zone would impose tight constraints on national governments. There would be no such thing, for instance, as a national monetary policy. The world phoenix supply would be fixed by a new central bank, descended perhaps from the IMF. The world inflation rate - and hence, within narrow margins, each national inflation rate- would be in its charge. Each country could use taxes and public spending to offset temporary falls in demand, but it would have to borrow rather than print money to finance its budget deficit. With no recourse to the inflation tax, governments and their creditors would be forced to judge their borrowing and lending plans more carefully than they do today. This means a big loss of economic sovereignty, but the trends that make the phoenix so appealing are taking that sovereignty away in any case. Even in a world of more-or-less floating exchange rates, individual governments have seen their policy independence checked by an unfriendly outside world. As the next century approaches, the natural forces that are pushing the world towards economic integration will offer governments a broad choice. They can go with the flow, or they can build barricades. Preparing the way for the phoenix will mean fewer pretended agreements on policy and more real ones. It will mean allowing and then actively promoting the private-sector use of an international money alongside existing national monies. That would let people vote with their wallets for the eventual move to full currency union. The phoenix would probably start as a cocktail of national currencies, just as the Special Drawing Right is today. In time, though, its value against national currencies would cease to matter, because people would choose it for its convenience and the stability of its purchasing power. The alternative - to preserve policymaking autonomy- would involve a new proliferation of truly draconian controls on trade and capital flows. This course offers governments a splendid time. They could manage exchange-rate movements, deploy monetary and fiscal policy without inhibition, and tackle the resulting bursts of inflation with prices and incomes polices. It is a growth-crippling prospect. Pencil in the phoenix for around 2018, and welcome it when it comes.

DOCTOR DOCTORIAN FROM ANGEL OF GOD
then the angel said, Financial crisis will come to Asia. I will shake the world.

JAMES 5:1-3
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

REVELATION 18:10,17,19
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

EZEKIEL 7:19
19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.

REVELATION 13:16-18
16 And he(FALSE POPE) causeth all,(WORLD SOCIALISM) both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:(CHIP IMPLANT)
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.(6-6-6) A NUMBER SYSTEM

WORLD MARKET RESULTS
http://money.cnn.com/data/world_markets/
CNBC VIDEOS
http://www.cnbc.com/id/15839263/?tabid=15839796&tabheader=false

HALF HOUR DOW RESULTS MON JAN 03,2011

09:30 AM +2.43
10:00 AM +114.96
10:30 AM +107.20
11:00 AM +123.44
11:30 AM +124.99
12:00 PM +119.80
12:30 PM +127.52
01:00 PM +124.04
01:30 PM +123.59
02:00 PM +128.39
02:30 PM +121.54
03:00 PM +118.18
03:30 PM +105.05
04:00 PM +93.24 11,670.75

S&P 500 1271.87 +14.23

NASDAQ 2691.52 +38.65

GOLD 1,415.60 -5.80

OIL 91.72 +0.34

TSE 300 CLOSED

CDNX CLOSED TILL TOMORROW

S&P/TSX/60 CLOSED

MORNING,NEWS,STATS

YEAR TO DATE PERFORMANCE
Dow +117 points at 4 minutes of trading today.
Dow -3 points at low today.
Dow +134 points at high today so far.
GOLD opens at $1,419.60.OIL opens at $92.23 today.

AFTERNOON,NEWS,STATS
Dow -3 points at low today so far.
Dow +134 points at high today so far.

WRAPUP,NEWS,STATS
Dow -3 points at low today.
Dow +134 points at high today.

GOLD ALLTIME HIGH $1,427.40 (NOT AT CLOSE)

AMERICA (POLITICAL BABYLON)(NUKED BY SNEAK ATTACK FROM RUSSIA)

EZEKIEL 39:21
21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.

ISAIAH 18:1-2
1 Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia:
2 That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, saying, Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled!

JEREMIAH 50:11,37,12
11 Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls;(BACKSLIDERS)
37 A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed.(A NATION OF MINGLED PEOPLE)
12 Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed:(MOTHER ENGLAND) behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.

JEREMIAH 51:13,7,53
13 O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness.
7 Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.
53 Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall spoilers come unto her, saith the LORD.

REVELATION 18:3,5,7
3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

JEREMIAH 50:3,24
3 For out of the north (RUSSIA) there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast.
24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon,(AMERICA) and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the LORD. (RUSSIA A SNEAK ATTACK ON AMERICA)

REVELATION 18:9-11,15-21
9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,(NUKE ATTACK I BELIEVE)
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
16 And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

START TREATY WON'T WORK.AS THE OBOVE SCRIPTURES SAY.JUST REMEMBER EVERYONE - THE 2ND MOST JEWS IN THE WORLD ARE IN NEW YORK.SO GUESS WHY RUSSIANS(OVIOUSLY ARAB-MUSLIM)INSPIRED WILL ATTACK NEW YORK I BELIEVE THE SNEAK ATTACK ON.

Opinion.GEORGE WILL: Obama’s time-warp focus on the new START treaty
Published: Thursday, December 09, 2010


The Framers of the Constitution, a nuisance regretted by most modern presidents, gave the legislative branch — another indignity inflicted on presidents, as they see it — an important role in making foreign policy. The Framers did so by, among other provisions, requiring the consent of two-thirds of the Senate (today, 67 votes) to treaties. The Framers’ wisdom is confirmed by Barack Obama’s impatience with senators reluctant to ratify, during Congress’s lame-duck session, the New START treaty pertaining to Russia’s nuclear weapons.The administration’s ardor for ratification is understandable, as is Russia’s. The president needs a success somewhere; Russia needs psychotherapy. It longs to be treated as what it no longer is, a superpower, and it likes the treaty’s asymmetries.It is more reasonable to worry about the security of Russia’s weapons than about their numbers. New START, however, pertains primarily to the numbers. It requires the reduction of strategic weapons and launchers. Concerning the former, Russia’s economic anemia is already forcing it into arms reductions. Concerning the latter, Russia already is below the levels the treaty would impose on America.

Deeply informed and rationally skeptical, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) is arguing from the position of increased strength created on Nov. 2: Come January, there will be six more Republican senators. He implicitly — and lucidly — treats Russia itself as of secondary importance in the treaty. He is using his enhanced leverage primarily to increase the administration’s commitment to modernization of the U.S. nuclear arsenal: All nuclear weapons decay, and no U.S. weapon has been tested since 1992.The administration contends that even delaying ratification will reduce Russia’s helpfulness regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program. This suggests, strangely, that Russia has been significantly helpful. And it assumes, implausibly, that Russia’s interest in preventing neighboring Iran from having nuclear weapons is less than its interest in modifying the strategic arms balance with an America that is no longer a strategic adversary.The administration says ratification is urgent to reinstall verification. But when the previous treaty expired last December, Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said they would continue in the spirit of the expired treaty. If verification is suddenly increasingly important, is Russia decreasingly trustworthy? When nations are enemies, they use arms negotiations less to mutually limit arms than to channel arms competition in strategically advantageous directions. So real arms control is impossible until it is unimportant. Until, that is, dangers disappear. So, ratification of New START is possible. But to call it urgent is silly; to call it advisable would be premature, pending completion of the Senate’s advise-and-consent role, which should include clarifying stipulations in any ratifying resolution.

At Russia’s insistence, the treaty contains language that some Republicans think does — and the Obama administration insists does not — couple limits on offensive and defensive systems. If it does, Republicans should oppose New START; if the language is, as the administration says, without force, it should be deleted.The impertinence of mere senators modifying their handiwork will scandalize the Cold War arms control clerisy, who are still with us. These custodians of humanity’s salvation, these speakers of an argot (SLBMs, ICBMs, MIRVs, etc.) more arcane to the laity than Latin was to 14th-century peasants, are marvelously unimpressed by the events of 1991. If, when the Soviet Union disappeared, Russia had disintegrated until only the Moscow metropolitan area remained, the clerisy would be earnestly negotiating arms agreements with that city’s police force.In this era of astonishing emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil, Russia is a perverse miracle of arrested development.

America’s domestic policy is bedeviled by reactionary liberalism, whose adherents resist any diminution of any entitlement. Barack Obama’s tumble into a time warp — his overinvestment in an arms agreement with the emaciated Russian bear — proves that reactionary liberalism does not end at the water’s edge.
E-mail George Will at georgewill@washpost.com.

AND HOW WILL RUSSIA SNEAK NUKE AMERICA.WELL I BELIEVE THIS WAY.AN EMP ATTACK,THEN THE NUKE SNEAK ATTACK.

One EMP burst and the world goes dark
By Dan Vergano, USA TODAY


The sky erupts. Cities darken, food spoils and homes fall silent. Civilization collapses.End-of-the-world novel? A video game? Or could such a scenario loom in America's future? There is talk of catastrophe ahead, depending on whom you believe, because of the threat of an electromagnetic pulse triggered by either a supersized solar storm or terrorist A-bomb, both capable of disabling the electric grid that powers modern life.

Electromagnetic pulses (EMP) are oversized outbursts of atmospheric electricity. Whether powered by geomagnetic storms or by nuclear blasts, their resultant intense magnetic fields can induce ground currents strong enough to burn out power lines and electrical equipment across state lines.The threat has even become political fodder, drawing warnings from former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a likely presidential contender.We are not today hardened against this, he told a Heritage Foundation audience last year. It is an enormous catastrophic threat.Meanwhile, in Congress, a Grid Act bill aimed at the threat awaits Senate action, having passed in the House of Representatives.Fear is evident. With the sun's 11-year solar cycle ramping up for its stormy maximum in 2012, and nuclear concerns swirling about Iran and North Korea, a drumbeat of reports and blue-ribbon panels center on electromagnetic pulse scenarios.We're taking this seriously, says Ed Legge of the Edison Electric Institute in Washington, which represents utilities. He points to a North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) report in June, conducted with the Energy Department, that found pulse threats to the grid may be much greater than anticipated.There are some important reasons for concern,says physicist Yousaf Butt of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. But there is also a lot of fluff.

At risk are the more than 200,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines that cross North America, supplying 1,800 utilities the power for TVs, lights, refrigerators and air conditioners in homes, and for the businesses, hospitals and police stations that take care of us all.The electric grid's vulnerability to cyber and to other attacks is one of the single greatest threats to our national security, Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said in June as he introduced the bill to the House of Representatives.Markey and others point to the August 2003 blackout that struck states from Michigan to Massachusetts, and southeastern Canada, as a sign of the grid's vulnerability. Triggered by high-voltage lines stretched by heat until they sagged onto overgrown tree branches, the two-day blackout shut down 100 power plants, cut juice to about 55 million people and cost $6 billion, says the 2004 U.S.-Canada Power System Outage Task Force.Despite the costs, most of them from lost work, a National Center for Environmental Health report in 2005 found minimal death or injuries tied directly to the 2003 blackout — a few people died in carbon monoxide poisonings as a result of generators running in their homes or from fires started from candles. But the effects were pervasive: Television and radio stations went off the air in Detroit, traffic lights and train lines stopped running in New York, turning Manhattan into the world's largest pedestrian mall, and water had to be boiled after water mains lost pressure in Cleveland.

Simple physics, big worry

The electromagnetic pulse threat is a function of simple physics: Electromagnetic pulses and geomagnetic storms can alter Earth's magnetic field. Changing magnetic fields in the atmosphere, in turn, can trigger surging currents in power lines.It is a well-understood phenomenon, says Butt, who this year reviewed geomagnetic and nuke blast worries in The Space Review.

Two historic incidents often figure in the discussion:

• On July 9, 1962, the Atomic Energy Commission and the Defense Atomic Support Agency detonated the Starfish Prime, a 1.4-megaton H-bomb test at an altitude of 250 miles, some 900 miles southwest of Hawaii over the Pacific Ocean. The pulse shorted out streetlights in Oahu.

• On March 9, 1989, the sun spat a million-mile-wide blast of high-temperature charged solar gas straight at the Earth. The coronal mass ejection struck the planet three days later, triggering a geomagnetic storm that made the northern lights visible in Texas. The storm also induced currents in Quebec's power grid that knocked out power for 6 million people in Canada and the USA for at least nine hours.
A lot of the questions are what steps does it make sense to take,Legge says. We could effectively gold-plate every component in the system, but the cost would mean that people can't afford the rates that would result to pay for it.The high-altitude nuclear-weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse is one of a small number of threats that has the potential to hold our society seriously at risk,concluded a 2008 EMP Commission report headed by William Graham, a former science adviser to President Reagan.

The terror effect

In the nuclear scenario, the detonation of an atomic bomb anywhere from 25 to 500 miles high electrifies, or ionizes, the atmosphere about 25 miles up, triggering a series of electromagnetic pulses. The pulse's reach varies with the size of the bomb, the height of its blast and design.Gingrich last year cited the EMP Commission report in warning, One weapon of this kind that went off over Omaha would eliminate most of the electrical production in the United States.

But some take issue with that.

You would really need something the size of a Soviet H-bomb to have effects that cross many states, Butt says. The massive Starfish Prime blast, he notes, was at least 70 times more powerful than the atomic bomb detonated over Hiroshima in 1945, and it may have blown out streetlights but it left the grid in Hawaii intact.One complication for rogue nations or terrorists contemplating a high-altitude nuclear blast is that such an attack requires a missile to take the weapon at least 25 miles high to trigger the electromagnetic pulse. For nations, such a launch would invite massive nuclear retaliation from the USA's current stockpile of 5,000 warheads, many of them riding in submarines far from any pulse effects.Any nation giving a terror group an atomic weapon and missile would face retaliation, Butt and others note, as nuclear forensics capabilities at the U.S. national labs would quickly trace the origins of the bomb, Butt says. It would be suicide.

Super solar storm

On the solar front, the big fear is a solar super storm, a large, fast, coronal mass ejection with a magnetic field that lines up with an orientation perfectly opposite the Earth's own magnetic field, says solar physicist Bruce Tsurutani of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.Tsuritani and other solar physicists view such an event as inevitable in the next 10 to 100 years.It has to be the perfect storm,Tsuratani says.We are almost guaranteed a very large solar storm at some point, but we are talking about a risk over decades, Butt says. Three power grids gird the continental U.S. — one crossing 39 Eastern states, one for 11 Western states and one for Texas.

Solutions?

In June, national security analyst Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists described congressional debate over power-grid security as a somewhat jarring mix of prudent anticipation and extravagant doomsday warnings.Although the physics underlying the geomagnetic and nuclear pulses are fundamentally the same, they have different solutions. A geomagnetic storm essentially produces a long-building surge dangerous to power lines and large transformers. A nuclear blast produces three waves of pulses.Limiting the risk from the geomagnetic-storm-type threat involves stockpiling large transformers and installing dampers, essentially lightning rods, to dump surges into the ground from the grid. Even if such steps cost billions, the numbers come out looking reasonable compared with the $119 billion that a 2005 Electric Power Research Institute report estimated was the total nationwide cost of normal blackouts every year.EMP is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences, Graham testified to a congressional committee last year, endorsing such mitigation steps.

Stephen Younger, former head of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, last year argued against the catastrophic scenarios in his book, The Bomb, suggesting the effects of a pulse would be more random, temporary and limited than Graham and others suggest.The June NERC report essentially calls for more study of the problem, warning of excessive costs to harden too much equipment against the nuclear risk. If there are nuclear bombs exploding, we have lots of really, really big problems besides the power grid,Legge says.

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