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History Channel taps SoPA professor for expertise on doomsday scenarios

July 09, 2021 2:00 PM
 | 
Alicia Jasmin ajasmin@tulane.edu
Professor Mike Wallace
Michael Wallace, Professor of Practice and Program Director for the Tulane School of Professional Advancement’s Emergency and Security Studies Program, is interviewed about the what-ifs of an attack on U.S. electrical grids. (Image from History Channel)

 

If you’re among those curious about the top-secret activities of the American government and military, you may be a fan of the History Channel show, America’s Book of Secrets hosted by Lance Reddick.
 
In a recent episode — “Doomsday Scenarios” — Michael Wallace, Professor of Practice and Program Director for the Tulane School of Professional Advancement’s (SoPA) Emergency and Security Studies Program, is interviewed about the what-ifs of an attack on U.S. electrical grids.
 

“When you take power away...society will break down pretty quickly.”

—Michael Wallace, Emergency & Securities Studies Program Director

Wallace, a retired U.S. military intelligence officer, speaks about the U.S. procedure for responding to ballistic missile attacks, electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) and the Carrington Event and Effect.
 
An EMP is a short, powerful burst of energy that has been identified as a potential weapon that could destroy the country’s electronic civilization.
 
Wallace explains the catastrophic results of an EMP strike on large transformers [the silver, barrel-shaped objects that sit atop light posts].
 
“Those are custom made in only two places —South Korea and Germany,” said Wallace in the episode. “It would take us years to get those back up if they were attacked in large quantities.”
 
Life without lights doesn’t seem so bad, but Wallace, alongside three other experts, assured viewers that it could be worse than you’d think.
 
“When you take power away, you won’t have electricity, you can’t get water or food and the food you have will begin to spoil because of the loss of refrigeration,” says Wallace. “Society will break down pretty quickly.”
 
Season 4, episode 7 was released on June 29, and is available through cable TV providers and on History.com/shows.

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