« "Tuesday" from Thoreau | Main | Modern War and Civilization »

April 20, 2005

In the Media Today- Earthquake of Astronomical Proportions


It started with "The Day After Tomorrow." Since then, television companies have been feverishly trying to show us what a massive natural disaster could look like for North America.

How many of you saw the miniseries on NBC of

"Earthquake 10.5?" For those who did not, the event took place along the San Andreas Fault line. A chain
of earthquakes triggered more quakes along the fault line. One scientist predicted that the biggest quake could reach above 10 on the Richter Scale and formed a plan that could possible
stop the quakes. Explosives were placed strategically to fuse the fault line, but the last explosive did not reach its intended destination. Half of California ended up under water in a
quake that reached 10.5 on that magic measurement scale. Though evacuations had moved people away from the proposed danger zone, they were not safe when the massive quake hit. All human efforts
to avert disaster had failed. In the end, the narrator echoed my thoughts. He said that though humans think they can control the natural world, in the end, it is the natural world that has the last word.

The Discovery Channel has shown two documentaries recently that make the fear of global catastrophe a potential reality. On April 10th, the Discovery Channel put on a production of "Supervolcano." This documentary explores the possibility of Yellowstone becoming a whole lot more active. In examining other volcanic possibilities, we can find more places that could become enraged with explosions. Imagining the possibilities is frightening as it would change the earth completely, and might also fulfill Biblical prophecy of the sky being blackened for an extended period of time. I challenge you to take the tour offered here of the other volcanic regions. It is quite gut stirring. Beware of the introduction... It startled me twice.

Over the weekend, a branch of the Discovery Channel called The Science Channel put on their own documentary of a possible "Megaquake" right here in the Pacific Northwest via the Cascadia fault line off of the coast. This was not displayed so much "Hollywood style." Their scientific approach showed a possible outcome of a quake that could reach 9 on the Richter scale and a tsunami that would reach the coast within 30 minutes of the initial quake. The quake itself could last several
minutes. It would take the water only five hours to reach Hawaii, and a few hours more to reach Japan. It was discovered that the Cascadia fault line has erupted more than once in the past. It is predicted that it will happen again.

There are other movies out there depicting natural disasters and the consequences thereof. Is it all speculation that could never happen? Or is it a warning of what will happen...eventually?
Are we prepared? Not hardly.

Posted by Shawna at April 20, 2005 8:06 PM Category: Global Warming --- Environmental Impacts

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


I've wondered what impact removing millions of barrels of crude oil has on tectonic plates? In the large scale of things, it might not seem like much, but at a certain stage the laws of physics show that scales are tipped. Weight can be slowly added to a board that is stretched between two fulcrums/points and at some point, one extra ounce added breaks the board.

Little things in nature have profound consequences. National Geographic tonight had a very sobering show on ecodamage. Take temperature. It showed/told about the caribou in Alaska. Global warming has upped the temperature enough to increase mosquito populations; this drives the caribou to higher altitudes to get into drafts of wind that keep the mosquitos away; but the fodder is poor up high; they don't put on much weight which makes it tougher in the winter and makes for less calves in the spring; the warmer weather causes more snow which makes it harder for the caribou to forage for lichen and it makes them more vulnerable to wolves; it also causes some rain when it shouldn't be raining, which puts an ice crust over the lichen, which makes foraging all the more difficult and causes small injuries to the legs of the caribou as they trod through it, which further weakens them. The end result is an alarming reduction in the number of caribou all because of a few degrees in temperature. Simple=profound.

What if Revelations in the Bible is really coded for the environment? Instead of human kingdoms, maybe it is plant and animal kingdoms whose demise must first preclude ours?

Posted by: goesh at April 21, 2005 3:41 AM

I have had that thought as well. Common sense says that land is floating on the oil, or the oil fills a void. One would think that the earth would collapse into the void left behind. I like to think of oil as the blood of the earth. If one bleeds to death- it...uh... dies. Misnomer, I realize, but you get my point.

My thoughts on Revelations are very complicated as the authors of the Bible had no understanding of what was to come, but could only describe what was seen in words and pictures they did understand. Who would have dreamed up the industrial revolution and sky scrapers in 500 A.D.? If you compare some of the prophecies in the Bible with Native American or Asian legends, they are not really so different. The Bible uses beasts or creatures that cause fear; Native Americans use animals or plants they know about; Asian cultures use dragons.
I do believe that the entire global ecosystem will be affected, or perhaps used. With human beings left to their own devices, human beings will likely be the perpetrators of their own demise. Human beings need the gifts of the earth as much as any other creature. If the earth dies, so do human beings.

So true a prediction more than 70 years ago (also previously posted):

"Some day the earth will weep, she will beg for her life, she will cry with tears of blood. You will make a choice, if you will help her or if you will let her die, and when she dies, you too will die."

John Hollow Horn, an Ogala Lakota Native

We, as merely one species on the planet, are without excuse. We have been warned of our fate for many years, yet have not heeded those warnings from the wise.

Posted by: Shawna at April 21, 2005 7:41 PM