I have been known to mash my science and scfi-fi before, usually because it is usually sci-fi that leads to sci in the first place. But give me a chance to take on Nikola Tesla and I just can’t resist.
Can Humans Weaponize Earthquakes ? We’ll Find Out.
[Scott Thill, AlterNet]
Last year, one of the most deadly earthquakes on record devastated China, killing over 80,000 people and rendering millions homeless. Yet last month, reports surfaced stating that the 8.0 magnitude Great Sichuan Earthquake could have possibly been induced not by Earth but its people. Particularly, the ones that decided to build the 4-year-old Zipingpu reservoir, which held 320 million tons of water, near a major fault line.
It is rumored that Chinese geologist Geng Qingguo, who reportedly predicted the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, had sent a letter to China’s Premier Wen Jiabao predicting the same for Sichuan. Evidently, he had been talking about it for months, years depending on who you read, but to no avail.
Of course, Geng is no Nostradamus, just a geologist with a firm grasp of what scientists in his discipline refer to as induced seismicity, basically earthquakes created by humanity. Currently, there are only a few ways humans can conventionally make earthquakes: Fossil fuel, groundwater or mining extractions, and erecting massive structures like buildings or dams.
“Dams have been implicated in reservoir-induced seismicity, and there is a vigorous debate whether Zipingpu dam may have triggered the Wenchuan Earthquake,” explained Nicholas Sitar, professor of geoengineering and an expert on seismology at the University of California, Berkeley, who traveled to Sichuan to study the 2008 quake.
“However, the larger picture is that strain has been building up in that region, and the quake was probably overdue. Of course, we do not know if the outcome would be any different if the quake happened a few years from now on its own. In most recent quakes, the difference in the magnitude of the loss of life had more to do with time of the day than anything else. In Wenchuan, the schools were in full session when they collapsed.”
Fair enough, but concern, and conspiracy theory, is mounting that humanity is intent on weaponizing earthquakes through means other than gross negligence or good intentions. Or already has. MORE @ ALTERNET
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