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A dubious technology now looks even more dubious - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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November 6th, 2011


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01:46 am - A dubious technology now looks even more dubious
It looks likely that natural gas mining via hydraulic fracturing (fracking) causes minor earthquakes and perhaps also the far from minor 5.6 quake in Oklahoma today. Here's a slightly more detailed look at this study, which is clearly not conclusive, but may now be even more suggestive.

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Comments:


[User Picture]
From:slothman
Date:November 6th, 2011 09:18 pm (UTC)
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This means we can trigger earthquakes! So we just need to trigger them all up and down major fault lines until we’ve released all the stress in the Earth’s crust and settle down to frequent, small quakes instead of rare, devastating ones.

Though I’d prefer to do that with geothermal power rather than fracking. Might as well get carbon-free energy.

[User Picture]
From:heron61
Date:November 7th, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
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I'm guessing this may only work in areas with many small faults rather than massive ones like in SoCal, but I could easily be wrong. The practical potential of this is very cool indeed, and the pulpy story potential of evil energy company moguls building earthquake machines is awesome.
[User Picture]
From:slothman
Date:November 7th, 2011 03:57 am (UTC)
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“We defeated the evil carbon-spewing, water table-poisoning energy company! Why are the earthquakes continuing at a lesser rate?” *investigation ensues* “The green-power geothermal company that has been lobbying to raise the standards for building codes to withstand small quakes is behind it!”
[User Picture]
From:alephnul
Date:November 7th, 2011 06:39 am (UTC)
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It also turns out that fracked NG is in the same range of greenhouse gas contribution as coal (pdf), because frac'ing releases NG directly to the atmosphere and NG = methane = really potent greenhouse gas.
[User Picture]
From:heron61
Date:November 7th, 2011 07:29 am (UTC)
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I'm not surprised, I've also heard that geothermal power has the same problem, but I don't know if this release is one-time or if it continues over the use of a geothermal power plant.
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From:kitten_goddess
Date:November 7th, 2011 11:06 am (UTC)
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The most sustainable thing we can do is limit the number of children we have. We need tax incentives for using effective birth control.
[User Picture]
From:heron61
Date:November 7th, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
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Not really, the entire developed world is at or below (mostly below, and in some nations well below) replacement. The US population is only continuing to grow because of immigration into the US. Population growth in the developing world is slowing, in many nations quite rapidly. In general, the only nations that have a high population growth are the few remaining hellholes (ie much of sub-saharan Africa, and a handful of non-African nations like Pakistan). Here's the 2011 annual population growth rate (as a %) for the nations of the planet. It's been falling every decade, and sometime in the next 50-90 years the world population should start to decline simply because the worldwide birthrate has gotten sufficiently low.

The more serious problem is the reason for this is more of the world is developing, which is wonderful - poverty and famine are considerably rarer than they were 20 years ago, but that requires energy. What we need is even more investment in solar, nuclear, and various other sustainable types of energy that don't produce greenhouse gases.

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