There are a lot of rumors about the cause of the Blackout lately, but the one that everyone thinks is the most plausible is the Electromagnetic Pulse. This article describes very well the consequences of such phenomena.
Set in a future "where every single piece of technology — computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights — has mysteriously blacked out forever," according to the promos, the drama series is fiction, but the threat it depicts, the end of technological society and life as we know it, is a frighteningly real possibility.
We've warned of the threat many times, but the damage an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), a high-intensity burst of electromagnetic energy caused by an explosion of charged particles, such as by a high-altitude nuclear detonation, is a subject that makes eyes glaze over.
Let's hope this series will show the apocalyptic nature of this threat in terms average people can understand.
Eric Kripke, one of the show's executive producers, said, "We did our homework and came up with something that's actually plausible." Indeed, the script could have been taken directly from a report from the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse, which was established by Congress to assess the dangers of an EMP attack.
The report warned that it "has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures and thus to the very fabric of U.S. society, as well as to the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power."
As the Heritage Foundation reports, an EMP attack "would fundamentally change the world. Airplanes would fall from the sky; most cars would be inoperable; electrical devices would fail. Water, sewer and electrical networks would fail simultaneously. Systems of banking, energy, transportation, food production and delivery, water, emergency services and even cyberspace would collapse."
Millions could die as hospital systems shut down and rail and air traffic control systems collapse.
This is the fragment of the article, but the question remains the same. Is it an EMP attack what makes the lights go out in Revolution?
Let me explain why I think we are definitely talking about an EMP.
If you watch the trailers and promos that we have so far, you can see in the moment of the blackout a wave of darkness expanding from a single point in the world. In this Extended Preview you can actually see the wave (00:38 mark) starting somewhere in East Coast or the Atlantic Ocean. First the East Coast lights go out and then the wave moves forward the West Coast, and the same thing with South America, the wave start in Venezuela and travels south.