Newt Gingrich Warns Electromagnetic Pulse Could 'End Civilizations'

Newt Gingrich wants the U.S. to strengthen its power grid in preparation for an EMP attack.

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Newt Gingrich attends the White House Correspondents' Dinner April 27, 2013, in Washington, D.C.
Newt Gingrich attends the White House Correspondents' Dinner April 27, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

Newt Gingrich fears the end is coming.

In the wake of nuclear threats from North Korea, the former House speaker came to Capitol Hill Tuesday to address what he believes will cause an equally dire situation: the use of an electromagnetic pulse.

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Known as an EMP, an electromagnetic pulse is a burst of electromagnetic energy. It can occur naturally, like in lightning, or by man-made devices like nuclear weapons. Gingrich says it has the capacity to seriously cripple the U.S. power grid.

If an EMP attack were to occur, 70 to 90 percent of the population would be at risk, according to the EMP Caucus, a group dedicated to preparing the U.S. against such attacks. In addition to the causalities, those relying on medications, especially refrigerated drugs like insulin, would face grave circumstances.

"This could be the kind of catastrophe that ends civilizations," Gingrich said.

To prevent this "horrendous" threat, Gingrich, along with Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., introduced the SHIELD Act, which would encourage strengthening the electric grid in preparation for a major EMP event.

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Franks, founder of the EMP Caucus, said the U.S. is more vulnerable to an EMP attack than ever before.

"It's known that our grid is vulnerable," Franks said. "It's an invitation."

This isn't the first apocalyptic event Gingrich has stared down.

During his 2012 presidential run, he promised an American moon colony by 2020, hoping that it could apply for statehood when it reached a population of 13,000. In 2009, Wired reported that Gingrich wanted to counter North Korean missile use by using lasers.

Gingrich has also co-authored several apocalyptic novels, in which America is faced with a catastrophic threat. In "One Second After," Gingrich weaves a tale about the aftermath of an EMP attack in the United States.

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