Although it hasn’t qualified anywhere near the levels normally associated with a “great quake” (i.e. 8.0 or huge loss of life), this week’s quake in the supper regions of Baja and into California certainly has me looking at California and wondering “What If?”
In particular, I’m pondering what could happen if a key food-producing region – like the Imperial Valley – immediately north of the 7.2 quake’s epicenter – had to go ‘off-line’ due to subsidence – sinking – of the land back into the sea?
The kind of headlines that ramp up these fears include “At quake’s epicenter, water gurgled from ground“. Gets me to wondering “Why?” Could some of the land be settling – sinking – in the region?
The biggest town in Imperial County is El Centro….which in case you’ve forgotten geography, we’re reminded by Wikipedia that:
Calexico, barely nine miles south-southeast by air, but a bit longer if you stick to I8 and turn south on California Highway 111 – just over the border from the quake’s epicenter – has an elevation of a whopping 7-feet.
Our interest is mainly socioeconomic and the main thing about the Imperial Valley – again referring to Wikipedia is that:
“Although this region is a desert, with high temperatures and low average rainfall of three inches (seventy-five mm) per year, the economy is heavily based on agriculture due to the availability of irrigation water, which is supplied wholly from the Colorado River via the All-American Canal. Thousands of acres of prime farmland have transformed the desert into one of the most productive farming regions in California with an annual crop production of over $1 billion. Agriculture is the largest industry in the Imperial Valley and accounts for 48% of all employment.”
Oh…$1-billion worth of food every year. Check…got it.
Of course the worry about subsidence in California is probably just a self-inflicted nightmare coming from too many reads of predictive linguistics….BUT…
A 5:30 AM check of the USGS Earthquake Site (here) showed that as of this morning there had been 140 quakes listed…just so far today and yesterday had an amazing547 quakes listed, the vast majority guess where?
As my predictive colleague would remind me “Keep your monkey-mind in check!” Roger that…but between you and me…I’ll keep an antenna array pointed out west, look at the USGS site every couple of hours and be watching for stories about land changes of elevation relative to sea level you-know-where.
25 miners dead in a WV coal mine blast. Gotta wonder how much earth is moving around lately under the radar (or, more accurately laser) thresholds of seismography equipment.
One other thing to tuck away: Heard from a well-informed source that the US gov’t types are all over the place trying to get a consortium of private and university systems to go real-time.
Won’t mention which group but you might grok “Plate Boundary Observatory”…juss sayin’
The Other Losing California Route
If the quakes don’t take down California, the budgets will: You see the Zerohedge report that “Los Angeles likely to exhaust Reserve Fund by Mat 10, to be in the Red by the end of June.“
In the red or in the Pacific this oughta be some marvel to watch unfolding.
Inquiring Minds, further Wonders
Apparently I gave you a bit of a bum steer in Monday’s report when I posted the link to the Federal Reserve Sunshine Meeting Notice about the emergency meeting (expedited procedures) for a “Review and determination by the Board of Governors of the advance and discount rates to be charged by Federal Reserve Banks.“
I must have misread the part of their meeting notice that said (quoting here):
“A final announcement of matters considered under expedited procedures will be available in the Board’s Freedom of Information and Public Affairs Offices and on the Board’s Web site following the closed meeting. “
Like sometime in this century maybe?
This afternoon, click on by about 1:15 PM (again – sorry) when the minutes of the March FOMC meeting will (gotta add supposedly) be released. I say supposedly, but like the Monday meeting (probably to tweak the minutes of the last meeting into something which will ‘fly’ based on events since the last meeting, but that’s just a supposition on my part.
Pardon my higher expectations. I called the FRB media line yesterday a couple of times to ask about this stuff. Got voicemail – and I don’t do voicemail….which near as I can tell is the most polite form of sand-bagging a reporter encounters.
Interesting piece in the NY Times about how president “Obama limits when U.S. would use Nuclear Arms“.
Frankly, I’m not much of a historian, but seems to me that limiting use of nukes and removing ambiguity from the equation is not a good thing. Reason? Part of statesmanship has always been somewhat akin to poker: I’m talking about bluffing.
A good poker player like the art of the bluff because often an opponent’s imagination is the most powerful tool in the arsenal. It’s be like removing the kinds and queens from a deck of cards. Not only does it change the game (a lot) but it also bounds the bluffing differently.
More to the point, nukes have always been a ‘poison pill’ – and the McNamara era of the MAD defense (mutually assured destruction) seemed pretty reasonable.
I’ve thought through what the American response ought to be if a nuclear terrorist attack were every carried out and I come back to eye-for-an-eye.
If a group of terrorists were ever to nuke an American city, and if the identity of the perpetrators could be absolutely and positively concluded then a return nuke to their homeland with a huge global PR campaign: “Don’t Tread on US” and “This nuke is the return of an atrocity perpetrated by your xyz extremists. There’s no attacking America’s civilian population without putting your own civilian population on the line…you now have 14-seconds to square up with whoever cause here it comes…”
Asymmetric warfare is actually enhanced by a “no nukes” policy…and not in America’s favor. I’d much prefer a president who would make it clear that a stick in America’s eye would result in two eyes blinded and broken bones to boot.
To be sure, such a “See that and raise you two nukes” statement might not be particularly palatable to the world, but the way I figure it is a nuclear response to terror would make religious extremism a lot more palatable to the perps.
It all comes down to kill ratios – not a nice topic at breakfast, but consider why suicide bombings take place: The perps load up one bomber qand take out 20 to 100 people.
Now, imagine what would happen if each time the perps set off a single bomb that kills 100 people, what the death of 10,000 people via available technical means would do? It would raise the stakes and more important, as Chairman Mao taught: The people are like the sea and the guerilla swims in it.
I expect a few glazed holes in the ground (wherever terrorists are supported)and the ‘sea of people’ would suddenly offer no quarter to the terrorists.
But at long as the kill ratios are favorable toward the guerillas/jihadistas, the outcome long-term is in their favor.
So, distasteful as defending nuclear weapons may be, this seems to me like a stupid way to conduct national security. But, isn’t this always how it goes? Politicians make political decisions and the warriors who are very good at their jobs are bounded which is why guys like Schwarzkopf and others hang it up sometimes in disgust.
Crimes are best prevented by surety of punishment and near as I can figure the recidivism rate of dead perps is zero.
Emotionally intense? What’s key here is that this is an emotionally HOT item and probably won’t matter in the time left.. I’ll be back after checking the seismographs. Likely just another PTB feint/distraction with high emotional content and part of the ‘building tension period’ toward July and to be spun around into a hardening of American belligerence in areas where the real reasons for war include things like the heroin business.
Life in the ‘Revolution/Rebellion’ Memetime
Couple of items percolating this morning along with round two of Mrs. Olson’s finest: One is the dispute going on in Monroe County Tennessee where a citizen fellow attempted a citizen’s arrest and the local gendarmerie took issue with it and threw him in the clink.
The guts of this act of rebellion/revolution seems to be what happens when local government isn’t ‘cleaning up’ the criminals and the local people get just plain sick of it and take matters into their own hands. It’s then the locals seem to come down on the good guys who are trying and still ignoring the perps in the background.
Oh – then the folks who are trying to simply clean up their community get squashed by the PTB minions who weren’t doing their job in the first place because crime is guess what? BIG Business! Think: Design Patterns.
We notice that Trend Analyst/Future Forecaster Gerald Celente writes up “April 15 Tax Day more Protests and Demonstration” are in the works.
I assume you’ve seen the sites like onlinetaxrevolt.com?
This is Help? Department
Interesting story about how a big bank reportedly told people to stop making their mortgage payments – saying it was the only way to get federal mortgage aid – and then repo’ed their homes out from under them. Details on the Courthouse News Service site, but makes you want to puke, doesn’t it? On the other hand, if you don’t know this is regular corporate tactics then you really have no idea how screwed up the world really is…
Fine Times, These
Gets me to wondering something: When the gov’t gets the record ($16.4 million) fine money, do they distribute it to people who had the car problems? Wanna bet?
The Former Windy City
Gonna have to come up with a new name for “Smile You’re on Candid Chicago” besides Windy City since there are more cameras there than anywhere, it’s being reported.
How Many on Food Stamps Now?
39.4-million Americans as of January says an LA Times report. As I send in quarterly taxes today, I’ll try to keep in mind some of it does keep people alive, although I wonder how much tax dough goes into killing (or getting ready to kill) and how much into feeding humans…that’d be an interesting ratio to watch.