I actually submitted this as an Op Ed for my college newspaper The Arrow.
Earthquakes, earthquakes everywhere! And they are not going to be going away. What is going on?
In Chile, an 8.8-magnitude earthquake there has only killed 700 people, unlike the Haiti earthquake where the death toll is increasing to almost 200 thousand. Yet the earthquake in Chile threw the Earth off its axis and changed the way the Earth rotates around the sun, perhaps permanently. It made shorter days.
There’s no need to get excited and think that we suddenly get more sleep time. The shift was 1.26 microseconds, barely noticeable, but a bigger earthquake - or a series of earthquakes - could completely alter the landscape of the world. The reason why the Chile earthquake affected the Earth more deeply was because the Chilean fault runs deeper than other faults.
Recently there has been an earthquake felt in Southeast Missouri. One person supposedly felt it here in Cape. Some people are more sensitive to these things than others, such as that mini-earthquake a year ago that was felt almost all the way to Ohio along our own infamous active faultline, the New Madrid faultline, billed as the second most dangerous fault in the United States. Some people woke up at 5 a.m. in the morning to feel it, and some did not. Some noted the 10 a.m. aftershock and some did not.
Apparently, in 2012 there might be a major earthquake along the New Madrid faultline. We are certainly overdue for one, even though no one should wish for an earthquake. We probably won’t experience one as devastating as the one in 1812 (which was worse than the one in San Fransisco in 1905) but a damaging one probably resembling the Haitian earthquake from New Orleans all the way north, maybe a little better or worse.
Right now, our economy cannot afford a major earthquake and displaced people. Just look at Katrina. No one was prepared for that.
So what is causing these earthquakes? There are differing opinions. Some say its natural, that earthquakes happen all the time. That’s true, they do, and perhaps the only reason they are so damaging is because our population grew from the millions into the billions seemingly over only a few decades. Of course 50 people in 1890 isn’t as devestating as 3,000 people in 1990, for example. So population growth and nature might not be getting along.
Another reason is global warming. Global warming is watery and gives us a feel good answer and a reason to feel guilty. Most of the world probably disagrees, but in the Post-Dispatch a few months ago there was an article that said that German scientists have begun to investigate the validity of it and aren’t finding any proof for it. Nature is tough and survives anything. It isn’t trying to get revenge on us. After all, nature is still around from the supposed accident that wiped out dinosaurs, which destroyed all the plants and animals - yet here we are. There’s not too much to worry about.
Another reason reflects the religious side. Now everyone is pretty leery of any talk of the end of the world from the religious perspective (as long as John Cusack is saving the world and makes it out alive we feel good). But no one - even non-Christian history records aspects- can deny that 2000 years ago Jesus said that before the last days there would be ‘earthquakes and rumors of earthquakes’ in the world. Well, we’ve certainly seen earthquakes, and we’ve heard rumors of earthquakes, on a large-scale magnitude. And those earthquakes are pretty damaging. Can anyone say freaky? So maybe we’re seeing biblical history clash with recent world history. Maybe it’s so we can get our lives right with God. It’s certainly an explanation, and not too bad of one, either. End of the world, here we come!