Earthquake Scientist BULLSH*T

I lived in San Francisco for five years.  Lucky me, I’d been there all of 5 stinking weeks when the Great Quake of 1989 hit.  I was on the top floor of a 3 floor wooden walk up in North Beach when it hit.  I’ve made a casual, non-scientific study of them ever since.

Let me tell you something about earthquakes these geniuses that are supposedly experts deny – The butterfly theory is in play with them. (The theory says, basically, that if a butterfly flaps it’s wings in Australia, it effects the air in America because the simple act of pushing the air around, in the aggregate, travels.)  Earthquake scientists insist that because different quakes are on different tectonic plates that one does not necessarily precipitate another but that’s BULLCR*P.

Oklahoma just had a major quake over night, 5.6.  Oklahoma! What was it, two weeks ago, that Turkey had one?  This happens over, and over, and over again.  These plates shift and slosh like duckies on bathtub water.  It’s just an economy of scale, but they are floating on the same liquid surface.  One duckie gets nudged, and, eventually the duckie furthest from it is going to feel it, isn’t it?

UPDATE Sunday, November 6, 2011, Noon Eastern:  Evidently FRACKING is being blamed for the OK earthquake.  *Sigh*  And conservatives are conspiracy theorists? We’re anti-science? Good grief… Gang!  Stop it!  Such a theory is not only utterly untethered to reality, it’s yet another extension of your gargantuan narcissism.  It’s not all about you, okay?  The world, the climate, the frickin’ tectonic plates, are l-i-t-e-r-a-l-l-y unmoved by your fabulousness or in the inverse, conservative un-fabulousness, okay? The world does not revolve around you, no matter what your mother told you or how many trophies you got just for showing up – and being fabulous!  Jeezuz. This fracking theory is yet another indication of your insufferable, over-weening, liberal-paternalism egos. Knock it off.

UPDATE II Sunday, November 6, 2011, 12:36 Eastern: I just realized the irony to my update.  I eviscerated the Left for their unproven theory that fracking led to the OK earthquake as an appendage to a post on my unproven theory that Turkey’s earthquake led to the OK earthquake. Not wanting to be accused of lacking self-awareness, like I regularly accuse the Left of doing, I thought I’d better own up to that… but I think my theory could beat up their theory 😉

  • 26cx

    I lived in southern California for several years but the only earthquake that happened while I was there occurred when I was diving and I missed it.

    Given the mechanics that cause earthquakes and the massive volumes of material involved, I don’t believe that earthquakes that occur at different tectonic boundaries are interrelated.  I’m willing to be proven wrong, though.

    Here are some fun earthquake facts:

  • “I don’t believe that earthquakes that occur at different tectonic boundaries are interrelated.”
    I don’t see how they’re NOT!  Like you, I’m no expert and absolutely willing to be proven wrong, but my understanding of this is that our continents were formed by breaking apart, then “floating” into place over many millennia, right?  If you stipulate that as true, what’s the operative word there? “FLOATING”!  These plates are on a core of magma, are they not?  Magma is probably not the scientific term for it, but it’s essence is LIQUID… right?  So… if the plates are floating on liquid… 

    • 26cx

      Earthquakes are caused by the sudden release of pressure from friction built up as two tectonic plates try to move past each other.  There are two types of motion: slip, when two plates are moving laterally against each other (for example, one going north and one going south) and subduction, when one plate is being forced under another.  The earthquake occurs when that pressure is released and the plate(s) move into the position they’ve been trying to get to.  Given how huge the masses of material are, the amount of friction involved and the possibility that the molten material you mentioned would absorb some part of the energy created by an earthquake, I am still not convinced that an earthquake in one place would create a situation where pressure built up between two tectonic plates in some other location around the world would suddenly be released because of the initial earthquake.  (and, by coincidence, I just got an email saying there was a 5.4 earthquake in the Hundu Kush region of Afghanistan!)

      • Hah!  Too funny about the Afghan quake!  First, you are clearly a worthy debate partner and I thank you for making me stretch.  Second, I suspect the squishiest part of your argument is the part that’s quantifiable the term “absorb.”  If you think of a sponge and water, there’s a vast range of “absorption” rates, right?  How can we possibly quantify the MASSIVE energy released, even “less” some measure of “absorption” if even a tiny part of my theory is true?  Right?  I offer this reply to you not merely to be argumentative, but as sincere inquiry – Truly!

        • 26cx

          I don’t mind at all if you’re merely agrumentative.  It’s fun to sort through stuff like this.

          You can subscribe to get email notices of earthquakes at  I signed up a long time ago because I am a little worried about a situation in the Canary Islands and wanted to keep an eye on it.

          Let’s try an experiment.  You sit in the shallow end of a pool and I will do my most impressive cannon ball into the deep end.  We can get some idea of how much force from the original impact gets to you and see if we can extrapolate it to address the discussion we’re having.  Do you think a lot of the energy will be absorbed before it gets to you?   Even tidal waves diminish in strength the farther they get from the source, and I’m thinking it takes a lot more energy to displace the earth’s crust and mantle.

    • 26cx

      I just heard a geophysicist on Fox say there is some discussion among scientists that earthquakes up around 9 on the Richter scale might cause other other earthquakes to occur.

      I concede the point to you!

      • HAH! Too funny! And you concede NOTHING! You were and remain a worthy sparring partner!