Christchurch wake up call
MONDAY JANUARY 01, 0001
Christchurch has been in the firing line in the past 12 months because this part of the globe has suffered ongoing extra dollops of stress from the moon's position. Although numbers of earthquakes will continue to decrease, the odd big one will still rattle nerves and frighten people. Adding to this stress is neglect by those in power. All moneys going towards Christchurch do not appear to be going to the people and families most in need, not going into compensation packages or renewal of basic services. It is appalling to read of ever more deprivation stories. By now there should be no families left uncatered for, after 12 months of hell. All who lost anything should be receiving maximum State welfare aid and support. That this is not happening, and much of this slack is left to huge-hearted people like Sir Peter Leitch the Mad Butcher, is simply a national disgrace. Instead, most funding, either from donations or government, is going to assessors, media crews, civic servants here and project mamagers from outside of the country, as well as on showy feel-good concerts and promotions.
For instance there seems to be very little funding going into research of geological cycles, and no programme has been set up to inject extra research to explain what happened or provide a reassurance. There is not a Remembrance Centre where people can come and contribute, distribute charity, and spend quiet reflective and healing time. Neither is there any installation of new public warning technology, like sirens. In the event of another cataclysm, were it to happen tomorrow, do people know where to gather? Do they know how emergency communication would take place? Do they know where basic provisions will be available from? Is there a network of services now, that there wasn't a year ago? Or has nothing been learned, nothing been instigated?
We have seen plenty of posturing of politicians and promises that we are on some right track to rebuilding. But rebuilding what? All information needs to be instantly available from geonet, not hidden and released only when convenient to politicians and scientists, such that incompetency is concealed. For instance the 7-intensity earthquake in Christchurch on 20 March has still not been made public knowledge. We know by the rate things are going that even just the the talk of rebuilding will extend into new year. There will be no pouring of concrete for at least another 12 months and no settlements are forthcoming, only cheap offers from above. And yet there is nothing to stop government making people in the Red Zone offers they can't refuse, if the authorities so desperately wish them to relocate.
I would suggest that it may be time to stop expecting that those in charge have the heart, the knowledge, the organising abilities or the funding to add a jot of improvement to a situation that is still providing destabilisation and uncertainty. It is perhaps time for communities to provide their own services in a networking way, under the official radar but with the blessing of government and council. Local neighborhood bulletin boards need to be erected that show increasing earthquake signs, like new cracks appearing. Perhaps a new regional organisation will mushroom that utilises, as base camps, libraries or schools or local police stations. When officials fail to act, underground covert organising takes over like the French Resistance in WWII. It is how new political parties become established. And there is much that ordinary folk can do. There is no need to wait for others.
There has been much talk of a huge calamity on 28 September of biblical proportions, and there has even been a pamphlet letterbox drop. Although it is not a style of information distribution I would not sanction, such talk should not worry anyone who isn't already stressed. It is certainly nothing new - religious literature warning of the last days of the world has been around ever since I can remember. Those who choose to distribute it think they are doing a service according to their beliefs. It is no more pervasive than the latest catalogue from a large hardware store warning that these are the last days of a special offer, and if you don't take advantage your happiness and ongoing wellbeing will be compromised. Many have experiences of dreams and visions, especially after reading websites, media comments and watching Facebook debates. They feel their experiences should reach a wider audience, and various folk are having these experiences all the time.
Personally I have a different view, and do not focus on any one date. A date may be a focus, as was 20 March, but the time was the important message, with a week or so either side, and that period when the Moon came closer than in the last 19-years was one for the history books. The Japan tsunami was 9 days before 20 March, but the Moon was already in its closest position by then, and centred right over Japan when the earthquake struck. March was an equinox month and so is this month. The week after the equinox is to be just quietly observed and treated with some caution.
There may be some good to come out of it. Survival kits should always be at the ready in a city that has been the focal point of over 9000 earthquakes over 12 months. Anything that keeps complacency away is to be encouraged. The detail and style may be irksome, but the gist of such a document should encourage community togetherness, not annoyance and disgust. It is a time to only look for positives amongst people, for negatives a-plenty are already being supplied by Mother Nature.
Clearly earthquakes are not yet done in Christchurch, even though they are diminishing. Beware when the moon is close, in kingtide and new or full (the last week of this month). The community is still stressed and will be for some time to come. Turning hateful attention to individuals is not going to rebuild anything. It will only waste energy that can be better used in counselling, visiting, reassuring, protecting and encouraging, and in staying focussed and vigilant. To everything there is a season, and this too, in time will pass.
As to the question of whether or not the earthquakes really are diminishing, it is worth having another look at the official stats from Geonet's own quake-search website
This is the official government website that records earthquake numbers all over the country. It is well organised and easily operated by the lay person. All of the below can be easily verified.
A careful analysis of the Christchurch region shows very clearly how the numbers are decreasing.
Number of all recorded earthquakes
4 Sept 2010 - 19 Sept 2011: 9426
4 Sept 2010 - 30 April 2011: 7840 (84% of total between 4 Sept 2010 and 19 Sept 2011)
It means over 3/4 were before April, and less than a quarter since April.
Here's the breakdown:
Sept: 98 so far.
According to one geologist, based on the recorded numbers we are heading for about 145 for the month. This gives us about an 18% reduction per month. So if anyone asks if numbers are again on the rise, ask them back - look at these stats - how can the number be increasing??
This is September, the equinox month. It's possibly the last big bite of the cherry. The Jupiter/Saturn alignment is always in partial control of the Sun's tidal electromagnetic activity. Oppositions alternate with conjunctions, which just means that Jupter and Saturn get on opposite sides of the Sun, then come around to being on the same side, and whisk around to opposing sides again. Because Saturn is on the outside of Jupiter it moves slower. Imagine a circular running track with the Sun in the middle, Jupiter on an inside lane and Saturn on an outside lane. Every about 20 years Jupiter passes and laps Saturn on the inside - the conjunction. The Jup-Sun-Saturn opposition that was in place in 3 Feb 1931 (Napier earthquake) was exactly that again in 4 Sept 2010 and next comes around in 2028. Half of that is the 11-year solar cycle because that is the average distance between Jup/Sat oppositions and conjunctions. The last Jup/Sat conjunction was 2000. This Jup/Sat opposition has been 2010/11. The next Jup/Sat conjunction is 2020. Think of it just like Sun-Earth-Moon opposition (full moon) and Sun-Moon-Earth conjunction (new moon) causing kingtides on earth. The Jup/Sat factor is packing its bags and won't be next back this way until 2020.
However there is another factor, the 36-yr cycle called the Solar System Barycentre, which is the gravitational focus point due to all the planets orbiting the sun and their influence being added together. It is the gravitational centre of gravity of the cosmos, an imaginary focus point that everyone thinks and assumes is the sun. It involves all the planets of the cosmos and not just the two biggest - Jupiter and Saturn, commonly called the gas giants. The SSB is a focus point that drifts across traversing one sun's radius either side of the sun, and crosses the middle of the sun every approx 36 years. Because of the tide of extra solar radiation every 36 years, this cycle sees extreme events repeating with about that frequency. Astronomers call it the system barycentric return. For instance, extreme winters will reoccur every 36 years, and 1867, 1903, 1939, and 1974/5 were some of our coldest recorded seasons, with 2010-12 the next re-occurrence of that cycle.
Therefore, as earthquake timings go, we can find combinations of 34-38-year spacings, and within those, 10-12 year jumps as well. We can also note that around 36 years is also the double tidal cycle of the Moon. So it is interesting that, in the Christchurch region
2010-36=1974 (a 5-mag event occurred on 20 Sept 1974)
1974-33=1941 (a 5.2-mag on 6 Feb 1941)
1941-36=1905 (they did not record earthquake data between 1895-1921)
1888 was the year a big earthquake on 27 Dec 1888 that knocked over the cathedral spire)
1888+34=1922 (a 6-mag on 25 Dec 1922)
In 1929 (9 March) there was a 7-mag.
1929+36=1965 (a 5-mag on 22 Aug 1965)
If we add 11 years to 1974 we get
1974+11=1985 (2x 5-mags in 1986)
1985+11=1994/5 (a very active period. A 7-mag in Arthurs Pass on 18 July 1994, then a 6-mag the following day, and 12x 5-mag events that year)
Now move forward a year. Where 1994 recorded 12337, 1995 recorded 80% less.
Here are the numbers of earthquakes recorded in the named years.
Why was there a slight increase again from 2000 to 2001? Presumably because 2000 was the year of the Jup/Sat conjunction. After 2002 numbers dropped again. Does this not clearly show that next year should follow this pattern of reductions? It does not mean no earthquakes, clearly, they averaged about one every week and a half after 1994, but it does mean there is a future for the region that is worth looking forward into. On this time scale perhaps rebuilding proper should begin in about 4 years time. Until then, all the funding should be given to the people who have lost so much. It is said that money can't buy happiness. That is wrong. Lack of money buys a lot of unhappiness.
I am showing these as an example of the cycles that may be discovered just with a small amount of legwork. And absolutely no expense to the taxpayer. Anybody can work this out as I have done. I have even supplied the link to do so. So why aren't scientists doing it? In nature, as farmers know, cycles rule. In the past 12 months, the next largest earthquakes in Christchurch have happened at or near kingtide times, or their nearest neaps, and when the moon has come closest to earth in its monthly orbit. The equinox months of March and September have been especially potent as they always are, year in and year out, for earthquakes, extra large kingtides, cyclones, hurricanes, wintry blasts and galeforce winds around the globe. The expression "equinox winds" has gone out of vogue now, but at one time all mariners and farmers knew what to watch out for. Around equinox the atmosphere distorts and twists, because the Sun and Earth are at their fastest orbiting speed relative to each other, with the seasons swinging between solstices akin to the midpoint of a pendulum.
There are many more cycles to be uncovered. But I think we can take some heart from the knowledge that cycles do rule, and we will soon be into another more settled phase. On this level we can reduce much uncertainty and anxiety.