Squirrels are vastly more harmful to the world's power grids than "the cyber" is


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/16/squirrels-are-vastly-more-harm.html


Squirrels are assholes, nothing more than invasive lead poisoned tree rats. They steal from my bird feeder, climb into my rafters and die, strip my fruit trees, burn down houses, periodically cut off my internet/phone line, and generally cause havoc.





Someone is obviously training these squirrels. I don’t know who, but all these incidents caused by squirrels can’t be by chance.


Quite right. Just as squirrels were for many millennia vastly more harmful than nuclear weapons, right up to August 6, 1945.



Five years ago we had a power outage on 26th December caused by a squirrel suicide attacker who put itself between two phase horns on our electricity substation. I hadn’t realised it was part of a global plot at the time though.


“Rocky has always been working for Boris and Natasha” - Anonymous (intelligent official)


Squirrels are sciurids belonging to the suborder sciuromorpha, order rodentia. Rats are murids of the order rodentia. Not even close. (very, very roughly, as different as, say, porpoises and camels.)

The difference being that we already have “cyber-warfare”.

A major takedown of the Internet would be pretty disastrous but it is not the same thing. I will agree with anyone who says we need much better security and better hardened systems - preferably independent of public ones. But currently the publicity is of the kind that was about in the early 1900s, working up tension. And we know what that led to.


Not to mention those begoggled cats drilling when we’re not watching 'em.


I like squirrels.

There, I said it.


I saw a merlin take down a squirrel the other day. I cheered.

I live on the border of 3 squirrel territories - white squirrels own the front yard and the backyard is split between the black and the greys. We have squirrel wars at all hours, mostly around the oak tree and the bird feeders, but sometimes at night on our roof top. Putting hot pepper oil on the bird food keeps me from having to refill the bird feeders everyday, and I did get a giggle out of watching their response to my chemical attack. They learned quickly that my feeders were not an all you can eat buffet for them.

I wonder if we could make wire coatings out of some sort of chili oil or some such thing that would help protect our power grid from gnawing mammals.


Nature has always been out to get us.


probably some 400 pound guy sitting in his bed…


we already have “cyber-warfare”

Perhaps, But we haven’t yet had an outright large-scale cyber attack against the combined infrastructure of a whole country.


Yeah, there’s a weird catch-22 here, in that “the cyber” is a legitimate threat in the same way nuclear war is a legitimate threat (just because we haven’t had a full scale nuke-em-up doesn’t mean there’s nothing to worry about), but it’s also true that promoting fear and paranoia over cybersecurity (or anything) can be a threat too. If the government were promoting fear over squirrels nobody would leave the house.


Either approach can be taken to extreme. I’m just pushing a bit against the tone of the article - which is basically “cyber-shmyber, what could go wrong?”


Twice squirrels have taken down my power in suicide attacks.


I had always heard this was caused by a squirrel, but I guess not.


Training or just…harnessing?

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