New Book: Ted Koppel’s ‘Lights Out’ Details Terrifying Grid Down Scenario


New Book: Ted Koppel’s ‘Lights Out’ Details Terrifying Grid Down Scenario

Veteran newsman Ted Koppel’s new book, Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath, is making waves this week because it takes the EMP/cyberattack grid down scenario firmly out of the realm of prepper blogs and into the mainstream. It’s not every day that you hear someone of Koppel’s stature talking calmly and realistically about the likelihood of a TEOTWAWKI scenario in which 90% of the US population is dead within the first year.

In this tour de force of investigative reporting, Ted Koppel reveals that a major cyberattack on America’s power grid is not only possible but likely, that it would be devastating, and that the United States is shockingly unprepared.

Imagine a blackout lasting not days, but weeks or months. Tens of millions of people over several states are affected. For those without access to a generator, there is no running water, no sewage, no refrigeration or light. Food and medical supplies are dwindling. Devices we rely on have gone dark. Banks no longer function, looting is widespread, and law and order are being tested as never before.

It isn’t just a scenario. A well-designed attack on just one of the nation’s three electric power grids could cripple much of our infrastructure—and in the age of cyberwarfare, a laptop has become the only necessary weapon. Several nations hostile to the United States could launch such an assault at any time. In fact, as a former chief scientist of the NSA reveals, China and Russia have already penetrated the grid. And a cybersecurity advisor to President Obama believes that independent actors—from “hacktivists” to terrorists—have the capability as well. “It’s not a question of if,” says Centcom Commander General Lloyd Austin, “it’s a question of when.”

And yet, as Koppel makes clear, the federal government, while well prepared for natural disasters, has no plan for the aftermath of an attack on the power grid. The current Secretary of Homeland Security suggests keeping a battery-powered radio.

This is one of those things that I don’t even want to think about, but I can’t help it when I turn on the news. Look at the tensions that are building with China in over the Spratly’s; China is one of the few state actors that could pull off a total grid-down attack on the US, and God knows this is not something they’d want because it would wreck their economy and likely invite nuclear retaliation from the US. But who knows what could happen in an instant if there’s a communication breakdown and shots are fired.

The time to prep for something like this is now. Don’t expect anything like a warning before the lights go off.

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billj is currently a writer for AllOutdoor who has chosen not to write a short bio at this time.

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