Apocalypse soon: the scientists preparing for the end times
COMMENT: Another one of those headlines (article, link) here over this past weekend that not only says it ALL, but clearly points out for ALL to see where we as a “modern” society are heading. Consider the subtitle below of this same article:
Quote: "A growing community of scientists, philosophers and tech billionaires believe we need to start thinking seriously about the threat of human extinction."
There is no doubt that since the Industrial Revolution became a reality roughly around 300 years ago, “modern” society has increased the speed and scope of change that is quickly outstripping our ability to properly deal with the consequences. This massive rush by the economic and technological elites in placing bad economic policymaking as well as high technology advancements above all else, for example, without any restrictions, is (finally) causing certain members of that same elite to open their eyes to the very real danger of human extinction level event(s). So now we have these people getting concerned all of a sudden, by way of two highly prestigious academic institutions: Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute (http://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/) and Cambridge University’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (http://cser.org/). By referring to “apocalypse” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocalypse), these elite persons associated with these two entities are in no uncertain way pointing to the infamous understanding of the word in general society, as it has now become obvious to even the most casual observer that certain predictions from millenia ago just might have been right all along.
Apocalypse soon: the scientists preparing for the end times
UC Berkeley Professor Builds Makeshift Earthquake Warning System for $100
COMMENT: Experts in the computing field have known for some time about the Raspberry Pi (http://www.raspberrypi.org) minicomputer. Despite technological limitations of the Raspberry minicomputer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry_Pi), this credit card size computing device (see photo below) allows the entrepreneur to innovate and to come up with practical solutions to practical problems, such as the abovementioned example from the UC Berkeley professor. Not exactly OTC or Over The Counter technology, this minicomputer is easily available for purchase from the Raspberry website. Interested persons who wish to further the fields of emergency preparedness, disaster management and business continuity can take advantage of this excellent opportunity.
PHOTO: Raspberry Pi computer Model B+
These Maps Show Where The World’s Youngest And Oldest People Live
COMMENT: One look at the World Median Age map (above) accompanying the article (link), for example, and it explains a lot on the recent and continuing disasters that occurs in certain parts of our modern world. Case studies that ranges from the current Ebola virus epidemic to transnational terrorist attacks to national civil strife to global unemployment — all are occurring within groups of nations who have varying levels of critical infrastructure and population demographics. The Global Post article used here references several information sources, ranging from CIA Factbook to newspaper articles from outside the United States.
It’s not too hard to imagine that both developing and developed worlds are heading for major emergency, disaster and business continuity issues both now and in the foreseeable future. It is not a stretch of anyone’s imagination that at anytime, global tipping points and a critical mass that stems from a combination of known factors — geopolitics, military warfare, public health, demographics — will reach crisis levels (think Four Horsemen of biblical fame), and will absolutely confirm the fact that we humans simply do no have the answers or the intellectual capacity to simply admit failure.
Conference On Earthquake Early Warning Systems Kicks Off Wednesday At Berkeley
Legislators to attend earthquake early warning conference Sept. 3-5
Scientists, Politicians To Meet At UC Berkeley To Discuss Early Earthquake Warning System
COMMENT: The recent Napa Valley earthquake event and the effectiveness of the experimental ShakeAlert (http://www.shakealert.org/) Early Warning System will be the focus of today’s conference at UC Berkeley. The ShakeAlert experimental system was reported to have given the United States Geological Survey (http://www.usgs.gov/) or USGS personnel at least a 10-second early warning on the M6.1 Napa Valley earthquake event. So the question would this: Is a 10-second early warning enough lead time for the general public to react properly to any major earthquake event? Should be very interesting to see the outcome of this conference moving forward.
Caltrans Earth: http://earth.dot.ca.gov/
COMMENT: California Department of Transportation or Caltrans have their own Google Earth service called Caltrans Earth. As you can see from the accompanying graphic, Caltrans Earth was configured to display the San Francisco Bay Area road network, earthquake and aftershock locations, and area hospital heliports. Caltrans district 4 covers the entire nine-county San Francisco Bay Area region.
USGS or United States Geological Survey located the M6.1 earthquake epicenter within the marsh area west of the Napa Executive Airport (large orange circle) and not far from the Napa Valley Marina — both are key transportation infrastructure for Napa County along the Napa River. The smaller aftershocks (smaller orange circles) have be documented to be in the dozens so far. There are three primary hospital heliports within this North Bay region that would have served any casualties, if the M6.1 or a possible future earthquake event warranted it.
At this hour, the cities of Napa and Vallejo have declared State of Emergency noticies and the California Governor’s Office have declared a State of Emergency in order for relevant government resources to be directed into the North Bay region. Napa, Vallejo and American Canyon have all issued Earthquake Updates on their municipal websites to inform the general public.
Pacific Gas & Electric - Electric Outage Center
COMMENT: San Francisco Bay Area residents, as well as those in Northern California that felt this morning’s M6.1 earthquake, can go the PG&E Electric Outage Center (see link) here to check the status of their electrical power within their local communities. As the PG&E map here reveals, the majority of PG&E power outages have occurred in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, with the more severe cases (red circles) happening north of the earthquake epicenter.
It should be noted that in the North Bay region, the earthquake fault lines there, including this previously dormant Franklin Fault (the epicenter of this morning’s earthquake), are minor branches of the more deadly and famous duo — San Andreas Fault Line and the Hayward Fault Line. So far, USGS or United States Geological Survey personnel have indicated that there is a possibility that this morning’s M6.1 earthquake may be a prelude to a much larger earthquake event yet to occur in the near future.
ShakeAlert at the UC Berkeley Seismo Lab for the M6 American Canyon Earthquake on 24th Aug 2014
Richard Allen - Berkeley Seismo Lab
Published on Aug 24, 2014
The ShakeAlert earthquake early warning project issued an alert for the M6.0 American Canyon earthquake on Aug 24th, 2014. The event was felt across the San Francisco Bay Area. The demonstration warning system provided 10 seconds warning at the UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory (as shown in this video) and more warning to users in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose.
Nearly Every State Is at Risk of a Damaging Earthquake, Report Says
Documentation for the 2014 Update of the United States National Seismic Hazard Maps
COMMENT: Since the USGS or United States Geological Survey a couple weeks ago updated their U.S. National Seismic Hazards Map (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2014/1091/) information, it was apropos to do a little more research into the geological structure and history of the North American continent in order to fully understand the issue at hand.
As the accompanying map shows (click to open), the USGS Hazards Map (left) that was updated recently is color coded to show the obvious about earthquake dangers in the United States — the “hot pink” color indicating the clearest danger zones — California, Pacific Coast, part of Alaska, big island of Hawaii, parts of the Rocky Mountain region, the New Madrid area, and to the east, part of South Carolina.
But what’s more interesting as the research went deaper, is the reason for why the northernmost section of the United States almost never find itself in earthquake danger. That is where the next map (right) comes into play here.
What we see here is a map of North America that shows the geological history of this continent. Geologists know this paleohistory and ancient landmass by the name, Laurentia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurentia), or North American Craton (brown color). Centered around the Hudson Bay in Canada, this is the underlying or foundational landmass that makes up North America, and that is also the most geologically stable. What is called the Accretionary Belt (green) is the infamous "Ring Of Fire" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_of_Fire) earthquake zone, that is also the youngest and most unstable geological area of North America.
In other words, the further away you get from the North American Craton center, the more geologically unstable the ground underneath becomes. So putting both maps together, we see the geological correlation, and also understand the USGS earthquake hazard findings.
This bit of dry but informative geological history lesson makes it a lot clearer on the reasons for this type of natural disaster here in North America. Persons involved in emergency preparedness and disaster management now have additional information to cope with this ever present danger.
Public Safety Innovation Showcased by San Francisco Startup Community
San Francisco Demos Entrepreneurship-in-Residence Results
COMMENT: This is exactly the type of PPP or public-private partnership efforts that is needed that will benefit municipalities in both emergency preparedness, disaster management, and business continuity. San Francisco’s emerging business startup and hi-tech communities (not withstanding the current controversy over Google buses to Silicon Valley issue) is starting to gain footing in finding solutions for common or realistic real-life scenarios that can place municipalities at risk of natural and man-made disaster scenarios, for example. As both articles mention, the July 30th 2014 announcement in San Francisco saw Chief Innovation Officer Jay Nath at the forefront along with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee in encouraging local homegrown innovation ideas and concepts to flourish from start to finish, with members of the public having the opportunity to directly work with government professionals. San Francisco’s Entrepreneurship-in-Residence program (http://entrepreneur.sfgov.org/) is an idea whose time has come, and should be replicated by communities who have the vision to see themselves as part of the solution for linking infrastructure and economic development.
COMMENT: No need to elaborate too much here. Today’s (August 1st) front page from the San Francisco Examiner newspaper (see photo) says it all. An earlier post on this forum highlighted the growing problem with the California drought situation, and that steps needed to be taken by municipalities and other State and Federal authorities in the long-term mitigation of California’s water problems. As the front page highlight suggests, much of California’s water reserves could be gone by next Summer. As a side note, there is actually an article on the internet that suggested for California to mandate the emigration (exiting) of Californians to other, more water-rich States as a potential long-term population solution, in order to ease the stress of the current infrastructure. It will be interesting to see how by this time next year whether such extreme solutions will actually come into play.