Skip to comments.NBC's 'Revolution'—Life In U.S. After An EMP Attack
Posted on 08/20/2012 6:13:28 AM PDT by raptor22
National Security: A new TV series demonstrates graphically how vulnerable our society is to an attack using weapons our enemies, including rogue state Iran, could use tomorrow and the importance of missile defense.
Set in a future "where every single piece of technology computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights has mysteriously blacked out forever," according to the promos, the drama series is fiction, but the threat it depicts, the end of technological society and life as we know it, is a frighteningly real possibility.
We've warned of the threat many times, but the damage an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), a high-intensity burst of electromagnetic energy caused by an explosion of charged particles, such as by a high-altitude nuclear detonation, is a subject that makes eyes glaze over.
Let's hope this series will show the apocalyptic nature of this threat in terms average people can understand.
Eric Kripke, one of the show's executive producers, said, "We did our homework and came up with something that's actually plausible." Indeed, the script could have been taken directly from a report from the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse, which was established by Congress to assess the dangers of an EMP attack.
The report warned that it "has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures and thus to the very fabric of U.S. society, as well as to the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power."
As the Heritage Foundation reports, an EMP attack "would fundamentally change the world. Airplanes would fall from the sky; most cars would be inoperable; electrical devices would fail. Water, sewer and electrical networks would fail simultaneously. Systems of banking, energy, transportation, food production and delivery, water, emergency services and even cyberspace..."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.investors.com ...
I'm not sure how an EMP attack would cause gunpowder to become inert, but maybe those Hollywood boys know something I don't ...
It's not about realism, it's about trying to be Hunger Games: The Series under a different name.
Reading the book “One Second After” woke me up to the threat.
But, another thought; if there is a movie or tv series about it it won’t happen. (Hopefully!)
Hunting/Fishing/Camping/Hiking - Recreational Activities/Hobbies that can pay dividends.
You sound like one of those dangerous extremists. [/s]
Ditto on that.
“One Second After” is a great eye opener and a good read.
It made me really think about having to be prepared.
Survival seems to boil down to family, friends, and ammunition.
Apocalypse soon ping
IIRC the Whitney Streiber book “Warday” covered this scenario quite extensively. The depression caused by loss of currency in electronic tranit was the most significant result as well as the physical destruction caused by the relatively few warheads that were able to reach their targets after the EMP was set off. In that story, the US and Soviet (yes, it predates the breakup of the USSR) EMP weapons were hidden in satellites that were able to maneuver over the target countries and eject their weapons.
*yawn* This makes 5,024 stories about living after the end of tech. These Bozos clearly have no knowledge of sci fi.
Put me in the camp that believes the EMP threat is being hyped to a certain extent. Yes, it could be very disruptive, but so much is theoritical about how much would be disrupted, for how long and the extent of the areas affected.
My John Deere 1010 tractor would not be affected.
Walking Dead without the zombies.
Wouldn’t older cars work??
—Put me in the camp that believes the EMP threat is being hyped to a certain extent.—
Does it sell soap? That is why NBC exists.
Oh, you're giving them way to much credit. :-)
And, FWIW, the effects of an EMP are far overstated. Both here on FR and also by Hollywood.
As an electrical engineer, I’m pretty sure I’ll figure out a way to have my and my neighbors’ lights back on soon after. That show is full of characters who can’t even change a tire.
NYC has had a number of blackouts, including a major one within the past decade. It's still standing.
There's a lot of hysteria out there, and at least a few FReepers wishing for Armageddon.
From the promos, I thought it was more like S.M Sterlings “Dies The Fire”, where all modern technology and even firearms are disabled by witchcraft.
Even with the power off, those people in the promos aren’t going to get too far slinging a sword against rifles, pistols and shotguns.
Really, really good book.
I found it hard to believe that it was the same Whitley Streiber that wrote “Communion”.
That’s what I thought when I saw the first promo, it isn’t going to erase brains. It might make things a heck of a lot harder and really crash our economic markets but we will be up and running again faster than any other nation could.
Saw the first episode of this series at Comic-Con last month. Bad acting, bad story, not the least bit realistic.
I'm still curious with all the above ground and air nuclear testing in the 50's and 60's why this never occurred. Also, what ever happened to all the fallout that was supposed to kill the world back then? Too small of yield?
Help me here, nuclear physicists.
One Second After” was a great read. Seems the topic is becoming more popular these days. Maybe that’s a good thing.
You're right - but how would a steam locomotive get from a museum to a railroad track if trucks weren't working. I assume 'wood burning' as coal would require technology to be moved...
Wouldn't it be wonderful if someone took the time to set up a few things so when it all falls apart a steam engine would be on track? Coal would be available? It would take so little effort to put things in place now - and so much effort after an attack.
It's sad the Southern Poverty Law Center has Homeland Security and part of the FBI in a wad over the 'VAST VAST VAST right wing conspiracy' ( yep, the people who showed up at Chick-fil-A)... Paranoid idiots. Janet and goons could actually do some good - help the country if they weren't caught up in paranoia. When Romney and Ryan are elected, people are going to have things to answer to.
The basic problem with the EMP threat is that nobody can predict which devices will be damaged to the extent they cannot function. That is why is makes a poor military weapon, even though it will certainly be an economic one.
Recall that we have tens of thousands of cell phone towers, and thousands of taller towers for television, FM radio, and public service two-way service. Then there are the thousands of towers maintained by the FAA for aircraft communications and navigation use.
The equipment that use these towers is built to survive in the event there is a lightning strike, and most often that is what happens. Less frequently, lightning strikes take out a rack-full of equipment.
We also must recall that long distance power lines, by their very nature are lightning catchers. And then on the personal level, how often does a nearby lightning strike destroy all electronics in a home, how often are only a few devices zapped, and how often is there no damage at all?
This is not to say that when EMP will not have any effect. The problem is that its effect will be diffuse and widespread, so that even if only a few devices on a power line are zapped, it only takes the failure of one to disable the power line.
If we face an EMP threat, which I think we do, it is just stupid to not quickly work towards an EMP-resilient power grid while we are rushing towards installing a smart grid. But I get the distinct impression that those in government and academia who are in a breathless rush for a smart grid are doing so for reasons that are at odds with national security.
In the meantime, it is just prudent for everyone to have sufficient food and supplies to survive for a month until some services can be restored should we have an EMP attack.
It is just prudent to have such a stash anyway. Who knows what disruptions, either man-made or natural will come. And in an era where we can reasonably expect food price inflation, buying ahead is a means of saving money. A stash is a two-fer.
Read “Directive 51” and “Daybreak Zero” by John Barnes, great scenario crafted slightly ahead in the future...
Yes, at least until you empty your hand-pumped home tanks. How much gasoline to you plan to store? 10 Gallons? 100? 1,000?
Every gasoline station will be inoperative. So your driving radius will be pretty short. If you're planning to bug out, then a huge aux tank on your vehicle will be required.
That show is full of characters who cant even change a tire.
That there is such a preponderance of those people today in America is easily believable, that they'll be the significant percentage of survivors much more than a few weeks or months after civilizations collapse isn't...
Overblown hysterical crap.
Yes, EMP can wipe out limited number of gadgets, especially solid state gizmos with wires attached to them.
Old tube type gizmos, cars without computer crap and most electrical appliances unlikely to be affected.
It is the quetion of how long “antenna” (wires attached) to gizmo and signal (EMP) levels produced to exceed the gizmo’s sensitivity to induced voltages (within limited range).
Keep disconnected what is not needed, old cars with distributors, better - diesel engines, have generator for the life after EMP.
oh, aaaaand vote the bastRATs out into oblivion!!!!!
In the 50’s and 60’s, most equipment was vacuum tube and transistor, it was fairly hard to start with. As for the fallout, most of the tests were conducted as airbursts, plus they were conducted in the middle of nowhere for the really big ones.
I loved the way James Burke layed it all out in the first episode of “Connections” way back in 1979.
And I do believe one day, our over-reliance on technology, will trap us, and things will get ugly very quickly.
It did occur.
“NYC has had a number of blackouts, including a major one within the past decade. It’s still standing.”
That’s because they got the power back on rather quickly. In a legitimate EMP scenario, where generated power and high-tech vehicles (cars, trains, buses) don’t work, water pumps failed, food didn’t move, etc., they’d be eating each other within a week.
Thank you for that link. “Connections” imho, was one of, if not THE best, television series ever.
BTW, I was caught in the subway under the East River in the ‘65 blackout. :)
The current government, in collusion with the EPA, FDA, the tree huggers, and the NIMBY and BANANA crowd are already trying to hurtle us back into the 18th century. The only difference is that their methods take a bit longer. EMP and rad hardening equipment is not too difficult (ask the military), it just takes some planning and a technical understanding. Effective shielding could be devised to protect sensitve electronics, similar to lightning and EMI protection, albeit more robust.
IMHO it should be required viewing in every school.
It’s JJ Abrams, it’s gonna be a lot weirder than EMP. Which is good because people ridiculously over blow the threat of EMP.
I remember touring the Vatican and seeing tombs of popes decorated with gruesome skeletons and it turns out these were generally done during the times of the black plague. A lot of art of that period was very influenced by and heavily featured death as a constant presence. The art of the day reflects the times.
So what is big now? Looking at bookstores, TV, and movies it appears that there is a major trend towards dystopian futures, zombie apocalypses, cities in ruin, etc. Basically not an optimistic vision of the future. Consider as examples "The Walking Dead", "The Hunger Games", and this upcoming prime time network show. Four years into Obama and the mood of the people is not hopeful. Contrast that with the big films made in, say, Reagan's second term. Top Gun, Rambo, Rocky IV (the one with the rotten Russian boxer), Back to the Future, Coccoon, Crocodile Dundee, The Untouchables, Rain Man, Big, Batman, Look Who's Talking, etc. Generally upbeat movies with happy endings that held the USA in high esteem.
Interestingly, the undertone of most of these current dark films is that the world is going to hell and the government is either impotent to do anything about it or caused it. So at least that part is realistic :-)
Nah. Can’t do that. Kids might actually learn something useful.
There was already a TV series about it, Dark Angel, that’s how Jessica Alba’s breast became famous. Wasn’t a very good show, partly because the premise was so silly.
A GP15-1 locomotive wouldn’t even notice an EMP event. There’s still a lot of older DC locomotives out there pulling freight, for the very fact that they’re almost impossible to kill, barring a derailment of course.
Yeah, after working in industrial controls and on AC locomotives, EMP effects would seem more like a nuisance than anything else.