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Type Paper
Cite as Citation reference for the source document. Mohamed Abdelkhaliq, Michael Griswold, Deborah Cole, David Denkenberger, Joshua M. Pearce, Providing Non-food Needs if Industry is Disabled. International Disaster and Risk Conferences (IDRC) Conference Proceedings 2016, Davos, Switzerland. pp. 23-27 (2016). open access

A number of risks could cause widespread electrical failure and temporary global electronics loss, including a series of high-altitude electromagnetic pulses (HEMPs) caused by nuclear weapons, an extreme solar storm, and a coordinated computer virus attack. Since modern industry depends on electricity and electronics, it is likely that much industry would be temporarily halted. The most challenging need to be met in these scenarios is likely to be food, and this is analyzed elsewhere in this conference. However, without industry, food cannot easily be shipped around the world, so one method to maintain the human population without widespread use of electricity in an emergency is relocating people to the food sources. We find that this is possible even in the worst-case scenario by retrofitting ships to be wind powered. We also discuss solutions for non-industry inland transportation, water supply and treatment, and heating of buildings. We find that the nonfood needs could be met for nearly everyone in the short and medium term.

Keywords[edit | edit source]


solar storm, high-altitude electromagnetic pulse, computer virus, global catastrophic risk, existential risk, industry, electricity

See also[edit | edit source]

Feeding Everyone No Matter What- Cambridge
Feeding Everyone No Matter What

Additional Information[edit source]

Davos IDRC Conference[edit source]

FA info icon.svgAngle down icon.svgPage data
Authors Joshua M. Pearce
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 38 pages link here
Impact 395 page views
Created September 15, 2016 by Joshua M. Pearce
Modified July 14, 2023 by Felipe Schenone
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