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The Heartland Institute Exhibits “Bad Judgment”

For some years now I have publicly praised the work of the Heartland Institute for leading the attack against the fraud of the anthropogenic global warming movement.

Based on criticism the Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC) received from Heartland the day after our June 8, 2015 press release, it would seem my praise has been misdirected.

The June 9, 2015 ‘shoot-from-the-hip’ opinion by members of the Heartland Institute (HI), about the important SSRC press release, demonstrates what I believe is a patent lack of credibility and bad scientific judgment on the part of the institute.

The article was written by HI ‘expert’ Alan Caruba with comments by HI Science Director Dr. Jay Lehr. See the article at Mr. Caruba’s site at Facts Not Fantasy. They jointly recommended that people be “extremely skeptical” of the SSRC press release.

The SSRC Press Release 3-2015 was titled “Earthquake and Volcano Threat for USA Increases.”  The release referenced new research that was subsequently published in the SSRC’s Global Climate Status Report (GCSR) on June 10, 2015. See the report at the GCSR page of the SSRC web site.

The SSRC press release and the semi-annual GCSR were a culmination of a number of other papers from the sister company of the SSRC, the International Earthquake and Volcano Prediction Center (IEVPC).  As well, leading edge climate research from the SSRC over the past eight years was included. Several PhD experts in seismology and solar induced climate change were directly involved in the research in the GCSR that supported the assertion of the press release – that a potentially dangerous era of increased geophysical activity – major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, has begun.

The press release not only contained a general U.S. wide alert, but also referenced a letter sent to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, asking that he begin to prepare the US for what the science says is coming. In these documents, the SSRC specifically indicated another major earthquake is highly probable in the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) between St. Louis and Memphis. The time frame for the next catastrophic quake to strike was determined to be 2017 to 2038.

The Caruba-Lehr explanation seems to be that they have accepted the current USGS position that no one can predict earthquakes. The USGS position was born out of their singular attempt and failure to predict an earthquake in Parkfield, California between 1985 and 1993. This has led to a global scientific barrier to advancements in earthquake prediction based on the belief that if the USGS cannot do it, then no one else can, or should try!

Beyond that, the HI article has many fundamental errors that should not go unmentioned:

  1. Neither Mr. Caruba nor Dr. Lehr have any research background in seismology or climate science and are thus unqualified to render such important opinions as they have about the SSRC press release. Though a well published author in ground water hydrology, the public record shows Dr. Lehr has done nothing in the relevant fields of seismology, or climate science, much less solar effects on the Earth’s climate. Mr. Caruba’s choice of someone with no apparent credentials or history of scientific achievement in the fields being discussed is like asking a brain surgeon to do his first heart transplant operation on you. Everyone should demand a ‘second opinion’ here.
  2. The criticism by HI completely ignores the decades of experience and success achieved in the fields of seismology and climate science found within the careers of the authors of the research cited.
  3. The HI assault on the credibility of the SSRC and the IEVPC comes from Dr. Lehr and Mr. Caruba without either of them even reading the research! The research was not posted in the GCSR until two days after they issued their critical article. This is an unforgivable failure in making a scientific decision on any subject, especially one where so many lives are at stake. This is de facto bad scientific judgment. One has to ask is this typical of how decisions at HI are normally conducted?
  4. If Caruba and Lehr had done their homework first, they would realize that what the press release said was nothing new but merely an independent research company confirming what is already widely known by the USGS and experts who study the NMSZ, namely: The approximately 200 year pattern of major quakes in the NMSZ is already well established. The work by the SSRC shows the pattern is identical in periodicity to a 206 year solar cycle. We merely confirm what is already known from a solar-climate perspective.
  5. The geology community and the USGS are keenly aware that there has been a dramatic increase in earthquakes and volcanoes worldwide and in the US. Our press release and GCSR just gives a new rationale, highly correlated to climate change, for why this is happening.
  6. The expected quake for the NMSZ mentioned in the article is not a prediction for an earthquake per se since it lacks a specific magnitude, epicenter location, depth and day (s) expected. Neither the SSRC nor the IEVPC currently do earthquake predictions. The press release is, however, a reasoned long range warning of a highly likely event based on past history and now linked to naturally caused climate variation.
  7. The criticism by HI misses the point altogether of both the press release and the more important GCSR, the latter of course no one read anyway. Specifically, the last four devastating quakes in the NMSZ struck at the bottom of a solar hibernation, a period of dramatic reduction in solar energy output. Now that the next solar hibernation has begun, common sense dictates that major preparations be made in the interest of public safety.

The present state of preparation by the federal government and the state governments involved for another major NMSZ quake can be described as token at best, and otherwise abysmal in all categories. A human catastrophe is highly probable based on the best seismic and climate research available. Yet what do we see from the Heartland Institute and the federal and state governments? Nothing, except heads buried in sand or else criticism of those who wish to give the public the information they deserve.  Is it any wonder why so many Americans distrust the US government and political organizations?

In the absence of any government and media interest in properly educating our people on the increased risks they face, the SSRC has issued the appropriate press release and notification of the FEMA Administrator.

The Heartland Institute article by Caruba and Lehr is a clear example of shooting the messenger. Except this time, many citizens may pay with their lives for following such uninformed, incompetent advice.

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EDITORS NOTE: After this column was published we learned that Alan Caruba had passed away. Alan was a friend, colleague and contributor to this publication. We will miss his daily commentary and analysis of the issues. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

To read all of Alan’s contributions to this publication please click here.

Predicting Earthquakes. Not.

The president of the Space and Science Research Corporation, John Casey, is also the author of “Cold Sun: A Dangerous ‘Hibernation’ of the Sun Has Begun!” and has called attention to a meteorological cycle that until the global warming hoax occurred, was largely unknown to many people and, to a large degree still is.

Nature has not cooperated with the charlatans who made claims about a dramatic warming of the Earth. Since 1998 the planet along with the Sun has been in a solar cycle distinguished by very few, if any, sun spots—evidence of solar storms—and a cooling of the Earth that has some predicting a forthcoming new Little Ice Age.

As Wikipedia reports: “Solar Cycle 24 is the 24th solar cycle since 1755, when extensive recording of solar sunspot activity began. It is the current solar cycle, and began on January 4, 2008, but there was minimal activity until early 2010. It is on track to be the Solar Cycle with the lowest recorded sunspot activity since accurate records began in 1750.” These cycles occur every eleven years.

I was surprised to receive a news release from the Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC) on Monday with the headline “Earthquake and Volcano Threat Increases” because, frankly, I could have put out the same release and, if such activity did increase, I could claim credit for predicting it and, if not, few if any would recall I had made such a claim. While earthquake activity has been studied for decades, even the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) makes no claim to being able to predicting when or where one will occur.

What the USGS can tell you is that their scientists (and others) “estimate earthquake probabilities in two ways: by studying the history of large earthquakes in a specific area and the rate at which strain accumulates in the rock.” A translation of this is that they have only the most minimal clues when and where one will occur. A recent International Business Times article reported that this may change as the introduction of “big data analytics” kicks in to provide “a leap of accuracy of quake predictions.”

The SSRC news release was about a letter that Casey had sent Craig Fugate, the Administrator of the Federal Management Agency which “disclosed that we are about to enter a potentially catastrophic period of record earthquakes and volcanic eruptions throughout the United States.”

Casey’s letter outlined “how the ongoing dramatic reduction in the Sun’s energy output will not only plunge the world into a decades-long cold epoch, but at the same time bring record geographic devastation in monster earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.”

Other scientists have come to similar conclusions, but after years of sorting through all the claims about global warming and “climate change”, one might want to tread lightly before embracing them.

I asked my colleague at The Heartland Institute, Science Director Jay Lehr, for his reaction and he was quite candid. “I have read it and am extremely skeptical. It sounds like the agency is looking for some press and, of course, when they turn out to be wrong no one will be upset. No harm. No foul. Being ready for earthquakes in known quake zones makes sense; creating unwarranted fear does not.”

Dr. Lehr summed up my own reaction. I would recommend his skepticism to everyone.

Will there be earthquakes here in the U.S.? Yes. The New Madrid earthquakes were the biggest in the nation’s history, occurring in the central Mississippi Valley and so large they were felt as far away as New York and Boston, Montreal and Washington, D.C. President James Madison and his wife Dolly felt them in the White House. They lasted from December 16, 1811 through March of 1812 and there were more than 2,000 quakes in the central Midwest, and between 6,000-10,000 in the boot-heel of Missouri where New Madrid is located near the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

When will new earthquakes or volcanic eruptions occur? I doubt anyone knows the answer to that.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

U.S. Government says it can’t predict earthquakes — Florida based group says “Yes, We Can”

The U.S. government’s official position is that earthquakes cannot be predicted. It is also the U.S. government position that it can both predict and control the weather (i.e. global cooling, global warming, climate change, climate disruption). An inter-governmental oxymoron?

The U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey (USGS) website states, “There’s a 100 percent chance of an earthquake today. Though millions of persons may never experience an earthquake, they are very common occurrences on this planet. So today — somewhere — an earthquake will occur… It is estimated that about 700 shocks each year have this capability when centered in a populated area. But fortunately, most of these potentially destructive earthquakes center in unpopulated areas far from civilization… Stating that an earthquake is going to occur today is not really ‘predicting earthquakes’. To date, they cannot be predicted.” [Emphasis added]

However, an Orlando, FL based group says, “Yes, we can predict earthquakes.”

The International Earthquake and Volcano Prediction Center (IEVPC), announced that it has embarked on a wide ranging program to alert the global insurance industry of its capability to predict major earthquakes.

According to IEVPC Chairman/CEO Mr. John Casey, “Our initial test program success and more recent successful internal predictions demands that we continue to contact all those individuals and businesses most affected by these destructive geophysical events. Though we are not at a 100% accuracy level yet, the fact that we have a track record of predicting major earthquakes should be of serious interest to those whose lives and properties are at risk.”

The IEVPC Director of Research Dr. Dong Choi, in Canberra, Australia adds to this by saying, “The long held belief that earthquakes cannot be predicted has been dispelled by the demonstrated ability of the IEVPC to accurately predict major earthquake events in advance. Our new technology with our integrated system of multiple precursor analysis is a paradigm shift in earthquake prediction whose time has come.”

The IEVPC was formed in February 2012 after a group of some of the world’s most successful earthquake prediction experts approached Mr. Casey, a former White House space program adviser and recognized leader in climate research, and asked him to bring them together into a single firm. Since that time, the IEVPC has been attempting to spread the word of its capability through several different channels.

As Mr. Casey explains, “The use of US and foreign government channels has shown that it will take too long to change long standing beliefs about earthquake prediction. We cannot afford to leave people and businesses at risk waiting for what would probably take many years of expensive, time consuming effort to turn these large entrenched entities around to new advances in earthquake prediction. In the meantime, we are faced with the prospect of dealing with the damaging effects of current earthquake threats knowing some could be predicted in advance. If nothing else, this new initiative is needed simply from a humanitarian perspective.”

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo of road damage from the August 1959 Hebgen Lake (Montana-Yellowstone) earthquake. Highway 287, near Hebgen Lake, Montana is courtesy of the USGS.