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.


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:


More Earthquakes and Closer to Home; Haiti Devastated

Last week two earthquakes hit Guatemala, a 4.9 and 5.0. Then a 4.7 and 4.9 hit parts of Mexico. Three days ago the Virgin Islands experienced a mild 2.9 earthquake. Two days ago a 6.5 earthquake hit offshore California. Yesterday a 4.1 earthquake hit offshore northern California again. Twenty hours ago a 4.3 earthquake hit southern California. Today a 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti.

These earthquakes made a loop. From Central America and Mexico to the Virgin Islands then down the coast of California and back to Haiti. Haiti is such a poor country to bear the brunt of not just one but a series of earthquakes culminating in the 7.0 earthquake today 14 miles from the capital Port au Prince. A hospital collapsed and the quake also sparked a tsunami watch for parts of the Caribbean.

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Why So Many Earthquakes?

I’m curious as to why the earth is experiencing so many earthquakes? Does one trigger another? Is mankind having an impact on them in some way? I ran into some interesting articles beginning with blaming oil industry drilling to some pretty good evidence that the Indonesian earthquake of 2004 that triggered the tsunami actually weakened fault lines worldwide. website posted an article that stated:

A recent US study found that the 2004 earthquake weakened fault lines around the world, including California’s San Andreas Fault.
The research, that was published in the journal Nature on the day the latest earthquake in Indonesia hit, suggested the tsunami could have caused an increase in earthquakes around the world since.

This seems to be the best explanation for an increase in earthquakes for now. My next question is do the earthquakes directly relate to typhoons because another typhoon in Indonesia is set to dump more water on the already flooded region. I do know that part of the world is experiencing an el nino that stirs up hurricanes but they come right in the midst of the earthquakes too so?

Other articles relative to oil drilling and earthquakes:

Earthquakes Can Be Triggered by Drilling for Oil and Natural Gas as published in the Wall St. Journal.

Exxon Mobil Drilling Could Have Tripped 2004 Earthquake/Tsunami

Doubtful oil drilling can cause huge earthquake


First Reports of Tsunami Belied What Was to Come

When I blogged about the giant 8.3 undersea earthquake that triggered a Tsunami that threatened the American Samoan Islands yesterday the early reports had waves of approximately 5 feet hitting the island. I couldn’t find anything else about it but the same story over an over. I wondered why more news wasn’t coming in. Now I know—people were running for their lives.

Much of the ensuing news that leaked out was on Twitter by people holed up or trapped somewhere. One young man’s friends got through to him via cell phone but all he could say was: “A car just floated by my window on the second floor!”

Those 5 ft. waves were just the first of several more surges of sea that got progressively worse and higher, and it’s typical of Tsunamis. People near the sea were washed away yesterday. Today 114 are dead and whole villages demolished. As one of the citizens there stated, “Many of the homes are made of wood with an open floor plan. These types of homes are gone.”

The waves eventually reached 15 to 20 ft. and surged as far as a mile inland. The water wasn’t the problem as usual but all the debris, trucks, cars, and boats that come along with it.

Check out You Tube video:

Read about it:,2933,557282,00.html.


Latest Big Weather Events Are Evenly Spaced Apart

Boy, it’s been one heck of a week. September 23, Australia witnessed a dust storm that looked like something from a Martian landscape. The dust particles illuminated red by the sun hung like a fog over Sydney’s harbor. Check out the video:

A few days later a Typhoon hit Manila bringing so much rain that 80% of that city was under water, hundreds of people were missing, and thousands of people were displaced.
Another good video follows:

Today an 8.3 earthquake beneath the ocean near the American Samoan islands generated a tsunami and warning for the Hawaiian Islands 2300 miles north. Five foot waves erupted hit Samoa following the earthquake.
Read more:

Oddly these events–a dust storm, a typhoon, and a giant undersea earthquake that generated a tsunami were each 3 days apart and severe. All we need is a volcano to erupt on October 2 to round things out.


America Desensitized

I just watched the morning news that most people are not all that concerned about the rising gas prices. One of the reasons listed is that the economy is booming, for who though? My husband is working overtime on a regular basis but we’re not feeling the strong economy because food, gas, and utilities keep rising so whatever extra comes in gets ate up. Why is it the HAVES just cannot get it through their heads they are the only ones that are feeling a boom, that they are the ones with the extra cash to invest heavily in emerging markets to make more money unlike the HAVE NOTS who have very little extra disposable income. But why is it we are not hearing from the HAVE NOTS, about these rising costs, or many of the problems being faced like loss of homes and bankruptcy? I don’t think the news is portraying the middle class realistically in this country. The news about rising gas prices even went on to say there has been a rise in the purchase of gas guzzling cars. Is this true or a skewed look at polls that don’t include a good cross section of the middle class? It appears some of the problem with our day-to-day reality lies within the news and entertainment industry.

Has anyone else noticed that our TV news sources are attempting to entertain us as well? That news and entertainment are starting to look an awfully lot alike? This is not a good thing. It is causing us to view real news and absorb real issues no differently than slogans and buzz words from the entertainment industry. Global warming to many is nothing but a slogan that does not need to be taken seriously. In our minds, no matter how realistic a movie portrays something, we’re able to think, it’s only a movie. Is this starting to spill over into the REAL world? If so, we are on a slippery slope. Studies have been done on chickens, of all things, that when forced to view too much movement, too much sound, no different than watching for example Dancing With the Stars, that they become traumatized somehow and become inactive. Is this what is happening to human beings? Have we finally bombarded our senses to death not to be concerned over gas prices heading to $4.00 per gallon?

Lately, I’ve met quite a few people who have limited the amount of TV and entertainment they are allowing their children to watch. This may be a good thing because now is not the time to become desensitized to facts and reality. There are very real dangers out there from global warming that many are experiencing already. Africans, especially in the low lying areas of Bangladesh are being driven out of their land by rising sea levels due to glacier melts in the Himalayas and intense rain. Half of Bhola Island, on the southern coast of Bangladesh, 20 times the size of Chicago, has been eroded away while many of the interior regions suffer horrible drought. Low lying areas around the great Asian rivers like the Ganges and Meghna are finding saltwater in their soil and drinking water.

I’ve posted occurrences in Africa and other places around the world that are face to face with global warming’s reality already and more than a few times, yet people still argue global warming is a myth. This falls into another category of psychology.It’s called credible threat for which someone won a Nobel prize. The theory is that human beings are not prone to act on anything despite warning after warning unless faced with a believable threat to their well-being. We’re lucky in this country so far so we are not kicking in to action for anyone else. Credible threat hasn’t pushed the envelope on us to any degree yet.

Think about credible threat. People build on water’s edge until wiped out by a hurricane despite warnings it will happen. People keep smoking and ignore warnings for their health until theyre on the operating table. People keep drinking, until their liver gives out. People keep eating until they suffer high cholesterol and type II diabetes. Paris Hilton is going to jail because she didn’t believe their was any credible threat that she would have to. Credible threat seems to be a decidedly American phenomena that encompass gambling for everything, way too much gambling because now is affects lives. We gamble our lives and everyone else’s anymore and think nothing of it because we’ve yet to face credible threat.

What’s it going to take, a giant volcano eruption, earthquake, flood, or hurricane that devastates most of our country before we act? Right now we gamble other’s lives by neglecting any responsibility for our contribution to the world’s global warming effects. If the apathy in this country keeps up it won’t be long the downside of gambling like this will effect all of us. It makes us look stupid, careless, and ineffective as we are easily lead by the ring in our nose to the point we can’t tell the difference between reality and entertainment and the consequences of being apathetic at a time we should be screaming for change.