News and notes

June 28th 2021: Monday Rundown: JJ McCartney shares urgent news and comment as U.S. edges closer to true national energy, national security emergency!

Tops on the list:

John McAfee’s death in a Spanish prison cell: Join JJ as we discuss this ridiculous “suicide” story with Caravan to Midnight’s John B. Wells.

JJ McCartney sounds loud warning about what the bogus government is about to do to the people of the American West.

Lawsuits and legal action being taken to prevent Vax mandates, why it matters and how we must all respond as Citizen journalists!

Unheeded warning: How people with foresight saw vulnerabilities from a distance, yet the inept Biden team simply let it all play out: In this flashback to October 25th, 2020 report:

Our Electrical Grid Is Deeply Vulnerable to Hackers and Storms

There are easy ways to protect it — if the government acts

Lucy Sherriff

Lucy SherriffOct 25, 2020·8 min read

United States at night composite photo showing where has most electricity access across country.
Photo: Universal History Archive/ Universal Images Group/Getty Images

OnMarch 5, 2019, hackers targeted the U.S. electrical grid. For around 10 hours, operators in California, Utah, and Wyoming experienced “blind spots” — temporary losses of visibility to parts of the control system. Communication went down at some remote power generation sites. The hackers had attacked Utah-based renewable energy developer sPower, and although the attack did not disrupt daily life and there was little effect on the transmission grid, it was significant for one reason: It had never happened before.

Officials with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) were initially reluctant to disclose information about the incident, but later stated that “the reboots were initiated by an external entity exploiting a known firewall vulnerability.”

Experts warn that the United States needs to brace its electrical grid. In addition to cyberattacks from hackers, geomagnetic storms also threaten the grid. It’s become increasingly clear to scientists that the grid needs protection, but too few people seem to realize it’s an issue at all.

Enter Helena, a little-known and vaguely defined organization attempting to raise these concerns on a national scale.

“We all knew a pandemic was going to happen at some point,” Sam Feinburg, 24-year-old COO of Helena, tells Future Human. “And in the same way we didn’t prepare for a pandemic, we haven’t prepared for grid failure.”

Helena, a nonprofit which formed in 2016, says it seeks to “address critical societal problems” via its varied and influential board of members, which includes politicians, actors Chloë Moretz and Selena Gomez, North Korea defector Yeonmi Park, and former U.S. Army General Stanley A. McChrystal. It’s funded “almost exclusively” — so Helena’s founders say — by its members. Helena’s founder and CEO, 25-year-old Henry Elkus, tells Future Human the sole purpose of the organization is to try to solve the world’s biggest problems, from climate change to political representation.

In addition to distributing personal protective equipment during the Covid-19 pandemic and supporting the construction of a carbon capture factory, Helena is currently working on a project it calls “Shield” — an effort to protect the grid from threats both “foreign and domestic.” So far, a California politician who is also a Helena member has managed to push through legislation addressing these concerns, and Helena’s lobbying efforts may even have reached the White House.

“We can solve this huge problem just by making a few small policy changes and upgrading our infrastructure using existing technology,” Feinburg says. Protecting the nation’s grid — which has between 100,000 and 200,000 miles of continuous transmission lines — can be pretty straightforward: Lay out a network of surge protectors, rubber mats, and other relatively simple tech where it’s needed most. Doing so can prevent the power surge that could ensue as a result of an attack or storm, which, in turn, could prevent nationwide blackouts and enable the system to recover as soon as possible.

“We cannot protect the grid against all threats, either human or natural,” Helena member Martin Hellman, PhD, professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University, tells Future Human. “We should do what we can, within cost constraints, to protect the grid, but a bigger issue is what to do when an inevitable failure occurs.”

“We need to make the grid resilient,” he adds, “so we can recover without the doomsday scenarios becoming reality.”

Threats to the electrical grid may not be as immediately palpable as the effects of climate change or a global pandemic, but the warning signs are there. In 2015, insurance company Lloyd’s of London released a report estimating that a cyberattack on New York City and Washington, D.C., would leave up to 100 generators offline and 93 million people without power. That same year in Ukraine, a similar scenario actually happened: Russian hackers took down the country’s power grid, leaving up to 225,000 people without electricity. In 2017, security firm Symantec revealed dozens of Western energy companies had been targeted by hackers. The firm would not disclose which power networks were targeted, but the company’s analysis revealed that the hackers gained operational access and took charge of the command interface. This meant that they could control electricity flow.

Peter Pry, PhD, executive director of the Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Task Force on National and Homeland Security, a privately owned body that acts as an official Congressional Advisory Board, tells Future Human that “cyber and EMP attacks pose an existential threat to the U.S. because our life-sustaining critical infrastructures depend upon the electric grid.” In June, he warned of the risk of EMP attacks from China in a report commissioned by the government to investigate the risk of foreign cyberattacks.

The electrical grid is made up of generating stations, high voltage distribution transformers, electrical substations, smaller transformers, and the transmission lines that crisscross the landscape to bring power to individual consumers and businesses. It’s the vulnerability of the high voltage transformers, which are needed in order to move electricity over great distances, that Pry and Helena are worried about.

As Pry explains, the vulnerability of the electrical grid stems primarily from its reliance on a relatively small number of key extra-high voltage (EHV) transformer units.

These units make up less than 3% of the total number of transformers in U.S. power substations, but they carry up to 70% of the nation’s electricity. These 2,000-odd units carry so much electricity individually that attackers would only need to take out as few as nine of them to cripple the grid.

Cyberattacks aren’t the only threat the grid faces. A one-day solar storm could cripple health care systems and potentially lead to death. “We’re trying to forecast the impact of an extreme solar storm,” Yihua Zheng, PhD, a NASA scientist in the Heliophysics Science Division at the Goddard Space Flight Center, tells Future Human. “But we’re not where we need to be yet. We just don’t know when this storm would hit.” A solar storm, like a cyberattack, could bring down crucial communication systems.

The last major geomagnetic storm hit the earth in 1989, causing a 12-hour-long power outage in Quebec, Canada. The province’s grid couldn’t deal with the power surge, and the system’s breakers tripped. The lights went off, and millions of people were trapped inside stalled elevators, left in dark offices, and woke up to cold homes. The blackout closed businesses, the Metro, and an airport, and hospitals were pushed to breaking point.

“It’s through the advent of modern technological infrastructure that we have exposed ourselves to the fury of the sun,” says Antti Pulkkinen, PhD, deputy director of NASA’s Heliophysics Science Division. NERC and the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC), the key agencies involved in regulating the U.S. grid, are currently investigating exactly how large the threat of this event is. “It’s critically important these assessments get completed and then we’ll understand exactly how exposed we are,” Pulkkinen adds.

In September of this year, FERC and NERC published a report on their efforts that outlines “best practices” for the electrical utility industry, but Pry and Helena argue it doesn’t go far enough.

Helena’s lobbying efforts to strengthen the country’s grid consists of “convincing decision-makers — legislators, utility executives, etc. — to make physical upgrades to their infrastructure, and operational upgrades to how they approach things like cybersecurity,” Feinburg explains.

Some of these upgrades involve placing relatively low-tech technologies under critical parts of the grid to insulate the transformers: Faraday cages, which are enclosures built around an object to block electromagnetic fields; rubber mats, which ground the transformer; and surge protectors, which are used in everyday technology, like TVs and computers, to protect devices from a spike in voltage. While using one or a number of these instruments wouldn’t protect the grid against a cyberattack, they would help prevent any ensuing power outages.

Pry says another weak point that needs shielding are the hubs in the grid’s central control system. “If you lose one of those you lose the transformer,” Pry explains. “It’s the operating system.”

The technology to protect the grid is straightforward and inexpensive, says Pry. “It’s not hard to figure out how to do it,” he says, “But [FERC and NERC] are still just conducting studies, which means they’re doing nothing. If they were really serious about protecting the country they could’ve protected the 500 most vulnerable transformers that provide power to cities.”

One of Pry’s recommendations to government agencies is to use “blocking devices” to ensure transformers are protected against electrical surges that could overwhelm and cripple the grid. These can be expensive, but not necessarily: “The very maximum cost would be around two to four billion dollars to protect the 2,000 EHV transformers,” Pry said. “But that’s really overestimating.”

There are inexpensive, albeit less robust, options too: Using shunts in the ground — a magnesium rod, for example — could protect transformers and each cost as little as a couple of thousand dollars.

“It’s crazy to me that these, at the very least, haven’t already been implemented,” says Pry.

In addition to implementing these protections, Helena advocates decentralizing the grid and restructuring it to avoid the domino effect that ensues when key transformers get knocked out.

“I’d love it if we could grab a toolbox and start adding rubber insulation to transformers ourselves,” Feinburg says. “Sadly, this would be illegal, since we don’t own the infrastructure. And even if it wasn’t, we don’t have the resources to do it across the country.”

The globalist plans to inflict maximum damage on the non-compliant people of America is already in motion.

Make no mistake, they plan to punish people through brown-ouits, significant power interruptions and tyrannical policies that have nothing to do with supply and demand, but instead have to do with authoritarian control of behavior.

Join JJ McCartney LIVE from 3 to 5pm ET as we expose the evil plans of the tyrants and their puppets in Washington.