Travel Plans -- Heading for the All the Spots the Media is Trying to Panic Me Away From

Next month I go to Hawaii, apparently (if I believe CNN) the imminent target of a North Korean nuclear attack.  While I am certainly not willing to bet my life on Donald Trump's ability to de-escalate an international conflict, I will bet it against North Korea's ability to hit a target the size of Hawaii with their current missiles  (A better strategy for them would be to detonate one somewhere generally to the west of Hawaii and let the fallout sew panic in the media).

After that, I head to Yellowstone, to sit on top of the Super Volcano that (if I believe CNN) is ready to blow.  Well, I am willing to take those odds.  Actually, the tilting and partial draining of Yellowstone Lake some years ago was probably more scary than the current spate of small earthquakes.  Besides, if it is really going to blow and pretty much destroy agriculture in this country, I would rather go quickly than slowly starve to death in some kind of road warrior style post-apocalyptic America.

  • kidmugsy

    Where did the "They're going to nuke Guam" yarn come from? How could it possibly be in NK's interest to nuke Guam? And that's assuming that they could do so, an assumption I'm unwilling to make. Maybe they've got the nukular weapons that were smuggled out by Saddam Hussein, eh?

  • morganovich

    if you ever swing down to puerto rico (zika terrors and debt crises oh my!) let me know.

    i'll buy you a mojito. (there is absolutely no rum crisis i assure you)

  • The_Big_W

    If CNN truly believes that Yellowstone is likely to blow, then why worry about climate. A full Yellowstone eruption is an mass extinction level event.

  • coyoteblog

    Not to mention the cooling affect of all the particulate matter.

  • craftman

    I'm going to South Korea for work in January next year. I'm not worried at all, but I had to convince my wife that waiting until the Olympics (February) to strike South Korea would be a much bigger opportunity so it's not likely to happen while I'm there. :-

  • bloke in france

    Bikini Atoll is now safe, any plans to go there? I would, but I've given up on long distance flights.

  • Griz Hebert
  • J K Brown

    Are you expecting Kona winds? Because otherwise, better to detonate to the NE to catch the trades. But then that great circle path would light off Japan, Russia, Alaska, Canada....

  • Hawaii is in the trade wind belt where winds generally blow from the east, so a short shot from N Korea would just be a big fireworks display. Beautiful area, I lived there for nearly three years and visit often. Met my wife there. Favorite Island is Maui, but all have fantastic scenic areas. Best weather anywhere.

  • The "yarn" came from a N Korean government spokesman for Kim.

    Guam is a US territory and major base for the US Navy and Air Force in the Pacific. In particular it houses a half dozen B-1 bombers when things get hot. For whatever reason, Kim goes berserk when a B-1 flies across the Korean peninsula south of the DMZ. That's what we do it every time Kim threatens South Korea or the US. Happened twice with Obama and once with Trump. It is a show of force to let Kim know he will lose if he starts a war. He really, really gets bugged by the B-1s.

  • Don

    Meh. The best strategy is an air-burst somewhere over the western Pacific. Imagine the chaos when every electronic device west of the Rockies (or the Mississippi) gets fried. You don't need to be accurate, you don't need anything with a high yield. That would effect the US more that almost anything the Norks are capable of doing, and then they could blackmail Europe and others.

    An attempt at making a direct hit on the lower 48 or Hawaii would be a total waste of a bomb.

  • irandom419

    Wish this map did EMP's. My personal favorite is a big bomb upwind of a major city just for the panic.

    http://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/

  • marque2

    Dude, if the Yellowstone super-volcano blew, You wouldn't be safe in Arizona. They will find the quakes are caused by all that fracking in Oklahoma 😛

  • marque2

    The EMP pulse is another overwrought topic. But if they do West Pacific, it might affect a few west coast states. The EMP radiation tends to follow north - south along the Earth's magnetic field lines. It doesn't travel East West as much, and Yes, mountain ranges would help to block some of it.

    Also, while the power grid is out, many electronic devices are protected anyway, because they are surrounded by metal, which reflects away the pulse, and in some cases provides a complete faraday cage. Your computer, a faraday cage, your car, reflecting metal. Your iPhone, possible damage, but in general too low power to be affected. It is just another super scare.

    But if you are really concerned, have the roof and sides of your house covered in radiant barrier - for energy saving purposes, and a nice side effect is that it will also reflect away most of the EMP from your precious devices.

  • marque2

    Kim himself made that statement. But agreed, I doubt their missile could accurately go that far - and it would be amazing if the bomb actually detonated.

    We actually have pretty good missile defenses (despite what the press says) against primitive missiles. If it were a top end Russian ICBM maybe it would be a difficult shot, but not these rickety NK rockets. Note that anti missile technology has advanced quite a bit since the 1991 early Patriot days - those missiles didn't work because they were designed for destroying aircraft but Raytheon figured they could get them close enough to the missile to explode and destroy them. Of course the fuse was too long, the angle of the launcher was wrong, the missiles ability to maneuver wasn't great. And then blowing shrapnel into a missile often didn't do anything (a few holes, but the missile was still on target) unlike an airplane where a few small holes could be devastating. Now the PAC3's have 180 mini rockets at the nose to "kick" the missile in micro doses to the opposing missile. It uses a kinetic kill, so you don't have to worry about fuse timing, and the missile immediately uses some of those mini rockets at launch to correct the angle from the Raytheon launcher (which the military still insists, be used due to budgeting). I am just using Patriot (now PATRIOT due to the backronym) as an example. The NK missile would most likely be hit by THAAD though, which has a higher altitude attach range, and is also very successful at hitting target missiles.

  • marque2

    Should also point out that THAAD and PAC3 are remnants of what is left of the old widely ridiculed SDI "Star Wars" program. Much of the research was canned due to left wing politicians destroying the program, but I am glad Reagan had the vision to start SDI even with all the pressure from the Washington Post (which started the Moron President believes in Star Wars meme)

    Hopefully Trump brings back some of the feasible technologies like brilliant pebbles, and some of the particle weapons which showed such promise before being cancelled for political reasons.

  • Jim Collins

    Let's not forget the Navy's Aegis system. I seem to remember it knocking down a satellite a few years ago.

  • marque2

    I am sure Aegis works. Raytheon has had trouble with their interceptors over the years - which is why Patriot and THAAD were given to Lockheed. New patriots still have to launch off the Raytheon launcher and use the Raytheon command centers, since they were all originally all Raytheon. I put more faith in the Lockheed missile products.

  • Peabody

    Typical Yellowstone article: "SCIENTISTS BELIEVE YELLOWSTONE SUPER VOLCANO COULD ERRUPT!!!" ... small print three paragraphs later ... "sometime in the next 200 million years".

    As a Western Wyoming local, September is a great time to visit Yellowstone. And if you are looking for some blog material, I've always found it fascinatingly stupid that international tourists pay the same entry fee as Americans to National Parks. Based on my limited international travels this seems to not be the norm for publicly funded attractions. I see countless tour buses filled with Asian tourists and just see wasted revenue opportunities.

  • Steve Burrows

    Well, if we get to shoot zombies after the apocalypse, I'm all for it.

  • kidmugsy

    "Kim himself made that statement." I have read that he didn't. Can you point me at a link, please, where he said he was going to nuke Guam? That's nuke Guam, as distinct from fire some missiles into international waters in the general area of Guam.

  • frankania

    I am wondering What a cheap "radiant barrier" is...maybe metal window screens or aluminum foil. Or maybe there is a flexible one that air flows through, that I am unaware of.....

  • marque2

    He threatened (is considering)a strike on Guam. I think you are being quite pendant about this. Articles everywhere NYT WaPo Here is one from San Diego tribune.
    http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/the-conversation/sd-north-korea-nuclear-weapons-20170808-htmlstory.html

  • kidmugsy

    Yeah, but that's just a US newspaper in the familiar hysteria mode. And pedantic is what one ought to be when everyone else is being hysterical: what is the actual threat that's been made? For instance, has a N Korean official translation into English been issued of whatever was said, or do we have to trust the crooks and dimwits of American journalism?

  • Daniel Barger

    At this point in time exactly what the NORKs are capable of is very open. I doubt even THEY know for certain how accurate their missiles can be. And to be quite honest only a handful of ICBM's have EVER been launched and completed a successful flight to the designated target AND detonated at the proper design yield. Even our best missiles are a best guess when it comes to the question of reliability as it is simply not something that can be tested in the real world. The NORK's best bet for causing real damage to the US is via an EMP attack. They do have the ability to get a missile 250-300 miles above the Midwest. And a moderate size detonation of say 200KT could easily knock out anywhere from 70 to 90% of the US electrical grid within line of sight of the detonation. As for detonating a warhead somewhere west of Hawaii and letting the fallout cause a panic. The panic would be real but the fallout would be almost zero. Fallout doesn't come from the warhead. It comes from the dust and debris that is sucked up into the blast and then falls back to earth. An atmospheric burst over ocean would put up moisture that would fall back down as rain....mostly before it goes anywhere. An ocean burst proper would be spectacular but only dangerous to the local wildlife for the most part. No....if Kim Jong Unsane does anything he will wait till his people tell him they can hit a target with reasonable certainty...and then that is what they will do. The question being when....not if.

  • marque2

    Look up gradient barrier. In its best form it is a thicker sheet of aluminum that you place in the attic either by attaching to to rafters.or laying over the insulation. In the walls you tack it over the insulation before you put on the sheetrock. It reflects heat so in the attic it will reflect heat away from your insides. In the wall it depends where it is placed. On the inside side it reflects outside heat, on outer side it will reflect inside heat.

    You should check it out - especially in CA where you might be able to get rebates. Some folks are hawking aluminized bubble wrap (available at any home depot) and while that is good for extra water heating protection - the insulative effect of the bubble wrap does little to affect the actual radiant reflection.

    A side effect of getting this (other than energy savings) is that the radiant barrier also reflects other radiant energy like EMF pulses. But forget trying to get sell reception in your home.

  • frankania

    Thanks marque...we live in southern Mexico and it is just to shield us from cellphone towers , modems ,etc.