Saturday, March 12, 2011

Are We Ready for Our One in a Thousand Year Earthquake?

Short answer:  Nobody is.

Japan wrings its collective hands and says this sort of thing hasn't happened for 1200 years.  Yet it was happening on a regular basis all around the Pacific Rim, and their plate convergence was very high at 8 cm/y.  The amazing thing is that it takes 1200 years to cycle!

So, for exactly 3 days, we shall also wring our hands, and ask if it could happen here.  By definition, a disaster is a rare event for any one given place.  Thus, if we only look locally, like Japan and Christchurch did, we can dismiss the threat.  The same for Toronto.  We have a big giant fault mechanism bubbling away, but it will only blast us every 500-1000 years or so.  We, therefore, do nothing.

And all the smug press releases about our nuclear plants.  I used to write those things!  Sure, when I wrote them, they were essentially true, as long as we kept on top of things.  Unfortunately, the 'fat and lazy' burghermeisters of the old company believed them, and read them as 'No Problem - Do Nothing'.  So sad.

So, while we have our 3 days of attention, maybe something will be started, such "Fix Your Chimney Day".  Every little bit helps.  :)

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