As I was enjoying the history and the beauty of Virginia on the last day of our family vacation, a significant earthquake struck Northern California.

The aftershocks are continuing from the magnitude 6.0 shaker that caused over 200 injuries, mainly lacerations and bruises from falling debris. Most tragically, because of where the epicenter was located, a lot of fine wine was destroyed.

You would think Californians recognize that our state has had a long history of major earthquakes, including the famous 1906 catastrophe and the destructive Loma Prieta quake in 1989, and that this is a reasonably anticipated hazard associated with life in the tectonically active Pacific Rim.

And you would be wrong.

It seems that global warming is at the center of every natural disaster. Here is the current theory being offered: Global warming has caused the drought (ignoring California’s long history of drought cycles). The evaporation of water as a result of higher temperatures has made the crust lighter. So our state’s surface rose, which caused the earthquake.

Sadly, some California citizens believe this inanity.

“I understand the tensions caused to the earth by the drought and also by fracking for oil is leading to increased seismic activity,” said Maria, a caller to a recent radio talk show who described herself as a beautician and mother of two. “How can we know for sure what the impact is of anything we’re doing to the environment? Are we going to cause ‘The Big One?'”

Said Tony, another caller to the same afternoon radio talk show: “I think nature’s working against us because we’re not taking care of nature … it feels like something more is coming … I’ll send you my forwarding address.” talked to Dr. Adrian Borsa from the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics Scripps Institution of Oceanography University of California, San Diego. Borsa and his research team recently completed the study discovering the uplift from the massive loss of groundwater in California, which is the core of this new global warming disaster scenario.

He discounts this theory entirely:

“The Magnitude 6.0 Napa earthquake is a typical event for the very seismically-active area where it occurred. The plate motion there is strike-slip, which primarily generates horizontal stresses, and the slip from this earthquake was primarily horizontal.

“There certainly can be a tectonic component to the vertical motions recorded by GPS stations, but this tectonic motion is very slow and appears as a linear trend in our data. We remove linear trends (along with seasonal signals) for our analysis in order to isolate multiyear signals such as those generated by changes in water loading from the drought.”

I must also point out that other scientists have concluded fracking doesn’t cause earthquakes either.

Human activity associated with oil and gas production can sometimes cause earthquakes, but the problem is not hydraulic fracturing, a seismologist from the University of Texas told researchers gathered for a two-day conference on Marcellus shale-gas drilling.

When the rare quakes do occur, they’re typically linked to the disposal of drilling fluids in underground injection wells, Cliff Frohlich said Monday at West Virginia University. And the vast majority of injection wells don’t cause quakes, either, he said.

After dealing with the drama of “climate scientist” man-caused disaster scenarios, once again, I need to pop open the lovely bottle of craft cider I brought from Richmond. I need another drink, and our wine supply is a bit low.

(Featured Image – Wikimedia Commons).


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