On October 13, 2016, President Obama signed an executive order directing the Executive branch to prepare the US for the possibility of “solar flares, solar energetic particles, and geomagnetic disturbances.” A slew of agencies and departments are being tasked with carrying out this preparatory measure.
“(i) The Secretaries of Defense, the Interior, Commerce, Transportation, Energy, and Homeland Security, along with the Administrator of NASA and the Director of [the National Science Foundation], shall work together, consistent with their ongoing activities, to develop models, observation systems, technologies, and approaches that inform and enhance national preparedness for the effects of space weather events, including how space weather events may affect critical infrastructure and change the threat landscape with respect to other hazards.”
Although scientists have not been particularly impressed with recent solar activity following the last solar peak of the 1990’s, large solar flares have hit Earth before. In 1859, a powerful coronal mass ejection created massive aurora effects around the world. Gold miners living in the Rocky Mountains woke up and began cooking breakfast, thinking it was morning. Telegraph equipment began shooting sparks while their operators were electrocuted. The amount of time that passed between the observation of the 1859 Carrington Flare and the ejection’s impact with the magnetosphere was 17.6 hours.
With less than a day’s notice to brace a country’s infrastructure and technology from a burst of electromagnetic energy, President Obama has taken on quite a task for the Executive branch. Although I do wonder why the President felt compelled to forego the support of Congress, who would have probably been amenable to some extent, and to relegate FEMA to a supporting role. For you see, there are many more, unexplained dangers other than simple power and internet outages that space weather and geomagnetic disturbances pose towards the national infrastructure.
The satellites that coordinate payment systems and military and private GPS services will be the first casualties. More disturbingly, geomagnetic storms can induce currents in oil pipeline systems, causing their steel to corrode and fail. Electrical damage to control and monitoring systems can allow a breach in the pipeline and oil spills to go unnoticed. I believe that it is this concern over environmental contamination and a loss in oil production, that President Obama is particularly worried about, and I believe that the President’s concerns are not arbitrary in nature. It’s my opinion that the US and Russia have already begun to exchange very subtle but decisive blows in the developing currency war.
Although many in the public see the nuclear ICBM as the ultimate weapon in any modern military arsenal, that is an outmoded attitude that has prevailed since the 1950’s. The eventuality of technological parity, accelerated by Soviet moles, made the concept of Mutual Assured Destruction, and the nuclear standoff, all but predictable. Therefore, any oligarch with an eye towards world domination would have understood the need to move beyond tip-toeing around nuclear warheads to complete their geopolitical objectives. But since those nukes aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and are instead multiplying, any new offensive strategy would have to be implicitly covert.
A look at the recent rhetoric and saber rattling between Russia and the US may be revealing in this aspect. After the breakdown of the ill-fated truce in Syria, and after Assad’s army restarted the Aleppo campaign, many small earthquakes of an unusual nature were detected along the San Andreas fault line in California. Days later, Russia issued a warning to the US.
What better cover than mother nature? Throw some ambiguous climate change speculation on top of that and you have some pretty solid plausible deniability. Looking at some other very timely earthquakes, it would appear that Russia is not the only one capable of such chicanery. On March 1, 2014, thousands of Russian soldiers poured over the Russian-Ukrainian border as Ukrainian protestors took the streets to reject the legitimacy of both the Soros-backed Euromaidan faction and the pro-Russia administration under democratically-elected Viktor Yanukovych. The very next day, a magnitude 4.1 earthquake hit Crimea.
“Experts from Russia’s Academy of Science (RAN) claim that Crimea as a land mass has physically been moving towards Russia since 2014, when Moscow held an internationally unrecognized vote to take control of the peninsula.”
The stated referendum occurred on March 16, 2014, two weeks after the Crimean earthquake.
If there is a shadow war going on between the US and Russia, then President Obama would recognize an electromagnetic attack on oil pipelines as a major weakness for the US. If you’ve kept up with Russia, you know that Putin and his oil-rubin are dependent on oil sales to keep the Russian economy moving, and the recent oil glut has done serious damage to Russian growth. Any attempt to cut oil production and increase oil prices is a win for Russia, and Obama is already facing fierce resistance to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline for exactly that reason – the potential for environmental contamination.