Darwin’s Hammer: Who Survives an EMP Event?
EMP:—electromagnetic pulse: a burst of electromagnetic energy, produced by a nuclear explosion in the atmosphere, considered capable of widespread damage to power lines, telecommunications, and electronic equipment. ~ courtesy of “the Online Dictionary”
This brief definition of an EMP fail to describe the widespread damage to our national power grids, telecommunications, and electronics equipment. In practical terms EMP’s first implication is that the lights go off and they don’t come back on for a very long time. If North America was to sustain an EMP attack approximately 90% of the 400 million people who reside here would die from the direct and indirect effects of such an attack. An EMP would disable the electrical grid in the United States and Canada, vehicles, home electrical power, medical equipment, portable electronic devices, and nearly all forms of communication, for an indefinite period of time. As James Carafano, senior research fellow for national security at The Heritage Foundation says, “The Earth would likely recede into the ‘new’ Dark Ages.” Lights out would mean that a period of utter darkness, desperation, and death would envelope the world.
The threat of an EMP is real. Any nation which regards the United States of America as an adversary, or with envious eyes, such as Iran or China, or rogue terrorist cells, could potentially launch such an attack. Theoretically, it would require just one nuclear warhead to be launched into the high atmosphere from another continent, from a ship in the oceans that surround our continent, or from a location on own soil. As the warhead is detonated in the high atmosphere the EMP would interrupt all electrical functions in the “line of sight” region groundward from the pulse.
Who would survive such an event? Who could possible survive an EMP? The answer is simple: The strongest, the most adaptable, the fittest.
Darwin’s Rules for Survival
Charles Darwin introduced the scientific his theory which describes the natural process in which certain species are “selected” for survival according to their ability to alter, over time, physical and behavioral characteristics to match the challenges of their environments. The most adaptable survive and continue to adapt as their environments change. This article is not a discussion on the merits of “The Theory of Natural Selection.” However, in the event of an EMP humans will be pressed to adapt quickly, change their behavior, and prove themselves to be the fittest in the cruel arena of survival.
Only the most prepared individuals and communities will be among the 10% of survivors. These are people who have stockpiled food, water, medicine and other life-sustaining commodities that will last for at least one year. In America the organizations that encourage this measure of self-reliance are religiously based. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) have for decades devoted resources and education to individual and family preparedness. Their model of “provident living” is comprehensive, covering everything from getting out of debt, to personal defense, to gardening, to spiritual soundness. The LDS Church encourages families to have a one year storage of food and other necessities, alternate sources of lighting, heat, and communication, and sufficient spiritual faith to weather extended periods of adversity. Other Christian churches have done this as well. By and large the preparedness communities in the U.S. are populated with people who are family-oriented, religious, and have some knowledge of wilderness survival techniques, and personal weaponry.
The survivors will include those who have quickly escaped large urban centers and have had the ability to flee quickly and connect themselves to families or groups that are prepared to live without electricity or civic infrastructure for months or years. The medically fragile and those dependent upon medical equipment will die shortly after “lights out.” Urban centers will lack the resources to sustain large numbers of people. Vital services will stop. Garbage and stalled vehicles will fill the streets. Water and sanitation will not be available and disease will be unstoppable. When the cities shut down and food riots, looting, violence, and sickness batter their populations, they will not be able to adapt quickly enough to overcome their environment. Government administrators, the military, and first-response teams will be just as crippled as civilians. Thousands will fall into despair and shock and will kill themselves. Most will die at the hands of other humans, from starvation or exposure, or from disease.
Suburban and rural Americans will also face a collapse of infrastructure. Stores will empty within hours. Looting, and disease will follow. But if they have prepared themselves and their families to hunker down, survive without running water, outside sources of food and medicine, and have the weapons to defend themselves against looters and roving gangs, many will survive, at least for a few months. Farming communities will have the advantages of space, water wells, seed stores, livestock, and a lifestyle that is less dependent upon society than those in cities and suburbs.
How will the quality of our relationships with God and each other determine who survives an EMP event?
The number one factor that will best ensure survival after a global event, such as an EMP, will be the quality of our relationships. Those with extended family who are networked with a greater preparedness community and have practiced a lifestyle of provident living and self-reliance will most quickly adapt to the unimaginable circumstances of life after an EMP. Families and preparedness communities offer an infrastructure of people who are biologically and/or sentimentally invested in one another. They offer the psychological support and love that will be critical to continuity. Those groups who have faith in a Higher Power, who value life, and who believe in the worth and the power of the individual, will benefit through times of stress and deprivation. Like the members of Plymouth Colony whose numbers were decimated during the winter of 1620-1921, a belief that the darkness would pass and that some would remain to perform their Divinely-appointed missions will enhance the ability to endure.
Why is religion necessary to survival?
The family structure is the chief adaptation that makes humans a robust, wide-ranging species. The nuclear family, with radii of extended family, church, community, and friends, is in itself a natural adaptation which allows humans to create, recreate, and mold the environment that best meets their survival needs. In today’s America, conservative religious organizations foster traditional families who are close knit, self-reliant, and heed Biblical warnings that have spurred the contemporary preparedness ethos. So, in Darwinian terms, religion is the crowning achievement in human evolution.
Authors like William R. Forstchen has detailed the theoretical aftermath of an EMP in his book, “One Second After.” Researchers and analysts, particularly those at The Heritage Foundation, have warned about this threat for years. The theory of Darwin’s Hammer, the survival of the most adaptable and prepared, will be proved sooner or later. Whether it be an EMP strike, nuclear warfare, a solar flare swarm, widespread terrorist attacks, biological or chemical weapons strikes, conventional combat, or social and economic collapse that presses humanity into survival mode, there is one factor over which humans have some control; and that is who will surround you, and what will you have prepared, when the critical moment comes.
By Marjorie Haun 1/27/14
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