FRAGILITY

So what’s been going on this week?

1. X-Class flare Tuesday (THE CME of which produced Aurora seen as far south as Askansas)
2. M-Class flare the day before
3. Cat-5 hurricane heading relentlessly towards Florida (after another hurricane took a major bite out of Texas)
4. Reports spreading that southern Florida is rapidly running out of gasoline in the midst of a 500,000 person evacuation.
5. Report of proof that the Power grid has been penetrated by and is completely vulnerable to hackers
6. North Korea openly threatening the U.S. with an EMP attack.

That is some heady stuff for folks who are prone to obsess over such dangers.

Personally I’m not that worried or concerned about the actual likelihood of any of them being catastrophic except in the immediate areas affected by the hurricanes.

The flares were eye opening but not serious threats. Texas handled the hurricane in normal Texas fashion. Florida will survive and in time recover as will the Caribbean islands just as they have through hundreds of years of hurricanes.

I suspect most hackers are reluctant to become the #1 target of the every American intelligence, military and law enforcement agency which would hunt them down forever. The story of Bin Laden remains a stark lesson of Retribution.

I suspect the North Korean leader is not long for this world. I suspect someone will remove him from power before much longer, either the Chinese, the South Koreans or most likely someone inside North Korea who is not keen on their country becoming a glass coated nuclear ground zero which would be their fate if they actually successfully carried out a nuclear EMP attack on the U.S.

There are a not insignificant number of nuclear ballistic missile submarines (not to mention nuclear armed carrier forces around the world) which would be unaffected by even the most devastating attack on the U.S. mainland. The retaliation would be fairly comprehensive and total.

So I’m not making any plans to bunker down or prepare for the apocalypse this week.

Yet all of the stories have one thing in common. They all highlight our dependence on power grids, infrastructure and technology that is fragile and prone to failure.

Hurricane coming? Fine. Everyone evacuate. But… apparently not one thought about the area running out of gas when 500,000+ people all fill their cars at once and hit the road.

Major flare in the middle of hurricane season. Hmmm.. no one thought about the fact that such things disrupt GPS systems.

Hackers able to penetrate and control the U.S. grid system? So our continued well being is in the hands of a 14 year old in Nigeria or Ukraine or who knows where because he decided to NOT hit the enter key to take down the grid?

Having been in law Enforcement for a few years I can tell you that (despite what politicians might tell you) the threat of punishment for crimes does not necessarily deter such crimes from taking place.

While I don’t expect any of these threats to bring on the apocalypse in the next few weeks I do expect that most people, as well as government small and large will simply continue to ignore the growing fragility of our infrastructures and our dependence on advanced technology which is itself becoming more and more fragile and prone to failure until such a failure DOES occur.

Oh and lets not forget the Equifax breach of the data of half the population of the U.S.

You would think that all of this would wake up some people who would start to seriously reevaluate our increasingly vulnerable infrastructure and our dependence on increasingly vulnerable technology and decide that it would be wise to take action before a catastrophic event occurs.

Do I have to even say it?

Nah. They won’t.

The Librarian

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