Weather Wake Up Call for U.S. as Congress Keeps Pushing for More Fossil Fuel Energy

I know I’m not the only one linking greenhouse gas emissions to global climate change to all the horrendously bad weather pummeling the U.S. lately. The east coast is still without power from Hurricane Irene. A new hurricane Katia is churning up in the Atlantic along with a new tropical storm promising to drop a huge amount of rainfall on New Orleans again missing Texas for relief from the record drought there.

At the same time, it’s been a busy 24 hours for earthquake activity in the U.S. In the late morning hours today, 3 earthquakes hit Alaska’s Aleutian Island area. One was 6.8 that triggered a tsunami warning for the U.S. western coastline between 7:30 and 8:00 am while another 4.2 earthquake shook the Los Angeles area yesterday at 1:47 in the afternoon. If we look at the world map for earthquakes there was substantial seismic activity from the southern hemisphere along Australia north to the ring of fire areas of the Indian Ocean arcing around the pacific basin up to Alaska.

Worldwide earthquakes with M4.5+ located by USGS and Contributing Agencies.
(Earthquakes with M2.5+ within the United States and adjacent areas.)

If all of this challenging weather isn’t a wake up call to get moving on sustainable alternatives, then our reps in Congress and some presidential candidates pushing the filthy tar sands project that will ultimately burn 6X dirtier than usual and hawking our substantial caches of coal are representing Big Oil/Gas/Coal and not our health and welfare.

There is no denying the entire world is suffering from increasingly greater extremes of weather with summers at record highs and winters with increasing precipitation in the form of snow in places like Florida. But politics, at least in the U.S. continues to polarize viewpoints about global climate on behalf of Big Energy Industries, using jobs vs. environment as a ploy to divide U.S. citizens once again. Divide and conquer is not just a saying—it works. Because while were fighting/arguing climate change points with each other, congress is passing anti-environmental laws right under our noses. These laws are a direct affront to our clean air, water, and the EPA that is in place for our safety and welfare and have less to do with jobs than deregulation. Think about it. Jobs can be created in many industries. New jobs in new industries would be nice expanding all sorts of related jobs in engineering, science, and the technical fields for a new generation looking to the future not fearing it. On the other hand, once Mother Nature turns on us that’s it.

Are we absolutely positive human activity is not affecting climate change because I’m seeing videos of huge cesspools of plastic gyres growing in size in our oceans? Just because we can’t see pollution is no assurance it’s not there.

So as Mother Nature bears down on our east coast, the gulf, and rumbles the west coast to Alaska, maybe we should forget politics entangled with enormous lobbyist activity from the wealthiest of industries Big Oil/Gas/Coal. Maybe we should use some good ole street smarts believing what we see and experience because what we’re experiencing is advancing global climate change whether it’s politically correct to believe it or not.

To those that continue to follow a political line concerning global climate change that diss the idea that man’s pollution is a catalyst for the horrendous weather we’re experiencing, than why not apply the same 1% principle as we did to enter a war with Iraq that half our citizens never wanted. Former VP Cheney’s one percent principle as applied to global climate change would read like this:

If there is even a 1% chance that human activity such as greenhouse gas emissions is causing accelerated global climate change, then it is our duty to do all that we can to stop that activity for the welfare of mankind everywhere.

There is little argument against this principle because while deniers claim science can’t prove greenhouse gas emissions cause climate change, deniers can’t prove those greenhouse gas emission aren’t causing a problem either. This principle covers the bases. If was good enough for the U.S. to wage war in a country that had nothing to do with the U.S. terrorist attacks or WMD’s, than it’s good enough to save citizens of this country from the devastation Mother Nature can cause that can far exceed any war. Because while we were battered with fear tactics for almost a decade regarding terrorism, no one has stepped forward to churn the same fear for the wrath of Mother Nature when we can clearly see that she is indeed our greatest threat. Attacks by her are happening along our coastlines all at once right now and fewer dollars to recover from it. There may be more, increasingly worse weather if we fail to act.


Earthquakes Rattle Virginia and Colorado as North American Plate Gets a Shove

 Today’s earthquake in Virginia is rare, ur um, kinda rare since it was the worst since 1897 when another 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit Virginia. There was a 4.2 aftershock reported just a short time ago too. It’s rare that Virginia gets really rattled by an earthquake because Virginia is in what is considered the middle of the North American tectonic plate.

 I found an interesting geological explanation about earthquakes in Virginia at The website explained that the North American Plate extends to the middle of the Atlantic and that magma rises and literally pushes Virginia along the shoreline and subsequently the whole North American plate toward China at a rate of 2 to 3 cm a year. That may explain the 5.5 earthquake in Colorado today also as part of the big shove. Hopefully the mountains will be a buffer and absorb some of the movement because the North American plate strikes the Pacific plat at the San Andreas fault in California. And it does appear that the two earthquakes are connected by one big event to the east in the Atlantic. I’m going to keep checking the USGS website for the next few days just to see if there are any repercussions from today’s earthquakes farther west.

 Maybe a little reminder of Mother Nature and her power is good in Washington D.C. since the House is busy passing anti-environmental bills and the Chamber of Commerce is spending millions to “weaken and eliminate essential public safeguards in the name of ‘regulatory reform,’” according to Public Citizen News. Evan Bayh former senator of Indiana and Andy Card former Chief of Staff for “W” are embarking on a dog and pony show to spread the anti-regulatory credo that will only benefit corporations while killing us off. Man does not live by tainted water and breathing questionable air. Our pollution affects our environment, our health. Attacking the Clean Air and Water Acts like this is what a 3rd world country’s leadership does and those leaderships are usually cartels.  I got a good laugh because Google’s two definitions fit the bill for this latest political cartel on behalf of corporate America and not us.


 1.      An association of manufacturers or suppliers with the purpose of maintaining prices at a high level and restricting competition

 2.      A coalition or cooperative arrangement between political parties intended to promote a mutual interest.

One would think the worldwide heat of this summer and in some places the second summer would deter our country’s efforts to keep forging ahead with fossil fuel. An earthquake is a mighty force and from some of the D.C. commenters on websites the first thought was terrorists not Mother Nature that came to mind today when the earthquake hit. Maybe if we start thinking of sweet Mother Nature along the same lines as terror, the environment would get as much attention.




6.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico as It Awaits a Hit from Hurricane Alex

A 6.2 earthquake rocked Oaxaca, Mexico with the tremors felt in Mexico City. So far no one was hurt and there were no damages, a good thing since Mexico is also bracing for a hit from Hurricane Alex.

First Quebec, and now Mexico with the U.S. sandwiched in between. Hopefully, our west coast stays stable.

Read it:


5.0-5.5 Earthquake in Quebec Felt in SE Michigan

People in Detroit and even Ann Arbor felt small tremors from an at least 5.0 earthquake in Quebec, Canada today. Considering all the bad weather that rushed across Michigan, it’s a wonder that people recognized the tremors but Twitter really lit up with reports about it.

The earthquake was 12 miles deep and felt in Ottawa, Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y., Vermont, Ohio, and Michigan. Buildings rattled in parts of Michigan for about 30 seconds. According to one article, many were surprised a relatively small earthquake was felt so widely here. But remember this was a shallow earthquake only 12 miles deep. Shallow earthquakes like the one in Haiti can be devastating although not abnormally high on the Richter scale.

Check out the USGS map. It looks significant compared to all the smaller ones on the west coast that occurred today.


Mother Nature Shuts Down Air Travel

The southern Icelandic volcano continues to spew ash in a plume that is now 900 miles long showing little sign of slowing up. In 1891, the same volcano kept erupting for over a year. The plume of ash is so large and covers such a vast area it can be seen from satellite. Right now, eleven European countries are shut down for travel, disrupting a heck of a lot of people’s lives. If it continues air travel there could halt indefinitely. People are calling it an act of God. Are we equating Mother Nature with God finally, because we haven’t been to kind to Mother Nature at all? A lot of us are quick to say we don’t cause global warming, but we do cause massive amounts of pollution and that pollution poses a problem for Mother Nature in our world. Now, she poses a problem for us. Seems fair and equitable to me. It’s not like we aren’t being warned every single day of her, ur um, God’s might.

ABC news said that it’s amazing that one volcano can disrupt so much of the world. I surmise that there may be more volcanic eruptions in the future because larger earthquakes are becoming more prevalent too. There was a 4.9 earthquake in Utah last night, the largest in 20 years. Earthquakes and volcanoes are related. Tectonic plate movement affects both. According to Pacific Disaster Center, “In slightly more complicated ways, magma is generated at most plate boundaries, and this magma rises to the surface to create volcanoes. [And] the movement of magma within a volcano causes earthquakes, usually small ones. Earthquakes are also caused by adjustment to the flanks of volcanoes and the plates under volcanoes.” Iceland is presently experiencing small earthquakes. Uh, oh.

It’s been shown that glaciers weighing thousands of tons compress the earth beneath them and as they melt and become lighter are causing that same earth beneath them to spring up. Since tectonic plates overlap and cover the surface of the earth, movement of plates in one area will most assuredly cause movement in other areas. If the movement causes plates to collide, an earthquake happens. Rest assured, the tectonic plates beneath massive glaciers that are continually “losing weight” due to melt will move and so there will be more earthquakes and volcanoes. Not a rosy picture.


6.9 Earthquake Hits China

A 6.9 earthquake flattened Qinghai province inside the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in China this morning. Four hundred are dead, and as many as 10,000 injured while many more are feared to be buried beneath mountains of rubble. Unfortunately, this earthquake was shallow like that of Haiti, and the housing was made mostly of wood. It’s reported that 85% of housing collapsed.

It makes a big difference whether earthquakes are shallow or deep. On April 12th, a 6.3 earthquake struck Granada, Spain. There was nary a tremor from it because it was 380 miles deep. The quake in China is a disaster. It was only 6.2 miles deep. One of the aftershocks in China has registered 5.8. There have been 18 aftershocks so far. There is a crack in a dam nearby that does not bode well for the area.

Efforts to help survivors have been hindered by cold weather and landslides. It doesn’t help that the nearest airport is hundreds of miles away. China has lost thousands of people to earthquakes in the past few years. According to the website, Everything PR, “In 2008, a huge quake struck neighboring Sichuan province – it left 87,000 people dead or missing. The aftermath of that event left five million people homeless.”

This area is known for quakes. There are many slip faults. Best Syndication website stated: “The Indian Tectonic Plate is also pushing into the Eurasian Tectonic Plate forming the nearby Himalayas (Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT) and Main Boundary Thrust fault zone).

What kind of catastrophic event would occur if a massive earthquake shook the Himalayas?

BBC has the best video so far:


Big 7.7 Earthquake Hits Sumatra

A 7.7 earthquake hit Aceh, Sumatra this morning. Fortunately, there were no casualties and little damage. Tsunami warnings were issued but later canceled. When I went to search the USGS website, I found a blog report in the San Francisco Chronicle written by Zennie62. Evidently, he thinks as I do. There are more and bigger earthquakes. As he stated: “The skeptic would offer that this current trend of “‘significant earthquakes'” could be slowed by a lull, but even excluding 2010, the number of “‘significant earthquakes'” has increased from 56 in 2007 to 72 in 2009 in looking at the USGS information.”

He continued by discounting the idea that because of improved seismic technology more earthquakes are reported. The USGS concurs but also “points to improved technology between 1931 and today, not within the last decade.” So the increase in earthquakes from 07 to 09 is real.

The other thing Zennie62 realized is that more sensitive equipment will most certainly pick up more minor tremors but a big one is a big one. No one needs to be told that by a seismic monitor. And we’ve been having quite a few big boomers already this year. As he noted: “So we come back to the apparent fact that we have more earthquakes of significant (read: large) size in 2010 than over the last four years.”

Read the article:


Earthquake in Mexico Shakes California and Arizona

At 6:40 pm ET, a 7.2 earthquake struck Baja California, Mexico, and just before 8:00 am ET a 5.1 quake was felt in southern California. Let’s hope it all stops there.

Two deaths, and about a hundred injuries were reported in the major metropolitan area of Mexicali also the capital of Mexico’s Baja California state. According to CNN pictures of Mexicali “showed sides ripped off buildings, telephone poles toppled, roads cracked and supermarket aisles strewn with food that had fallen off shelves.” The entire area is without power.

Reports from citizens in Southern California including the police department said tremors rolled through with some reports of buildings moving and things falling off the walls. Citizens said they haven’t felt shaking that intense for 20 years.

The epicenter of the quake caused a bilateral crack shooting both north toward California and south into Mexico.

Watch the video:


Seismic Activity; Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Glaciers, and Drilling

Found some interesting articles about interrelationships regarding geological phenomena after the latest 8.8 earthquake in Chile. I’m posting the links that should present a logical pattern in order to incite some thought. Like I said after reading them, “Hmmmm?”

Did you know that earthquakes are related to volcanoes and caused by pressure, stress, and load build-up? Read:


Upheavals of land result from earthquakes and form mountain ranges or as stated in the previous link, volcanic mountain ranges tend to appear along faults.

Tectonic plates all relate to one another like a giant jigsaw puzzle comprising the earth’s crust. So pressure or a relatively quick release of pressure in one fault affects tectonic plates elsewhere. Huge glaciers that weigh billion of tons are rapidly melting and also affecting pressure on tectonic plates. Alaska’s coastlines are rising as a result of glaciers melting.

The last article stated some of Alaska’s wetlands are drying up because of the rise, think recent Alaskan wildfires.

Whenever tectonic plates move quickly they cause seismic waves that cause smaller tremors. Likewise glacier walls or peninsulas weighing billions that fall off into the sea produce seismic waves.

Seismic waves from melting glaciers may cause increased earthquakes in Alaska and we know there are volcanoes up there too. Notice this article is from 2004.

Small earthquakes caused from seismic waves from melting glaciers in Greenland.

Gathering any insight into tectonic plates worldwide and what affects them? We should consider the plates are a little more active due to accelerated glacier melt in both poles and some pretty big chunks crumbling into the sea. The latest jar in Antarctica came from an iceberg breaking off the size of Luxembourg the day before the big earthquake in Chile. And that was after another mammoth glacier hit the latest to break off earlier in the month. Hmmmm? Did that affect the earthquakes in Haiti or Chile.

So weight on the earth’s lithosphere affects tectonic plates, as well as pressure below. Atmospheric pressure also plays a role in what are called “slow” earthquakes. For instance, typhoons (hurricanes) cause slow earthquakes.

Atmospheric pressure has never been thought to be great enough to affect tectonic plates but now there is evidence that it spurs “slow” earthquakes. Atmospheric pressure may more easily influence seismic activity due to weakened fault lines from massive earthquakes like Indonesia 2004.

If atmospheric pressure can affect tectonic plates when it was long held that it could not, then oil or natural gas drilling may also affect tectonic plates by drilling into continental crust and oceanic crust. Seismic activity for oil drilling is low, but there are 3,000 oilrigs worldwide.

We’ve caused tremors from natural gas drilling already.
Drilling causes quake in U.S.

And geophysical hazards research scientist, Christian Klose, from Columbia University in New York, has done many peer reviewed publications about human activity inducing earthquakes. I shouldn’t be using this website as it is an online encyclopedia but there is a lot of information in the article about earthquakes from coal mining, water extraction, and gas exploration.

In this light, shouldn’t there be more investigation about mining and drilling? We’re ramping up natural gas exploration everywhere that pumps chemicals/water 1000’s of feet into the ground under great pressure. Remember what causes earthquakes—pressure and stress? Ditto for pumping CO2 into the ground.

Congress might learn more about humans affecting seismic activity as they investigate natural gas drilling for other reasons.


Earthquake 8.8 Magnitude Hits Chile; Hawaii Awaits a Tsunami

Earthquakes are increasing and now a huge magnitude earthquake has hit Chile, killing 122 people already. The death toll will surely rise. According to CNN the quake has had at least 33 after shocks. The last aftershock was 30 minutes ago in Argentina and that was 6.3 in magnitude! This quake has triggered a Tsunami warning as far as Hawaii. The epicenter of the quake was the city of Concepion, Chile about 1:34 am EST.

Know this, when an earthquake goes from a 7.0 magnitude to 9.0 magnitude the strength increases 1000 times! So at 8.8 magnitude, this quake is 6, 7, and 8 hundred times stronger than the Haitian earthquake.

It should take at least 14 hours for waves to hit Hawaii and warning signals have gone off there. The west coast of California will experience and increase in height and surge of waves also up to the Oregon coast, but no tsunami. Robinson Crusoe and the Easter Islands are already feeling tsunami waves. Those islands are about 400 miles off the coast of Chile.

Check Twitter for the quickest info coming out of Chile.
Read about it: