Human activity can cause destructive harm. Columbia University geophysical hazards research scientist, Christian Klose, studies how, including from mining. In a recent paper, he said:
"mining activities disturb the in-situ stress in the upper continental crust and can trigger earthquakes (human-triggered seismicity)."
Past examples are numerous:
-- from potash and other mining in Germany since the 19th century;
-- potash mining in Bulgaria;
-- copper mining in Silesia;
-- ore mining in Russia;
-- coal and other mining in various parts of America, including New York state, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming; and
-- coal and other mining in China and throughout the world.
Klose also says geophysical data suggest that the Zipingpu Dam, a few kilometers from the epicenter of China's 7.9 magnitude 2008 earthquake, likely triggered it. In a December 2008 presentation at the American Geophysical Union, he explained:
"Several geophysical observations suggest this (quake) was triggered by local and abnormal mass imbalances on the surface of the Earth's crust. These observations include (1) elastostatic response of the crust to the mass changes, (2) slip distribution of the main rupture, and (3) aftershock distribution."
A follow-up issue of Science magazine explained further stating:
"the added weight both eased the squeeze on the fault, weakening it, and increased the stress tending to rupture (it). The effect was 25 times that of a year's worth of natural stress loading from tectonic motions. When the fault did finally rupture, it moved just the way the reservoir loading had encouraged it to...."
Klose also says that two centuries of coal mining triggered the 1989 Newcastle, Australia quake, killing 13 and causing billions of dollars in damage. Data show that increased post-WW II production "dramatic(ally increased) the stress change in the crust," setting it off and raising questions about how mining operates.
"You have two chances to avoid this, whether you reduce the hazard or reduce the vulnerability - so whether you mine in a more sustainable way or have urban planning in other areas away from the mining regions."
In addition, Klose estimates that human activity caused one-fourth of Britain's quakes, not just from mining. An Andrew Alden geology.about.com article headlined, "Earthquakes in a Nutshell" says:
"Earthquakes are natural ground motions caused as the Earth releases energy. The science of earthquakes is seismology (the study of shaking). Earthquake energy comes from the stresses of plate tectonics. As plates move, the rocks on their edges deform and take up strain until the weakest point, a fault, ruptures and releases the strain."
Five major types of human activity cause them:
(1) Damn construction
Since water is heavier than air, the crust beneath it is greatly stressed, easily setting off shocks that mostly are moderate. University of Alaska seismologist Larry Gedney explained:
"Since the (Hoover Dam) reached its peak of 475 feet in 1939, the level of seismicity has fluctuated in direct response to water level. None of the shocks have been particularly damaging - the largest was about magnitude 5 - but the area had no record of being seismically active."
Klose says dams cause about one-third of human-caused quakes. No wonder given their global proliferation, 845,000 according to Discover magazine, including 80,000 in America. Hoover Dam is the largest, storing 1.2 trillion cubic feet of water. China's Three Gorges Dam is the world's largest, holding back 1.4 trillion cubic feet. In 1967, a human-triggered 7.0 magnitude western India quake may have been caused by the Koyna Dam. If so, damns in seismically active areas may be more destructive than believed.
(2) Liquid injection into the ground
In 1951, the US Army constructed Basin F at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal to handle 243 million gallons of contaminated liquid chemical wastes in about a 93 acre area. In 1961, another way was chosen - by drilling a 12,000-foot deep well in the Rocky Mountains to inject napalm toxic waste into the earth's crust. From 1962 - 1966, 165 million gallons went in, likely triggering regional quakes and getting the Army to shut it down. According to seismologist Dave Wolney:
"If you are doing deep well injection, you are altering the stress on the underlying rocks and at some point, (it) will be relieved by generating an earthquake."
Klose also worries about carbon dioxide sequestration, a process of compressing CO2 from coal plants and injecting it into underground deposits. They, too, can generate quakes close to cities, as that's where facilities are located.
(3) Coal mining
Coal provides over half of America's electricity and an even larger percentage in China. Mines produce millions of tons annually, extract up to a dozen times as much water as coal, and cause huge regional mass changes. They, in turn, increase stress that can cause quakes as explained above. According to Klose, mining produces over half of recorded ones.
(4) Oil and gas drilling
A June 23, 2009 New York Times article headlined, "Deep in Bedrock, Clean Energy and Quake Fears," explaining that former oil man, Markus O. Haring, drilled a hole three miles deep in Basel, Switzerland prospecting for clean, renewable energy deep within the earth's bedrock. On December 8, 2006, an earthquake terrifyied residents who remembered the devastating one striking the city 650 years earlier.
Haring terminated his project, but a US start-up company, AltaRock Energy, will use the same technology to drill deep into quake-prone areas two hours' drive north of San Francisco for geothermal energy. The Energy Department backs it with more than $36 million, and several large venture capital firms are involved, despite the risk.
According the The Times:
"The California project is the first of dozens that could be operating in the United States in the next several years, driven by a push to cut emissions of heat-trapping gases and the Obama administration's support for renewable energy. Using the Basel method, it's hoped a breakthrough can be achieved, even though it's known that large quakes occur at great depths."
Three of the largest human-caused ones happened near an Uzbekistan natural gas field, the result of liquid extraction and injection changing its tectonic action. The most severe one registered 7.3, and according to Russian scientists:
"Few will deny that there is a relationship between hydrocarbon recovery and seismic activity, but exactly how strong a relationship exists has yet to be determined."
In regions with high tectonic activity, like northern California near San Francisco or Haiti around Port-au-Prince, extraction could trigger severe quakes. It's believed Haiti has significant oil, gas, and other mineral deposits, including gold, copper, and coal. Perhaps drilling around Port-au-Prince bay, the Gulf of La Gonave, and the Island of La Gonave set off the quake, why US occupation and human neglect are related to it, and why America, France, Canada and other nations seek to profit from disaster.
(5) Large building construction
On December 2, 2005 Kate Ravilious' UK Guardian article headlined, "Skyscraper that may cause earthquakes." It referred to Taipei 101 in Taiwan, the world's tallest building at 1,667 feet, weighing 700,000 tons. According to National Taiwan Normal University geologist Cheng Horng Lin, the building's stress may have reopened an ancient fault. Before its construction, the Taipei basin was very stable with no surface ones. Thereafter, "The number of earthquakes increased to around two micro-earthquakes per year during the construction period (1997 - 2003). After completion, two larger quakes were registered, strong enough to feel at magnitudes 3.8 and 3.2."
Lin believes that "the considerable stress might be transferred into the upper crust due to the extremely soft sedimentary rocks beneath the Taipei basin. Deeper down this may have reopened an old earthquake fault."
Other experts are more cautious. UCLA quake expert John Vidale says "A building will change the stress on the ground under the building, but this probably won't reach down to around 10km, the level where earthquakes occur." Compared with dams, coal mining, oil drilling, and underground waste deposits, skyscrapers cause minor stress to the earth's surface. Klose shares that view.
Other Earthquake Causes
A January 23, 2010 Pravda online article headlined, "US weapon test aimed at Iran caused Haiti quake," stating:
"An unconfirmed report by the Russian Northern Fleets says the Haiti earthquake was caused by a flawed US Navy 'earthquake weapons' test before (they) could be utilized against Iran. (Something) went 'horribly wrong' and caused the catastrophic quake in the Caribbean, the website of Venezuela's ViVe TV recently reported, citing the Russian report."
After its release, Hugo Chavez called it a drill, preparing to cause an earthquake in Iran. Russia Today said Moscow has the same weapons. The unconfirmed Russian report said America carried out a similar test in the Pacific Ocean, causing a 6.5 magnitude quake near Eureka, CA. No deaths or injuries were reported, but many buildings were damaged.
ViVe said the US Navy may have had "full knowledge" of the test's damage potential, and speculated it was why Deputy Southern Command General PK Keen was in Haiti when the quake struck, preparing to act in case of a disaster, perhaps an engineered one. In his January 21 Global Research article, Michel Chossudovsky said:
"A Haiti disaster relief scenario had been envisaged at the headquarters of US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Miami one day prior to the earthquake (since) pre-disaster simulations pertain(ing) to the impacts of a hurricane in Haiti" were conducted.
A "communication-information tool" called the Transnational Information Sharing Cooperation project (TISC) "links non-government organizations with the United States (government and military) and other nations for tracking, coordinating and organizing relief efforts."
When the quake struck, TISC was in "an advanced stage of readiness." The next day, SOUTHCOM implemented the system. "The (DOD's) Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)" set up a relief effort among "a range of Defense units and various" NGOs and aid groups operating "as part of a carefully planned military operation." Did DOD have advance knowledge of the quake so could act immediately when it struck? Was the drill's timing a coincidence or something more sinister?
On the morning of September 11, 2001, the CIA was running "a pre-planned simulation to explore the emergency response issues that would be created if a plane were to strike a building." Held at the Agency's Chantilly, Virginia Reconnaissance Office, it simulated a small jet hitting one of its four towers after supposedly experiencing mechanical failure. The media ignored it the way it's suppressing the January 11 drill. It raises serious questions and great suspicions.
Earlier in October 2000, the Defense Protective Services Police and Pentagon's Command Emergency Response Team conducted another exercise, simulating a plane striking the Pentagon - called "the Pentagon Mass Casualty Exercise." Coincidence again, or were these drills part of readiness planning for 9/11, with advance knowledge of what was coming? Was similar Haiti planning also preparatory to the Pentagon's militarized takeover? Was the catastrophe natural or engineered, and is there another way to trigger it?
HAARP Technology - High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program
HAARP manipulates the atmosphere, climate, and weather for military purposes. Based in Gokona, Alaska, it's a jointly managed US Air Force/Navy weather warfare program, operating since 1992, yet the HAARP web site explains its purpose as follows:
"HAARP is a scientific endeavor aimed at studying the properties and behavior of the ionosphere (the atmosphere's upper layer), with particular emphasis on being able to understand and use it to enhance communications and surveillance systems for both civilian and defense purposes. (It will be used) to induce a small, localized change in ionospheric temperature so that resulting reactions can be studied by other instruments located either at or close to the HAARP site."
According to Rosalie Bertell, a distinguished scientific expert and president of the International Institute of Concern for Public Health:
HAARP functions as "a gigantic heater that can cause major disruptions in the ionosphere, creating not just holes, but long incisions in the protective layer that keeps deadly radiation from bombarding the planet."
Writing in Earthpulse Press on November 5, 1996, Bertell explained that:
"Military interest in space became intense during and after World War II because of the introduction of rocket science, the companion of nuclear technology....During this time of intensive atmospheric nuclear testing, explosions at various levels above and below the surface of the earth were tried. Some of the now familiar descriptions of the earth's protective atmosphere....were based on information gained through stratospheric and ionospheric experimentation."
Numerous projects preceded HAARP, including:
-- Project Argus in 1958 "to assess the impact of high altitude nuclear explosions on radio transmission and radar operations," and learn more about the geomagnetic field;
-- Project Starfish in 1962, using nuclear detonations to disrupt the ionosphere and assess the effects on the earth's magnetic field;
-- SPS: Solar Power Satellite Project in 1968, using Solar Powered Satellites in geostationary orbit 40,000 km above the earth to intercept solar radiation with solar cells that potentially could be environmentally destructive;
-- Poker Flat Rocket Launch from 1968 to the present to "understand chemical reactions in the atmosphere associated with global climate change;" perhaps more to influence climate for military purposes;
-- Saturn V Rocket in 1975 - due to a malfunction, it burned unusually high in the atmosphere (above 300 km) producing a "large ionospheric hole," resulting in over a 60% reduction in "total electron content" over a 1,000 km area lasting several hours; all telecommunications over the Atlantic Ocean were disrupted;
-- SPS Military Implications in 1978 to develop a satellite-based beam weapon for anti-ballistic missile (ABM) use; also as a mind-control/anti-personnel weapon by affecting the human brain;
-- Orbit Maneuvering System in 1981 to study the effect of Shuttle injected gases on the ionosphere; it was learned they could induce holes;
-- Innovative Shuttle Experiments in 1985 using gases to create ionospheric holes;
-- Mighty Oaks in 1986 to develop x-ray and particle beam weapons;
-- Desert Storm in 1991, during which the US deployed an electromagnetic pulse weapon, designed to mimic the electricity flash of a nuclear detonation; and
-- HAARP since 1992
Bertell says its:
"related to fifty years of intensive and increasingly destructive programs to understand and control the upper atmosphere. (It's) an integral part of a long history of space research and development of a deliberate military nature. (Their) implications (are) alarming. Basic to this project is control of communications, both (their) disruption and reliability in hostile environments. The power wielded by such control is obvious."
"The ability of the HAARP/Spacelab/rocket combination to deliver very large amounts of energy, comparable to a nuclear bomb, anywhere on earth via laser and particle beams, are frightening." Yet the public is told it's "a space shield against incoming weapons (or) a devise for repairing the ozone layer."
By modifying the ionosphere, HAARP can be hugely destructive. Potentially, it can trigger floods, droughts, hurricanes, tsunamis, forest fires, and power blackouts over entire regions. It can disrupt radar, other communications, agriculture, ecology, and financial and other markets. It can use weather to wage war, and perhaps cause earthquakes like the one that struck Haiti.
The UN Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques (1977)
Its Article I states that:
"Each State Party to this Convention undertakes not to engage in military or any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects as the means of destruction, damage or injury to any other State Party."
Article II refers to "environmental modification (ENMOD) techniques (as) any technique for changing - through the deliberate manipulation of natural processes - the dynamics, composition or structure of the Earth, including its biota, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere, or of outer space."
Citing Ecology News, Sourcewatch.org defines environmental warfare as:
"(1) the intentional modification of a system of the natural ecology, such as climate and weather, earth systems such as the ionosphere, magnetosphere, tectonic plate system, and/or the triggering of seismic events (earthquakes);
(2) to cause intentional physical, economic, psycho-social, and physical destruction to an intended target geophysical or population location;" and
"(3) as part of strategic or tactical war.
Environmental war weapons systems can include chemtrails, chemical weapons systems (climate and weather modification) and electromagnetic weapons systems (climate and weather modification; seismic warfare)."
Other definitions are broader, including the use of depleted uranium and other environmentally destructive weapons, practices and techniques.
International standards on environmental protections during armed conflict date back as early as the 1868 Declaration of St. Petersburg. It stated that "the only legitimate object which States should endeavour to accomplish during war is to weaken the military forces of the enemy."
The 1907 Hague Regulations stressed restraint, saying "The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited," and the Geneva Conventions (including Protocol I and Common Article 3) defined the principles of international humanitarian law.
In 1973, the US Senate adopted a resolution calling for an international agreement "prohibiting the use of any environmental or geophysical modification activity as a weapon of war...." President Nixon ordered the Defense Department to review the military aspects of weather and other ENMOD techniques.
During the July 1974 summit meeting in Moscow, Nixon and General Secretary Brezhnev agreed to hold bilateral talks to achieve "the most effective measures possible to overcome the dangers of the use of environmental modification techniques for military purposes." Discussions continued in 1974 and 1975, resulting in an agreement on a common approach and language. The 1977 UN Convention followed, ratified 98 - 0 by the Senate on November 28, 1979. It took effect on January 17, 1980, but was violated thereafter by both sides.
Human environmental modification techniques (ENMOD) can cause irreversible damage. Yet international standards haven't stopped their development.
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to the Lendman News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday - Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening.