Our Mother’s curse…

My latest blog on TOI. I have probably written this with more passion than ever before…


20 Responses to “Our Mother’s curse…”

  1. Anand Khare Says:

    You are right. The judgement would come from the nature (God). We are lesser mortals, who would face their deeds on the day of doom.

    BTW, I am one of those who always thought that Juhi Chawala is ‘quayamat’.


  2. Quite a fad to say that mother earth is furious regarding how it’s children treat her. I would like to keep these topics separate. You can write this about floods, droughts etc..but earthquakes ?? Earthquake has got nothing to do with how mankind is destroying the earth’s natural balance. Earthquakes have probably happened when there was no man or animal on this planet.

    • Nnad – Earthquakes over 5.8 have been on the increase ever since Man began his nuclear testing and in fact even responsible for landslides and tsunamis Have a look at the comments section of TOI, I have pulled out some data for the cynics.thanks

    • Sharmila,

      This latest quake occurred in a depth of 32 km.

      Even ignoring all we know about plate tectonics and strain release, how do you assume that nuclear testing influences events at such depth?

      • I am not talking in isolation of this particular incident alone. I cite reasons at to one of the reasons why earthquakes occur. There is no proof for anything that is “naturally” driven, but at the same time, it does not mean that we continue blasting the earth’s crust for testing nuclear weapons. Do read the TOI comment about how testing did cause earthquakes & tsunamis at the atolls.

      • Earthquakes are not ’caused’ by this, they are ‘triggered’.

        The cause for earthquakes lies in the earth itself.

    • Sharmila,

      The Richter scale was developed in 1935.

      Nuclear testing began in 1945.

      How can you make valid statistics in that timeframe?

      Earthquakes happen on a geological time frame. There have always been cycles of quiescence and activity for any given region.

      Besides, inducing earthquakes is good. Since the strain of the moving plats must be reduced, frequent small events are less damaging than rare large events.

      • Sourced from a research document Quote – (Whiteford studied all earthquakes this century of more than 5.8 on the Richter scale. “Below that intensity,” he explained, “some earthquakes would have passed unrecorded in the earlier part of the century when measuring devices were less sensitive and less ubiquitous. But for bigger quakes the records are detailed and complete for the entire planet.” So Whiteford was able to make a simple comparison of the earthquake rate in the first half of the century, before nuclear testing, and the rate for 1950 to 1988. In the fifty years before testing, large earthquakes of more than 5.8 occurred at an average rate of 68 per year. With the advent of testing the rate rose “suddenly and dramatically” to an average of 127 a year. The earthquake rate has almost doubled. To this day the U.S. military attributes the increase to “coincidence.” . . .. . . Who will the world hold responsible if suddenly an unprecedented series of violent earthquakes and volcanoes shake the earth? Will nuclear testers be able to assure the world they were not responsible?)

      • Sorry, but this sounds ridiculous.

        Just look at this one event which includes dozens and dozens of aftershocks over magnitude 6.

        Would’t your statistic be vastly different whether you included that one event (because they are all linked to that one event) or not?

  3. The United States has conducted 1,054 tests of nuclear devices between July 16, 1945 and September 23, 1992. Before 1962, all the tests were atmospheric (on land or in the Pacific or Atlantic oceans) but overall the majority – 839 – were underground tests. From 1966 to 1990, 167 French nuclear test explosions have been performed on two atolls in French Polynesia, Morurua and Fangataua. Of the 167 tests, 44 were atmospheric. Atmospheric explosions were carried out until 1974, but only underground tests after that. The underground tests have been conducted at the bottom of shafts bored 500-1200 meters into the basalt core of the atoll. Initially these shafts were drilled in the outer rim of the atoll. In 1981, most likely due to the weakening of that rim, the tests with higher yields were shifted to shafts drilled under the lagoon itself.To quote from a 1995 case brought against the French government, Case T-219/95 R, by Marie-Thérèse Danielsson, Pierre Largenteau and Edwin Haoa, all residing in Tahiti, French Polynesia: “Short-term effects include geological damage and the venting of gaseous and volatile fission products into the biosphere. Nuclear tests, the applicants say, can cause landslides and did indeed cause a major underwater landslide at Mururoa in 1979, when a nuclear device was exploded after jamming half-way down its shaft. Since the geology of Mururoa is already unstable due to large-scale fracturing caused by previous tests, further major landslides are likely. Such landslides in the past have given rise to tsunamis causing coastal damage in areas as far away as Pitcairn and Tahiti and endangering residences such as that of Ms. Danielsson. They can also release radioactive material into the sea, with catastrophic effects on the food chain in an area such as French Polynesia where fish is an important part of the diet.The Murarao slide shifted at least one million cubic meters of coral and rock and created a cavity, probably 140 meters in diameter and produced a major tidal wave comparable to a tsunami, which spread through the Tuamotu Archipelago and injured people on the southern part of Moruroa Atoll. French authorities initially denied that any mishap had occurred and declared that the tidal wave was of natural origin, but in a publication in 1985 they did acknowledge “the accident of 25 July 1979”.Research on underwater landslides is new and it is only in recent years that the potentially catastrophic results of a landslide have become known. Dr Summerhayes, Director of the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences in the United Kingdom, is quoted in the Independent Newspaper on 9 September 1995 as saying that volcanic islands like Mururoa were:”… inherently unstable and may fail given an appropriate trigger like an earthquake or a very large explosion. Failure is likely to cause a giant submarine landslide which may demolish parts of the island and could create a tidal wave that may itself damage coastal installations on other islands nearby.”Furthermore he stated that the creation of such a tidal wave was “a general threat to coasts as far away as New Zealand and Australia.”

    • Sharmila,

      I want to make sure you do not think that I approve of nuclear testing. And of course I agree it can cause landslides and damaging waves.

      Only earthquakes are an altogether different topic.

      • Ha Ha.. Yes, of course I know you would not approve of nuclear testing. But, why is man confident that he has no part to play in natural disasters is the question. But, do read this. I can pull out many more if you wish.

        A weekend 5.0 Richter earthquake in Iran was actually a nuclear bomb test, says an Iranian nuclear scientist claiming to be working on the project.

        The report is an Israel Insider exclusive.

        This past Saturday night, southern Iran experienced what was reported as a significant earthquake – a seismic event measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale. Its epicenter was just north of the strategic Straits of Hormuz, which separates Iran from Abu Dhabi and Oman and which is the gateway to the Persian Gulf.

        The report quotes an Iranian nuclear scientist who claims to be working in uranium enrichment for the project, and who said that the “quake” was acutally an undergound nuclear bomb test.

        Israel Insider adds that the test/quake was actually the second in a series. Nine days ago, a 4.8 Richter scale event occurred, with its epicenter only five kilometers away from the weekend tremor.

        The Israel Insider source reports that two nuclear rockets are currently ready – and are intended for use against Israel in the coming months.

        If the report is correct, it would belie previous speculation that Iran would not begin nuclear testing until it had more nuclear-bomb production capability.

        The geographical location of the test has several advantages. It is exposed to significant seismic activity, which could serve to mask nuclear tests; it is believed to be close to Iran’s nuclear development facility; delivery and transport of material and personnel can be effected easily through the Hormuz Strait; and Iranian enemies would hesitate to bomb the area because that would threaten the flow of a substantial percentage of the world’s oil.

      • Sharmila,

        Where did I say I believe that man has no part in natural disasters?

        All I am saying is that earthquakes are different.

        Yes, bomb tests shake up the earth and can mimic a 5.

        But is completely irrelevant if we are discussing large earthquakes and their dangers. Nothing we can do or not do(at this point in time anyway) will change the frequency of the large events.

        All we can do is to wisely consider where we place our nuclear power plant – if at all….

  4. But this is one country called Iran which causes “tremors” by Japan’s current standards. How do we know what the real impact of continual testings that the bigger countries carry?

  5. Hey, I didn’t know this page had come up and theres already been a string.

    Hmmm… may be I’ll wait till I know what Sharmila has really said in the post. The title seems a bit esoteric… or may be I am trying to tell the content from the package…

    I’ll wait…

  6. Skipped PN’s blog, put up mine instead. Will post PN’s tomorrow.

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