April 23, 2015

fear and fracking-thumb-560x560A bit of sunshine this Thursday morning on California’s north coast, with some nice breaks in the lately-accustomed fog/cloud routine.
Just returned from a walking trip to Safeway, and maybe the bright is here for awhile.

Mankind is apparently composed of horribly-ironic idiots. Just yesterday, coinciding with Earth Day, a load of internationally-known brainiacs issued a statement that 75 percent of known fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground — one of those, ‘come with us if you want to live,‘ kind of things.

Meanwhile, all that drilling is rocking the ground.

(Illustration found here).

This morning, a report from the US Geological Survey indicates all that gas and oil drilling is doing even more than adding to the ugly air — all the shit that goes into such operations are creating “man-made earthquakes” across the middle of America.

USGS scientists identified 17 areas within eight states with increased rates of induced seismicity.
Since 2000, several of these areas have experienced high levels of seismicity, with substantial increases since 2009 that continue today.
This is the first comprehensive assessment of the hazard levels associated with induced earthquakes in these areas.
A detailed list of these areas is provided in the accompanying map, including the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Scientists developed the models by analyzing earthquakes in these zones and considering their rates, locations, maximum magnitude, and ground motions.
“This new report describes for the first time how injection-induced earthquakes can be incorporated into U.S. seismic hazard maps,” said Mark Petersen, Chief of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Modeling Project.
“These earthquakes are occurring at a higher rate than ever before and pose a much greater risk to people living nearby.
“The USGS is developing methods that overcome the challenges in assessing seismic hazards in these regions in order to support decisions that help keep communities safe from ground shaking.”

The best way, the only way — stop the drilling, period. No shit — due to my living region, I’m always checking the USGS earthquake site, and always there’s a swarm in the Oklahoma/Kansas/Missouri area, this morning two at 3.0 or better, one in fact, at 3.7. Places where earthquakes were once rare, but not any more.

In that statement released yesterday from scientists, economists and others, the so-called, ‘Earth League,’ the big take-away is humanity cannot keep kicking the fossil-fuel can down the deteriorating road — and the window of opportunity is narrow, and closing.
Maybe this year, either the end, or the beginning — the first paragraph from the Full Statement pretty-well nails it:

2015 is a critical year for humanity.
Our civilization has never faced such existential risks as those associated with global warming, biodiversity erosion and resource depletion.
Our societies have never had such an opportunity to advance prosperity and eradicate poverty.
We have the choice to either finally embark on the journey towards sustainability or to stick to our current destructive “business-as-usual” pathway.
Three times this year, world leaders will meet to set the course for decades to come.
In July 2015, heads of state meet to discuss Financing for Development.
In September 2015, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be adopted.
In December 2015, nations negotiate a new Global Climate Agreement. Decisions made in this single year will be the legacy of our generation.
In particular, if we do not succeed in tackling climate change, the sustainable development goals, livelihoods in many parts of the world and the well being of our close and distant kin will be threatened.

Well, maybe not a too-distant kin, either.

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