Building The Bridge Back from Armageddon
Avi Schnurr, CEO, and President of Electric Infrastructure Security Council
If someone convinced you that your family, community, and everything else that you care about was on course for an inevitable, terminal disaster, what would you do?
Try to change the course of destiny, right?
So, what if we told you that our dear world is on that same path… and that simple affordable steps, such as working with others that face the same fate, could build a bridge to bring them all home?
The Path to Armageddon
Writing for the BBC’s Future project, researcher Luke Kemp at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk summarized how we stack up against the collapse of virtually every civilization in history:
“Studying the demise of historic civilisations can tell us how much risk we face today. Worryingly, the signs are worsening.”
In fact, in January 2022, the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set the famous “Doomsday Clock” at 100 seconds to midnight – and that was before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In short, it’s not looking good.
How Did We Get on This Path?
It’s not hard to find our suffering world’s collection of brewing catastrophes: the growing scale of climate-change-driven disasters, newly discovered megaquake seismic zones in gas pipeline country, periodic extreme grid-munching solar flares, and the threat of high morbidity pandemics. And what’s worse? These are only some of the armageddon-potential events waiting in the catastrophe-de-jour lineup.
Yet each of these threats is not that different from what humanity faced in the past. What has changed?
Unlike in previous civilizations, we’ve tied the critical infrastructures, products, and services that sustain us together into a living, planetary-scale infrastructure/product/service supply chain.
Lose one link and the chain breaks. Unless there’s a quick patch, the whole chain dies, and ultimately, so do we.
Why Do Researchers Think We’re Closing in on Armageddon?
Imagine a subcontinent-scale blackout: the lights are out, the fridge is warm, cell phones and communication networks are dead, the water tap runs dry, grocery stores are empty, hospitals stop functioning, and the roads and gridlocked (for those who still have gas).
Emergency managers have immense practice and capabilities to deal with the types of disasters we see every year or once a decade.
But not this one.
As decision-makers in every critical corporation and government agency try to engage, they will quickly find a handful of simple, but terminal, resilience gaps that will stop them cold.
- What’s happening? After days without power on a subcontinental scale, situational awareness runs dry.
- Emergency services and collaboration? No power for days means no cell phones, landlines, or communication. Emergency services require wide communication.
- Managing chaos? Prioritizing limited resources to put off the worst? Even if there were situational awareness and solid communications, no human will be capable of sorting through chaos on a subcontinental scale. The scale, complexity, and interdependent hemorrhaging of every infrastructure, service, and supply chain will be far beyond anything anyone will be able to sort through.
Coming Home From Armageddon
This is where we pull the Elon Musk genie out of the magic technology bottle. After all, we’ve got high-tech, Amazon, Google, and StarLink. Why can’t we just techno-glide our way out of the problem?
Well, actually, we can.
But there is a catch: the return fare from Armageddon can only be paid in advance.
For years, EIS Council and its partners have focused their resources on developing and deploying the unique tools and capabilities the world will need to survive and recover from a Black Sky catastrophe. An all-hazard, fully interoperable, data emergency communication system that can operate with no grid or national telecom assets. Low cost, prioritized many-week add-ons for emergency power. Peer-reviewed strategy for population-sustaining power grid restart. All are elements of the Human Continuity Project™, the whole-of-world collaborative project structured to develop and expand on these capabilities to build a bridge back from Armageddon.
And, perhaps the most surprising tool:
The new AI technology, GINOM, enables a multi-corporate operating system with unlimited scalability. So all the interdependent links in our planetary infrastructures can collaborate when catastrophe strikes and work together automatically to distill out the critical, time-dependent, life-sustaining priorities for the decision-makers who need them.
Want to learn more? Visit our events page to discover upcoming webinars on this issue and have the opportunity to learn from global experts.
At EIS Council, we’re working on developing tools that can solve the many issues society faces. If you want to help, why not get involved by contributing to our mission?
Why should you get involved?
Luke Kemp, the author of the University of Cambridge study, said it well:
“Let’s stop pretending our civilization is immortal. Let’s learn from history, and get busy building a path back from Armageddon. We will only march into collapse if we advance blindly. We are only doomed if we are unwilling to listen to the past.