Ted Koppel. Lights Out
Koppel refers to the Internet as "a weapon of mass destruction." Already, we know, hackers in Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and elsewhere have created havoc downloading supposedly secure files and shutting down websites. It may only be a matter of time before someone manages to shut down a massive power grid. Why fly airliners into skyscrapers when terrorists can do so much more damage a half a world away just by punching in the right code on a keyboard? It is only a matter of figuring out how to do it.
The energy companies, still largely self-regulated, continue to give a higher priority to profit than security, the author says. Meanwhile Congress, bogged down in politics, has other priorities, as well. Writes Koppel, "the individual can't do anything and the government won't do anything."
Actually there is something the individual can do. So far, those self-reliant folks in places like Wyoming and members of the Mormon church are the best prepared, not because they expect terrorists to cut off their power but just because being ready for disaster is what they do. Koppel devotes three of 20 chapters to the Mormon practice of stockpiling enough food and other supplies to last a year.
It's an example most of us could follow if we would only buy a little extra food and other supplies during each trip to the market and store it under beds and behind sofas. If the lights ever do go out like Ted Koppel warns us they will, such stockpiles could save our lives.