Given the overt reliance that we have one technology today, the loss of power for any great length of time can be disastrous.
For years, doomsday worriers have been shouting about the possibility of an EMP attack on America, in which a type of nuclear devise is detonated in the atmosphere above the United States in such a way that computers, phones, cars, and power grids would be simply kaput. We would lose all ability to communicate, as well as cook, clean, or even work. It would be the Stone Age once again.
It's a terrifying thought.
And while this isn't what happened in South America over the weekend, the results were eerily similar after several entire nations lost power. As authorities continue to search for the cause of the issue, they have yet to rule out the possibility of a cyber-intrusion.
Argentine President Mauricio Macri promised a thorough investigation into what he called an “unprecedented” outage, one that raised questions about flaws in South America’s power grid, which connects many of the region’s largest countries.
Energy officials said the results of the investigation would be available in 10 to 15 days, and they could not immediately provide details on the economic impact of the outage, which happened on a Sunday, a day before a national holiday in Argentina.
“From zero to 10, there is zero chance that this will repeat itself. It can’t repeat itself,” Argentine Energy Secretary Gustavo Lopetegui said Monday.
“This is an extraordinary event that should have never happened,” he said. “It’s very serious. We can’t leave the whole country all of a sudden without electricity.” He did not discount the possibility of a cyberattack but said it was unlikely.
The collapse began at about 7 a.m. Sunday, with Argentina’s population of 44 million and residents of neighboring Uruguay and some parts of Paraguay waking up to Father’s Day in the dark.
Given what we already know about the Russian military's cyber warfare, such an attack on the American power grid has undoubtedly been discussed at high levels within Kremlin.
We can only hope that this wasn't a practice run for November 2020.