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Will an attack on the electrical grid cause an extended power outage for a major U.S. city?
Ted Koppel, of ABC News and Nightline fame, has been sounding the alarm about the vulnerability of the electrical grids in the U.S. to intentional sabotage.
In his book Lights Out, Koppel argues that the U.S. grid(s) are both so interconnected and so fragile that a well-crafted attack could knock out power for a multi-state region, leaving residents without electric power for months.
For the purposes of this question, an attack with less dramatic impact will do:
Between March 1 and September 1, 2016, will an intentional attack on our electrical power infrastructure knock out power for more than 30% of residents in one of the ten most populous U.S. cities for a period of 72 hours or more?
For a positive resolution, there must be a public statement by either a law enforcement organization or a utility company confirming that the outage was not an accident.
Metaculus help: Predicting
Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.
The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.
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Metaculus help: Community Stats
Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.