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Sunday, September 21, 2008

THE SIMPLE SOLUTION TO THE BLACKOUT (Part 9)

I have a really ridiculously simple solution for surviving mega-tsunamis: don’t even think about it. Look at the odds. 100 meter or larger tsunamis will affect you only if you happen to live at the coastline where a mega-landslide occurs, major volcano erupts or gigantic asteroid crashes into the sea. By the way, the National Geographic Channel showed what would happen if a 500 kilometer monster hits Earth (it has happened from three to six times already in the lifetime of Earth): all life would be destroyed, save for, maybe, microorganisms deep below the bottom of the ocean. The only event close to significant in our lifetime was the Lituya Bay 520 meter (1706 feet) landslide (40 million cubic yards) caused tsunami, triggered by a 7.5-8.3 (depends on who you quote) Richter scale earthquake, where there were more witnesses/survivors than deaths. There have been marine earthquakes, which created major tsunamis (but all much smaller than 100 meters), killing thousands, but these were not mega-tsunamis. Thus, it is safe for me to say that, over the next millennium or so, you don’t need to worry about being terminated by this natural phenomenon. In the Appendix you will see a table showing that death in American by a tsunami is three times lower than from being hit by an asteroid.

The odds for your survival increase exponentially with the distance of these events, for if another Krakotoa or Stromboli explodes, reasonably large {but not anything like that dinosaur extinctioning, 65 million years ago, 6 mile (only 10 kilometers) in diameter behemoth} asteroid strikes or Nuuanu landslide falls, the 100 meter or so potential tsunami will rapidly decay over only a few hundred miles. So, if you’re several thousand miles distant, you will be inconvenienced by a tsunami watch, but all the physics point to a centi-tsunami, that is, on the order of centimeters (less than half an inch/cm).

Further, nature tends to be helpful about landslides. Tsunami scientists are generally in accord that mega-landslides are very rare. There seems to be a gradual wearing of potentially dangerous landfalls. Anything else is the exception. George Pararas-Carayannis, who was mentioned as writing the definitive paper contradicting the contention that Cumbre Vieja in La Palma will soon trigger a mega-tsunami, told me that he even doubts that the largest ever landslide, that Nuuanu one about a million years ago, was a monolithic event. More probably, the evidence in the ocean is an accumulation of many, many landslides over time.

So, the Simple Solution is not to worry. Be entertained by those apocalyptic TV specials and films, but strike mega-tsunamis from your worry list. Well, this was certainly a wimpy ending to a book, but this is not The End, as controversies abound in Book 2. Plus, I plead with you to read APPENDIX B on Rainbow Visions. You can help to make a difference for Planet Earth.
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Typhoon Hagupit is at 100 MPH and strengthening. The path is between the Philippines and Taiwan, and landfall is expected north of Hong Kong.
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