Monday, October 10, 2005

Bomb Quakes

Fault or Fault?

Except that the number of earthquakes since human beings
began testing and using nuclear weapons is more than twice
as great
as the number of earthquakes
in the same amount of time before that,*
there is no scientific evidence that bombs trigger earthquakes.

Metaphors abound, like this one —

The relationship between a nuclear bomb and an earthquake
is like the difference between playing a piano and throwing
one down a flight of stairs, an opinion not necessarily shared
by top military strategists in the Cold War.

"Moscow News" reported in the early nineties that
in 1987 Russia was developing a program to weaponize
The program had two code names,
first "Mercury," then later "Vulcan."

The US, which only weaponizes life forms like dolphins,
and then only for defensive use against Terrorists,
had humanitarian reasons to study the effect
of bombs on earthquakes, as reported in
the October 17, 1969 issue of "TIME,"
(A peace issue, red cover, blue and white peace sign.)
which suggested that nuclear bombs be used to tame
the awesome power of earthquakes, the theory being
that "small" explosions along major fault lines
would ease seismic tension creating lots of little
quakes instead of a few huge ones.

Other scientists proposed pumping liquid
into fault lines to trigger minor tremors.

"Yet this method also poses dangers," the writer

You think?

Three underground nuclear tests in India in the late 90s
coincided with a 4.5 earthquake in southern Iran.

Another test a few days later coincided with,
again, a 4.2 quake,
again in southern Iran and
quakes in Kashmir and Taiwan.

Resultant Pakistani tests coincided with quakes
in Egypt, southern China, Kyrgyzstan,
and a deadly one on the Afghanistan/Tajikistan
border that measured 6.8 on the Richter scale.

Then another Pakistan test coincided
with a 4.8 termor in the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan.

62% of killer quakes between 1953 and 1989
struck within a few days after a nuclear test.*

Nuclear explosions have also coincided with
dramatic shifts in the earth’s poles,
disruptions in the magnetosphere,
and weird behavior in the aurora borealis
called "transpolar arcs" which sound beautifully
terrifying, as if momentarily
gravity had forgotten what to do.

While the Bush Administration has, since the US invasion
of Afghanistan on October 7th, 2001, been shaking
Afghan caves and Iraqi cities with bunker busters,
shock and awe inducing thwanks, with more
uranium blighted jolts than have been unleashed
in the history of humankind on earth --
here are some coincidental seismic
events that have occurred in the neighborhood.

October 8, 2005 – a 7.6 quake kills between 20 and 40
thousand people in Kashmir, Pakistan and Afghanistan;

Feb. 22, 2004, Iran -- 500 killed in quake;

Jul. 24, 2005 -- a 7.2 quake shakes Indian islands;

Mar. 28, 2005-- Quake kills at least 300 in Indonesia,

Dec. 29, 2004, Southeast Asia --Tsunami caused
by 9.0 earthquake
kills at least 150,000 people,
millions destitute;

Dec. 26, 2004, Indonesia -- Asia quake death toll 13,000;

Oct. 23, 2004, Japan --Quakes death toll rising to 15;

Feb. 23, 2004, Morocco -- Quake kills 600;

Dec. 25, 2003, Iran -- 28,000 dead after earthquake;

Oct. 1, 2003, Russia – 8.5 quake on Siberia, Kazakhstan,
China borders;

May 21, 2003, Algeria -- More than 2,000 killed in 6.7 quake;

Nov 2, 2002, Southern Italy – 5.4 quake causes school to collapse.

Of course, these are just a few of the quakes that occur
all over the earth, every day, which is why seismologists say
in response to any factor which might cause earthquakes —
"There is no way to know."

Because the US drops colossal bombs every day all over
Iraq and Afghanistan, a perfect correlation
between bombs in proximity to quakes is both
possible and meaningless.

Perhaps it is a question of threshold, the result
of repeated penetraton, like being killed by a swarm
of poison ants.

Please, someone, prove this wrong.

*(G.T. Whiteford, "Earthquakes & Nuclear Testing:
Dangerous Patterns & Trends", University of New Brunswick,
April '89)

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.


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