to warn or not to warn…

You might’ve heard recent predictions that North America may experience a mega-quake sometime between March 19-26. Of course, California is the usual suspect, but there’s also been activity along the New Madrid Fault in the midwest, Alaska, Yellowstone, the Pacific Northwest and along the border of Quebec and New York state.

99.99% of earthquake predictions are wrong, and I never pay attention to them, but after seeing this freaky interview with Jim Berkland, the USGS geologist who predicted San Francisco’s World Series quake, I was intrigued. He determines “seismic windows” based on moon phases, high tides and anomalous marine and animal behavior. For instance, he attributes the dead birds in Arkansas to massive shifts in the electromagnetic ley lines they use for migration (I was unaware that AR’s had 700 quakes in the last 6 months!) No doubt this might disorientate the magnetite of a few thousand birds.

In addition to Jim Berkland’s prediction is Ken Ring’s prediction. Ring is the mathematician who predicted the devastating earthquake in Christchurch this past February. He is now predicting a second quake during this same seismic window, roughly around March 20 in line with the supermoon. Like Berkland, he thinks there is a connection between the moon, king tides (i.e. very high tides) and shallow thrust activity. (A study being conducted at UCLA and sited by National Geogrpahic here confirms the connection is credible as does this report.)

Despite having predicted the Christchurch quake, King is in the process of defending himself against accusations of recklessness and irresponsibility. He’s also being ridiculed by scientific “experts” who won’t join the 21st century and engage in a little experimental thought. (Meanwhile the Brits and Russians are launching forward-thinking projects like this one where satellites will scan Earth for “subtle but detectable electromagnetic signals” to determine where geological stress is building.)

Here, Mr. Ring defends the moral necessity for earthquake predictions in his write-up, The Ethics of Warning. His thinking makes sense to me…

“Both skeptics and observers have their point. It is up to the reader to decide how much to either make preparations – or not. The bottom line is information. In the past the purpose of astrology – and its birthchild meteorology, was to warn. Rulers consulted their court astrologers for good or bad battle days, and in modern times general populations prepare for cyclones, floods and gales on the say-so of weather experts watching radar screens around the clock…..Information is power. How it gets to be used is the responsibility of the user.”

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