Polar Vortex, The Electric Grid And National Emergencies

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Let’s Talk About Real National Emergencies

Considering that our current administration and his party are putting huge emphasis on building an antiquated wall system on our southern border for a problem that is mostly fiction you would think that they may really throw some effort into a real problems with real life serious consequences. You would be wrong.

As we were going through the deep freeze the last couple of weeks, my mind kept returning to an article I wrote nearly two years ago concerning the possibility that Russians have been able to hack into our electric system. Imagine the havoc that Russians or some other enemy could wreak if they decided to hack into our electric systems with a temperature of -26 degrees F and a wind chill of -50 degrees F. 

People would literally be freezing to death in their homes or dying in the fires they set trying to stay warm. Water pipes and sewage systems would be frozen and broken. Food would be frozen in a short time. The damage done in a short period of time would be among the greatest catastrophes we have ever faced.  A good, short analysis of what a cyber attack on the US electric system could lead to can be found here.    

The cyber attacks I wrote about in that article took place in the spring of 2017, fully 2 years ago. Has our government done anything to make our system less vulnerable in the mean time? No. Maybe the fact that most experts point at Russia as the source of the hacking has made investigations and actions against the perpetrators a low priority in this administration.

The antiquated and highly vulnerable electric infrastructure is a national emergency winter or summer.

What else is a national emergency? How about a banking system that has consolidated itself into a few companies that are truly too big to fail? After citing a too consolidated banking system as one of the major factors in the Republican depression of 2008, we have done little to fix the problem, thanks to obstruction from Republican legislators. Thus the problem has only grown worse and leaves the American people.

Other national emergencies? How about gun violence that kills nearly 40,000 a year and injures more than 100,000. Every one of those deaths or injuries leaves behind a multitude of shattered relatives and friends. For those who are injured the rest of their lives could well be the stuff of your worst nightmares of pain and poverty. 

How about some more national emergencies? The policy of separating the babies and children of those seeking refuge in the US at the border. This is a policy that would be at home in the Middle Ages, not in the modern world. These policies will come back to haunt us in the future.

Our aging population is yet another looming national emergency. There are other smaller emergencies, but there is one over riding national and global emergency that deserves our full attention and effort.

That is of course climate change. Anything made by man, no matter how technologically supreme, will not be able to stand the fury of nature on steroids fueled by the trapped heating caused by carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We have been warned and warned and warned. The US in particular has ignored warnings while contributing the greatest amount to the problem.

So when our Dear Leader may once again threaten to lockout the government this coming Friday to get his worthless wall. His next move will be to declare his worthless wall a national emergency. Based on the few things listed above, a wall at the border is very unimportant by comparison.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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