20 March

Written By: - Date published: 7:36 am, March 20th, 2011 - 94 comments
Categories: disaster, making shit up - Tags: ,

Here’s my prediction for 20 March 2011.

By the end of the day, Ken Ring’s 15 minutes of fame will be over.

All of my posts for March will finish with this note. While life goes on as usual outside Christchurch, let our thoughts be with those who are coping with the aftermath, with the sorrow of so many who were lost, and with the challenges ahead.

94 comments on “20 March”

  1. Adrian 1

    The appalling thing is this, there is only one person in the country wishing for an M8 quake today.

  2. lprent 2

    Gareth at hot-topic pretty well covers my feelings about this fool.

    I didn’t realize that Ken Ring was the moronic fuckwit who came out with the CO2 can’t be in the upper atmosphere idea. That is so completely stupid, unless you are in low energy environment (like Pluto) or the molecular weight difference was extreme (some of the war gases are designed that way)

    Some of the fools in the mainstream media could do with some education.

    • logie97 2.1

      “Some of the fools in the mainstream media could do with some education.”

      The ZB talk back hosts use Ken Ring’s science all the time on their (Stay-Better-informed-NewstalkZB-you-heard-it-here-first) radio slots. ZB used to “keep-us-better-informed” when Phil Shone and Aunt Daisy graced the airways.

  3. andy (the other one) 3

    All the media flapping its gums (NZ herald 2 x articles and an editorial comment this weekend) and scaremongering can be laid at the feet of John Campbell at TV3. John Campbell has frightened the people of Christchurch and caused many to leave town and added extra pressure on already fragile people.

    Ken Rings prediction would have passed without anyone but his followers doing anything. Believe Ring or not, John Campbell needs to apologise to NZ for his foolish, ego fuelled rant at Ring and the resulting media attention Ring and his predictions gained.

    John Campbell has ended up yelling fire in the theatre.

    • higherstandard 3.1

      There is no doubting that amongst a host of self important spanners gracing our TVs he is a truly monumental git.

      • The ratings meant the KR was given more publicity, even though he stayed away from the media.

        But of course the new line was ‘ordinary people’ , usually women in their 20s and 30s were ‘taking matters in their own hands’. No surprise here as these are the very demographic the advertisers want.

        This is how its done. Nonsense becomes the new reality to keep advertisers happy

        • higherstandard 3.1.1.1

          Nonsense ! You mean the articles in woman’s day and woman’s weekly are fluff and nonsense !

          Damn your eyes sir you’ve spoilt my Sunday.

  4. PC Brigadier 4

    I’m just glad I have wireless so I can keep up-to-date from my bunker

  5. joe90 5

    Ring isn’t the only nutter predicting quakes. Retired U.S.geologist Jim Berkland reckons he can predict earthquakes and says we’re entering a seismic window. sigh……

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      He comes across as a tad more credible because it doesn’t sound like he is predicting multiple and varied quakes of “significant magnitude” like Ken Ring does. He also seems to be focussing on a group of gravitational events that are coinciding together, rather than saying bullshit things like “full moons and new moons increase earthquakes and for 2 weeks either side”.

      He still can’t really predict quakes and as usual the American media is just trying to keep their people in a state of constant fear, but I don’t think he’s in quite the same vein as Ken Ring (who makes money off his ‘work’).

      • joe90 5.1.1

        The Texas sharpshooter fallacy.

        The fallacy gets its name from imagining a cowboy shooting at a barn. Over time, the side of the barn becomes riddled with holes. In some places there are lots of them, in others there are few. If the cowboy later paints a bullseye over a spot where his bullet holes clustered together it looks like he is pretty good with a gun.

        By painting a bullseye over a bullet hole the cowboy places artificial order over natural random chance.

  6. Jenny 6

    .
    Climate Change causes earthquakes???!!!

    You gotta be kidding me?

    New Scientist – Climate change may trigger earthquakes and volcanoes

    Lynne: What’s your take on this ‘New Scientist’ article, from two years ago, which is currently being circulated around the internet?

    In my opinion, inferring a link (however tenuous), between the latest earthquakes and global warming, risks discrediting the science for global warming.

    What’s your opinion?

    • lprent 6.1

      Depends what you’re talking about.

      Removing significant overburden (in this case at least hundreds of meters of ice) will cause small and very shallow earthquakes to happen. You’ll get seismic events that are in the order of very large explosions like underground nuclear tests, and with similar releases of energy. In other words you’re unlikely to feel them unless you happen to be right over the epicentre. This is quite evident in the swarms of small earthquakes in the Antarctica peninsula where the ice-wasting has been severe over the last 50 years (the average tempature there has risen by about 5C over that period).

      It is extremely unlikely to cause releases of the deeper faults, unless they were about to go anyway within a few decades. The energy magnitudes required for those events at the deep fault pressures is just too great to be affected by the slight (relative to 10’s of kilometres of rock) quantity of surface ice.

      Volcanic events are almost entirely controlled by the heat of magma. Removal of over burden doesn’t change that. Quite simply I can’t see anyway that climate change can affect the incidence of volcanoes. It could have an effect on the destructiveness of volcanoes, typically from water flooding from melted ice. But that is more likely to reduce as ice is removed.

      There is a class of tsunami that is caused by underwater landslides from islands and possibly in continental shelves. If these slopes are fed from land based sediment, then increased weathering could cause them to happen more rapidly. But I suspect you’d need a time machine to be able to see the difference in probability.

      The question you have to ask isn’t if those things are happening – they are. Because any change in geomorphology typically causes minor shifting in the crust. The question is if the resulting shifts are going to be significant at a human level?

      The short answer is that they are not. They don’t affect deep faults or continental drift. They certainly don’t affect the incidence of magma upwellings. They are of too little energy to cause more than very local effects.

      I’d be more worried about quite basic things like landslides and flooding which are purely surface effects affected by climate and weathering and quite destructive if you happen be in their way.

  7. Byn 7

    Here’s something to consider: When Ken Ring surmised that there may be an earthquake near the dates 18th to 22nd February (Chch then happened), two elements that he said were often present as a precursor to an earthquake were actualised/evident: Namely, increased siesmic drum activity along the Alpine fault (as seen on the GeoNet Web) and whale strandings. There had been a whale stranding in Stewat Island (near the South West end of the Fjiordland fault) before the Feb quake and Ken Ring studied the siesmic drum activity leading to the Sept quake.

    So, I specifically ‘googled’ whale strandings last night (19th) to see if there were any around and do you realise there has just been strandings (of pilot whales) on the South East coast of Tasmania, near the remote area beach South Bruny Island? It got me curious – I am a Canadian living in Timaru and have lived in NZ long enough to realise before looking at a map that Tassie is more in line with our country than Aussie since we are so far south…Well, I then googled mapped ‘South Bruny Island’ and then moved the map in a horizontal line to the East and guess where it crosses? You guessed it – North Canterbury (just north of Chch).

    I also visited the GeoNet web and between last night and reviewing it again this morning, the increased amount of activity on the siesmic drums (look for’McQueen’s Valley’, which represents the Chch area) is astounding. What’s more, there was activity last night in Wanaka/Dunedin and now their drums are quiet and it’s all concentrating in/toward the Chch area.

    While like many I really do hope that Ken Ring’s statement that an earthquake ‘risk period’ is possible at this time will not be actualised – there sure is already some evidence that something is happening.

    So hang on – we could roll!…Oh, and give Ken Ring a break, will you (you sceptics), he’s just a guy with an interest at heart, and one of them is keeping anyone who will listen the chance to be informed of potential adversity, which is more that a lot of so-called govt funded outfits are willing to share. Leave him in peace. If nothing happens, he’s not ‘wrong’ because he never promised anything – a lot of these sceptics forget that. Believe me, he’ll be just as relieved as the rest of us!

    I hope those idiots in Chch dining on the Port Hills to prove Ken wrong realise how very silly and immature their stint is (may their Cappocinos runneth over) – shame on them!

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      “he’s just a guy with an interest at heart”
      Who is also making a living off his predictions. So sorry, he has ‘money’ at heart.

      “If nothing happens, he’s not ‘wrong’ because he never promised anything”
      How convenient, unfalsifiability. One of the central poles of the scientific method is to prove or disprove your hypothesis by looking at the empirical evidence. But we can’t ever prove Ken Ring wrong because he doesn’t “promise anything”.

      I guess you believe that Gaddafi can’t stand down because he has no legal title and that he “doesn’t rule Libya” too?

    • NickS 7.2

      I also visited the GeoNet web and between last night and reviewing it again this morning, the increased amount of activity on the siesmic drums (look for’McQueen’s Valley’, which represents the Chch area) is astounding. What’s more, there was activity last night in Wanaka/Dunedin and now their drums are quiet and it’s all concentrating in/toward the Chch area.

      Teh Stupid, It Burns.

      Looking at the recent activity, you claims of “increased activity” are evidently over-flowing with shit. Also, there’s this amazing tool set called “statistics”, which with you can identify patterns in phenomena and see whether or not they’re actually there, or just artefacts of over zealous monkey pattern recognition networks in the brain. And when stats is used, Ring comes up as suffering a rare case of having his lower intestine exciting into his lungs, thus causing him to say nothing but crap.

      • lprent 7.2.1

        Cool – you are still around…. I was getting a bit worried that you’d been quaked.

        • NickS 7.2.1.1

          The local telephone exchange had a sand blow come up inside, so no phone or net for the last three weeks :/

          And that was only because Chorus is still understaffed, on top of there being paper coated wires still in the exchange…

          Otherwise, aside from a homicidal bookcase everything is mostly intact and all that. Also managed some fancy cooking with my tramping stoves during the extended power outage.

          And I hope your friends and family came out okay as well…

          • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.1.1

            Nothing wrong with paper insulated wires. They just cost more and are harder to work with but they work just fine.

  8. davidr 8

    Ring made his prediction of a “quake for the history books” on September 7, four days after the first Canterbury earthquake on the predictweather.com site.

    He wrote “the morning of 20 March 2011 sees the South Island again in a big earthquake risk”.

    At 9.44am the moon would be at its closest point to earth for 2011, he said.

    “All factors should come together for a moon-shot straight through the centre of the earth and targeting NZ. The time will be just before noon. It could be another for the history books.”

    12.09pm and nothing’s happened. I’m still here. You?

    (and the Anti-spam is ‘reality’ – lol)

  9. Byn 9

    OH DEAR! Have I stirred a hornets nest, or what???

    To Lanthanide: NOW you are getting political! What does Gaddaffi have to do with this??? so, if Ken Ring is getting paid – who on earth would ‘pay him’ to make a statement about a potential quake about to happen ‘somewhere in the world’ (broad analysis) or Chch/Nth Canterbury specifically if it has caused so much anguish?

    To NickS: Tell me, have YOU had a look at the GeoNet siesmic drum records in the last 24 hours??? I am merely relaying what I have seen with my own eyes (with my husband as a witness). I think you, like many others that are willing to denounce Ken’s theories have probably never even taken the time to check out his website to see what he means/is talking about. At least he actually consults the GeoNet web before he makes such statements. And yet it seems that many scientists are not willing to accept Ken’s theories.

    To both of you:

    FACT: Ever since 4 September, I have been following even only on a vague scale Ken Ring’s notes on his suggestions of quake activity before they occured, and EVERY significant quake was on target with his prognosis. YOU probably do not realise this because you are obviously not followers.

    FACT: I have his WORLDWIDE quake calendar on my office wall (and we have a copy of it at work too) and so we were not surprised in the least when our office building rocked on 22 Feb within 2 days of a whale stranding, because it was on this schedule (which, by the way, takes into account the Northern Hemisphere timezone hence the need to consider +/- a day). The Japan quake was also one of the risk periods noted on his schedule.

    FACT: What no one can predict (including Ken Ring) is how big the impact will be (i.e. Japan – who knew that this 500km x 200km part of the ring of fire was under such pressure?). It is not an exact science and he knows that as well as any siesmologist, because there are so many factors to consider. To be fair, I have not followed Ken before this so cannot see where he may have been wrong time and time again, as you seem to ‘know’/suggest based on the stats you quote.

    We have just watched a 1 hour doco today on the Japan quake courtesy of their national news programe NHK World…for your info, ‘our’ end of the Pacific plate area is the one area that has not seen a 9.0+ quake in the last century…who’s to say it may not be our turn next to have a sizable shake up, in the Ring of Fire??? Surely all that energy released has to transmit at some point somewhere else.

    So, stop shooting the messenger and accept that what I write makes more sense then any of your ranting political or otherwise views!!! >:0[

    • lprent 9.1

      It is not an exact science..

      The point is that Ken Ring doesn’t use science at all. He is simply a fool pontificating on things that he simply doesn’t understand (see the example of his ideas on the effect of CO2 molecular weights).

      The probability of him being correct is approximately the same you’d get from reading chicken entrails in my opinion.

    • Lanthanide 9.2

      “To Lanthanide: NOW you are getting political! What does Gaddaffi have to do with this??? so, if Ken Ring is getting paid – who on earth would ‘pay him’ to make a statement about a potential quake about to happen ‘somewhere in the world’ (broad analysis) or Chch/Nth Canterbury specifically if it has caused so much anguish?”

      It’s quite simple what Gaddafi has to do with it. Gaddafi claims he isn’t the ruler of Libya, and therefore can’t step down from his position because he doesn’t have a position. Clearly he is the leader of Libya even if he doesn’t formally have the title as such. Similarly Ken Ring claims he doesn’t make predictions about earthquakes, even though everyone else treats them as predictions. Later on in your reply you say there is an earthquake schedule. Either Ken Ring makes predictions or he doesn’t, you can’t have it both ways.

      “FACT: Ever since 4 September, I have been following even only on a vague scale Ken Ring’s notes on his suggestions of quake activity before they occured, and EVERY significant quake was on target with his prognosis. YOU probably do not realise this because you are obviously not followers.”

      I haven’t bothered following Ken Ring so I don’t have much to refute you with. On the Campbell Live interview that I watched half of before giving up, Ken Ring said that he predicted that the “damage causing aftershocks”, the ones people care about, would die down in November. He says that they did, and therefore he is correct. He is of course ignoring the December 26th boxing day quake. On EQC website the number of claims lodged for damage from the Dec 26th quake was the biggest of all of the arftershocks until Feb 22nd, at 18,000. The next closest was 3,000 from a quake in October.

      On the Boxing Day quake, large bricks fell through the roof of the central area of an inner-city restaurant. The owners said that if they had been open, there definitely would have been deaths or serious injuries from where the bricks landed. The only reason they weren’t open was because it was Boxing Day. So sorry, Ken Ring is DEAD WRONG in that damage-causing aftershocks did actually happen after November when he said they would stop.

      “FACT: I have his WORLDWIDE quake calendar on my office wall (and we have a copy of it at work too) and so we were not surprised in the least when our office building rocked on 22 Feb within 2 days of a whale stranding, because it was on this schedule (which, by the way, takes into account the Northern Hemisphere timezone hence the need to consider +/- a day). The Japan quake was also one of the risk periods noted on his schedule.”

      90% of all earthquakes occur on the Pacific Rim of Fire, and Japan suffers 20% of all of the worlds 6M+ quakes. On average there are 15 earthquakes in the size of 7.0-7.9 every year and about 150 6.0-6.9. That means a quake of 6M occurs somewhere on earth every 2.5 days. In any given month there will be 12 to 13 6.0M quakes at at least 1 7M quake.

      You then say: “FACT: What no one can predict (including Ken Ring) is how big the impact will be”

      As far as I can tell you’ve just refuted yourself – earthquakes occur so frequently that anyone can say “there will be a quake somewhere in the world in this time period” and then say “but I don’t know how damaging it will be”. Well that’s exactly what science is saying as well.

    • NickS 9.3

      Blue text = html link.

      Also, it would come as no surprise there’s more earthquake activity in the Canterbury region than elsewhere, simply due to the Bank Peninsula fault rupturing recently, loading energy onto the local fault system.

    • logie97 9.4

      Byn – if you, as you say you are new to Mr Ring, may I suggest that you visit the TV3 website from last week and Campbell Live – there were two geophysicists on who had done all of your, and a whole lot more, researching of Ring’s predictions and they used graphics for the likes of me to show how Ring is not plausible. I do not have to do the research. I accept the words of experts. The trouble is that there are still too many Flat Earthers in the world. They also believe that the earth is about 7,500 years old -max…

      And I understand that scientists believe that there will be more catastrophic earthquakes on the Ring of Fire and also similar shakes along the other “plates” – … to quote a famous model – “may not happen over night but it will happen”.

      Here’s another prediction – Mankind will spend billions and billions and billions on armaments, while ordinary human beings will suffer dreadful hardship from the horrible affects of natural disasters. Would that human endeavour could focus on alleviating suffering.

    • Lanthanide 9.5

      Have a read of this article: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10713721

      And then being a Ken Ring fan, you might want to buy his book on reading your cat’s paws: http://www.amazon.com/Pawmistry-Read-Your-Cats-Paws/dp/1580081118

  10. felix 10

    Ring? Meh, who cares. Really.

    Campbell OTOH has a fair bit of influence in this country, and he burned the last shred of his journalistic credibility with that embarrassing “interview”.

    I don’t think he can seriously claim to be in the news business anymore.

    • ianmac 10.1

      Mind you Felix. The follow up item on Campbell Live last week just confounded the Ring rubbish with calm science. John Campbell is redeemed. Whereas the bits on Closeup are so wishy washy there is nothing to get bothered about – so don’t bother.

      • felix 10.1.1

        Yeah that was better but still not necessary if he hadn’t kicked up such a stink in the first place.

        Last time I watched Campbell he was talking to a glove puppet or some equally inane shit, the next time I saw it after that was the Ring shoutdown.

        It’s all just a bit Foxy for my liking.

      • felix 10.1.2

        And I just don’t get why anyone gives a shit what Ken Ring says. I mean people believe all sorts of weird things.

        Some people make all their important decisions according to astrology. Is Campbell going to jump up and down and get angry about that too?

        Plenty of religious or superstitious beliefs seem silly to most rational sceptical people but by and large we, as a society, accept that some people believe things that can’t be proved and most of us – in that it doesn’t attempt to infringe on our liberty – leave it at that.

        I don’t get how Ring’s pseudo-science non-prediction predictions are any different from any of the other gibberish people act on every day.

        Jeremy Wells’ send-up and exposure of tv psychic Deb Whatsherface was hilarious and well executed but I don’t think anyone pretended that there was any news value in it.

        • Lanthanide 10.1.2.1

          One argument is that by taking Ring’s magical thinking seriously, we as a society are encouraging more magical thinking in the future.

          I’d rather we made public policy decisions based on science and fact. Just look at the US were the Texas Education Board gets stacked with conservative christians every few years and they get rid of evolution being taught in schools.

          I think we owe it to the future generations to have a society based on fact, logic and science, not mysticism and magic. This means discouraging pseudo-science wherever it is found. Ken Ring is the worst kind of charlatan, preying on people’s fears after they’ve just gone through a monumental calamity, and making money from it.

          IMO he should be fined for inciting public panic and damaging the economy by causing thousands of people to waste money on leaving the city for the weekend.

          • felix 10.1.2.1.1

            I agree with pretty much all of that, and that’s why I think it’s ridiculous to discuss his ideas on a “news” show.

            He doesn’t need to be fined or prosecuted in any way though because
            a) that’d just martyr him and
            b) fined for causing people to waste money? You really want to open that can of worms?

            • Lanthanide 10.1.2.1.1.1

              Agreed with a), and it’s sticky. But it might also make people think twice in the future. For anyone saying “freedom of speech”, well, we don’t actually live in the US – we don’t have a constitution that guarantees freedom of speech.

              The justification isn’t actually because he caused people to waste money, the justification is inciting fear and undue alarm, disturbing the peace. Like if you shouted ‘BOMB!’ in an airport. What Ken Ring has done is far worse than that and affects far more many people, and yet he gets away without any penalty for it.

              • felix

                So should we prosecute churches too? For inciting fear in waaaay more people than Ken Ring does?

                • Lanthanide

                  Yes, that’s a problem. We can also end up looking like the church taking action against Copernicus. I still think what he’s doing in criminal, though (note that he is benefiting monetarily from this and his hokum weather predictions).

                  • felix

                    I guess I need to accept that you might have a very different perspective on Ring than I do, what with you being in Christchurch and all. Everything ok after that latest aftershock?

                    • Lanthanide

                      Nah, me being in CHCH doesn’t have any affect on how I view Ken Ring.

                      The 5.1 was actually kind of ‘fun’ as far as aftershocks go, being more roley than shaky (we’re also on the west, so not right above the epicentre). My boyfriend and I both immediately said “oh crap, here we go with Ken Ring again”, though.

  11. reitman 11

    He is not wrong in his belief that the Moon’s gravitational pull would have some effect on the Earth’s tectonic plates. The Moon’s gravitational pull causes tidal effects on water mass as the Earth spins on its axis. The question is how much would the heavier and more dense plates be affected by this, and could it work both ways depending on relative motions of the plates with respect to Earth’s daily rotation?

    I suspect that the overall effect would be very small but none the less real.

    • KJT 11.1

      No doubt there is an effect, but if it was significant we would have an earthquake everywhere at every full moon.

      • weka 11.1.1

        But his theory isn’t just about full moons. I really don’t get what is so hard to understand about this. His theory is that there are a range of different influences and when those coincide in the worst combination there is an increased likelihood of large quakes.

        Just like he doesn’t say there will be more earthquakes two weeks either side of the full and dark moons, Lanthanide.

        Ken Ring may be completely wrong. What I don’t understand is why the people who ridicule him can’t get their facts right.

        I still haven’t seen a credible scientific refuting of his theories on quakes (diatribes rife with value laden putdowns from scientists don’t count I’m afraid). If he’s so wrong, it should be reasonably easy to put up a simple written explanation on a webpage eg looking at the stats of quakes that coincide with the things he says increase risk.

        • KJT 11.1.1.1

          Over 90% of his predictions being wrong or so vague as to be useless is a pretty good scientific and statistical refutation of his theories.

          • weka 11.1.1.1.1

            Where does the 90% figure come from?

            • 3Y 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Nowhere. Haters gon’ hate.

            • KJT 11.1.1.1.1.2

              Started looking at his weather predictions. 90% inaccurate. agianst the actual data. When they are not so vague as to be useless.

              I could do better just by saying it is going to be windy in Wellington this Sunday.

              • Anne

                Or… there will be snow on Mt Cook within a week or… ChCh will have a nor-wester before the end of the month or… Dunedin’s minimum will drop below 10 degrees or…

        • Deadly_NZ 11.1.1.2

          But at the end of the day predicting Earthquakes is still what you would call ‘iffy’. But if someone could predict them with accuracy, I personally would not care if they used scientific mumbo jumbo up the wazoo, or read the results in the entrails of some unfortunate fowl or small rodent/mammal.

          But then again thats just me..

      • reitman 11.1.2

        The phase of the moon is irrelevant and depends on angles of reflection of sunlight. It is proximity that would count. The Moon could be nearer to Earth at new Moon than full Moon at times.

        • Lanthanide 11.1.2.1

          Much as full moons and new moons occur roughly once a month, so does the moon coming closest to the earth in it’s orbit. That happens every month.

          This talk about “supermoon” – not that Ring has specifically talked about it (I don’t think) is talking about the combination of: 1) full moon, and 2) closest approach to Earth.

          You yourself say that reflection of sunlight changes nothing, so therefore “closest approach to Earth” is what matters. This happens every month, just like the full moon does, so KJT’s point still stands – we should be seeing wild surges in earthquake’s every month if the moon really did play that big a part.

          You can read this blog post for discussions about ‘supermoon’: http://bigthink.com/ideas/31585

          Specifically highlight this part as it answers the question you originally asked: “John Vidale, a seismologist at the University of Washington, mentions that during full and new moons – when the moon is oriented between or opposite the Earth and the sun – there is potentially as much as a 1% increase in earthquake activity worldwide (and a slightly higher effect on volcanic activity). Let me repeat that: 1%.”

          • reitman 11.1.2.1.1

            Which confirms my original suspicion that the effect would be very small. Thanks for that.

  12. KJT 12

    Tidal forces are strongest each month at the full and new moons when the sun and moon’s gravitational forces are in alignment. As shown by the astronomical height of the spring tides at full and new moons.That has a bigger effect than the moon’s distance from the earth during its orbit.

    If tidal forces (The Moon) affected earthquakes strongly you would expect a much stronger correlation, of earthquakes, to moon phases than is actually the case.

    Unless you are talking of a mysterious astrological force from the moon and stars. Magic!

    • reitman 12.1

      No I don’t believe in astrological or any other kind of magic. I stand by my original comment. The effect will be there (assuming that you accept Newton’s Law of Gravitation), but assuredly very small – 1% according to Lanthanide

  13. Vicky32 13

    This is an interesting discussion! I went in to work on Friday at the language school, to be told that half my class had taken a powder and returned to China, because Ken Ring’s ‘predictions’ and the Supermoon idea were doing the email rounds of the Chinese students, and they’d somehow got hold of the belief that Auckland would be flattened today!
    How mad is that?
    Deb

  14. MrSmith 14

    If there is anyway of getting hold of the email address of everyone that has left Christchurch this weekend due to Ken Ding A Lings prophesies, I have some friends in Nigeria that are willing to pay me a fortune for them.

    • Rowena 14.1

      Answering to maggie- at least I’m not you, you need the backing of everyone for confidence. I don’t need anyone. You are a scared little baby- with nappies on.

      You have taken 5 years to not solve this case- all I can say is “nappies”.

      And I’m not attracted to babies with nappies on still pissing their pants.

      I’m going to one day marry a real man- and it won’t be you. I know someone who likes me and he doesn’t where nappies!

  15. Rodel 15

    I’m annoyed at people who use the name ‘Ring’ and the word ‘science’ or even ‘pseudo science’. in the same sentence.
    It happens in media and even on this site.

    It’s magic, fun for some, superstition or whatever, but it is NEVER science,never has been and never will be.

    • felix 15.1

      But it is pseudo science.

      • Lanthanide 15.1.1

        Yes, it’s distinctly psuedo science and not just “magic”.

        Ken is attempting to create a repeatable and ‘consistent’ framework under which he can explain the observations, using other accepted scientific theories as a basis – the orbits of the planets/moon and gravity to name two of his biggest.

        If he was creating some sort of new magical particle or energy which didn’t have any real scientific basis whatsoever, then it might lean more towards “magic”, especially if he came up with multiple different explanations for different quakes.

      • Rodel 15.1.2

        Yeah I guess it is. Pseudo meaning ‘sham’

  16. Lanthanide 16

    Just been a bigger than normal aftershock, I’d estimate a high 4 or low to mid 5.

    So now all the “Ken Ring was right!” apologists are going to come out.

    Wouldn’t make it into the history books I don’t think, though, and also not before lunch time. Still, not a good outcome 🙁

    Looking on geonet just now at the live instrument readings it looks like it was deeper than most we’ve had (certainly felt more rolly and long waves) and appears to be west towards the southern alps.

  17. vto 17

    So there we have it….

    1. Three earthquakes between 4.1 and 4.6 under Twizel which activiated a dormant faultline between 1 and 2pm 20th March, just like happenned with both the Chch faultlines.

    2. A 4.9 off Kaikoura.

    3. The largest shake since Feb 22 of 5.1 in Chch, followed by several others.

    Now wait for all the witch-hunters to come out with the usual personal attacks and non-answers. Coincidence they will say. Just believe the official line they will say – like the earth is flat, 245T is safe, and on it will go…

    I just have one small thing to say over and over.. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ……

    half the people are laughing, the other half scrambling

    • Marty G 17.1

      dammit. 🙂

      Still is a coincidence though.

      • r0b 17.1.1

        Aye. Was there “one for the history books”? No. Predicting small quakes in NZ at the moment is a bit like predicting rain in Dunedin. Ho hum.

        Also, if Ring is right – don’t you think it’s a bit odd that only NZ was “affected”? What’s with that? Does the moon, like, pick on us or something?

    • MrSmith 17.2

      There have been 22 quakes of 5.0 and over since 4th september in ChCh almost 1 a week .

      • mcflock 17.2.1

        “There have been 22 quakes of 5.0 and over since 4th september in ChCh almost 1 a week .”

        So, just to completely underline the point, taking Ring’s 19-21 march period he had almost a 50:50 chance of being “right” that a. “extreme event” might occur. I’m sure if there’d been an unseasonal blizzard the nutbars would have claimed that. I’m not sure one damaged store is in the Chch league of “extreme”.

        BTW, let’s emphasise that Ring wasn’t only predicting earthquakes.

        He was hedging his bets by including weather and flooding in his scaremongering:

        *on 16 April 1974, which was about 2×19-yr moon cycles ago, Christchurch received a major Easter flood, with 124mm of rain falling in 24 hours. In the bus depot water reached to half a metre deep, about a foot deep in Colombo St near Smith City, and a metre deep either side of the Colombo Overbridge. All of South New Brighton was heavily flooded. There are now hundreds of low floor buildings, both residential and commercial, sited over these flood-prone areas.

        • vto 17.2.1.1

          Read and think mcflock, read and think.

          Ring said that this period of time (several months) would involve a heightened risk of earthquake activity due to increased gravitational pull on planet earth by the alignment of Jupiter and Saturn with concentrations around the time when the moon was closer to the earth as well.

          This is exactly what has happenned.

          If you don’t think that is right then try this as well – he also said that such increased gravitational forces (as described by Newton) generally results in increased sunspots etc. This too happenned a week or so ago and even made the mainstream news.

          This is nothing new. Gravity that is. And sunspots. Have you heard of them? Or do you still believe the sun is a god?

          • mcflock 17.2.1.1.1

            “Ring said that this period of time (several months) would involve a heightened risk of earthquake activity due to increased gravitational pull on planet earth by the alignment of Jupiter and Saturn with concentrations around the time when the moon was closer to the earth as well.”

            And back when studying epidemiolgy I heard about an article that found a corellation between human birthrates in Northern Europe and stork migration patterns. Oh, wait, that one might actually have a causal link (cold, boring winters).

            Let’s see, did he predict this pattern of earthquake activity before or after a sodding great earthquake on september 4? If so, did he focus it within a reasonable radius of Christchurch? And was he restricted to earthquakes or just “extreme events”? (because he’s damned slippery with words)?

            If you say that something is “exactly what happened”, it might help if the initial proposition was exact to begin with.

    • Lanthanide 17.3

      You know, GNS scientists predicted a 5% chance of a >5.0M event in Canterbury on Sunday 20th.

      Ken Ring predicted a massive quake for the history books just before lunch.

      We get a 5.1M quake at 9:49pm and somehow Ken Ring got it right, but lets just ignore the GNS prediction because it isn’t sensational enough? Doesn’t involve enough moon magic?

      • vto 17.3.1

        ha ha, seismologists are worse at that than Ring. They blanket everything with a 5% chance. “… there will be many quakes ranging from 0.1 to 6.1 between now and in the future.”.

        Lanthanide, you are being highly selective in use of Ring’s “predictions”. He did not do just that. You need to include all of it to have any cred.

        And add in the 4.9 off Kaikoura, and the three which re-opened a dormant faultline at Twizel at 1pm yesterday (between 4.1 and 4.6 on the richter).

        Sheesh, I am probably coming across as an ardent Ring defender. I aint. But I am for these purposes I suppose as I find it all of high interest – both the geology and seismology of it and the funniness of the witch-hunt. Imagine being yelled “you’re a witch, you’re a witch” back in the days when witches were dunked under water until they either drowned (in which case it proved they weren’t a witch) or they survived (in which case it proved they were a witch and were executed).

        • Lanthanide 17.3.1.1

          “Lanthanide, you are being highly selective in use of Ring’s “predictions”. He did not do just that. You need to include all of it to have any cred.”

          Funny, lets see you mention all of Ken Ring’s predictions that didn’t come true? I think he has made far more predictions that were wrong than were correct, and yet you accuse me of cherry-picking?

          • vto 17.3.1.1.1

            I haven’t done that. His general proposition I have outlined before.

            It is just a joke.

            Everyone pilloried him. He’s a dingbat. Skeptics and dumbarse Nick Smith held a non-event lunch. People abuse him. Call him a witch.

            And then lo – three earthquakes between 4.1 and 4.6 just 5km under Twizel reactivating a dormant faultine directly west of Christchurch. And a 4.9 off Kaikoura. And the biggest one in Christchurch since Feb 22nd.

            And still they call the earth flat.

            I just laugh laugh laugh. And wait for John Campbell and Nick Smith etc to do something to try and regain some cred.

            Positions are clearly entrenched.

            New Zealand’s blinker shops would have sold out today.

            You know, if everyone always accepted the “official” line then 245T would still be used, the earth would still be flat, agenrt orange would still be used, as would asbestos, and climate change would still be something only the “dingbat” greenies believed in.

            Look, please don’t take this personally, but I seriously laugh at all those who made up their minds about Ring beforehand. In my mind their credibility has taken a serious knock. Their closed and bigoted minds hav been exposed.

            • Lanthanide 17.3.1.1.1.1

              “You know, if everyone always accepted the “official” line then 245T would still be used, the earth would still be flat, agenrt orange would still be used, as would asbestos, and climate change would still be something only the “dingbat” greenies believed in.”

              No, it’s not about taking the “official” line. It’s about taking the line that is backed by science. I do believe that all of your specific examples were in fact found to be harmful in some way or another, by, wait for it, science!

              “Look, please don’t take this personally, but I seriously laugh at all those who made up their minds about Ring beforehand. In my mind their credibility has taken a serious knock. Their closed and bigoted minds hav been exposed.”

              I don’t think you can say someone who is truly scientific in outlook is closed minded or bigoted. If you think that is the case, then you don’t really know what science is.

              • Colonial Viper

                If you think that is the case, then you don’t really know what science is.

                You have to admit however that science has a habit of dismissing out of hand whatever doesn’t fit into their current fashionable paradigm or world view.

                And that pure science is pretty hard to find these days, usually the stink of commercialism is ever present.

                • Lanthanide

                  Yes, on both counts.

                  But in this case, Ken Ring’s theories don’t hold up to even modest scrutiny. His theories about how gravity from the moon and planets doesn’t agree with what we know about the strength of gravity (very weak over long distances).

                • burt

                  What about the weight of water ?

  18. vto 18

    Edit: this a reply to r0b at 9.05, woops.

    Well I aint actually a Ring devotee, I simply think the basis of his idea is worthy of further consideration. It is just gravity. But apparently the moon was at its closest above Spain, or directly opposite NZ, just like tides being caused by moon being either side of the planet.

    As for the detail of what he said again I am not up to speed, but what he has generally been saying is that there was “an increased risk of earthquake activity over this period” easing off post-April. People I am sure will pick at all sorts of bits and pieces of his writings etc but overall if it could be looked at objectively (say by a man on the moon) one would have to conclude that he had it right.

    Largest shake, 5.1, since NZ’s worst.

    Dormant faultline re-activiated just 5km under Twizel with 3 quakes between 4.1 and 4.6.

    4.9 under Kaikoura.

    Proof as they say is in the pudding. And Ring was always going to be subjected to all this no matter the outcome. There was no win for him. The funniness of people at times is very funny.

    • Pascal's bookie 18.1

      Way I see it is that there quite probably is some sort of relationship. But it’s like the realationship between there being strong winds and the chance of your house falling off the cliff on which it perches atop of.

      The wind factor is just not an issue; the house won’t fall unless there is something going on with the land or unless it is otherwise structurally fucked.

      Samewise, the tidal effect on the plates isn’t going to cause an earthquake; at the most it might be a tipping point that means there is an earth quake today instead of next week. But you can’t know that unless you can predict that underlying likelihood of a quake. It’s closer to the butterfly effect than Newtonian physics as I see it.

      • vto 18.1.1

        Same p’s b. Plate tectonics provide the base cause for most earthquakes, especially in NZ and those of this type. Then factors on top of that may provide a tipping point, as you say… such as increased gravitational forces being applied to the plates.

        It is definitely Newtonian physics though, with butterfly effect.

        Nutshell.

        • Pete 18.1.1.1

          Plate tectonics provide the base cause for most earthquakes

          Ring seems to disagree with plate tectonics. See Earthquakes cause fault lines, not vice versa

          I question that a fault line was there first, before an earthquake decided to burst through it. It is more likely that one comes through wherever it wants to, and this creates a weak section in the crust, through which later eruptions or earthquakes may follow if stresses occur in the immediate vicinity.

          There may be a tide within the earth that brings earthquakes, eruptions and volcanos at particular times, and that these times may coincide with what other known tides are doing. The answers may be upwards, at colossal movements in the heavens that cause tides deep within the earth.

          Amongst his meanderings he seems to be disregarding plate tectonics almost entirely, and suggesting earthquakes are caused by his astrology. And that faultlines are simply the result of earthquakes. There are major faultlines in his understanding of science.

  19. MrSmith 19

    If you have time this is good reading on the subject. http://www.sillybeliefs.com/blog017.html#blog017-10

  20. burt 20

    Why is it so hard to comprehend that unusual tide cycles place unusual pressure on tectonic plates?

    Sure Ring made a bit of a dick for making such rigid predictions but if he had said ‘there is likely to be movement on faults that have till now been dormant for ages’ we would all be required to say he was right.

    • Lanthanide 20.1

      ” ‘there is likely to be movement on faults that have till now been dormant for ages’ we would all be required to say he was right.”

      Sure, he would be right.

      But he wouldn’t be telling anyone anything that they didn’t already know.

      Obviously the moon’s gravity has a large affect on the earth – the oceans are proof enough of that. The problem is he’s greatly exaggerating the impact of the moon’s gravity depending on it’s place in the orbit (apogee or perigee), and bizarrely trying to say that the sunlight reflecting off it somehow changes the gravity as well (full moon or new moon).

      The problem with Ken Ring is that he is claiming that the gravitational effects play a significant part in earthquakes on earth, for which there is no scientific evidence. One of the blogs to I linked above mentions that someone crunched the numbers and came up with a 1% impact on earthquakes, at best, based on the location of the moon in it’s orbit. 1% is within the general ‘noise’ of the tectonic processes on earth which are very random, and therefore doesn’t give you ANY predictive power at all. But Ken Ring claims it does (and doesn’t even quantify the effect in terms of straight numbers, because that would obviously show him up as a fraud).

      • burt 20.1.1

        someone crunched the numbers…. nuff said…

        The way I see it Lanthanide, the direct gravitational effect on the land may be minuscule, I have no problem believing 1%. The effect of a few extra meters of water shifted from 1/3 of the planets surface to the 2/3rds of the planets surface is another matter entirely. Land has never been static so to completely write off the effect of massive volumes of water moving from one place to another (either as unusually large tides or through climate change) is head in the sand stuff.

        • Lanthanide 20.1.1.1

          It’s not 1% land shifting, it’s 1% increased incidence of earthquakes.

          You know, the very thing you’re trying to say is greatly influenced by the gravity of the moon. Turns out it’s barely distinguishable from simple random chance.

          No one is “completely write[ing] off”, we’re saying there is no evidence to suggest that changes in the gravity from the moon make any appreciable affect.

          I’ll try and make it clearer. Say we lived in a universe without a moon. In this universe, over 1000 years, we might get 1000 earthquakes (1 per year). Now in our universe with a moon, in those same 1000 years, we actually got 4000 earthquakes (4 per year). Ok great, so the presence of the moon has increased earthquakes by 4x fold. But the key thing to remember here, is that we *always* have a moon in our universe. It doesn’t just disappear for 1 year, during which time we have 1 earthquake, and then appear back the next year, when we have 4. We always have the moon, so we always get 4 earthquakes every year. The impact that the presence of the moon has on earthquakes is constant.

          So yes, the moon probably does cause quakes. But you could equally say that actually the presence of the moon might be a good thing: in our universe we get 4 medium-sized earthquakes every year, because the moon is there exerting a force all the time, so the quakes occur more frequently and are therefore less powerful. But in that other universe, they only get 1 earthquake a year, but it’s much much bigger, and therefore more destructive.

          What I’m trying to show with this example is, yes, the moon probably day play a big role in earthquakes. But it’s a constant role. The actual distance of the moon from the earth appears to make only a 1% difference in the incidence of quakes. Maybe if the moon was on a big slingshot orbit, like Haley’s comet where it swung by us every 5 years, we’d see a huge increase in quakes during that period. But it doesn’t – it’s in a quite circular orbit and is always above us, so the actual change in the number of earthquakes, depending on the distance of the moon, is very very minimal.

          I can’t really make it any clearer than that.

          As for “someone”, you can go dig up the link to the site and find out who that ‘someone’ is if you want. I don’t know their name off the top of my head, but it was from a earth science blog. You should also check out the link provided by MrSmith, where it shows graphs of the incidence of large quakes in NZ, showing that there is no relationship between quakes and the phase/location of the moon.

  21. burt 21

    lprent

    I was wondering if you have an opinion on my position on this which is;

    Changes in sea level will create substantive tectonic plate movements and will result in large scale adjustments to the status quo land mass. Furthermore the reason science fails to acknowledge this is because it has a don’t frighten the horses approach preferring easily digestible sound bites like “350 now” rather than “build an ark”.

    • lprent 21.1

      Out tonight at list meeting and on iPhone. Will get back later.

    • lprent 21.2

      I was wondering if you have an opinion on my position on this which is;

      Same thing as ice but less. Sure there is a lot more sea, but the mass change in the gravitational column is a lot less than what you get for kilometres of ice melting on a gravitational column in Antarctica. Remember that sea level rises or ice melting depend on gravity to have an effect on faults and subduction zones and therefore earthquakes.You’re looking at a mass effect.

      From memory the biggest shift in sea level recently (ie the past few million years) has been about 75 metres, and if we look over the last 100 million years (ie prior to the ice age) it was less than 250 metres. While that is a lot of water, water (and ice) have a low density compared to even the lighter rocks of the SiAl crust.

      But even my less optimistic (than the IPCC) guesstimate has less than 10 metres sea level over the next 40 or 50 years. So look at my comments about glaciers and ice sheets melting that are 100’s of metres thick and scale down.

      The worst, the East Antarticia ice sheet is about 5km of ice at max? That would have an effect. 10 metres of sea level rise would have bugger all effect on earthquakes, but a hellish effect on river valleys and the climate required to produce food. How about concentrating on a problem that is a problem?

    • burt 21.3

      lprent

      I don’t get how science views the likes of the Pacific in terms of a gravitational column. I think about Southland Stadium…. Plonk a cubic meter of snow in the middle of the roof (as a cube with a footprint 1m square) and it’s unlikely that “gravitational column” would collapse the roof directly below it, cover the entire roof in 1m of snow and… well we saw what happened last year.

      But sure; I get what you are saying about relative depth of water in terms of a gravitational column, the relative difference of perhaps 10m of water etc, so thanks for the reply.

      • lprent 21.3.1

        It is just an opinion based on what I know from general principles, if I didn’t make that clear.

        There are a couple of places on the seafloor that I can think of that a small change in sea level might have a gravitational effect – but not a earthquake, more tsunamis. For instance on the edge of a seafloor canyon or a continental shelf edge or on the sides of a seamount. Somewhere where there is a buildup of sediment on a slope with a high angle where a small change in the water burden could trigger underwater landslides.

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