Friday, December 04, 2015

Focus on lone wolf and gun debate should not lower our focus on WMD's


The stories from San Bernadino are disturbing, and being covered in so much detail in the media that they need not be belabored here.

But the major media should not lose sight of the really big threats that are still possible from (mostly) foreign enemies, often but not always religiously motivated.

Today I posted a tweet, “The most grave threat to national security we have is the vulnerability of the power grids (3 of them).  Major media should report on it.”

That risk can come from natural events (extreme solar storms), major terror attacks (nuclear weapons launched from offshore and exploded at high altitude), smaller attacks (certain conventional military flux weapons not normally available to civilians so far, thankfully), or, as detailed in Ted Koppel’s recent book, cyberterror.  It’s reassuring to see quiet signs that some big business investors, especially in Silicon Valley, are paying attention to this. Innovations (funded by big entrepreneurs as well as government) can make the grid more resilient as well as greener. The same innovations can also help improve living standards cleanly in developing countries, which may be one point of Zuckberberg and others using the LLC idea for “charitable” giving and social investing.
 
To be blunt, if one experiences a significant power outage without explanation and generators don't even work, check electronics and starting of (newer model) cars.  If these are fried, we're in big trouble (like in the novel "One Second After" or the NBC series "Revolution").  So far, this has always been fiction, thankfully.
   
But the major media companies (Vox, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, etc) need to pay more attention to this peril and report it. I’ve even pestered some of them about this on social media.

Of course, nuclear terror and radioactive material, not discussed as much today as right after 9/11 but often mentioned in conjunction with Iran and North Korea, can also create an existential WMD domestic threat.  We should not lose sight of the needed efforts to locate all loose radioactive and biological waster around the world (the NIT and Sam Nunn’s group).

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