President Bill Clinton’s former Director of Central Intelligence, R. James Woolsey, led a panel discussion on Monday on the growing and imminent threat of a natural or nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) by U.S. enemies to the U.S. electrical grid and other critical infrastructures that are largely unprotected.
The event was sponsored by the newly established EMP Coalition, in coordination of the Center for Security Policy, of which Mr. Woolsey is the Honorary Co-Chair along with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Other participants were Ambassador Henry Cooper and Dr. Peter Vincent Pry.
In the little over an hour program, Mr. Woolsey warned that the sun can inflict localized EMP disasters, like the 1989 Hydro-Quebec geomagnetic storm that blacked out eastern Canada, causing billions of dollars in economic losses. He noted that a recent study by insurance industry leader Lloyds of London estimated that if the 1989 Geo-storm struck the east coast of the United States, 20 to 40 million Americans might be blacked out for as long as two years.
A rare geomagnetic super-storm, like the 1859 Carrington Event, would collapse electric grids and life-sustaining critical infrastructures everywhere on Earth, putting at risk the lives of billions.