In this week's print issue of TNR, Mike Crowley has a great piece about Republicans (like Newt Gingrich) who are hyping the threat of an EMP attack in order to shore up support for missile defense and even military action against rogue states.

Now, I'm not one to laugh off apocalyptic scenarios. But longtime Vine readers should recall that the real concern isn't that terrorists will detonate a few nuclear devices and cause our electrical infrastructure to fizzle—no, it's that in or around 2012, solar activity will start flaring up and the sun will launch a billion-ton high-energy plasma ball that hits Earth, wreaks havoc on our magnetic field, and melts all the transformers in our power grids. Mass chaos and death ensues. (Do recall that the sun has lashed out before, during the Carrington Event of 1859—it's just that there wasn't much electronic circuitry to melt down, so humanity survived just fine.) Clearly we need a preemptive strike against the sun...

--Bradford Plumer