Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on June 23, 2009 By Draginol In Books

Review: One Second After

Wow!

One Second After is a fictional story in which the United States is attacked by an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) weapon.

What’s scary about EMP weapons is that they’re not far-fetched. When a nuclear explosion takes place in the upper atmosphere, it rains down a huge electromagnetic pulse that will take out most electronics that aren’t hardened specifically for it. That means your car, your electricity, everyone else’s electricity, and all your gadgets are fried. 

When the power first goes off in the book, the scenes reminded me of when the power went out for a few days a few years ago due to a failure of the grid here in the north east United States. Neighbors getting together and having cookouts with the meat they had in their freezers before it spoiled.  The big difference here being that their cars did not work either (at least modern cars).

But pretty soon, things get pretty bad.  How long would you be able to go in your household without food? Where would you get fresh water without electricity? How far can you go without a car? How dependent are you on any medication you’re taking? If you do have supplies, how effectively can you defend them and yourself?

The breakdown of society happens remarkably fast but at the same time, predictably when one thinks about it.  It’s a compelling read that has had me thinking for the last several days.


Comments (Page 1)
on Jun 24, 2009

it is a very real and clear danger.

on Jun 24, 2009

Makes you wonder how humanity survived at all before its dependency on electronics, doesn't it? But no need to become overly paranoid. I am certain that essential systems could be repaired in time to prevent the complete breakdown of society and anarchy and restore order.

Unless you live in a place where everybody stocks up in guns to defend themselves and their property against the government and any criminals with knifes (just in case), builds a nuclear bombshelter on the frotnyard (just in case) and is suspicious of the government on general principle. Thank god the USA is nothing at all like that huh

But maybe one should stop polluting the environment so there will be drinking water around when worse comes to worst. There, be an environmentalist so you can survive an EMP attack.. that is a new way to promote being green and patriotic lol

BTW have you ever watched the little educational movie from the 50ies during the hight of fear of a nuclear war called "duck and cover"? It teaches kids what to do in case of a nuclear attack - duck and cover - and that the Bomb could come any day and anytime without warning. From our contemporary point of view it appears almost unwillingly comical and satirical to watch that movie, but it is a great historic document.

on Jun 24, 2009

It'll never happen.

on Jun 24, 2009

I've said it before. Nobody that has the technology to do this would do it without some sort of follow up action (nuclear attack, invasion, whatever). Who would launch a missile with at least 1 MT nominal yield (yes, it must be a missile, because the explosion would have to be 250 km over the central US in order to be effective) and expect the US to sit and take it? A surface burst also has this effect... it extends approx. 8 miles from ground zero, bad if your there, but hardly a national disaster. If a missile comes from Russia (China, Iran, NK, the boogieman), it will pass the retaliatory strike from the US in mid air. So unless the attacker is prepared for world war III, the chances of this occurring are minuscule. Terrorists (including Iran and NK) don't have this technology. Great sci-fi but that's it. So don't worry about what to bring to the block party no electricity cookout, you'll have bigger worries with the impending war. Folks, I wouldn't lose any sleep over this one.

on Jun 24, 2009

I agree that the plot is unrealistic paranoid science fiction, but it does raise interesting questions of what would happen if all electricity and technology would ceize to work from one moment to the next. It is a thought experiment and as such fun.

I also firmly believe that the threat of nuclear attack followed by invasion is very unlikely - who would poison the land one wanted to conquer with radiation? Scratch that, threat of invasion in the US is nonexistent. Who would want to invade the US? Mexico or Canada?! lol Even though, why doesn't the US invade Mexico? Wars these days are not fought over land and territory but for resources and/or ideology (war on terror) or still and sadly for ethnical reasons. Even if a war is waged in a country, all effort is made to leave the existing political boundaries intact.

on Jun 24, 2009

Unless you live in a place where everybody stocks up in guns to defend themselves and their property against the government and any criminals with knifes (just in case),

*cough* Utah *cough*

on Jun 24, 2009

Did you read it utemia?

on Jun 25, 2009

I am certain that essential systems could be repaired in time to prevent the complete breakdown of society and anarchy and restore order.

Unless you live in a place where everybody stocks up in guns to defend themselves and their property against the government and any criminals with knifes (just in case),

That is mind boggling ignorant. A wealth of guns will actually PREVENT social collapse, as people will be too afraid to start robbing.

Look at katrina? gangs started taking over, shooting police, mass rapes, looting... you send in the national guard and suddenly it is all gone. Had every house had a gun, you would not need the national guard to keep order.

on Jun 25, 2009

It'll never happen.

Why? a single small nuke at low orbit can take out all electronics in the entirety of NORTH AMERICA, the continent.

Makes you wonder how humanity survived at all before its dependency on electronics, doesn't it? But no need to become overly paranoid. I am certain that essential systems could be repaired in time to prevent the complete breakdown of society and anarchy and restore order.

Farmers will be completely unaffected. But the problem is in areas of HIGH POPULATION DENSITY. like cities.

We got along without tech by living in SMALL groups, next to a source of water (river), and with plenty of food to be had (game, farms, undomesticated food plants, etc). A human dies in mere days without water, and weeks without food. Water facilities COULD be hardened to EMP, you can have teams of ready people with spare parts... but that costs MONEY. right now DFW for example has bad levies and is looking at another katrina situation... yet the government is mulling over spending the money to fix the damn levies. To assume you can just magically replace all the damaged hardware in water facilities without any working cars, communication, coordination, factories, or plan and preparation is absurd. New orleans got help from the OUTSIDE, there is not going to be an outside to send help in such a scenario.

so what do you do in a city? you drink all the water in the local supermart in a day. now you are thirsty, there is no water to be had, no food to be had... you could try fighting, or running to lower population density areas. but cars don't WORK... you are in a deep pickle.

on Jun 25, 2009

No, Brad, I haven't read it. But it is a book that I would read if I had the opportunity, because it is interesting and a little bit frightening, like 28 days later without the rage but similiar situations. Basically, paranoid dystopia - and those are mostly a good read. And yes, Americans like being paranoid. It seems to be a way of living.

In Germany, people do not have guns en masse and pretty much listen and trust the authorities. In fact, nobody I know owns a gun. No civilian can buy a gun and have a license one week later if he doesn't have a record. Even if you are a hunter, it is a lot more difficult to get a license. There are of course exceptions, but they are what the name says - rare and not widespread.

Guns to prevent widespread violence? Yeah, that is the american national fairy tale. But I know that I am pretty alone with that one so no discussion about it.

Hm, one might also say that Germans love following rules and they love order. There is nothing worse than chaos, so trust me that it would not happen that way over here.Can't tell you the same for any of the neighboring states though, the french are more prone to revolution and rioting.

I realize that Europe is alot smaller than the ConUS, but it is also more densly popoulated.The problems would the same happen over Europe would be well, more complex. But then again, Nitro had a point. You'd need a missile, and nobody in their right mind would risk a nuclear war. And since most of Europe is in the Nato, an attack in Europe would mean the US had to help. The same is true vice versa. An attack on the US would mean Nato memberstates had to help right away. So you are not alone if it happens, don't build a bunker underneath your house just yet.

Katrina is a good example, but not completely applicable. It was a horrible situation for the people and they went sort of Lord of the flies on each other because they were trapped, weren't they? It was an island situation. If all electronics would fail, people would not be trapped by filthy water, without enough supplies and no possible access to any, and be forced to let out the savage beast or die. I am really not sure the same would happen rapidly in cities - but lets hope that none of us finds out.

on Jun 25, 2009

And since everybody believed that world war 3 would be fought out on german soil, and since world war 3 was mostly percieved as a nuclear attack  the military(nato) must have some plans on what to do about the emp fallout as well. You need communications and moving vehicles and airplanes for fighting a war after all - even if I don't have a clue about tactics otherwise.

I have a friend from Lübeck (in the northeast of Germany). He told me that in case of an attack on west germany, Nato's reaction would have been to bomb the hell out of Lübeck. Probably to stop advancing russians or whatever, that is a really scary thought, also because Lübeck was in West Germany. And to live like that during all of the cold war, knowing that if the bombs start falling, they fall on your head - I am glad I wasn't born to live during the hight of the cold war. I am also glad the americans took their nuclear aresenal back home, even if some of it is still bunkered here. As of today, 20 missiles remain in Germany, more are in Turkey, Netherlands, Belgium and Italy - a total of 240 warheads (if wikipedia is correct).

on Jun 25, 2009

In Germany, people do not have guns en masse and pretty much listen and trust the authorities.

I think that part of American society stems from the Revolutionary War.  In a brief concise statement, the English colonists weren't going to put down their arms (guns) for anyone, including the government, and that laid the foundation to the way we Americans have the ability to buy and use weapons today.

 

 

on Jun 25, 2009

the English colonists weren't going to put down their arms (guns) for anyone, including the government, and that laid the foundation to the way we Americans have the ability to buy and use weapons today.

Yes, true. But the question is wether that sentiment and interpretation, which are from the 18th century and the beginning of the idea of a national state, should still be valid for todays contemporary US society. You do have a standing army, and wasn't the whole reason for the 2nd amendment the fact that under British rule, the citizens were not able to have a standing militia so that law allowed them to form an militia if needed. Do you believe that you still need militias to defend yourself from the government?! Does that sentiment of mistrust not question anyones integrity that has ever served and swore an oath to defend the nation - you basically say that they can't be trusted and that every citizen has to have weapons just in case.

I had this debate with a friend from Florida, and I questioned the usefulness of the 2nd amendment because it was clearly from a different time and historic context which does not apply anymore. He called me a liberal and a communist lol He loves guns and has I don't know how many, wants to have a concealed carrying permit, his dad is a cop and he wants to join federal lawenforcement. I was not lobbying for any changes in the current law, but rather for having a public, academic, intellectual debate without polarizing and polemic rhetoric about the whole issue - hell would freeze over sooner. It is just not possible, people are not willing to talk neutrally about hot issues like the 2nd amendment. It is like trench war fare, 2 sides with their oppinions just trying to discredit each other.

 

on Jun 25, 2009

It'll never happen.


Why? a single small nuke at low orbit can take out all electronics in the entirety of NORTH AMERICA, the continent.

Cause I SAID it won't. And I'm stomping my foot.

Meta
Views
» 36276
Comments
» 90
Category
Sponsored Links