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How would the Superpowers react to a Carrington-event disabling only one side?

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posted on Feb, 7 2019 @ 05:58 PM
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This is something that occurred to me while reading material related to EMP, and considering the clear fact that a great power disabled by a powerful EMP would quite likely retaliate in kind.

For those not aware, the "Carrington event" was a very powerful flare that occurred in 1859, that had the strength to destroy telegraph equipment. It is reasoned that flares of this power may happen every 100-300 years, and that if one of the believed magnitude were to hit today, it could destroy the entire electrical grid and electronic infrastructure across a continent. Such an event would probably have the same outcome as an EMP, to the extent that 90% of the population of the effected area could starve, without the infrastructure to mass produce and distribute food.

Now I consider there to be three "Super Powers", at least in terms of ability to easily project destructive power world wide with relative ease. Obviously these are China, Russia, and the US. These days China and Russia tend to act in concert when it suits them, and their relative proximity in this situation changes the dynamic a bit, to where there are two distinct cases.

In the simplified cases, let's say either the majority of North America, or China+Russia are effected by such a flare. Either of the two cases may be similar in some sense.

Nuclear response is something of a hair-trigger, to the extent where an event like that can be hard to sort out in the time before a response is likely. Perhaps it may be difficult to distinguish that the cause was actually a flare, and not an EMP in that time.

And whether it is known that it was a flare or not, there are still additional problems. Perhaps a great power, realizing that the balance of world power is completely altered now, may choose to launch a strike against the other power(s), to level the playing field.

Here is an example:

North America is completely disabled by a powerful Carrington-event-like flare. What do the Chinese do over the next 2 years? World pressure is on Europe and Asia to come to the aid of North America, and re-establish an emergency grid to help that continent through the dark ages without starving. But does China use this moment of weakness to also establish a mercantilist government for North America that serves its own world plan? Do they reason that despite the nuclear submarines still active, they are now clear to invade Taiwan and Pacific Islands without anyone to stop them? Do they use their threat of refusing aid to avoid retaliation for military adventures of their own?

In this situation, and anticipating this timeline of events, would the US launch strikes designed to place China and Russia in a comparable predicament, and then later argue it was in the interest of keeping the world safe through balance?

Also, in the reverse situation, where China and Russia are hit by the flare, is the outcome that different?

It is intesting to consider that an event like this probably has consequences far beyond the actual impact at hour one.

What does ATS think?




posted on Feb, 7 2019 @ 06:07 PM
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I always thought a Carrington-event would effect the whole planet not just the side of the Earth that got hit. I thought it goes right through the Earth to the other side. If that is not the case then it will just be a luck of the draw.

I do think one of the other super powers would fill the vacuum but if the U.S. were the ones that got hit then I would prolly die so I guess... oh well.

EMP's scare me.



posted on Feb, 7 2019 @ 06:07 PM
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The United States would send aid and help a disabled Russia and China and I believe they would help us as well. I don’t think either side is as eager for a nuclear exchange as you think. I also see us as economic rivals and not military.
edit on 2019/2/7 by Metallicus because: Sp



posted on Feb, 7 2019 @ 06:17 PM
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a reply to: joeraynor


That's a good question, and strangely enough when I had my morning coffee that thought went through my mind. Probably because I looked at what would still be operating after the event. Basically if it had any form of chip in it, it would get fried. So most cars pre the nineties would be ok, solar panels would loose efficiency but the controller would be toast. All modern planes would be grounded, traffic lights etc toast. Motorways would just have a load of scrap cars on them, so they would be impassable. This is the major flaw in the system. We are one Carrington event away from a pre industrial state .



posted on Feb, 7 2019 @ 06:19 PM
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originally posted by: Metallicus
The United States would send aid and help a disabled Russia and China and I believe they would help us as well. I don’t think either side is as eager for a nuclear exchange as you think. I also see us as economic rivals and not military.


US will not get any aid from any country. They still think they are the leaders of UN aid. Not even Canada will give aid to US because we still have Americans brainwash stuck in 1800's still thinking the world after her. Canadians soldiers will also be shot. That is how dangerous and crazy US is right now. US could've done things more peacefully if it actually ended its own war first.

Too bad they kept their own enemies alive within.
edit on 7-2-2019 by makemap because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2019 @ 06:55 PM
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a reply to: makemap

Huh? How, if the US is hit with a solar flare---how will Canada escape the same fate? Man----it's thick here today.



posted on Feb, 7 2019 @ 07:02 PM
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a reply to: Metallicus




The United States would send aid and help a disabled Russia and China and I believe they would help us as well.


I think all three great powers and the European arm of Nato would lend aid in such an event, but also I think it would be very likely that those providing aid would use it as leverage to obtain some outcome they also wanted.




I also see us as economic rivals and not military.


I would prefer the great powers stayed economic rivals, but I don't think I fully agree that they are in no sense military rivals. Generally the powers fight through proxy wars, such as Vietnam, Syria, Afghanistan, etc by supplying a champion side, or directly fighting against the champion side of the other power. All of the powers also have weapons meant to counter the weapons of the others, for instance the long range nuclear torpedoes that the Russians are fond of publicizing, which would easily disable the carrier groups of the US.

And to further illustrate this point, I think you have to ask this... do the three great powers have world military goals that they would enact, that they are currently prevented from due to the counterbalance of another military power? I think this is true of all three powers. China would prefer to take Taiwan, and perhaps even "punish" the Japanese in any way they are safely able to do so, and to expand their influence over the middle east. Russia would very much like a foothold in middle east affairs (bigger than they currently have), and would like to team up with the Iranians to challenge Saudi control over the region). I think the US has all sorts of "adventures" it would set out on if no one was there to stop them, especially in the south China sea.




I don’t think either side is as eager for a nuclear exchange as you think.


It may not fully be about being eager, so much as perceiving a situation like the "prisoner's dilema", where due to not being able to rely on the thoughts and actions of the other side, a power will choose a sub-optimal outcome over a perceived disadvantage.

There are also all sorts of accounts throughout history where nuclear weapons were almost used in far less tense situations.

Check out this situation where Stanislav Petrov prevented a Soviet missile strike in 1983 by casting the sole vote to stop it:

en.wikipedia.org...

It is an example of a situation where a nuclear-armed sub acted with incomplete information, and reasoned that surfacing to apraise the sitaution was too dangerous, and the only thing to do was to vote on the fate of the world.



edit on 7-2-2019 by joeraynor because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2019 @ 07:18 PM
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a reply to: joeraynor

It would be severe and expensive of course but how long would it last? I looked up Carrington event in Wikipedia. Maybe I read it wrong but it sounded like it only lasted 2 days.

I'm sure it would fry all kinds of stuff but I had the impression our military uses computers that are hardened to EMP. I know this is true for jets and I would assume anything mission critical. I doubt this could be mistaken for an enemy attack.

My worst fear is that cellphones would go out and all the addicts would panic and riot. Women, especially women would go berserk.



posted on Feb, 7 2019 @ 07:25 PM
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a reply to: toms54




I'm sure it would fry all kinds of stuff but I had the impression our military uses computers that are hardened to EMP. I know this is true for jets and I would assume anything mission critical. I doubt this could be mistaken for an enemy attack.


Yeah I know at least that the US military uses equipment designed to be hardened. It may well be that the source is correctly identified. My argument was more about what happens when the effected side recognizes the new state of things, after correctly appraising the cause and the damage.




It would be severe and expensive of course but how long would it last? I looked up Carrington event in Wikipedia. Maybe I read it wrong but it sounded like it only lasted 2 days.


The event itself happens relatively fast, but the damage is massive and permenant, to the extent that entire electrical grids would be destroyed. The issue isn't that there is a 2 day disruption with service returned just after, the issue is that service "never" returns, and there isn't an infrastructure in place to deliver food where it is needed, or to grow more.
edit on 7-2-2019 by joeraynor because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2019 @ 07:41 PM
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The USA would really need to step up their game on hardening the infrastructure. Read up on underground HVDC as a means of mitigating the risk at least to the grid, obviously everything connected to it would need to be hardened as well. It's one of those things I think about often, but really have no capacity to change, so I treat it like any other natural disaster, I prepare as best I can.



posted on Feb, 7 2019 @ 08:25 PM
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originally posted by: Metallicus
The United States would send aid and help a disabled Russia and China and I believe they would help us as well. I don’t think either side is as eager for a nuclear exchange as you think. I also see us as economic rivals and not military.


All three view extremism as a threat more than an external sovereign one IMO.

We've all engaged in proxies for economic reasons as you've noted, without escalation. Hell, we've all exchanged direct fire in the cold war without increasing conflict.

We all have spheres of influence that in context, rarely conflict. (although the US/west likes to push on the east)
edit on 7-2-2019 by CriticalStinker because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2019 @ 08:53 PM
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The issue with a Carrington type event is the currents induced in power lines.

They basically act like long antennae and convert the magnetic pulse into current that ends up overpowering the protections built into the system. Transformers explode/melt, I'm not talking those round cans you see up on poles, I'm talking the big building sized ones at substations.

The trouble with those, is they don't just have replacements sitting around ready to go. Most times, these things have an 18-36 month lead time, meaning you're looking at a year and a half of sitting on your thumbs while the part you need is made and slow boated from where they're made, and it ain't here.

So we're talking no ability to transmit power on the grid for well over a year at minimum.

From what I understand, most vehicles shouldn't really be affected directly because there's simply not enough continuous length of wire in them to induce enough current to damage anything, but I could be wrong.

If we lose the ability to transmit power via the grid, then all cooling at nuclear waste tanks and nuclear reactors is lost as well. Remember what happens at those places when you can't maintain power for cooling?

Now, it's been pointed out that the U.S. petroleum would be tapped to keep the generators running. Thing is, if you don't have power for cooling, you also don't have power to get food from point of origin to distribution points such as grocery stores. If people are in a survival mode in regards to food, they're not terribly likely to be able to focus on much else.

I don't know, we're so terribly dependent upon electricity now compared to when the Carrington even took place, I really fear for what the outcome would be if something similar happened today.

And yes, we'd know that there was a CME headed our way of sufficient energy to cause such disruption. We'd have a day or two before it arrived. I'm thinking that you'd have a fast solar wind in effect, thus decreasing the normal amount of time a CME might take to reach earth.

Regardless, things would be decidedly unpleasant for us humans should something similar happen in modern times.
edit on 7-2-2019 by jadedANDcynical because: typo



posted on Feb, 7 2019 @ 09:07 PM
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a reply to: jadedANDcynical

What people should really think about in a Carrington Event in America is the complete loss of the internet, telephone, television and radio.

In our current society, that is the equivalent of the zombie apocalypse.




posted on Feb, 7 2019 @ 09:18 PM
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a reply to: joeraynor

Nice thoughts to everyone but I think in reality we would be left to kill each other for food for months until the foreign powers start setting up "safe zones" for the population under their control (with propped up US puppet leaders they appoint of course).



posted on Feb, 7 2019 @ 09:36 PM
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originally posted by: Lumenari
a reply to: jadedANDcynical

What people should really think about in a Carrington Event in America is the complete loss of the internet, telephone, television and radio.

In our current society, that is the equivalent of the zombie apocalypse.



Yup, some say that's what the folks in DC are attempting to prepare us for with those zombie drills. Funny thing is, every scenario they ran on their models showed a complete crash and total chaos in every major city within one week.

I like John Prine's solution: Move to the country, eat a lot of peaches, Try and find Jesus, on your own.



posted on Feb, 7 2019 @ 11:07 PM
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a reply to: infolurker

If it comes to that, we should kill the lawyers first.



posted on Feb, 7 2019 @ 11:47 PM
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originally posted by: toms54
a reply to: infolurker

If it comes to that, we should kill the lawyers first.


Ha!



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 12:55 AM
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In other words. China's mission to the farside of the moon, and their construction of the Carrington inducing super laser that will never be seen from earth, will be able to control what side of the earth is struck. After all, it takes 500 seconds for a flare to reach the earth.



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 01:08 AM
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originally posted by: infolurker
a reply to: joeraynor

Nice thoughts to everyone but I think in reality we would be left to kill each other for food for months until the foreign powers start setting up "safe zones" for the population under their control (with propped up US puppet leaders they appoint of course).

my thoughts are similar, but the nuclear power stations worry me more than finding enough food to live and foreign troops on british soil.



posted on Feb, 8 2019 @ 01:13 AM
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a reply to: joeraynor

It's not near the threat it is made out to be online. In fact Canada was hit in 1989. They restored power in 9 hrs.

With Geomagnetically induced current it trips safety procedures which require the system to be balanced and trips breakers. Now in the computer age this is much easier to deal with as computer can change line harmonics and even control breakers. So the modern power companies may not even lose service. What this will effect is power plants that have not modernized in which case they could be down a couple of days as they restart the system and rebalance their electrical grid.
edit on 2/8/19 by dragonridr because: (no reason given)



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