Wednesday, 16 March 2011

I despair ...

It was, I expect, inevitable. Already I am receiving emails suggesting that the Tokyo earthquake is the start of the 'End of the World' predicted by that favourite book for misquotation, the Bible. Someone, presumably in the US, but I could well be wrong, and certainly on the 'fundamentalist' end of the religious spectrum, has started an email suggesting that 9/11 (New York), 1/11 (Haiti) and now 3/11 (Tokyo) are all linked and signs of the coming end...

That gave me a desire to scream, but then I stumbled across someone trying to make a link between "Anthropomorphic Global Warming" (AGW) and an increase in the strength of earthquakes and had to go and lie down in a darkened room for a bit.

According to the AGW suggestion, the melting of glaciers has caused an 'isostatic bounce' which has triggered an increase in the number of earthquakes in the last 30 years. Really? Since on a geological timescale these things happen over thousands of years, if not millions, the last 30 years is not statistically significant. There is another reason for the increase in earthquakes - the number of seismic stations has gone from 164 in the 1960s to over a thousand in the last thirty. We are now measuring quakes in places we simply didn't have records for before this.

Plate tectonics is a very interesting subject, one that is still not fully explored, but as with any system in movement, if it cannot move smoothly and continuously past whatever it is in contact with, there has to be stress. Stress has to be relieved. When two plates build up stress and then release it - you get an earthquake. I'm glad to say that geologists all over the internet are jumping up and down and foaming at the mouth over this suggestion by some idiot in Green Peace.

This sort of psuedo-science is precisely why people are so distrustful of anything to do with science these days. Right, back to my darkened room. With all the other problems in Tokyo at present, no one needs this sort of blatant scaremongering. Sadly, I have also no doubt that there are enough idiots out there who believe this sort of garbage to make the donations to Green Peace keep rolling in - and for governments to keep throwing tax money into "research" on the subject!

Now I'm really upset ....

1 comment:

  1. The Husband might argue the true "beginning of the end" came on 4/11.

    ... the day he married me. ;-)