http://www.startribune.com/politics/nat ... 18943.html
He's been talking about the possibility of a high-level nuke detonation causing an EMP that fries most of America's electrical grid. The possibility strikes me as being very remote -- in that I doubt any terrorists will have the wherewithal to get and detonate such a nuke, and I doubt any other nation would be willing to launch one and effectively commit national suicide -- but I don't know why the basic concern is considered a crackpot idea. Especially considering some of the arguments the article makes against it:
Okay, the suggestion we engage in pre-emptive strikes is crackpottery, but since when is it the case that our missile defense system is guaranteed to work? Last time I recall reading about it -- some years ago, during the Bush/Cheney administration -- I recall the tests having been a dismal failure, even though the test conditions were beyond ideal -- real terrorists (or a nation trying to pull a sneak attack) will not call us up to say "By the way, we're going to launch a missile in 15 minutes; be prepared," yet those were the test conditions, and the MDS still had an abysmal failure rate.Another of Gingrich's favorite topics, one that he brings up repeatedly on the campaign trail and also in a recent debate, is the possibility of an electromagnetic attack. And while the message may play well to hawkish audiences -- who might warm to the candidate's suggestion that the United States engage in pre-emptive military strikes against Iran and North Korea -- many nuclear experts dismiss the scenario. America's current missile defense system would thwart such an attack, these experts say, and the nations in question are at the kindergarten stage of developing nuclear arms.
Another thing which the story doesn't mention is: even without nukes, sooner or later there will be another Carrington event -- the last one, in the year 18-something, fried the telegraph wires, which at the time was the only damage a solar flare could do to our infrastructure. Now, of course, our entire civilization very much depends on a working electrical grid, and to my understanding, with the exception of certain pieces of military equipment, pretty much NOTHING is protected against either a nuke-derived EMP or a Carrington flare. It might well be true that an EMP will never happen, but a Carrington flare? Sooner or later, it's guaranteed.