Friday morning started normally in Anchorage, Alaska. Kids started school days, workers in the throes of tasks, when the earth began to shake around 8:30 a.m.
The Alaska Earthquake Center reported a magnitude 7.0 earthquake, estimated 27 miles deep causing roads to buckle, glass to shatter, and power outages among other damages. My wife’s former boss shared, “tried to get home from Wasilla but due to big hole in highway had to leave my car and walk a couple of miles.” Thankfully, no deaths or major injuries were reported, and Alaskans are hard at work, getting back to their routines.
Earthquakes are common in Alaska. According to the center, Alaska experiences more than 40,000 earthquakes a year, more than the rest of the United States combined. Most quakes are small. As a 16-year resident of Anchorage, I experienced dozens of earthquakes, most small, brief and inconsequential, just a few with minor damage. This quake is the strongest to impact Anchorage since the Good Friday earthquake of 1964. Hundreds of aftershocks have kept Alaskans on guard.
Hearing this news, I tuned into live coverage. I caught a portion of the CBS News coverage. The anchor was poised for a serious exchange.
During the conversation with a seismologist from California, she narrowed her gaze, and furrowed her brow, trying to look authoritative. She asked the seismologist if climate change played a role in causing the earthquake. Politely, the seismologist stated no, earthquakes aren’t caused by climate change. The seismologist explained the epicenter of the quake was more than 25 miles underground, so atmospheric conditions are of no consequence to what happens far beneath the earth’s surface.
Earth’s crust averages about 30 miles deep. This earthquake may have taken place near the edge of the earth’s crust and the outer edge of the mantle. Temperatures at the upper edge of the mantle are estimated at 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Does air temperature 30 miles above really matter?
Climate change enthusiasts point to the supposed melting of the polar ice caps, somehow believing water gets heavier when it melts, and will cause an increase in pressure on the 30-mile thick crust to cause more earthquakes.
A 2012 book, “Waking the Giant: How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes,” came out to much acclaim. However, in a June 11, 2012, Carbon Brief interview, author Bill McGuire acknowledged the Greenland ice sheet would need to be kept at a sufficiently warm temperature for a few thousand years to melt. Ocean temperatures are influenced by patterns of currents, such as El Nino, and La Nina, which occur in cycles.
What percentage of “climate change” is manmade, versus a part of the natural cycles our planet has experienced? No one seems to be able to answer that question. We’re just supposed to presume any climatic fluctuations result from increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, forming an impenetrable barrier despite being just 1/2500th of the atmosphere. Yet, according to the Energy Information Administration, CO2 emissions in the U.S. are at their lowest level in 25 years.
According to an April 23 Intellectual Takeout article the reduction, “is mostly because of hydraulic fracturing and the increasing substitution of natural gas for coal as a fuel source for electric power.” Remember those first Earth Day predictions? In the 1970 Earth Day issue of Progressive, Paul Erlich said “between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the ‘Great Die-Off.’”
Al Gore said the Arctic would be “ice-free” by 2013. However, both the Arctic and Antarctic ice packs are larger now than at any time in the recent past. While this alone is not a reason to dispute so-called climate change, it does not fit the narrative.
This is not to say we don’t need to be good stewards of the planet on which we live, and need to be cognizant and aware of our impact. Environmental stewardship is important.
Conservation of resources and prudent environmental protections are critical. The challenge becomes when the science is geared to fit the narrative, and leads to more government control.
How fast could you fly in an electric-powered plane? Wind and solar still are not cost effective. How much sand is used in the production of solar panels? How much steel and fossil fuels go into the production of wind turbines? While only producing 3 percent of the nation’s electricity, wind power kills more than 600,000 birds, and more than a million bats each year.
Back in the 90s, Mr. Whitekeys Fly by Night Club in Anchorage featured a song called “Blame it on El Nino,” the ocean current pattern bringing warmer waters to the Eastern Pacific every few years. Alaskans are used to challenges. No one’s going to blame the earthquake on El Nino.