A Modern Civilisation Without Working Power Grids and Internets?

The Congressional EMP Commission has repeatedly warned that a nuclear Scud missile launched from a freighter could prompt a U.S. blackout that would … last for at least a year, but kill nine in every 10 Americans. There are nearly 6,000 power plants and 450,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines connected to one another in order to keep the power grid functioning. Many of the lines and transformers are decades old.

Sudden Blackout EMP, Cyber Takedown, Physical Attack of Crucial Connecting Points

Sudden Blackout
EMP, Cyber Takedown, Physical Attack of Crucial Connecting Points

If the power grid failed, tractor-trailers carrying food and medicine would stop rolling. Without functioning gas pumps at convenience stores, all generators that used anything other than solar power would soon be worthless pieces of metal. Preppers who have stored and stabilized fuel will of course be better positioned to keep the power flowing longer than others, but the sound of the genny running will most definitely attract unwanted (and potentially deadly) attention. __ Power Grid Vulnerable

A year-long power blackout could ruin an entire modern civilisation.

It’s very hard to overstate how important the US power grid is to American society and its economy. Every critical infrastructure, from communications to water, is built on it and every important business function from banking to milking cows is completely dependent on it.

And the dependence on the grid continues to grow as more machines, including equipment on the power grid, get connected to the Internet. __ https://theconversation.com/can-the-power-grid-survive-a-cyberattack-42295

Power Grids Are Vulnerable http://www.survivalbased.com/survival-blog/8064/isis-power-grid-attack-threats-will-terrorists-make-the-lights-go-out/

Power Grids Are Vulnerable
The power grid is America’s most vulnerable and antiquated piece of infrastructure. Rumors about attacks on the nation’s electrical system by ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Chinese hackers have abounded for several years, yet the Obama administration and Congress have failed to act and bolster the grid against such a TEOTWAWKI event.

http://www.survivalbased.com/survival-blog/8064/isis-power-grid-attack-threats-will-terrorists-make-the-lights-go-out/

In a dangerous world we must assume that Grids and Nets Will Go Down

The costs of major grid outages are staggering and recovery from such outages is challenging; therefore the North American grids are planned and operated to ensure high levels of reliability.

The Northeast Blackout of 2003 is an example of a bulk system blackout. It impacted 55 Million people in the US and Canada, causing an estimated $6 billion in damage, shutting down major cities, interrupting industrial processes, leaving many businesses, residences and industries without power for days, some for nearly a week and contributing to at least 11 deaths.

http://judithcurry.com/2016/01/06/renewables-and-grid-reliability/#more-20854

When power grids go down, urban societies can experience a “temporary” collapse of civilisation. As societies come to depend more and more on the internet, the consequences of a total-internet blackout become more catastrophic as well.

Over-reliance upon a single grid or net is foolish — particularly when governments and politicians are deeply involved in policy. If we assume that grids and nets will inevitably go down — and the consequences for such failures can be catastrophic — we had best learn to design resilient and anti-fragile ways of running and using our grids and nets that can compensate for their vulnerabilities.

It is expensive and difficult to produce dense, high quality, reliable electric power. In the modern world, such power can be produced affordably by powerplants based upon burning coal, burning natural gas, nuclear fission, and hydroelectric plants. Unfortunately — and despite all the hype and government malinvestment — wind and solar cannot produce power on-demand in a dense, high quality, reliable manner. There is no conceivable technology known at this time that can economically redeem wind and solar power from their many, manifest failings.

A Collapse of the Internet Would Have Increasingly Catastrophic Consequence

Although the original internet was designed to be resistant to attack, we have allowed the net to grow in ways that have made it more vulnerable — at the same time that we have made ourselves constantly more dependent upon vulnerable internet infrastructure. Keep in mind: If you lose electric power, you lose internet. If you lose internet, you are increasingly likely to lose electrical power — particularly if you have made yourselves dependent upon “smart grid” technology, which is quite vulnerable.

If you Have Reliable Electric Power, You Can Create Tougher, Alternative Internets

“The original vision of the Internet was in fact a mesh,” said Michael Liebhold, a fellow at the Institute for the Future. “Unfortunately, what has happened over the 20 or 30 years we’ve been working on the Internet, all the traffic ends up handled by a very small number of network carriers or cloud or service operators. There’s a very small number of connection points… but they’re highly vulnerable and they’re being attacked from all directions now.”

… The United States government has spent millions of dollars on the creation of shadow mesh networks—which are as easy to set up as distributing cheap wireless routers—to help people in other countries get around the Internet infrastructure of their repressive governments, according to The New York Times.
__ Mesh networks and alternative internet

Did you understand that? The US has spent many $millions to create and help implement resilient and easily assembled cheap mesh networks for people in certain other countries. Why does it seem that the Obama government wants to keep its own people vulnerable to snoops, data thieves, and cyber warriors? The internet was meant to be tough, resilient — perhaps even “anti-fragile.” Why do modern governments want the internet to be so brittle and susceptible to attack?

Decentralised alternative internet

Mesh networks is what many people are looking at as the solution. Mesh networks is a is a group of nodes connected and each node in the network relays data. All nodes cooperate in the distribution of data in the network. Mesh networks act in a decentralized nature, which is currently allows pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong stay connected with each other and the world. The protesters are using an app called, FireChat on their phones. This app developed by OpenGarden, communicates with other phones through bluetooth, instead of cell networks or wifi. The Hong Kong protesters have still been able to communicate, propagandize the mainland Chinese, and organize through the incredibly subversive app, despite the Chinese government shutting off wifi and cell networks.

… The most important factor, and the reason for many of people working towards a mesh networked future, is that mesh networks are more resistant to political oppression and sabotage. The NSA would have a much harder time spying on people. Their grand sweeping spying efforts, that targets people indiscriminately, would be impossible on a decentralized, peer to peer mesh network.

While it would be possible to hack individual nodes, it would be much harder, and a lot more work to reach the same captivity they currently have. They wouldn’t be able to the bend the arms of the companies with the law, as they did to Yahoo, and gain access to everyone’s personal information.

Software/Hardware Alternative Nets

Mesh networks are based on multiple decentralised hardware devices, using software that allows data to skip freely across the landscape from node to node, bypassing the dinosaur backbones of the internet as radio technology becomes more sophisticated. Other approaches to decentralisation use sophisticated encryption on top of the current largely centralised hardware backbones.

More Information on More Resilient Alternative Nets

https://github.com/redecentralize/alternative-internet — a long list of technologies using both hardware and software to provide a more free system of networking. Revolutionary.

The Free Network Foundation More at the wiki for the FNF

The WLAN Slovenija development

Koruza infra-red technology for wireless mesh networks with nodes as far apart as 100 m.

The Danger is Real

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