Global warming means more earthquakes!

Summary:  It seems there is no limit to the nonsense the major media will feed us to support their views.  Today we see an esp. bizarre example.  The news can make us dumber, if we are not careful.

Earthquakes Became Five Times More Energetic, Discovers Australian Scientist Dr Tom Chalko“, MSNBC (17 June 2008) — “The research proves that destructive ability of earthquakes on Earth increases alarmingly fast and that this trend is set to continue, unless the problem of “global warming” is comprehensively and urgently addressed.”

Today’s Quakes Deadlier Than In Past“, CBS News reporting an AP story (18 June 2008) — “Study: Seismic Activity 5 Times More Energetic Than 20 Years Ago Because Of Global Warming”  Update: CBS News has put this story in the memory hole.  No explanation, just a clean deletion.  You will not remember this, will you?

The source of the stories is an article in the NU Journal of Discovery, published by Natural University — “NU Journal of Discovery has been created to facilitate exchange of information about the latest discoveries and stimulate the global intellectual activity on Earth. ”

The article is “Earthquake Energy Rise on Earth“, Tom J Chalko (May 2008) — Abstract:

This article presents a method of monitoring earthquake activity on the planetary scale using the data of all individual earthquakes on Earth since 1973, available from US Geological Survey (USGS). The method reveals that in the period of time when the planetary climate changed by a small fraction of one degree, earthquakes have become 5 times more energetic and that this increase is the strongest symptom yet of global warming.

This exhibits the degree of fact-checking that the major media often perform on stories that fit their preconceptions.  For example, it would have been nice if their readers saw the following:

USGS:  Common Myths about EarthquakesS:

Although it may seem that we are having more earthquakes, earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater have remained fairly constant throughout this century and, according to our records, have actually seemed to decrease in recent years.

There are several reasons for the perception that the number of earthquakes, in general, and particularly destructive earthquakes is increasing. …

Also, it would put this new article in context to have mention Chaldo’s earlier work, such as this:

No second Chance: Can Earth Explode as a result of Global Warming?“, Thomas J. Chalko (May 2001) — “Overheating the center of the inner core reactor due to the so­called greenhouse effect on the surface of Earth may cause the meltdown condition, enrichment of nuclear fuel and a gigantic atomic explosion.”

As usual with discussions about global warming, one of the best analyses of this appears at Climate Audit:  “Earthquakes and global warming“.  Their comment section is lively, with links to many sources — and uncensored (which might account for its lively and informative nature).

None of this nonsense affects the underlying issues of climate science, but it has slowed the process of verifying current theories.  This is esp. unfortunate given the stakes.

For more information about global climate change

(a)  Other posts on this site

  1. A look at the science and politics of global warming  (12 June 2008)
  2. An article giving strong evidence of global warming  (30 June 2008)
  3. Worrying about the Sun and climate change – cycle 24 is late  (10 July 2008)
  4. Update: is Solar Cycle 24 late (a cooling cycle, with famines, etc)?  (15 July 2008)
  5. More forecasts of a global cooling cycle  (15 July 2008)

(b)  Information from other sources

  1. SURFACE TEMPERATURE RECONSTRUCTIONS FOR THE LAST 2,000 YEARS“, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES (2006) — aka The North Report.
  2. Report of the “Ad Hoc Committee on the Hockey Stick Global Climate Reconstruction”, commissioned by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce (July 2006) — aka The Wegman Report.  Also note this excerpt from the Q&A session of the Dr. Edward J. Wegman’s testimony.
  3. The role of statisticians in public policy debates over climate change“, Richard L. Smith, American Statistical Association – Section on Statistics & the Environment Newsletter (Spring 2007) — One of the too-few reports by statisticians on the climate change literature.
  4. A timeline of the science and politics of climate science.
  5. Bibliography by year of climate science research

4 thoughts on “Global warming means more earthquakes!”

  1. Robert Petersen

    The problem is that most people don’t know much about such matters. They are busy with their jobs, with what is on the television and what their kids are doing. It is simply too time-consuming to understand such complicated matters and must of the time they prefer to have pundits explain how to think about such matters. There is really no difference between a person writing an article about how the earth might explode because of climate change (see above) and a pundit claiming that Iranian nuclear ICBM’s are posed to strike against Disney World within 45 minutes.

    Not that there is anything new about that. Remember how Orson Wells scared the hell out of people on the East Coast with his radio play “War of the worlds” in 1939?
    Fabius Maximus replies: I agree. Still, we can expect better of the major media. The WoW’s broadcast was an accident (in the sense of unintended effects). What this incident shows is deliberate agitprop.

  2. Robert Petersen

    I dunno. I think at some point between 1989 and 2003 the media world changed today. I am sorry – I keep getting of topic (climate change), but I think it is relevant just to look at the current media coverage of the Iranian nuclear program. Sure – they have one, but the NIE said last year the military part of the nuclear program ended in 2003. You sure don’t hear a lot about that today do you? Instead the international media simply repeats the propaganda line from the White House instead of having journalists asking the American president at the press briefings “Wait a sec…Iranian nukes? Didn’t the NIE last year say there was no nuclear program?!? What is going on???”

    What we need are journalists with knowledge, integrity, independence and simply common sense. Not journalists who will take the most dramatic story (“mushroom clouds over America”) just because it sells better. They actually exist – but they are certainly not in the main stream media. You have to look at the outsiders to find the “real” information you seek. Unfortunately they don’t really matter because…well…they are not in the mainstream media.

  3. “Update: CBS News has put this story in the memory hole. … You will not remember this, will you?”

    We won’t have to remember the specifics if we remember the general pattern.

    Actual Expert Too Boring For TV“, The Onion (4 May 2005) — Excerpt:

    “Canton was brought in for a test interview based on a recent op-ed in the Boston Globe, in which he argued that increased reliance on nuclear power is “inevitable.” When asked to address nuclear power’s potentially disastrous consequences, however, Canton launched into a well-reasoned lecture that balanced modern energy demands against safety and environmental concerns.

    Cal Salters, a segment producer at MSNBC, was not impressed.

    “[Canton] went on like that for six… long… minutes,” Salters said. “Fact after mind-numbing fact. Then he started spewing all these statistics about megawatts and the nation’s current energy consumption and I don’t know what, because my mind just shut off. I tried to lead him in the right direction. I told him to address the fears that the average citizen might have about nuclear power, but he still utterly failed to mention meltdowns, radiation, or mushroom clouds.”

    “I’m sure he knows what he’s talking about,” Salters added. “But we have a responsibility to educate and entertain our viewers. In the end, we had to go with someone else.”

    MSNBC chose Skip Hammond, former Arizona State football player, MBA holder, and author of Imprison The Sun: America’s Coming Nuclear-Power Holocaust. Hammond is best known for his “atomic domino” theory of chained power-plant explosions and his signature lavender silk tie.
    Fabius Maximus replies: The Onion is well on its way to become our newspaper of record, since reality is no more screwed up than their bizarro version.

    They published what I consider the best analysis of the campaign to date:
    Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

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