Read the following passage and answer the questions below.

Consider your average morning routine. Most of us begin taking in the day's news as soon as the clock radio wakes us up. Then there is the morning news brief from the television while eating breakfast followed by a local radio station during our commute. Throughout the day people continue to glean important events from news sites on the internet. Now consider what your day would look like if all of these resources fell silent.

There are continual reminders that our nation's power grid is much more fragile than we would like to admit. Such threats do exist not only as foreign or domestic, but extra-worldly as well. Modern power grids are managed by computer networks and the potential exists for hacking into those networks to interrupt the power supply. Another less sinister, but just as hazardous threat comes from outside our own planet. The very sun that we rely upon every day occasionally ejects powerful solar flares known as coronal mass ejections or CMEs. These powerful electromagnetic fields can wreak havoc on sensitive electronic components and have already caused major power outages in recent history and scientists continue to predict that the sun is primed for another such event.

The technology for electromagnetic bombs, developed over the past 30 years, is now available to download from on the internet! Googling it demonstrates the ease with which a would-be enemy could devastate society, creating an enormous blackout with mass panic and havoc. Such powerful electronic pulses pose a significant threat to breakdown all traditional communication including satellites that control every aspect of transportation, commerce and ultimately life.

Other potential problems with national and regional grids are not posed by external threats, but by the continued and rapid growth of our own cities. While such power demands are on the rise, the capacity to provide power to them is not keeping pace. The battle between environmental groups and political decision makers only seems to be maintaining the status quo and not improving the reliability of our energy needs.

If any one of these events transpires and our power grid fails, where would we get our news and information? While we could certainly continue to live day-to-day without a sizable amount of the information we take in, there is some information that we simply would find hard to live without. In the case of a regional or national disaster, reliable and accurate information can be the biggest factor in safety and survival.

How fortunate we are that there are trained amateur radio operators scattered across the country who are poised to fill this important gap if ever needed. With an emergency generator and communication tools, these operators have the equipment and coding skills necessary to process and relay important information at a moment’s notice. Many of these operators utilize an assortment of methods, but among them Morse code gets through when other methods fail. As we have seen in so many movies, confirmed by actual real life experiences, the effectual transmission of dahs and dits between trained operators is a very useful method of communicating both securely and accurately. Why not join this family of ham radio operators and enjoy the fun and lifelong friendships that result?

If you prepare by learning Morse code, you will be on the front lines of the vital communication network and could be responsible for bringing peace, comfort and safety information to friends and family. Some things may be better left to others, but wouldn't you feel safer knowing that you have done everything you could do in an emergency? Morse code continues to be a valuable survival skill for you, your family and for the nation.

- By Gerald Wheeler Ed.D.

Question 24

Why are the CMEs a probable hazard to the nation's power-grid?


"These powerful electromagnetic fields can wreak havoc on sensitive electronic components and have already caused major power outages in recent history."
They caused major power outages in the past. This does not imply that they do that always => Option A can be eliminated.
Option E is clearly the answer as we can deduce from the first part of the above sentence.

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