earthquake https://scienceblogs.com/ en The Science of Predicting the Future https://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/10/26/the-science-of-predicting-the-future <span>The Science of Predicting the Future</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." -<em>Niels Bohr</em></p></blockquote> <p><strong>What's going to happen next?</strong> It's perhaps the most important thing to know if we want to be prepared for practically anything in our lives. And without even thinking about it, most of us are actually <em>very good</em> at this in a huge number of aspects of our lives. For example...</p> <div style="width: 610px;display:block;margin:0 auto;"><a href="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/baked-chicken-taquitos-beans-and-rice.jpeg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-26126" title="baked-chicken-taquitos-beans-and-rice" src="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/baked-chicken-taquitos-beans-and-rice-600x344.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="344" /></a> <p>Image credit: Crazy Adventures in Parenting.</p> </div> <p>I was hungry at work today, and I was <em>prepared</em> for it. Somehow, I knew that I was going to need food throughout the course of the day, and so I was prepared for it by bringing food from home. This is an incredibly mundane prediction, but think about it for a moment: <em>how did I know I was going to be hungry?</em></p> <p>In my case, it's because I've been in this situation before: thousands upon thousands of times before, in fact. Every day when I wake up, I get hungry after a certain amount of time. Perhaps today would have been different; perhaps it would have been the first time in many years where I simply wasn't hungry during the day. But I was so certain I would get hungry that I didn't even stop to consider the possibility that I wouldn't; I know <strong>from my own past experience</strong> that I'd get hungry, and therefore I planned accordingly.</p> <div style="width: 610px;display:block;margin:0 auto;"><a href="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/red-sky-at-night.jpeg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-26127" title="red-sky-at-night" src="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/red-sky-at-night-600x337.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="337" /></a> <p>Image credit: Johnny Nichols, 2008.</p> </div> <p>This is a fabulous example of a <em>pre</em>-scientific prediction! I've taken information from very, very similar situations that I've experienced before, I know -- looking back -- how those previous situations turned out, and so I can infer how this current situation is likely to turn out. This is something we do all the time in our lives, and something we've done frequently throughout history. The phrase <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2009/09/14/q-a-sailors-delight-fact-or-fi/">Red Sky at Night, Sailor's Delight</a> didn't come about because we understood the science behind the next day's weather and the properties of the atmosphere the night before, it came about because when we observed phenomenon A (the red sky at night), it was very often followed by phenomenon B (good sailing weather the next day).</p> <p>We use this all the time in our lives: it's why we have confidence that the next untested apple we eat will be delicious and not poisonous (even though the occasional apple <em>is</em> poisonous), that our house hasn't burned down when we go to the store (although sometimes houses <em>do</em> burn down when you're at the store), and that the store you're going to will have apples to sell you when you go (even though they're sometimes out of apples).</p> <div style="width: 610px;display:block;margin:0 auto;"><a href="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/weather_almanac.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-26129" title="weather_almanac" src="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/weather_almanac-600x308.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="308" /></a> <p>Image credit: screenshot from weather.com (L) and the Old Farmers' Almanac (R).</p> </div> <p>Sometimes, this type of pre-scientific prediction is the best we can do. If we can make this into a truly <em>scientific</em> prediction, we stand to do much better, but it's a much more difficult task. A truly scientific prediction requires the following three things:</p> <ol><li>that the scientific theory that governs your phenomenon is completely understood,</li> <li>the conditions that will affect the possible outcome(s) are known and understood in their entirety, and</li> <li>that you have enough computing power to figure out what the outcome is going to be.</li> </ol><p>In addition, because measurements are imperfect (and sometimes physical laws <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_indeterminacy">aren't 100% predictive</a>), you are also going to have a quantifiable <strong>uncertainty</strong> associated with your scientific prediction.</p> <div style="width: 610px;display:block;margin:0 auto;"><a href="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/2012da14.jpeg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-26130" title="2012da14" src="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/2012da14-600x599.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="599" /></a> <p>Image credit: NASA / Paul Chodas, Jon Giorgini &amp; Don Yeomans / JPL NEO Program Office.</p> </div> <p>For some physical systems, the uncertainties can be so small that a prediction will be incredibly powerful; we know that on February 15th, 2013, a 45-meter wide asteroid will miss the Earth by only about 20,000 kilometers. Yet, the law of gravity is so well-known and the asteroid's properties and trajectory is so well known that we can state with great confidence that there is <a href="http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news174.html">absolutely a 0% chance</a> that this asteroid will hit the Earth.</p> <p>In other cases -- like meteorology -- the uncertainties are very large. It's why we can't predict with very much certainty whether Hurricane Sandy will wind up striking New York with strong winds, weak winds, or not at all.</p> <div style="width: 610px;display:block;margin:0 auto;"><a href="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/180855.gif"><img class="size-medium wp-image-26131" title="180855" src="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/180855-600x479.gif" alt="" width="600" height="479" /></a> <p>Image credit: NOAA's information about wind speed probabilities as of 10/26/2012.</p> </div> <p>We can speak intelligently about what the outcome will be in terms of <em>probabilities</em> and <em>uncertainties</em>, but this also requires a few things that are far from given:</p> <ol><li>Scientists who can communicate these results clearly and effectively,</li> <li>A media / government that can understand that information, make reasonable and effective policies based on that information, and communicate these results to the populace, and</li> <li>A populace that's scientifically literate enough to understand what's communicated to them and act in accordance with those recommendations.</li> </ol><p>This ought to be <strong>one of the main goals of science</strong>, as it's one of the most important services that science can perform for a society. Sometimes statistically unlikely things happen, sometimes we're unprepared for a disaster when it does happen, sometimes what seemed like a reasonable policy turns out to be ineffective, and sometimes people simply don't listen. Unfortunately, when the wrong combinations of those things happen, people wind up dead.</p> <div style="width: 610px;display:block;margin:0 auto;"><a href="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/q26_18581435.jpeg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-26133" title="q26_18581435" src="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/q26_18581435-600x364.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="364" /></a> <p>Image credit: collapsed houses in the Village of Onna, Italy, photo by REUTERS/Max Rossi.</p> </div> <p>In 2009, the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_L'Aquila_earthquake">L'Aquila earthquake</a> was an unfortunate example of just such a breakdown: scientists correctly assessed the situation, which they then communicated to a civil protection official who <a href="http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22416-italian-earthquake-case-is-no-antiscience-witchhunt.html">issued the following statement</a>:</p> <blockquote><p>The scientific community tells us there is no danger, because there is an ongoing discharge of energy. The situation looks favourable.</p></blockquote> <p>Which, of course, is <em>not</em> what the scientists said at all. The scientists reached the conclusion that <strong>the observed tremors could not help predict whether there would be a major quake</strong>, information that they never communicated to the general public.</p> <div style="width: 610px;display:block;margin:0 auto;"><a href="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/q14_18565131.jpeg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-26134" title="q14_18565131" src="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/q14_18565131-600x409.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="409" /></a> <p>Image credit: AP Photo / Pier Paolo Cito.</p> </div> <p>Because of the quake, 309 people were killed. It truly was a scene of horror, with tragic results. Unfortunately, this is what often happens when there's a natural disaster.</p> <p>Was it a poor job of science communication? Yes, on the part of the scientists, and <em>in particular</em> on the part of the civil protection official, Bernardo De Bernardinis, who added that citizens <a href="http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2012/10/22/the-laquila-verdict-a-judgment-not-against-science-but-against-a-failure-of-science-communication/">should go have a glass of wine</a>. But realistically, recommending evacuation based on what was observed would have been absurd; some natural phenomena are simply presently beyond the reach of science.</p> <p>In other words, neither the occurrence nor the severity of this disaster could have been predicted. Which is why the following is all the more absurd.</p> <div style="width: 610px;display:block;margin:0 auto;"><a href="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/cnnshot.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-26135" title="cnnshot" src="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/cnnshot-600x625.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="625" /></a> <p>Image credit: CNN.com.</p> </div> <p>The government official (De Bernardinis) <strong>as well as</strong> <strong>six Italian Seismologists</strong> were sentenced for manslaughter in connection with the L'Aquila earthquake. Now, Italian justice may be as phantasmal as an <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantom_kangaroo#United_States">American kangaroo</a>, but this is just absurd. <a href="http://profmattstrassler.com/2012/10/25/shock-foreshock-and-aftershock-in-italy/">It's science's job</a> to use we know to predict -- to the best of science's abilities -- what's going to happen next, along with probabilities and uncertainties. <a href="http://www.seismosoc.org/news/newsitem.php?id=i20121011183">These scientists did their job</a>, and they did their job adequately well, if not spectacularly.</p> <p>You do the world a disservice when you <a href="http://www.spiked-online.com/site/article/13016/">scapegoat scientists</a> for a disaster they could not predict and an incompetent government official they could not control. We now live in a world where we <a href="http://trap.it/PZLquV">jail scientists</a> for failing to clean up the government's miscommunication about a disaster they could not predict, while we simultaneously <a href="http://trap.it/hVhxwd">accuse them of fear-mongering</a> for the impending disasters that good science <em>does</em> predict.</p> <div style="width: 610px;display:block;margin:0 auto;"><a href="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/N_stddev_timeseries.png"><img class="size-medium wp-image-26136" title="N_stddev_timeseries" src="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/N_stddev_timeseries-600x480.png" alt="" width="600" height="480" /></a> <p>Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center.</p> </div> <p>If you want to know what's going to happen in the future with any sort of accuracy, <strong>you <em>need</em> science</strong>. It's the only thing that's ever worked, and the more we do it, the better we get at it. This means we need to make the world safe for scientists to do science, we need to treat the science being done with the respect it deserves, and we need to improve and encourage communication between scientists and the public.</p> <p>Remember, somewhere, right now, a scientist is hard at work trying to understand how some part of this Universe works for the <em>sole purpose</em> of trying to protect you from what are otherwise <strong>completely unpredictable</strong> natural disasters.</p> <div style="width: 610px;display:block;margin:0 auto;"><a href="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/Disaster-Collage-2.jpeg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-26137" title="Disaster-Collage-2" src="/files/startswithabang/files/2012/10/Disaster-Collage-2-600x450.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="450" /></a> <p>Image credit: <a href="http://murninghanpost.com/">http://murninghanpost.com/</a>; a collage of disasters.</p> </div> <p>I'll be following very closely the aftermath of the <a href="https://trap.it/#!traps/id/0a04e9b0-66a4-45cc-9e1a-78bff9aa7a84">L'Aquila Earthquake and the associated trial</a>, and hoping that the world chooses to value the one defense it has against the wrath of a complex Universe: <strong>science</strong>.</p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/startswithabang" lang="" about="/startswithabang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">esiegel</a></span> <span>Fri, 10/26/2012 - 09:06</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/education" hreflang="en">education</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/physics" hreflang="en">Physics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/politics" hreflang="en">Politics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/right-and-wrong" hreflang="en">right and wrong</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/earthquake" hreflang="en">earthquake</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/ethics" hreflang="en">ethics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/future" hreflang="en">future</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/justice" hreflang="en">justice</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/laquila" hreflang="en">l&#039;aquila</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/predict" hreflang="en">predict</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/prediction" hreflang="en">prediction</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/science" hreflang="en">Science</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/scientist-0" hreflang="en">scientist</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/theory-0" hreflang="en">Theory</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/education" hreflang="en">education</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/right-and-wrong" hreflang="en">right and wrong</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Categories</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/channel/free-thought" hreflang="en">Free Thought</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515557" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351269359"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Science gets into trouble the minute they actually go beyond the 'science' per sey and delve into the public arena. i'm around these guy and gals everyday, believe me, for the most part, the smartest of the bunch are no where near capable of communicating effectively, present blogger excepted---ethan is one of the best i've seen online or anywhere, I commend you sir. but getting back to what i was trying to say, i think scientists, for the most part, should stick to making observations and determining this or that based on the data they see (to put it simply), they should not be walked out to brief a sometimes scared public about the what they have interpreted. brief your public officials, thats what they are supposed to do, if they can't do it then vote them out of office and demand accountability or communication skills from the new guy/gal. its when scientists turn into some sort of advocacy for a certain subject that gets me riled up. again, make your observations, make determinations based on your observations, and generally shut the **** up after that. just my 2 cents.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515557&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="2otYKXN-l0yI6rxbptrTt5JQlOm0NWhzRzUxr52TiFg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">copernicus34 (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515557">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515558" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351290667"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>You might want to read to Wiki-page on this disaster, and than you get to know some interesting facts about history, predicting, and realizing that those convicted scientists were no good, perhaps nice people, yes, but not good scientists.</p> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_L'Aquila_earthquake">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_L'Aquila_earthquake</a></p> <blockquote><p>Earthquakes mark the history of L'Aquila, a city built on the bed of an ancient lake, providing a soil structure that amplifies seismic waves. The city was struck by earthquakes in 1315, 1349, 1452, 1501, 1646, 1703, and 1706. The earthquake of February 1703, which caused devastation across much of central Italy, <b>largely destroyed the city and killed around 5,000 people.</b></p></blockquote> <blockquote><p>Italian laboratory technician Giampaolo Giuliani <b>predicted a major earthquake</b> on Italian television a month before, after <b>measuring increased levels of radon</b> emitted from the ground. He was <b>accused of being alarmist</b> by the Director of the Civil Defence, Guido Bertolaso, and forced to <b>remove his findings</b> from the Internet.</p></blockquote> <p>If they had any common sense, they would have warned the people but no, nobody wants to 'scare' the public.</p> <p>... same goes for the LHC, a 100 000 times hotter than the heart of the Sun, and a frequency &amp; density that is 10^9 higher than cosmic ray collisions in Nature, ... but no it's all safe.</p> <p>The most sad fact of this case and for Science, was that a little guy had to withdraw his conclusions due to peer pressure. Just like for the LHC, I don't see anyone getting a paper published on it due to the same peer pressure. Can you imagine one person saying that this large experiment isn't safe jeopardizing this whole project, because of a wild guess. I don't see him or her getting a chance to make a career in particle physics ever.</p> <p>This disaster is a very clear case of how scientists turn their heads away because of peer pressure, and very sad they for science in general.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515558&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ANQtsA9dekBRglGh1Awz8lOODbisOoAKCVvvLYnNN8A"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">chelle (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515558">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515559" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351291795"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Hi Ethan,<br /> thank you for the post, I was hoping for you to write about this episode. Orac of Respectful Insolence also wrote a good post (<a href="http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/10/24/criminalizing-scientific-mistakes/">http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/10/24/criminalizing-scientific-m…</a>), go read it if you haven't.</p> <p>I want just to add some context to the inaccurate statements by De Bernardinis: he did sound too reassuring, but you must understand what happened in the weeks before the quake. When De Bernardinis talked about "no danger ", he added "I said it to the mayor of Sulmona"; he was reassuring the people of Sulmona, a city 25 miles from L'Aquila. Why Sulmona? Because in those weeks a crackpot of the I-can-predict-earthquakes variety was writing on the web and going around Sulmona with loudspeakers, announcing that a strong earthquake was going to happen in Sulmona the next day (the earthquake in L'Aquila occurred a week later); this played a part in motivating the Commission to try and calm down the panicked population.<br /> In that interview, De Bernardinis encouraged to stay attentive but not ansious, and the wine quip was prompted by a journalist remark, "Meanwhile we drink a glass of wine", to which the answer "Absolutely, a Montepulciano".</p> <p>P.S.: "to use we know to predict" should be "to use what we know to predict".</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515559&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="6DWyE0ZyyvJlReoTn5dSguG7Yj1_8E3ii6YC8mx_H48"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">atom (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515559">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515560" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351292963"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Who would want to be a seismologist in Italy now? Anti-science has sure done its job this time. The idea of sentencing scientists with manslaughter for an earthquake is just the sort of thing that'll throw us back into the dark ages. Nice article!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515560&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="pS6Ghjiz_-1S-2-Oz0OVNh9h8lXYDtFj4ebXwMDCprI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Omnomnomnom (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515560">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515561" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351293977"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Atom,</p> <p><i>"Because in those weeks a crackpot of the I-can-predict-earthquakes variety was writing on the web …"</i></p> <p>He was not just some kind of crackpot:</p> <p><b>Giampaolo Giuliani</b></p> <p>From 1971 to 1984 he was technical research in astrophysics at the Observatory of Campo Imperatore, employee IAS (Institute of Astrophysics Frascati), from 1984 to 1990 to ' Astronomical Observatory of Campo Imperatore ( AQ ). </p> <p>He worked at the National Laboratories of Gran Sasso of 'National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) as a non-graduate technical assistant of the Institute of Physics of Interplanetary Space of Turin , one of the twenty structures of ' National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF ) . He participated in the first experiment EAS-TOP and then experiment Large Volume Detector (LVD) for the detection of neutrinos produced by stellar gravitational collapse . He is now retired.</p> <p><a href="http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giampaolo_Giuliani">http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giampaolo_Giuliani</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515561&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="dZPpPX6WCgeoYGGVnmVeZp1eTijeRGMm3HQ9CC-wpS8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chelle (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515561">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515562" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351294934"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>… and the real reason why he had to shut up:</p> <p><a href="http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/06/earthquake-warning-was-removed-from-internet/">http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/06/earthquake-warning-was-remo…</a></p> <p><i>According to the expert, incorrect prediction “can be even more damaging that a real earthquake” because of the panic this can create and <b>the effect it can have on the economy and property values in the area.</b></i></p> <p>Those people didn't care about real safety, they only cared for their own property values and their job. It's good that they are in jail now.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515562&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="i9nD6xgzghyIzKIcbfK8ZXlNBx6YcxT6JdTfylecC6U"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chelle (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515562">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515563" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351296182"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"i think scientists, for the most part, should stick to making observations and determining this or that based on the data they see"</p> <p>They do.</p> <p>You're suffering from observation bias. You don't hear about the scientists who don't speak a lot in public, do you.</p> <p>Ergo, all the ones you know are either personal aquiaintances or ones on the telly. </p> <p>"its when scientists turn into some sort of advocacy for a certain subject that gets me riled up."</p> <p>So scientists aren't allowed to be a human and to advocate for subjects like you can? Why?</p> <p>No, the problem is that some scientists advocate things you don't like to hear. This is just a way of saying "Don't tell me things I don't want to hear".</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515563&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ouDBDV09m7NOflffp4JXEFVetfi-rw3H5iyogPQFNic"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515563">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515564" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351296454"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"Italian laboratory technician Giampaolo Giuliani predicted a major earthquake on Italian television a month before"</p> <p>And there are thousands of people proclaiming the end of the world is nigh. One day they'll be right.</p> <p>But it won't be because they knew something others ignored.</p> <p>The evidence was not evidence that an earthquake was imminent. pre-shocks and radon release happen and then no earthquake happens.</p> <p>This "prediction" did not give a date or even a range of dates. It was little more than "This earthquake prone area is going to have an earthquake soon".</p> <p>Then again, when a scientist predicted the tsunami that hit Thailand, he was prosecuted for harming the tourist industry and the economic welfare of the country.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515564&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="GhO6R3zi-PN7WM2EIpFlVejGAoepFBkqKzLoZWqCncc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515564">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515565" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351296538"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>And look at AGW.</p> <p>Even conservative and restrained talk of the danger gets the scientists labelled "alarmist".</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515565&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="TuGiQUqfZoMDIYGwr_12ISeoCPA47-eDIssNMp2Babg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515565">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515566" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351298036"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"“Because in those weeks a crackpot of the I-can-predict-earthquakes variety was writing on the web …”</p> <p>He was not just some kind of crackpot:"</p> <p>Ooooh, bad move. Quote all of his statement, chelle, dear:</p> <p>"Because in those weeks a crackpot of the I-can-predict-earthquakes variety was writing on the web and going around Sulmona with loudspeakers, announcing that a strong earthquake was going to happen in Sulmona the next day"</p> <p>Prediction:</p> <p>Location: Sulmona. wrong.<br /> Date: next day. wrong.</p> <p>Unless your crackpot and his crackpot were different people.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515566&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="_nl-E_ckDRGO0pwmkqkKEyWjrDVm3WzUmfsTHCCzWdI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515566">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515567" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351302730"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Wow,</p> <p>Well he wasn't the guy who drove around with the loudspeakers, he gave a phone call to the mayor of Sulmona, who organised it, and according to Giuliani he warned him for a regular quake at that time.</p> <blockquote><p>"By then, however, Giuliani was detecting a greater threat to the south-east, towards the city of Sulmona, 50km from L'Aquila. Its mayor was contacted, he took the alert seriously, and sent loudspeaker vans around to warn the populace (an event wrongly associated with L'Aquila in British press reports), which duly provoked a panic." <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/05/laquila-earthquake-prediction-giampaolo-giuliani">http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/05/laquila-earthquake-predicti…</a></p></blockquote> <p>So some people are now trying to blame this honest guy who was cautious and made the measurements to cover up their own ignorance, that's sick.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515567&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="4qhj3BL563-wILFbxnYVZ72rmWSz0LjJvDzuoEqkqW8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chelle (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515567">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515568" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351303919"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"and according to Giuliani he warned him for a regular quake at that time."</p> <p>Not according to the Mayor in question.</p> <p>And still he had the location AND time incorrect.</p> <p>Not much of a prediction.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515568&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="KgeNID0lVwVbpCoS-cuFVcKJoQODg8fuxyz8GHPs7cw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515568">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515569" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351304588"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Ha ha, you are going to trust a politician on his word, lol</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515569&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="JXK2rVh21YdJCTbwSn6bbf3hqmGuQJiwXVMB-obhiFA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chelle (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515569">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515570" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351305239"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Are you going to trust a scientist on his? Lol!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515570&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="D8aJUsng0Qns-SaKEkMbEkgSzdaJWzOjNzV6KOjUOxo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515570">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515571" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351305575"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Wow,</p> <p><i>"Are you going to trust a scientist on his? Lol!"</i></p> <p>Haha, so true :mrgreen:</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515571&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="udPxNBS1v1eTg2MctTUVs7YnLpXAUGRVmFkhquZVvpE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chelle (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515571">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515572" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351307866"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Yes I have at times found myself standing in RAIN where and when there was suppose to be SUNSHINE.</p> <p>Whether YOU blame it on the WEATHER, the WEATHER CHANNEL, the WEATHER MAN, the SCIENTISTS, some UNAUTHORIZED CLIMATE EXPERIMENT, the POLITICIANS, , the SINS OF PEOPLE, YOURSELF or... tells a lot about YOU.</p> <p>I personally blame the earthquake in Italy on the increasing number of tourists in Italy; all those people have shifted the tectonic plates ever so slightly and well they just all snore at the same time in the middle of the night (1:05 a.m. local time) and disaster is the result. It could happen anywhere. Look at the statistics.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515572&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="qASBFux0WxzTL2FHb-RiDc-qO-ygDtEUVphZDRw-_Sk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">OKThen (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515572">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515573" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351312086"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"Haha, so true"</p> <p>So you admit that your defense of Guiliani is incorrect! Well done for recognising your error :-)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515573&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="GTTr-1uoiUK7g_NEJIhYK0xddNVUTLOsskMrW0-yhJg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515573">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515574" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351315728"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Wow,</p> <p>The sad thing is that many people trusted those scientist and died, that's why they have to go to jail. Guiliani is not to blame, he was on close on target.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515574&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="v6jWzpwGt4R7x42kExGdoyUEMWL18CT1xSy4OlwXeU4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chelle (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515574">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515575" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351316213"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>No, those people trusted the builders of the homes.</p> <p>The scientists didn't cause the problem.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515575&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="lvKzafQzotc_HkFlu1hWr3Ec_DZOarWhKNgttCe_1-A"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515575">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515576" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351316270"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Guilliani was wrong in his prediction.</p> <p>So were the other scientists.</p> <p>But they go to jail because people are arrogant assholes and want retribution.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515576&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="5XjfNYYrhHkCGK6Ng13-IvwJ1TqJM8KvzKQbo-0BrUs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515576">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515577" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351316862"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>chelle, here's an idea for you, dear.</p> <p>Reat the bloody article before posting on it.</p> <p>If nothing else, the unaccustomed exercise of your brain will be a pleasant change for you :-)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515577&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="weNHRo4x6jrc_qeyXeRiGFDtjA4NFbIbsWceC6X1ISs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515577">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515578" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351317754"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Balderdash! Michael Mann's computer models quite confidently predict the Earth's temperature fifty years from now, and under a variety of assumptions about our carbon dioxide emissions no less. Right? Of course I'm right. Environmental extremists routinely predict the future catastrophes if their agenda is not enacted, and the EPA would not be framing its regulatory agenda around these predictions if there was any uncertainty in their reliability. Right again? Of course I'm right again. The central point of this article is so much balderdash.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515578&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="UTbR_4FckEZLe4hHrLtljcxyUOV2X9AdUMshwuBnaFM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Geezee117 (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515578">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515579" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351317899"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Wow,</p> <p>Nope, the day of the disaster Giuliani predicted it correctly.</p> <p>And damn right people want retribution, if those scientist had acted properly, than people would have gotten out of their houses; but no, instead they laughed all dangers away. And the way the Science community is now acting towards Giuliani is pure arrogance, people like 'Atom' want to picture him as the 'crackpot' that was the cause of it all, while he was correct. Scientists all over the world should be ashamed for how these scientists in Italy acted; instead of speaking of an anti-science plot, and picturing those Italians that lost family and friends as idiots, this is just sad.</p> <p>The same goes for the LHC where you have temperatures that are 100.000 times hotter than the heart of the Sun, and a <i>frequency &amp; density</i> level that is 1.000.000.000 higher than Cosmic ray collisions in nature, … everybody with some sense knows that this is a tricky experiment, but all safety arguments are laughed away. Well good luck!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515579&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="YpNU_38K3YSNLS00a2jm5GO3MP62EchE7LtHBAZ45TU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">chelle (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515579">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515580" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351322571"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"the day of the disaster Giuliani predicted it correctly"</p> <p>Nope, he predicted a week early.</p> <p>" if those scientist had acted properly"</p> <p>They had.</p> <p>"people like ‘Atom’ want to picture him as the ‘crackpot’ that was the cause of it all,"</p> <p>Jeez, what a retard you are. No, atom pictures him as a crackpot NOT the cause of it all.</p> <p>Then again, you're a crackpot yourself, so your love for him is expected :-)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515580&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="QpRkeBBWmdSzGHmNY3BFLF8RDH0z8CLkXDYT_zcpRIY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515580">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515581" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351322706"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"quite confidently predict the Earth’s temperature fifty years from now, and under a variety of assumptions about our carbon dioxide emissions no less. Right?"</p> <p>Right. Though you neglect to say that there is also an error bar on it.</p> <p>"Right again? Of course I’m right again."</p> <p>Yup, right again, though to neglect to mention that Hansen's model results published in 1988 were within a whisker of the right value for sensitvity to CO2: he got 3.4 when a value of 3.2 C per doubling of CO2 would have been spot on.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515581&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="G5OcjnxRJpVggwsuuqGttYC0-exORA_AMkG8WxW7kp0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515581">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515582" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351323247"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>And, dear, please don't post yet more crap about the "danger" of LHC. That shite belongs on the quackery thread for quackers tinpot theories like yours.</p> <p>Pissing about on other threads until you can "slip in" a load of codswallop is still forbidden.</p> <p>Unless you don't like to do what the owner of the blog wants... despite all your proclamations that you're a good little girl :-P</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515582&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="_tu-E5pkX2VVRSqhY3GQAtvQF6N8sTC6P5kDZtiDyHw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515582">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515583" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351324731"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I think at least part of the problem was the government took the opportunity to use the 6 scientist and the govt spokesman as scapegoats for their lack of planning and investment. The town is in a known active earthquake area with a long history of serious earthquakes, yet there seems to have been no effort to reinforce at-risk buildings or enforce earthquake-proof building codes.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515583&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="3HfpmJwNDJlSaNiIR91vCOz3NqfAcbEH8IgKkCeL47g"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Katkinkate (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515583">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515584" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351324909"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Wow = Idiot</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515584&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="OecDRQFGoBnPaLidzKdPyFc-Wr0zMe5N5HDsgRaAaDc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">chelle (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515584">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515585" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351326798"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>chelle, you're a crackpot in love with crackpots.</p> <p>They're the only ones that will put up with your tantrums :-P</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515585&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="n8WH831mJ923_63VZToci2OWKwdvwkN8qVOf9q_ZRzk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515585">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515586" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351329904"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Wow,</p> <p>You didn't read the article but yet you keep on trashing the guy. What's the use.</p> <blockquote><p>"For several days, Giuliani had been watching with mounting anxiety as his four radometer stations, placed in and around L'Aquila, showed very high and rising levels of radon gas emissions from the ground. By Sunday 5 April, he was convinced that within 24 hours there would be a quake – but he could not raise a public alarm. He was under an injunction, served a week earlier, that forbade him to do so on the grounds that his predictions would spread unfounded panic.</p> <p>Privately, that fateful evening, Giuliani phoned urgent warnings to relatives, friends and colleagues. Finally, he lay down fully clothed with his wife and two daughters, leaving the windows and doors wide open for a quick exit. A couple of hours later, they fled outside as the quake hit. <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/05/laquila-earthquake-prediction-giampaolo-giuliani">http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/05/laquila-earthquake-predicti…</a></p></blockquote> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515586&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="28SRVDBFkTj4Smolr9JZCWM2VPgU9-TkZgxhXwMGDH0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chelle (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515586">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515587" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351331135"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>You certainly love that kook!</p> <p>So now you're saying he could have given a couple hours warning.</p> <p>After being doubly wrong before, what do you think would have been done in those few hours?</p> <p>Nothing.</p> <p>a) they wouldn't have believed him because of his numerous failures before<br /> b) they would need far more than a few hours to do anything about it</p> <p>But you still gun for those other scientists.</p> <p>Because you hate them :-^</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515587&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="8V9_HUkjWgFV62Eu2I4hzgdzHKwEmhQ1SjWk4JBUijs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515587">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515588" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351331649"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Wow,</p> <p>As usual you are twisting everything around when you are wrong.</p> <p>… and here is an other of you nonsensical comments, because you don't read what others post, yet you keep on insulting others. You're no better than those criminal Italian scientist who waved everything away with a stupid joke.</p> <blockquote><p>“people like ‘Atom’ want to picture him as the ‘crackpot’ that was the cause of it all,”</p> <p>Jeez, what a retard you are. No, atom pictures him as a crackpot NOT the cause of it all."</p></blockquote> <p>This was in the article he linked to:</p> <blockquote><p>"To me, this is a perfect storm. There was a crank stirring up panic, and the best scientific information available suggested that the risk of a major quake was low …"</p></blockquote> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515588&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="3srRGK2IeiQTnlqtSeFaVZ7uXv62kus1W7RUGqV_KKs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chelle (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515588">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515589" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351332169"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>No, as usual, I'm ensuring that you don't give only the information you want purveyed, chelle, dear (though it seems your hubby has taken over duty at the moment :-D)</p> <p>I guess you don't like scientists unless "scientism" has dumped on them in your opinion, then there is rectal illumination for all! lol!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515589&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="hshIGVf1TZJ5oBd9zzL7rTCvbpUcYZ0u1iJWFtj2rF0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515589">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515590" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351332276"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"This was in the article he linked to:</p> <p> “To me, this is a perfect storm. There was a crank stirring up panic, and the best scientific information available suggested that the risk of a major quake was low …”"</p> <p>Yup! I can read. Can you ;-)</p> <p>Doesn't say anything about the quake being the crank's fault. Nor the arrest of the other scientists being his fault. In fact, it only appears to claim about the crank's fault for being a crank.</p> <p>Which is rather tautological :-D</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515590&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="8hfq8cPc4VgdG4FncOQOOZzMwkR7nhYsy_m-OR6OGJY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515590">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515591" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351333082"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Wow,</p> <p><i>"though it seems your hubby has taken over duty at the moment"</i></p> <p>Nope. It seems that paranoia is taking over again in that beautiful mind of yours. Take care.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515591&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="M_XJhQoecZtZ_XpymFndlCX6F0ZkKl8Yd1HAToOfgrY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chelle (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515591">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515592" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351335757"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” -Niels Bohr<br /> I've heard something very like that attributed to Yogi Berra?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515592&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="9ICuo6avH8X9mzHsIAGmkLhjk4dw5KYv1-Et-b_nnBw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Gary S (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515592">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515593" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351346551"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Paranoia? YOU talk of paranoia? My goodness. Well, thanks for the belly laugh before bed! ROFLMAO!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515593&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="H73l7EXooBbCVTjW3rWh6g0_BNd8i-dWu9VzSePotR4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515593">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515594" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351375902"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Wow,</p> <p>I know for a fact that you are paranoid, because I am not a couple, nor have I ever used a sockpuppet name here, both are delusions of yours. You have developed some kind of obsession about people being anti-science.</p> <p>Sure I do question the fact if making the most intense fire in our Milky Way couldn't combust surrounding matter, but I don't do this because I believe people want to do this on purpose to cause harm, but due to genuine ignorance that pops up on a regular basis (perfect storm). Just like the ignorance of those Italian scientists that was the cause of people losing their loved ones. They laughed all troubles away just like how you laugh the issues about your mental health away. Anyway, you are just an idiot; but they had a serious responsibility and they failed badly.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515594&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="QXjMxn4uq41Bv7geya6gXATr7wa-Z45ytHEyX2_k6lo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chelle (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515594">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515595" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351379836"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Chelle, stop with LHC and combustion already, or take it to the post, you know which. Do we have to play this game every time Ethan post's something. Go sit in the van with speakers and drive around your home town, or whatever. Just stop writting about it here once and for all!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515595&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="2o93V0wKsWNDLKM7S1jutuOVo-fK9WEhIUrfPN8D5U4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sinisa Lazarek (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515595">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515596" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351386045"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>SL,</p> <p><i>"Go sit in the van with speakers and drive around your home town"</i></p> <p>You just didn't get it, now did you? Giuliani didn't drove around with speakers, he made a phone call to the mayor of that other town who organized this. He is not the crank that people want to make of him. Show some respect for this guy, who was actually making measurements, stop being so ignorant.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515596&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="njqvjtF5Khl8aLNHmqmLpQhXyq0sUiG1y-6oAIujW04"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chelle (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515596">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515597" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351393468"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>You just won't shut the fuck up aboult LHC and when called on it, segue ito something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT in the hope that it would be forgotten.</p> <p>You're just a tired sadsack troll whining on about "the establishmen" wot have got it in for ya.</p> <p>Fuck right off.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515597&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="2nSvuKZlRgf4X3AR5_wetagWoJkvh25ztcgl7MRx-uA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515597">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515598" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351397420"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Chelle </p> <p> Some time ago on another post you made a comment claiming a frog thrown into a pan of hot water would jump out, but one in a pan of slowly heated hot water would not notice it was cooking until it was too late. I told you this was apocryphal and straight from the plot of Dante's Peak, which you said you had never seen. You really should watch it. In fact, swap volcano for earthquake, and apart from the dastardly scientist getting his comeuppance at the hands of the natural disaster he denied was going to happen instead of at the hands of the legal system, you could have written the plot.</p> <p>But congratulations are due you for staying completely on post for once, and illustrating Ethan's point perfectly. You approach everything thinking in a way that has been totally appropriate through most of human evolution. In an environment where everybody is almost 100% ignorant of how the world really works, all you have to go on is trust in the individuals deemed to be the wisest. Even if they claimed sacrificing your youngest child to the gods of the ground was the only way to stop the earth shaking again and yet it still shook, they could then claim it would have shook even more were it not for your sacrifice. Because without science you have no idea of what would have happened without that sacrifice, so you can only ever look at one side of the equation.</p> <p> There is always a cost (in the broadest sense) and benefit to any course of action, and humanity as a whole is more and more in a position to measure those. There will always be room to argue how much chalk is equivalent to a pound of cheese, but this must be done on the basis of evidence. Scientists and especially those they advise have to use their judgement. If people live in an area prone to earthquakes, how much does the probability of an earthquake have to increase before they are evacuated? Because whether you like it or not, there is a cost to that evacuation. And it’s not just financial. If you evacuate a town every time a crank predicts its destruction, then once a there is real evidence of an earthquake, the people may well say, "oh no not again”, and will stay where they are die. Whose fault would that be? Would you expect the cranks to be prosecuted after the event in such a case? If so can I suggest you put Dr Andrew Wakefield at the top of your hit list. He has been responsible for the killing and maiming more children over the last decade than all but the worst of oppressive regimes.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515598&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="9-H3XGuFf2qhDGBZ8j-9GhreZtd3vO2MKVGsXM595xs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">David L (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515598">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515599" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351400348"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>David L,</p> <p>Stop bringing up this nonsense.</p> <p>The one thing these scientist had to do was give a good assessment of the situation, and they did a very poor job doing so; and because they downplayed the risk people got killed. </p> <p>Look at the storm that is nearing the East coast of the US, scientists aren't saying to sit back relax and drink a glass of wine; no, people are serious about this and saying to be on guard</p> <p>Those Italian scientist should have took their job more seriously that is all. Also read the first comment on this blog by 'copernicus34' that says it all:</p> <blockquote><p>"make your observations, make determinations based on your observations, and generally shut the **** up after that."</p></blockquote> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515599&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="trpCUjN8uW2uvcuNavU_IUZvs2l4NPx-hOl_LP2fJ1M"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">chelle (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515599">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515600" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351405081"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"The one thing these scientist had to do was give a good assessment of the situation"</p> <p>And they did.</p> <p>Still not reading the flaming article, I see, chelle, dear.</p> <p>PS I note your hubby has stopped posting again, little c. :-D</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515600&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="84ctJaRBUg77i1FUlnHX8_n8vIrWGPGDSWbgQK4xe7Q"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515600">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515601" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351407888"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Wow,</p> <p>Paranoid freak. I post from multiple devices, and pay no attention to what the cache settings are on each one. Just as a test I've now filled out my name with capitals, sigh.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515601&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="UEkrRm4HtQVuUgVUi7cnhH5c2-EHVcuRzg9GGTwOk7w"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">CHELLE (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515601">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515602" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351409841"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"Stop bringing up this nonsense."</p> <p>No Chelle it is not nonsense. What you seem to be incapable of recognising is it is perfectly possible for the scientists to say the risk of an earthquake is not significant enought to advise evacuation, and still be correct even if the earthquake subsequently occurs.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515602&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="xHlniYgeWywN9og2ZPjv8W7PDJCIZuG3piS5LoUVOTk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">DavidL (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515602">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515603" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351416995"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Yes, chelle, you ARE a freak and frequently paranoid.</p> <p>This is pointed out to you in the hope that recognising your problem will help you find psychiatric help.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515603&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="o1KEQyoKT1DvRe1DD4_OMNdlbpKp3op4q_D84RzIvws"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515603">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515604" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351417083"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I only want the best for you, you know that :-)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515604&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="WjJkvnIMZjUlCxKwp3kZmPk0bg8v8t2IT2SUONwsSxU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515604">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515605" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351422163"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Wow,</p> <p>I have no mental issues. In contrast one has to only scroll up a little and check what type of Jekyll &amp; Hyde personality you have:</p> <blockquote><p>You just won’t shut the fuck up aboult LHC and when called on it, segue ito something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT in the hope that it would be forgotten.<br /> You’re just a tired sadsack troll whining on about “the establishmen” wot have got it in for ya.<br /> Fuck right off.</p></blockquote> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515605&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="l8WfykC8nfi1Ie9qPf2eDXAJ9CEjPdE4bImkpmaiMSM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">CHELLE (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515605">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515606" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351424595"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Why all the hate for someone who just wants you to get better, chelle?</p> <p>Feeling oppressed are we? :-)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515606&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ZAtimzDjHclVuW-bY9q3tbtmWsgPel5GzJnlI0_VeE8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515606">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515607" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351426066"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Well, it's a shame that these scientists are being jailed for a natural disaster. Even if the scientists had given the facts for the likelihood of an earthquake of the magnitude that had followed, the majority would have remained within L'Aquila due to the low probability of it actually taking place. Science is not perfection and the combination of some politician's remarks and hindsight does not always help uncover the facts. It's understandable for these people to want retribution, but the Italian courts using these scientists as scapegoats does not bring about justice.<br /> Unfortunately some like Chelle will always blame them, and will refute any amount evidence that may say otherwise, so there is no point in engaging people like that in this type of conversation.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515607&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="HZnIcArrPPXQ5mmhesFLtqXGPljIeksaWhdYEU0VHq4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Rawr (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515607">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515608" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351454181"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Interestingly, with Sandy about to hit NYC right now, the local news is filled with coverage. They were just interviewing a lady who is disobeying mandatory evacuation orders, because she evacuated for Irene last year, and it wasn't that bad. </p> <p>THAT is the problem with giving evacuation orders for 2% events. The Italian court is clearly wrong.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515608&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ZHS9uIqqT9E2XS2EkGwfCFlxgGRaaJlPp4a7qwkcbLI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Addicted (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515608">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515609" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351465602"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Rawr,</p> <blockquote><p>Unfortunately some like Chelle will always blame them, and will refute any amount evidence that may say otherwise,</p></blockquote> <p>Look this is what Ethan said himself:</p> <blockquote><p>"Was it a poor job of science communication? <b> Yes, on the part of the scientists"</b></p></blockquote> <p>And these people were responsible for good communication, that was their job, and they failed. It was not about organising evacuations, it was about giving a clear assessment. If it wasn't for these scientist people would have been more cautious.</p> <p>Science should learn an important lesson here, but clearly some don't want to realise that a deadly mistake was made. And some even want to blame someone who was warning people about the situation. Grow up and take responsibility for your own wrongdoings, it is not all kids play.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515609&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="aZbjimADQY8s2jFpMdvaDYL6i-F5irXN-0jCbAZBneU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chelle (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515609">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515610" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351470150"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"THAT is the problem with giving evacuation orders for 2% events."</p> <p>Too true.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515610&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="MT-Lo4RHEv4eXW57p8azTvJYJHPqM49Et-fucSaa2KE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515610">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515611" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351474713"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Technically not all American kangaroos are phantoms. There is a resident population of feral Rock Wallabies on the island of Oahu in Hawaii...a product of an accidental escape in the 50's. Estimated to number 100 individuals, sightings are rare but consistent. Since Hawaii is part of the United States and wallabies are technically Kangaroos (or the other way around)...I'd say American Kangaroos aren't always phantoms.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515611&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="q3-ZKipHVPQOUhuT_erPQcsdLhnLzl-a96lq_4FdPpQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Astroprogenus (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515611">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515612" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351477601"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Chelle you have a knack of quote mining the one phrase which supports (or rather the one which you chose to interpret as supporting) your stance, whilst ignoring everything else. You quote Ethan on “Was it a poor job of science communication?", but in his next sentence he says "But realistically, recommending evacuation based on what was observed would have been absurd;" So what exactly was the "deadly mistake"? The only lesson I can see is "don't be a scientist in Italy" </p> <p>What would be your criteria for ordering an evacuation if you were the Chief Geologist for the San Fransisco Bay area? It seems to me your strategy would be "Look for a crank who agrees with me and ask his advice. Because if there is the slightest chance of a earthquake, one of the world's greatest centres of technological innovation has to grind to a halt"</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515612&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="xlJuQFCPercBz9jadwz2rDtVO9ANn3C-YEfwlE7UYRs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">DavidL (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515612">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515613" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351480718"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>chelle also HATES people quotemining her.</p> <p>REALLY detests it.</p> <p>Probably doesn't like the competition and since she has little intelligence to find another way of arguing her "point" feels put-upon when people do to her as she does to others.</p> <p>Poor ickle babby... :-)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515613&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="slwcI6FpYL2AQCsFJ38PC4490GCwNZ5Jg-DJtIvY6pw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515613">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515614" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351480944"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>DavidL,</p> <p>According to Wiki it was not about 'ordering an evacuation', but:</p> <p><i>They were criticised in court for being "falsely reassuring"</i><br /><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_L'Aquila_earthquake#Prosecutions">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_L'Aquila_earthquake#Prosecutions</a></p> <p>Everybody in the Bay area, knows that one day a big shock can come, it is also the case in Japan. So I don't think that any scientists over there would say to sit back and relax when you just had two small earthquakes, but to be very cautious. And certainly no scientist will do so in the future after this verdict, that's why I find it a good thing. Perhaps the sentence is too much and should be reduced after one year, and they shouldn't pay for the damages ... but some people have lost family and friends forever, due their poor communication. </p> <p>There is a lesson that every body could learn here, instead of accusing those judges, and claiming an attack on science. Here is an interesting article on the subject: <a href="http://world.time.com/2012/10/24/the-aquila-earthquake-verdict-where-the-guilt-may-really-lie/">http://world.time.com/2012/10/24/the-aquila-earthquake-verdict-where-th…</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515614&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="B2orA4AM6CgLDuJZv6kc36d7BSXta4M-cMtsv0nMXys"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">chelle (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515614">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515615" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351486344"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"According to Wiki it was not about ‘ordering an evacuation’, but:<br /> They were criticised in court for being “falsely reassuring”"</p> <p>Only in hindsight, which is 20:20 in every case.</p> <p>Here we go again, chelle cheering on the nutbar crowd and cherry picking them quotes.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515615&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="hMt5_PCJhvyccrJD1ZoiV7pP2f4pC7OiZ5akEdm_Fic"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515615">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515616" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351486377"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Ever heard of mens rea, chelle?</p> <p>Judges should know of it.</p> <p>When they ignore it, then they are open to criticism.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515616&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="WaiJS7EPRdbwYGJDUonAZJW6lhm-6tHZMB61Qzq23Zc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515616">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515617" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351486431"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>6 years of prison each!!! OMG!!! The worst criminals and gang members don't get that much sometimes. Absolutely appaling!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515617&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ysYWZoe2QBc6_jRGSUgIiFmuDTX4Z3X6sj7kPY3rZ-8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sinisa Lazarek (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515617">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515618" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351487609"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Chelle you are sidestepping the issue. "They may have been criticised by the court for being “falsely reassuring”", but the only people knowledgeable enough to make that judgement are the world's seismological experts, especially those with local knowledge, probably some of the six scientists involved.</p> <p>In the real world there are no certainties. In this case, 40,000 people were made homeless. To keep it simple let's say that is 40% of those in the affected area, and the earthquake was expected in an area ten times larger, so 1 million people deemed at risk, of which about 300 died, so about a 3500:1 risk of dying. Lets add the chance of an earthquake being assessed at about 3% in the next 10 days and we are back to 1 in a million per person per day. Would that risk cause you to significantly change your behaviour if you had lived in the region? Is so, what risk would you ignore and advise others to do likewise? And how do you manage to live if you feel the need to always avoid a risk like that? (For comparison, it is about the same as the risk of dying on a seventy five minute commercial flight) It may even be safer to stay than risk driving out of the earthquake zone in the company of Italian drivers on Italian mountain roads!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515618&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="3Vwk8IUPcYkaTHDVh4-CRRLgcYzM0ctMD11SMftYSBQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">DavidL (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515618">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515619" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351489774"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>DavidL,</p> <p>I'm not sidestepping. Poor communication is what got people killed. You can argue as much as you want, it won't change the past and the mistake they made.</p> <p>You can get a fine for not wearing your seatbelt. Well these guys said it was safe not to wear a seatbelt, they were stupid idiots.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515619&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="LqJ0rcMAwACiPuKNbzlnjwIH0Dfk-3zQ-14tSr8in2I"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">chelle (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515619">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515620" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351492387"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Yes, you are sidestepping.</p> <p>The scientists did what the evidence said was the best advice.</p> <p>Jailing the scientists was revenge, not justice.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515620&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="KjFGpaTAJVfLGV3Xdlq-N0xUQpkE6gEUAW_s0LmRCfA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515620">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515621" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351493766"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Wow,</p> <p><i>"The scientists did what the evidence said was the best advice."</i></p> <p>Are you insane, their advice was the worst, they could have given. Even Ethan said clearly:</p> <p><i>"Was it a poor job of science communication? <b>Yes</b></i></p> <p>If you ever worked for a big company you know that they don't joke about safety, risk is never taken lighthearted, and this is what they did. These people who were responsible to communicate about the risks failed miserably. The evidence showed clearly to be on the look out, and not to sit back and relax.</p> <p>Perhaps you simply don't understand what <i>'advice'</i> means.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515621&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="cd-UUR3QPQTwCRxIZP-8LmbEoypTiQLy87IYial8PSI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">chelle (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515621">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515622" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351494638"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"their advice was the worst,"</p> <p>Nope, it wasn't. It was a fair assessment of the EVIDENCE.</p> <p>But we know you hate this evidence stuff.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515622&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ONLGYhzAa6E8Rg-liF52koNBDQaWb6xao7Cr6Hmnz_g"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515622">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515623" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351494799"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"But the unreasonable person would shift the goalposts, bring up a new argument, point to some misinterpreted piece of evidence, etc., in some never-ending game of cat-and-mouse.<br /> ...<br /> Because from here on out, you are no longer free to promote your own, personal, anti-scientific screed here. Not on this blog, not on any old posts, not on any new posts.<br /> ...<br /> If you said your piece of mind and were properly informed, and you continue to plow ahead and promote your anti-scientific nonsense, you get one warning to take it to this page."</p> <p><a href="http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/09/23/weekend-diversion-you-are-responsible-for-what-you-say/">http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/09/23/weekend-diversion-yo…</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515623&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="CVMXbQHYy2fqxxoA3manWjnXUgwZVfzNBh3vuQIEtf8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515623">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515624" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351495695"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Chelle is confusing stupidity (bad judgment), mis-communimcation (bad advice), and slight negligence with criminal acts. You don't go to jail for those things. Do you get fired? Absolutely... but prison? It's borderline delusional to think that. If I leave a child in a hot car and that child dies is that negligence? Yes... is it criminal and should I go to jail for my stupidity? Absolutely not... </p> <p>There's a great discussion over at Professor Matt Strassler's blog about all this. I think his take on it is right on.</p> <p><a href="http://profmattstrassler.com/2012/10/25/shock-foreshock-and-aftershock-in-italy/">http://profmattstrassler.com/2012/10/25/shock-foreshock-and-aftershock-…</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515624&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="_nhTOhqo3wtXwhkDWTzD5M9z7pmPDcpN75sQVjoSmas"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Aquanerd (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515624">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515625" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351497131"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Chelle, still you refuse to say exactly where they went wrong exactly what you would have done differently were you one of them. At what expected number of deaths per million people would you move the advice from "Carry on as normal" to "Sleep away from buildings", and at what level escalate to "Leave the area"? That is the judgement call the scientists had to make, and if you can't say where you would draw the lines, you are in no position to assess the judgement of others.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515625&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="kXESynIUURpV093Q8gq0iM8d7jNk1iI47YJj3Abf-i8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">DavidL (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515625">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515626" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351502015"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>DavidL,</p> <p>I would have said, to check your building, find a safe place to sleep cause there is a 2% chance that it a big quake might come. The same things that is being said in areas where there are hurricanes, every year.</p> <p>--</p> <p>Aquanerd,</p> <p>The question is how high do you want to set standards. It makes me think of the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster where 30 people died because the captain sailed too close to the cliffs. I had a discussion with my nephew who has been many years 1st on giant oil tankers, and who supported the captain because he's knows that from big ships sailing next to the coast you hardly get to see a thing; thus the captain probably sailed so close to please his passengers he explained to me, so they would get a nice view. He said that the captain only wanted to do good for is passengers, and he felt sorry for him, colleagues stick together. This drama is similar as the case with these scientists; they only wanted to do good for the people, and comfort them saying that nothing bad would happen. Well the great danger is wanting to please others, and if you don't set standards or penalties high enough people will always be attracted to lower safety standards, just to try to please others, that's the big problem; and it is probably why these scientists failed badly, and the cost of lives was so high. Wanting to do good sometimes does more bad than anything else.</p> <p>Sure 6 years is far too high, but regarding their position and the lives that were lost, I believe that one year might be in order, just so everybody knows that the job of safety adviser should not be taken lightly, and you should stand above politics. And yes for the people that lose a kid out of their own stupidity, they are indeed already punished enough.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515626&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="LdSSRRNKRyx0tRPxnsWGu0o5Tx86QLrFOglB2UhWJZQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">chelle (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515626">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515627" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351502854"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"I would have said, to check your building, find a safe place to sleep cause there is a 2% chance that it a big quake might come"</p> <p>Which is why the buildings should have been better built. But that's Big Business.</p> <p>And moreover, that would lead to no evacuation still. So even you would be facing charges of murder under your affirmed rationale.</p> <p>"they only wanted to do good for the people, and comfort them saying that nothing bad would happen"</p> <p>That, however, is YOUR quote.</p> <p>Give us the SCIENTISTS declaration at the time.</p> <p>Go on, get some data and evidence for your position.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515627&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="cX8Oeg99umjK2DPY8HlfLlPzWctss5rJusYG2vOpJE0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515627">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515628" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351504536"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Wow,</p> <blockquote><p>“they only wanted to do good for the people, and comfort them saying that nothing bad would happen”</p> <p>That, however, is YOUR quote.</p></blockquote> <p>True, and that's why I also wrote <i>"and it is <b>probably</b> why these scientists failed badly"</i></p> <p>... but this is what also was said in a link I posted earlier on:</p> <blockquote><p>"According to the expert (Ignazio Guerra of the University of Calabria), incorrect prediction “can be even more damaging that a real earthquake” because of the panic this can create and the effect it can have on the economy and property values in the area." <a href="http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/06/earthquake-warning-was-removed-from-internet/">http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/06/earthquake-warning-was-remo…</a></p></blockquote> <p>I interpreted it as <i>'do good for the people'</i>, for not wanting to cause possibly unnecessary panic.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515628&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="i4UdHkbAy7YTA2OrIoOafI84XcRe8HXU5FklFE-VftE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">chelle (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515628">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515629" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351507037"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>“and it is probably why these scientists failed badly”</p> <p>Nope, it begs the question: did the scientists fail badly?</p> <p>That is only your contention. Backed up by a quote you said?</p> <p>You haven't a clue what "evidence" is, do you.</p> <p>Get off to the <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/09/23/weekend-diversion-you-are-responsible-for-what-you-say/">http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/09/23/weekend-diversion-yo…</a> thread, you're being a deliberate ignorant arsehole again.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515629&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Jh_mIkXeflAQDA40yg680vp6GymSJ2UWQLkC4U6jn8A"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515629">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515630" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351509059"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>“I would have said, to check your building, find a safe place to sleep cause there is a 2% chance that it a big quake might come”</p> <p>So you still avoid answering. If a 2% risk per day merits a warning, do you then think a 20% chance per day would merit evacuation, and perhaps a 0.2% chance means just carry on?</p> <p>But even if you can answer that question you are still left with the problem of deciding whether you are facing the 0.2% risk or the 20% risk. Only the expert consensus can determine that risk with any accuracy. And the earthquake actually happening will not make that risk assessment wrong, even if it was less that 0.2%. That is fundamental to the Science Of Predicting The Future</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515630&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Xx47NFaZ8X6sZMSI5-zzOsoV_ciCfBvKZ5zKEoxGqHM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">DavidL (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515630">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515631" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351509901"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>... and that's how a bullshitter tries to bullshit his way out of things. Too bad for those Italian scientists that those judges are used to hear bullshit stories, and lame excuses every single day.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515631&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="nydExHEk5ewB57H--tczvYkqZiwpdlXeaJRDO7IgSfs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chelle (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515631">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515632" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351510785"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Either get some evidence for once or piss off to <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/09/23/weekend-diversion-you-are-responsible-for-what-you-say/">http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/09/23/weekend-diversion-yo…</a> where the dunderheads can waffle without clogging up GENUINE discussion.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515632&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="TRFi_WHnQNsK0U3iplqKlRtfWzpct_nW_kxoFcvnRDk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515632">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="33" id="comment-1515633" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351511630"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Chelle,</p> <p>Do I seriously need to give you a special invitation <i>every time</i> you are called out specifically to take a line of discussion over to this thread?</p> <p><a href="http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/09/23/weekend-diversion-you-are-responsible-for-what-you-say/">http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/09/23/weekend-diversion-yo…</a></p> <p>That thread was specifically placed there -- along with the comment policy with which you are well-acquainted -- to prevent the derailing of topical discussions.</p> <p>When I see you engage in behavior like this I seriously wonder if you are trying to goad me into banning you from this site. I don't want an answer; I want you to -- now and forever -- cease commenting on any thread once you are asked to move your future comments to the place designated for them. This policy applies to everyone, and so far you have been the only one to continually violate it.</p> <p>Stop doing so.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515633&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="WtEcO92qYGQPmZLFNOJbHzOVweLxbuQ2k5mI4v2JI1A"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/startswithabang" lang="" about="/startswithabang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">esiegel</a> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515633">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/startswithabang"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/startswithabang" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/pastey-120x120_0.jpg?itok=sjrB9UJU" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user esiegel" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515634" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351511832"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Wow,</p> <p>Come on this is no genuine argument:</p> <blockquote><p>" you are still left with the problem of deciding whether you are facing the 0.2% risk or the 20% risk. Only the expert consensus can determine that risk with any accuracy"</p></blockquote> <p>Does he realise that 20% is 1 chance in 5? All the statistics are there, it has very little to do with consensus. The moment the frequency goes up, the higher the risk becomes. DavidL you should read this article I linked to earlier on:</p> <blockquote><p>"Indeed, what the government official had told the press turned out to be completely wrong. The discharge of energy isn’t a sign of decreased risk. <b>It’s an alarm bell.</b> In normal times, the statistical risk of a major earthquake in a given week along a fault-line like that in Aquila is something like one in 100,000, according to Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center at the University of Southern California and the author of a report on the Aquila quake commissioned by the Italian government. But when the ground starts to shake frequently, as it did before the major tremor struck, the chance soars that a disaster is on its way." <a href="http://world.time.com/2012/10/24/the-aquila-earthquake-verdict-where-the-guilt-may-really-lie/">http://world.time.com/2012/10/24/the-aquila-earthquake-verdict-where-th…</a></p></blockquote> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515634&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="q1WqChxMeGRhN8N6vN-v70BiC-hmIIjJ-x4X35n-xLY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chelle (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515634">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515635" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351512551"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Ethan,</p> <p>Well if this is the end than so be it,</p> <p>Have fun!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515635&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="V1tINP6M7ox_R1tNdKbUv-QI-8II5Izw_1UMWeuvta8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chelle (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515635">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515636" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351512862"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>You don't get 20% of an earthquake. You get one.</p> <p>But if the cost of evacuation is 1Bn and the cost of cleanup without evacuation is 4Bn, then do the maths.</p> <p>Of course, the planners can't say this, can they. So they need a scapegoat.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515636&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="5iHxAhd14iymFSIl5aHjoBY5lCR3tS8PfNwLoiVpyvI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515636">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515637" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351513097"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Well the other option would be to, for example, show some evidence of what the scientists who have been chucked in jail said that was enough to make them guilty.</p> <p>You instead preferred to post about what they could have done to be guilty, then, when refused this option, huff off.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515637&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="5ydC5EYItdaU9p6myHbDXTS5tM2HVJNAmTtULWbQsLg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515637">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515638" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351551333"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>It is not possible that we can predict all the future disasters for the safety of human beings?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515638&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ESt13o1O1xhrILM-umKGen9IqSxty5aN4ju067EE_PI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Heart (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515638">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515639" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351632723"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>@Heart:</p> <blockquote><p>It is not possible that we can predict all the future disasters for the safety of human beings?</p></blockquote> <p>Currently, we can't.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515639&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="5Ggqbh8eDiW_V4uEWMPW5JontRZUPdZZzpcMPZB0YMA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Julian Frost (not verified)</span> on 30 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515639">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515640" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351652165"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Well, we could wait until they happen...!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515640&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="kyqZjDkC1gm-Wc_SfZ1RkHfCyojwLnEp50dXpMcPhHM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Wow (not verified)</span> on 30 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515640">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515641" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351694982"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Ah yes, the ancient fortune-telling art of Chronomancy. :)</p> <p>Ethan, of course Chelle is trying to goad you into banning them, because that would be "persecution" and improve their crackpot street cred. I appreciate you bending over backwards to accommodate alternative hypothesis. Such is good science.</p> <p>I also appreciate you bending over backwards to say that there was poor science communication when a bureaucrat translated "insufficient data for a prediction" to "no danger". Even though it is ridiculous to assign legal liability to the scientists, it is nevertheless important to recognize when things could have been done better.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515641&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="35RICikbTCBpDPkrOKtvpTzzKwJ7Q9rAAgHvdpxPmpA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">CB (not verified)</span> on 31 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515641">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515642" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351743688"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>DavidL:<br /></p><blockquote>At what expected number of deaths per million people would you move the advice from “Carry on as normal” to “Sleep away from buildings”, and at what level escalate to “Leave the area”? That is the judgement call the scientists had to make,</blockquote> <p>Maybe it works differently in Italy, but in the US that is exactly the sort of judgement call scientific advisors to the government <i>don't</i> make. A probability does not <i>dictate</i> a policy response. It may suggest one or support one, but ultimately its up to the people, as represented by their government, to decide how much risk to accept. Take Sandy as a more recent example: the role of meteorologists is to give the government their best informed estimate about path, wind speed, wave height, etc. That is the science part of hurrican response.That is where their expertise lies. But its up to government - not scientists - to decide whether 60mph winds mean evacuate or 80mph winds mean evacuate. That's a policy decision and relies on a lot more factors than just the storm physics. Its exactly the sort of decision that should be made by an elected official - and not a scientist - <i>precisely because they are elected</i>, and so (i) have been democratically chosen by the people to make such decisions, and (ii) can be held responsible for their policy decisions via future election.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515642&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="h8JtOzR4k_nbfNqLROo4G8cnXw7HEyoWr2ITi5L-BVw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eric (not verified)</span> on 01 Nov 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515642">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515643" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351747212"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I completely agree eric. I was a little imprecise in my language, trying to get Chelle to acknowledge the issues involved. The "system" makes that call. I would expect the recommended course of action to be a political decision anywhere in the world, based on the best scientific advice.</p> <p>The scientists would only be negligent if they predicted a low risk based on data that a consensus of experts would have assessed as far higher risk. Chelle seemed think that scientists who predict only a 2% chance of an earthquake are automatically negligent if that earthquake actually occurs, and any attempt to justify their actions is after the event is just them bullshitting their way out of a hole. Classic projection of her evidence free world. The discredited Oracle must pay.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515643&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="hy4OClAK53Fr3vat2dngN07gsT3uY5Ygoyge3gKzeuk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">DavidL (not verified)</span> on 01 Nov 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515643">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515644" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1354511408"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Before we build technologies that can alter nature, like that of controlling space-time, building global weather control system... we need a method of preventing corporations, both declared and undeclared [like the Bush/Cheney/Saudi/BinLadin Group/al-Qaeda (literally means the Corporation in Arabic)] to prevent disasterous results. The Corporation presently institutes suicide bombing to create political unrest so that the nations national resources are stolen by The Corporation like they are doing in Iraq (Iraq effectively gets nothing for the oil taken from them).</p> <p>Search for "eliminate all corruption"</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515644&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="DEo0gFYJuz7Y3qiwjRy5BCfWfjrEnUe3Nnq3OWyPPXM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Eric (not verified)</span> on 03 Dec 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515644">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515645" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1354511874"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Not one major soft target of The Corporation has EVER been attacked by al-Qaeda (al Quida). Not one oil pipeline, top investor, related family, oil tanker, executive. Bin Laden would have been frozen and a forensic pathologist would have recovered a great deal of intelligence from his body. Bin Laden in part of The Corporation. His father and brother were both close associates of the Bush family. They were both killed in accidents near the Bush home; 10 years apart.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515645&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="UjJVIc31G4F-lppzo68ugW0C0LBY_J1x5RvoCyWoons"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Eric (not verified)</span> on 03 Dec 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515645">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515646" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1383137657"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>You might find my own book "Probing the Future: the art and science of prediction" (Booklocker.com) entertaining. IT discusses some of mankind's attempts to predict the future through the ages, including some famously bad predictions, and then examines the scientific basis for why it can be so difficult to make reliable predictions of the future state of complex dynamical systems.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515646&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="xYG-6rZ86OZFFn_KV4Hq0cVpcENDaDQaUc-fkcAPqmA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">David Delphenich (not verified)</span> on 30 Oct 2013 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515646">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515647" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1407548686"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>hello.im iranian and i studying about future in english and this page are very good for me.thanks lot</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515647&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Ztq7KkaQDGgrmolfw0uugogoiMPU8t9udTX8_HGicpE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">zahra (not verified)</span> on 08 Aug 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515647">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515648" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1435440716"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>A person can prophecy all he/she wants, but can't predict unless the Spirit of Truth is at work with that person, which can disclose, or enlighten that person with true, or factual information, therefore letting the person "know" what the future holds or will bring. It does that by bringing to the fro, or aligning the future event, to the NOW moment, where that "now" moment, (which is always with us, - now, now now - and which is the ONLY real Truth! ) also contains the past, so, likewise, that person, if asked, can also see, or can also be enlightened with past events to be able to describe exactly what transpired during that time.<br /> A prophecies on the other hand, is different than a prediction in that, a prophecy can change, it is flexible, or adaptable, (go-with-the-flow) depending on the situations, or events leading up to it, so a prophesy can turn out be wrong, but of course, a prophecy can also turn out to be correct, but again, depending on the situations or events leading up to it.<br /> A prediction, in the real sense of the word, is pre dictated, so it can't change.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515648&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="bST6OiVkpw4iPp0CkPNS9HlAgkEx5HcX6SJRVcnLkv8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">riomar9 (not verified)</span> on 27 Jun 2015 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515648">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1515649" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1435760540"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>But you don't have to wonder anymore whether the future can or cannot be predicted. For all you future needs and/or questions, just hire Futurist Paul Guercio and physicist Dr. George Hart, who run the MERLIN PROJECT, and ask them to ask MERLIN whatever it is that you wish to know (for a hefty fee of course) and Merlin will predict, and print out the answers for you.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1515649&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Vn1CW4hVXT7pMgjIl15LwKr766IASF6skek26Sp9Ciw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">riomar9 (not verified)</span> on 01 Jul 2015 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1515649">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/startswithabang/2012/10/26/the-science-of-predicting-the-future%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Fri, 26 Oct 2012 13:06:27 +0000 esiegel 35505 at https://scienceblogs.com The mistake of criminalizing honest scientific mistakes https://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/10/24/criminalizing-scientific-mistakes <span>The mistake of criminalizing honest scientific mistakes</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Given how many bloggers have already weighed in on the story of an Italian court convicting geologists of manslaughter for failing to issue adequate earthquake warnings before an earthquake that devastated the town of L'Aquila, including <a href="http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/guilty-verdict-for-italian-earthquake-scientists/">Steve Novella</a>, <a href="http://skepchick.org/2012/10/on-earthquakes-and-risks/">Daniela at Skepchicks</a>, Sharon Hill at <a href="http://www.skeptic.com/doubtful-news/hear-rumbling-its-the-sound-of-italys-disaster-preparedness-force-crumbling/">Skeptic</a>, and even <a href="http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/155098/">Instapundit</a>, you'd think that even Orac wouldn't have anything to say about it. You would, of course, be wrong. Orac always has something to say about such things. The question is simply whether he decides he's interested enough in the story to take the time and effort to compose and let loose one of his typical logorrheic streams of pontification about it. In this case he is, because, like the vast majority of the blogosphere, he considers the conviction of these scientists a horrific miscarriage of justice, particularly their prison sentences. He also can't resist tweaking someone like Vox Popoli</p> <p>But first, let's go back and see what this <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-italy-earthquake-courtbre89l13v-20121022,0,6778875.story">whole story is about</a>:</p> <blockquote><p> Six scientists and a government official were sentenced to six years in prison for manslaughter by an Italian court on Monday for failing to give adequate warning of an earthquake that killed more than 300 people in L'Aquila in 2009.</p> <p>The seven, all members of a body called the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks, were accused of negligence and malpractice in evaluating the danger and keeping the central city informed of the risks.</p> <p>The case has drawn condemnation from international bodies including the American Geophysical Union, which said the risk of litigation may deter scientists from advising governments or even working in seismology and seismic risk assessments. </p></blockquote> <!--more--><p>Ya think? I know that, in the wake of this decision, if I were a geologist in Italy, I would immediately dissociate myself from any government board charged with earthquake risk assessment. The risk would be just too great. Either that, or if I had no choice I would be ridiculously cautious in my assessments, complete with weasel words to cover my posterior in the event I'm wrong. In other words, I'd do like what most geologists in Italy will probably do now, rendering scientific advice on the issue of earthquakes much less useful than it is now. It would go from being precise, clear, and accurate to being a bowl of mush. No one wants to go to jail for six years and face financial ruin.</p> <p>In the wake of this unbelievably misguided decision, the Italian scientists Franco Barberi, Enzo Boschi, Giulio Selvaggi, Gian Michele Calvi, Claudio Eva and Mauro Dolce as well as Bernardo De Bernardis—a senior official in the Civil Protection Authority—are currently free on appeal. However, if their appeals fail, they will face six years in prison and a $12 million fine. In other words, their lives will be completely ruined for being wrong. They stand convicted of criminal manslaughter and causing criminal injury, all because the court ruled that they had been overly reassuring to the to the population in their statements that a truly devastating earthquake was unlikely. Unfortunately, whether their statements were "too reassuring" or not, at 3:32 AM on April 6, 2009, a devastating earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter schale struck L'Aquila, resulting in 300 deaths and more than 1,000 injuries.</p> <p>While I might not always share Steve Novella's diligence in finding what he calls the "most charitable interpretation of each side of an argument," I do feel obligated to dispense with a straw man version of the verdict that I've seen floating around the Internet. That is the claim that scientists were convicted for having failed to predict the earthquake. This is clearly not the case, as far as I can tell. The central question in the case was actually the question of what is the responsibility of scientists called upon to provide a risk assessment based on their scientific knowledge if they happen to be wrong. In other words, what sort of diligence is required, and how science-based and scientifically defensible do scientific recommendations. How badly do scientists have to fail at such a task before they can be considered negligent?</p> <p>As <a href="http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/guilty-verdict-for-italian-earthquake-scientists/">Steve Novella pointed out</a>, these sorts of issues come up in medicine all the time. He provided an excellent example of how medicine is all about probabilities. For example, if there is a diagnosis that is 95% likely to be the correct diagnosis, that means five percent of the time it won't be and the physician will be wrong. Being wrong doesn't in and of itself mean that the physician failed to exercise due professional diligence. It doesn't necessarily mean that a physician committed malpractice. In actuality, many, if not most, diagnoses in medicine are much less certain than 95%, which means the physician will likely be wrong far more than 5% of the time. Of course, in the case of medical diagnoses, physicians will systematically move on down the differential diagnosis as it becomes clear that one diagnosis is not correct, which is a big difference when compared to the geologists who were convicted. They didn't have a chance to recover from a "wrong" diagnosis and make the "right diagnosis" because once the earthquake happens that's it. </p> <p>And the science of earthquake prediction is much more uncertain than most medical diagnoses.</p> <p>Another way the conviction of the Italian geologists is like medicine is that what they have been convicted of is, in essence, malpractice. Of course, there is one huge difference. In medicine malpractice is a civil offense, not a criminal offense. Physicians are not thrown in jail when a court finds that they have committed malpractice. They pay damages. If their practice repeatedly falls below the standard of care, they might end up before their state medical board, which could potentially strip them of their license to practice. Criminal charges against doctors related to their practice of medicine are much less common than civil penalties; for instance, the sexual abuse of patients.</p> <p>Building on that analogy, I ask the question, "Did the Italian geologists commit malpractice"? The answer, as far as I've been able to tell, is clearly no. For instance, Alan I. Leisher of the AAAS <a href="http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2010/media/0630italy_letter.pdf">writes</a> to the President of Italy:</p> <blockquote><p> The charges against these scientists are both unfair and naive. The basis for those indictments appears to be that that scientists failed to alert the population of an impending earthquake. However, there is no way they could have done that credibly.</p> <p>Years of research, much of it conducted by distinguished seismologists in your own country, have demonstrated that there is no accepted scientific method for earthquake prediction that can be reliably used to warn citizens of an impending disaster. To expect more of science at this is unreasonable. It is manifestly unfair for scientists to be criminally charged for failing to act on information that the international scientific community would consider inadequate as a basis for issuing a warning. </p></blockquote> <p>But is this true? Like Steve, I've looked around for accounts of exactly what government officials told the people of L'Aquila. It is said that the Commission provided "incomplete, imprecise and contradictory" information on the danger of an impending earthquake after a meeting on March 31, 2009, a few days <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-italy-earthquake-courtbre89l13v-20121022,0,6778875.story">before the L'Aquila quake</a>:</p> <blockquote><p> Central Italy is continuously shaken by low level tremors, very few of which precede bigger earthquakes and they are generally marked by no more than a brief statement from civil protection authorities.</p> <p>Key to the dispute is the kind of cautious language, hedged by caveats and reserves which scientists typically use in predicting highly uncertain events, but which can be of limited use as a guideline for the general public.</p> <p>According to scientific opinion cited by prosecutors, the dozens of lower level tremors seen before the quake were typical of the kind of preliminary seismic activity seen before major earthquakes such as the one that struck on April 6.</p> <p>Instead of highlighting the danger, they said the experts had made statements playing down the threat of a repeat of the earthquakes which wrecked the town in 1349, 1461 and 1703, saying the smaller shocks were a "normal geological phenomenon". </p></blockquote> <p>In a report in <a href="http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110914/full/477264a.html">Nature</a> from a couple of years ago, after it was decided that the scientists would have to stand trial, a retrospective analysis of seismic activity in Italy was cited that found that a medium-sized shock in a swarm forecasts a major event within several days only 2% of the time. As pointed out in <a href="http://skepchick.org/2012/10/on-earthquakes-and-risks/">this analysis</a>, "earthquake swarms" are not uncommon in the L'Aquila region and tend to fade away over time without a major seismic event. Assuming that the L'Aquila region is similar to the regions studied in this analysis, it would not be unreasonable to postulate a risk of similar magnitude—with fairly wide error bars, of course. Let's make the error bars really big, just to make the case as favorable to the prosecution as possible. So on the one hand, we have science demonstrating that the small shocks that had been occurring before the L'Aquila quake are common and only precede much larger earthquakes maybe 2% of the time, perhaps several percent of the time in the most alarmist assessments. What would you do with this information?</p> <p>In medicine (again) we have a saying that the retrospectoscope is 100% accurate, but put yourself into the position of the scientists. Based on the earthquake swarms occurring at the time, there was maybe a 2% risk of a larger earthquake. What do you tell the populace? Vincenzo Vittorini, a plaintiff in the case who lost his wife and daughter on that fateful night in April 2009, <a href="http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110914/full/477264a.html">claims</a>:</p> <blockquote><p> "This isn't a trial against science," insists Vittorini, who is a civil party to the suit. But he says that a persistent message from authorities of "Be calm, don't worry", and a lack of specific advice, deprived him and others of an opportunity to make an informed decision about what to do on the night of the earthquake. "That's why I feel betrayed by science," he says. "Either they didn't know certain things, which is a problem, or they didn't know how to communicate what they did know, which is also a problem." </p></blockquote> <p>So what would he have done if the Commission had said that, to the best of their ability to estimate, there was a roughly 2% chance of a major earthquake within a few days. Would he have done what he said his parents had had him do in the past and leave the apartment and hang out in the public square overnight? How many days would he have done that before he felt that it was safe to return to his home? These are not easy questions? On the one hand, any warning issued in such a situation would have an approximately 98% chance of being wrong. Being too quick to issue such warnings would have the potential to cause a lot of disruption, piss people off, and, over time, degrade the people's trust in science and the authorities. Yet failure to issue a warning in such a situation has roughly a 2% chance of being wrong, with potentially tragic results. No matter what the scientific panel decided to do in each case where these issues came up, sooner or later it would get it wrong. Analogies to warnings of terrorist attacks in the wake of 9/11 are inescapable.</p> <p>Apparently the situation was also complicated by a man named Giampaolo Giuliani, who was making unofficial predictions of an impending large earthquake based on his measurements of radon, whicha according to him fluctuate wildly right before a major earthquake. Theere's just one problem. His method of earthquake prediction has never been validated as accurate as a short-term predictor of earthquakes, and Giuliani has never published a peer-reviewed paper describing his method. Instead, he maintained a website and issued warnings to the point where national civil-protection officials cited him for <em>procurato allarme</em>; in essence, instigating public alarm or panic. He was causing a lot of unease among the people of L'Aquila, and there's little doubt that his warnings, which like the proverbial blind squirrel sometimes finding a nut, happened in this case to be right by coincidence, could in retrospect have lead to conspiracy theories and questions about whether the government really knew but didn't say anything. Then, at the meeting of the Commission on March 31, 2009, the commission was asked specifically if the current seismic swarm could be a precursor to a huge quake like the one that leveled L'Aquila in 1703. According to the meeting minutes, Bosci said, "It is unlikely that an earthquake like the one in 1703 could occur in the short term, but the possibility cannot be totally excluded." This is, of course, a reasonable statement of the risk, but unfortunately after the meeting, something happened. Accounts differ, but according to <a href="http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110914/full/477264a.html">Nature</a>:</p> <blockquote><p> What happened outside the meeting room may haunt the scientists, and perhaps the world of risk assessment, for many years. Two members of the commission, Barberi and De Bernardinis, along with mayor Cialente and an official from Abruzzo's civil-protection department, held a press conference to discuss the findings of the meeting. In press interviews before and after the meeting that were broadcast on Italian television, immortalized on YouTube and form detailed parts of the prosecution case, De Bernardinis said that the seismic situation in L'Aquila was "certainly normal" and posed "no danger", adding that "the scientific community continues to assure me that, to the contrary, it's a favourable situation because of the continuous discharge of energy". When prompted by a journalist who said, "So we should have a nice glass of wine," De Bernardinis replied "Absolutely", and urged locals to have a glass of Montepulciano. </p></blockquote> <p>However, there are problems. There is no mention of any appeal to "continuous discharge of energy" in the minutes. And:</p> <blockquote><p> In an interview in the Rome offices of his lawyer, Boschi derided as "absurd" the idea that he in any way played down the risk to L'Aquila. Brandishing a copy of the INGV's seismic hazard map of Italy, which shows a broad swath of the Apennines in bright hues indicating high risk, the tall, silver-haired geophysicist insisted: "No one can find a single piece of paper where I say, 'Be calm, don't worry'. I have said for years that the Abruzzo is the most seismologically dangerous zone in all of Italy. It's as if I suddenly became an imbecile. I'm accused of being negligent!" He was not invited to participate in the press conference after the meeting, he says, and didn't even know about it until after his return to Rome. </p></blockquote> <p>To me, this is a perfect storm. There was a crank stirring up panic, and the best scientific information available suggested that the risk of a major quake was low. What then followed was a classic conflict between the preference of scientists for nuanced, careful predictions, complete with statements of uncertainty and what we do and don't know and a public desire for clarity and certainty. We see this conflict pop up all the time; one particular example is communicating the science of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), assessments of whether this chemical or that contributes to cancer, or whether there are any dangers from vaccines. For example, in the case of asking whether vaccines cause autism, scientists often say things such as, "As far as we can tell from multiple large studies, there is no detectable correlation between vaccines and autism." What the public wants to hear is that vaccines do not cause autism, but it interprets a statement like this to imply that there is still significant uncertainty about the answer to the question. That's just one example.</p> <p>If there's one thing we as scientists do a poor job at sometimes, it's communicating findings to the public without seeming too wishy-washy. In the case of the Commission meeting regarding L'Aquila, scientists might well have gone too far in trying to calm fears, but their position was scientifically defensible. On a statistical basis, the risk was low. And, to draw another analogy to medicine, when I'm quoting risks to patients I often say something like, "The risk of complication X is 10%, but if it happens to you it's 100% for you." Although somewhat nonsensical from a mathematical and statistical standpoint, I find that this really does get across to the patient that, even if the risk of a complication is low, I understand the severity if it happens to her. Unfortunately in the case of L'Aquila, the 2% risk of a major earthquake ended up being 100% in retrospect because it happened.</p> <p>As horribly misguided and, yes, profoundly antiscientific this verdict is, there remains the question of what scientists should do. One thing that is not an option is something that our old "friend" Vox Day says: <a href="http://voxday.blogspot.com/2012/10/let-science-be-silent.html" rel="nofollow">Let Science be silent when it cannot predict future events</a>. Vox, unsurprisingly, is being his usual brain dead, antiscientific self. His post demonstrates, again as usual, a profound ignorance of what science is and does. Science can predict some events with incredible accuracy. If it couldn't, it would not be possible to fly airplanes, land on the moon, send probes to Mars, or predict the decay of radioisotopes. Other things can't be predicted as precisely because such predictions are based on stochastic models that have a lot of random noise and factors that we don't yet understand. Some things, like earthquakes, can't be predicted very well at all because of high variability and our lack of understanding of key mechanisms by which they occur.</p> <p>What Vox doesn't seem to understand is that when public policy intersects with science, "remaining silent" is not always an option. Science is messy. Scientists understand that and in their communications to each other communicate that uncertainty. The public often does not; the best that we as scientists can do is to make our recommendations as clear as possible but with an honest assessment of the uncertainty inherent in the prediction. Ironically, the Italian verdict is very likely to inhibit that process—and inhibit it in a big way—in Italy. Scientists will likely either refuse to serve on the Commission or will become hypercautious, as I suggested above. The end result will be that throwing a few scientists in jail for having been wrong about what sort of warning should be issued is far more likely to harm the very process the prosecutors claim to be championing: More accurate earthquake predictions.</p> <p>In the meantime, the Italian courts richly deserve the condemnation and ridicule directed at them. Hopefully the protests will have an effect, and the conviction of these scientists will be overturned on appeal.</p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/oracknows" lang="" about="/oracknows" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">oracknows</a></span> <span>Tue, 10/23/2012 - 21:08</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/medicine" hreflang="en">medicine</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/politics" hreflang="en">Politics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/skepticismcritical-thinking" hreflang="en">Skepticism/Critical Thinking</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/earthquake" hreflang="en">earthquake</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/italy" hreflang="en">italy</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/laquila" hreflang="en">l&#039;aquila</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/medicine" hreflang="en">medicine</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/politics" hreflang="en">Politics</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205885" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351041832"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>And next they'll be jailing weather reporters. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Fish">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Fish</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205885&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="eqKSSNw3xuqF9ei4_pcse8Fd4IO0Ct2vbIu-1n0GmCw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mark McAndrew (not verified)</span> on 23 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205885">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205886" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351046997"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I have a strong suspicion that this was done to draw attention away from either poor or unenforced building standards.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205886&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="bwbvP4y83te17TOeDtUrjkDpr5CZ_YX6igKUqJY_4Fw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Militant Agnostic (not verified)</span> on 23 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205886">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205887" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351048898"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I am Italian. I have some relatives who had lost almost everything in the L'Aquila earthquake. And I do think this is ridicolous, as does the majority of Italian.</p> <p>I believe there is a point, not scientifical one, peraphs, but important nonetheless, that is worthy mentioning in this idiotic sentence. I believe that a need for "revenge" is what drived people to start it to begin with. That, and a bad understanding of science.</p> <p>A judge doesn't necessary understand science better than any other, not-scientist, person. Having studied Law does not a scientist makes, after all.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205887&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="1UY16eQTR1iqCEDH-ZZ2xff6kZOfEJeOWShSopKwHgM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">T. (not verified)</span> on 23 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205887">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205888" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351049263"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>@Militant Agnostic</p> <p>That, too. And not everything is on the shoulder of government or government officials. A lot of people built their own houses with sub-par materials and such, because it is cheaper. A lot of people also lied about it in the official papers. </p> <p>It is a lot like the people who have build house on the Vesuvio. Vesuvio is an active volcano, and will erupt sooner or later. People know it. Still, they build here anyway (and there is no way of making them go away, neither. The State tried everything, up to giving them money and other house. No such luck)</p> <p>It is a lot a desire to keep the blame off of your shoulder (even when it was here). </p> <p>My family was actually talked yesterday about this. My father is in Real Estate, and said there had been very poor-contructed houses in L'Aquila, even because, after 300 years, there was a certain apathy about the possibility of earthquakes.</p> <p>The quack Orac mentioned is an important part of the problem, also.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205888&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="gde2QqLBbh1xWJh3FqMeArmG0iBQTsBzvsT7PnoMKww"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">T. (not verified)</span> on 23 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205888">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205889" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351049718"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Come to the Netherlands, where there was a lot of critique on weatherforecasters, stating there would be a heavy thunderstorm at the Dutch coast. People didn't go there and the expected thunderstorm didn't come either, so the owners of businesses at the coast, complained the public stayed away, because of this forecasts and politicians started to say they should be punished for making wrong predictments, which took away the income the businesses could have made, from the public that wrongfully expected a thunderstorm and didn't travel to the beach.<br /> Funny thing, at that time I was on vacation in Germany where there were also thunderstorms. Some where not that far from where we stayed, but we hardly had rain, just dark clouds. And in Cologne, there where areas where people had lots of rain, resulting in flooded basements , while no rain fell in other parts of the city.<br /> It looks like we can't live with uncertainty.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205889&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="np-Fk-1UM78RggWypc1LYH-BvQpNhDTlOPj0IolXGTs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Renate (not verified)</span> on 23 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205889">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205890" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351050351"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Is this really an 'honest scientific mistake'? (The question is about the *mistake* part.)</p> <p>If they said 'This is unlikely to presage a terrible earthquake, but we can't rule out that possibility' then they were right, and as right as its possible to be without bullshitting. </p> <p>Even if they said 'don't worry, go drink some wine' I'm not sure that's a mistake either. Should you worry about events that are less probable than a fair coin landing heads five times in a row? And of course you should drink wine!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205890&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="R0tpOMzUNeItq4PmAodSFqLwr3Z2LIcoN85Tb9M_y9Q"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Michael Johnson (not verified)</span> on 23 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205890">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205891" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351050624"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>So Italian courts does it again - without understanding of science and against the evidence they have now concluded that geologists are criminals if they can't predict earthquakes, mobile phones causes cancer (even if it was a benign tumour according to pathologists), and that vaccines causes autism!<br /> Where I come from there are running jokes about the political arm of Italian statehood, but it seems we've missed something about the judiciary...</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205891&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="UFgYAaZLoa38B29yjOA4683YHJYsRJmcUk9KQ54bue4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Pharmacist-in-Exile (not verified)</span> on 23 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205891">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205892" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351052506"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Just to add a wrinkle to the discussion -</p> <p>My understanding is that it was not in the scientists' brief to communicate directly to the pubic (They left after drawing their conclusions) and what was offered to the public was made by non-scientists, who seem to have "softened" the risk statements (further).</p> <p>One suggestion others have made is that the scientists ought to be asked to communicate directly to the public. In New Zealand, for example, the geology statements to people in Christchurch (Canterbury) where there were large earthquakes in 2010-2011 were made by geologists.</p> <p>Leading from Orac's drawing a parallel with medicine, I guess it'd be like leaving explanations of public health concerns up to local politicians, perhaps. Better to train public health spokespeople from those with appropriate backgrounds. I'm not sure how fair a comparison that is - perhaps 'T' can help here - ?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205892&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="_Yi0KeZJnps5xZEGdP5w2GuhItB4xZmZk4m4oia0THc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Grant (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205892">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205893" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351052623"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Pharmacist-in-Exile,</p> <p>"mobile phones causes cancer" and "vaccines causes autism"</p> <p>Seriously? If true: eaggh.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205893&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="fQzKIDeDiwVV0wkMRbT9YnTEDiUMwRsoLMWIrC3WjOo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Grant (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205893">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205894" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351056453"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Agree with your post, but I wanted to point out one error. You say that medical malpractice is a civil matter, not a criminal offense. Under Italian law, it is both. Doctors can be held criminally liable for injuries caused to patients "due to negligence or carelessness or inexperience, or for failure to comply with laws, regulations, orders or disciplines" if the prosecution can establish a causal chain between the doctor's actions and the injury of the patient, and argue that the injury could be expected.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205894&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="5XJ6VHPpN5SPhrH4N-_FEBvbvKhga6io6Oh1sqdLc7k"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sean (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205894">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205895" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351057053"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>If I were geologist in Italy, I'd simply add</p> <p>"Furthermore, I consider that Italy must be evacuated"<br /> (Bad pun on "Furthermore, I consider that Carthage must be destroyed")</p> <p>to every single talk I hold and paper I write...</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205895&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="fdfm6ttIkY-uBKajVwMZC_VihWies6zZGkLhradDc1Q"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Tridecanol (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205895">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205896" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351059617"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>One data point that I haven't seen in all the reporting - how often is that region in the 2% likelihood activity. The whole question of "they should have warned about it" becomes moot if that means the population needs to sleep in tents for half the year. On the other hand, and I apologize for this abuse of statistics, if a major quake only occurs every 300 years, and 2% means a 1 in 50 chance, then the 2% warning would only apply to a week or so every 6 years. In which case the night out in the plaza doesn't sound too unreasonable.<br /> Still BS to start criminal proceedings, but important for the "they were wrong not to issues a more terse warning" question.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205896&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="1KvfwqM8tNjL-pbj5ewxcpU4fgJrq-QmGnTJTfOJud4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mu (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205896">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205897" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351063709"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This reminds me of the bind public health officials find themselves when dealing with newly-emergent infectious diseases (e.g. H1N1 pandemic flu) and the flack they invariably get if they are perceived to be overstating the risks (I say <i>perceived</i> because I dare say most of their critics are underestimating the risks, or at least woefully lacking in empathy for other humans who actually <i>do</i> suffer from the spread of these diseases).</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205897&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="fx4NyZzsKKYKRPmfs6_DIZr5qgUZGi7PkqGVQNBnSDI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Composer99 (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205897">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205898" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351066524"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>@Sean</p> <p>I was, of course, referring to the U.S. If malpractice is also a criminal offense in Italy, that's a good reason not to practice medicine there, as far as I'm concerned.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205898&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="vCtOplhHzoyKmNHnxK56ltACToARZid2v_fTiV8-gQA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://scienceblogs.com/insolence" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Orac (not verified)</a> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205898">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205899" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351067452"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>It all goes back to the lack of knowledge of science. As a kid, I learned a lot from the Mexico City earthquake in 1985. I learned that they are unpredictable. Sure, geology has advanced a bit since then, but earthquakes remain unpredictable. Someone who doesn't know this or is not curious enough to learn about it should not be making judgments on this.</p> <p>My opinion, of course.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205899&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="pgC7X23L4SpFUOiUqr5KFKomToTHntCoDd-NaUFnqn4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ren (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205899">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205900" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351067830"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>If malpractice is a crime in Italy, why is the cancer quack Simoncini still operating?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205900&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="eyYWluarmuTXha9MVK-iPXklMNiNvWFShdkBrL5FXLI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Renate (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205900">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205901" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351068391"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>@Mu: I have no idea what the frequency of such minor earthquake swarms in the region is, but any time such an alert would be issued, it would be for a period of at least several days at a time, and in some earthquake-prone regions (I don't know if Italy is among them) for a month or more. That is a big deal.</p> <p>Part of the problem in Italy is that so many of the buildings were built centuries ago, before we knew how to build them to withstand earthquakes. The same was true of Christchurch when the earthquake hit there a year or two ago, and it's also true of the Pacific Northwest (which occasionally gets M9 earthquakes, most recently in 1700). As I recall, most of the damage in L`Aquila was to these older structures. But in the Bay Area in 1989 most of the damage was limited to elevated highways and buildings built on fill.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205901&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="9NTD4WL3X0WoDRrnu55IVH8TMnuyTS6put9b1k1Jslg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Eric Lund (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205901">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205902" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351069322"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The word that makes me sigh, and long before the event, say (unfortunately correctly) ”this isn’t going to go well,” is in the title of the commission itself: National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks. There it is: a time-bomb, ticking away, the word "forecast." Its synonym "predict" is equally bad. “… and Prevention” is just icing on the cake, a promise that simply cannot be kept.</p> <p>We scientists would do well never to use those words and never serve on any official group with them in the title. I think that many of us – the scientists – may fail to understand what those words actually mean, which is to say, yes, in the case of those exact terms, the layman is right. Those words mean certainty. THIS will happen. Period. They offer zero wiggle room for being wrong. No Type II Error at all.</p> <p>Medical practitioners probably understand this better than basic-science types like me, or at least, their professional jargon demonstrates that understanding. They don’t say “predict” or “forecast.” They say, “prognosis.” The patient says, “Huh? What’s that?” and the doctor says, “It’s what I think is most likely to happen.” I’m sure these interactions see their share of the patient insisting on a forecast/prediction, but at least the doctor hasn’t explicitly begun the conversation with one. He or she doesn’t have a sign on the door saying, “Step right up, get your medical fate forecasts here, all disasters prevented.” </p> <p>But there go the rest of us, blithely assuming that “conclusion” in the scientific sense is the default understanding of anyone and everyone else, which is itself naive enough, but then to be so foolish as to plaster (or allow to be plastered) the words “forecast” or “predict” into the title and mandate of an activity based on scientific thinking … why not paint a bullseye on our chests? Why not say, “Hey, I’m a soothsayer, bring me your chicken and I’ll look at its guts,” and then, in complete ignorance of historical soothsayers’ skill at explaining away failed predictions, add, “… and every prophecy guar-ant-eed!”</p> <p>You can piss and moan about “them” and their “scientific ignorance” all you want to. Sure, they don’t understand scientific thinking, I get that. But the words “forecast” and “predict” are not scientific thinking. They mean what they mean, which is explicitly and cluelessly a guarantee, and going anywhere near those words is like getting stuck on flypaper. You’re stuck to’em now. Anything you say, even in presenting the report much less afterwards, looks like weaseling.</p> <p>I am both heartsick and cynically frustrated (talk about the worst of both worlds) about the court’s judgment, probably like a lot of people reading this blog. But let us not miss the lesson. I think that we should understand that spin matters, and billing one’s scientific work as “forecasting” is a fine example of pre-spinning oneself right into political disaster. I doubt any of the convicted scientists themselves authored the title of that commission, which makes them *its* victims just as much as they are the prosecutor’s and the judge’s.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205902&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="9OamGIjjbyfO4rnijyoU9WWF7qiNEfNJiabMz0dRyb8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ron Edwards (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205902">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205903" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351069962"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>As has been pointed out, criminal liability in Italy has a more extensive application than in those countries which have inherited the model of English Law. The effect this has on medicine is presented here: <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2628502/">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2628502/</a></p> <p>Part of the problem is that the inheritance of the Code Civil (Napoleonic Code) which has a structure that in effect means any disadvantageous event must have a responsible agent. Ironically the French have managed a more pragmatic rendition of this principle, while Italy, perhaps because of its more fractured social history has failed to develop laws which actually reflect the real world.</p> <p> Hopefully, if the Italian legal system proves incapable of correcting this absurd judgement, then ultimately the Court of Human Rights will provide a judgement that ensures scientific freedom and a judgement of innocence. Though that will be a long and arduous process for those who have been convicted.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205903&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="RLTKC8kb10NSJ8avtCq0xh2DbBwpb0f8YvzeN3Y0aSo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">In Vitro Infidelium (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205903">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205904" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351070396"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>If malpractice is a crime in Italy, why is the cancer quack Simoncini still operating?</p></blockquote> <p>My understanding is that his Italian medical license has been stripped and he did receive a four-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter but was released as part of a general amnesty. Last I heard, he was working out of a clinic in Utrecht.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205904&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="-p-ROzv2-IPzyx_9ZOZGasjzMvbE0sCJaEwGhG84fxY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Narad (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205904">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205905" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351074700"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The problem is that, to be scientifically accurate, we can't say "There is no evidence for..." All we can say is that we have not seen any evidence for that thing. I can't say that space aliens have never visited Earth, I can simply say that I have never seen any compelling evidence that they have. We must always allow for the possibility that new evidence might arrive which changes our view.</p> <p>All people must understand that while there is an objective, definite answer to every question, our ability to know those answers with any level of certainty is limited. For those who believe, there is only one being in the universe who knows all with absolute certainty; for the rest there is none. </p> <p>There is even a nonzero chance that a link may one day be found between vaccines and autism, just as there is a nonzero chance that aliens have, in fact, visited Earth. All we can ever do is act upon the best knowledge and evidence we have available at this time, while maintaining awareness of the limits of our certainty.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205905&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Vpf1mtGLVc9RVDADxKUANqjH7TfSHIb20SgoUK661O8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Obi-Wandreas (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205905">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205906" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351076978"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The Renaissance was the only time Italians were in favor of science, and they withdrew their support of science within 50 years. (See Galileo.)<br /> I guess that's what happens when churches sprout up everywhere. To be fair, this sort of thing will probably happen in the US as well.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205906&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="y0K3Yj2sYP7bLLmxgbFxU5Lg2q3Y88f3HIl6BjY4L8w"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Politicalguineapig (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205906">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205907" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351077378"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Not to seem insensitive, but a magnitude 6.3 earthquake is entirely survivable if buildings are built to be safe. Older buildings can often be retrofitted to be seismically resistant. West coast residents have experienced quite a few quakes of equal or higher magnitude, and there has been an ongoing effort for most of the past century to make things safer. If the central mountainous region of Italy is a quake zone, then perhaps there will now be efforts to do this kind of retrofitting. There is a tension between doing damage to old artistically meritorious buildings vs making them safe, but this magnitude should have been survivable.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205907&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="xJ2ETaD4Y7MTrjDBQS9Ds7IJJS4fglXL5E68kT5Jw7E"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Bob G (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205907">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205908" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351079405"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I would be interested how other countries with similar quake risks might have handled the situation...<br /> is this something about Italy itself?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205908&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="wWW9dajdGb-joq5jUena-HDnjP2R8MqGgDkaEaKFb24"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Denice Walter (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205908">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205909" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351080871"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I had an engineer who returned from Haiti last year tell me that the Port au Prince building code was one and one half pages long and it was common practice for builders to switch to inferior materials when their bid was accepted.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205909&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="bDuItBzlsc4553U9w-Ic6a8xYjWRQY7GtLdinEcoRmg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Shay (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205909">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205910" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351081036"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>@ Narad,<br /> I really should be ashamed. He is working in my home-country. But well, I suppose we have a far to liberal idea on quacks. As long as no-one is complaining, I suppose one can do what one want here. And if there is someone complaining and trying to shut down something, or make an end on someones practices, there are alway believers willing to protest against such an 'injustice'.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205910&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="V-Zi9c_Y9tcebYSkfhNWHK14wMnjet56hbpFw22bIaA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Renate (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205910">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205911" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351081383"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I appreciate what Ron Edwards is saying about "predict", but I really need that word sometimes. If I have two treatments for your disease, and a marker that's either 0 or 1 I can find that "if 1, then treatment B works better on average, but if 0 treatment A is better". I will say "You are 1, so I predict treatment B will work better", and call the marker predictive. As scientific thinking, I don't see any problem. I did not say "I guarantee treatment B will work better for you". There is a difference.<br /> What I very much would like, particularly in biomedical research: never say "predict" unless you have clearly said what you mean. It has become dead common for people to be saying it when I can't figure out what they mean. One reason I think that is: My example of "predict" above is sometimes called "in the strong sense" in the halls near me, but often one only has a marker (or function of many markers) that is prognostic - it "predicts" who will live longer (on average). But it sounds cooler if you call it predictive. People might mistakenly think you know something instrumental, when you don't. Abuse of the word "define" is now also flourishing. "We have defined the molecular changes between disease X and Y" - OK, write bullshitter on your forehead. It is even used in the future tense "we will define" - groan.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205911&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Qp1ZLsh23RpC5koY44VRFxQOrYwM35UOhdRd_cz3_fI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">rork (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205911">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205912" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351083233"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>@ Pharmacist-in-Exile &amp; Grant:</p> <p>"“mobile phones causes cancer” and “vaccines causes autism”</p> <p>"Seriously? If true: eaggh."</p> <p>The Italian magistrate in Rimini, did just that....</p> <p><a href="http://justthevax.blogspot.com/2012/06/sue-reid-propagates-mmr-manufactuversy.html">http://justthevax.blogspot.com/2012/06/sue-reid-propagates-mmr-manufact…</a></p> <p>It's true...double eaghh!!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205912&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="qYl9Y3fjsLHjWI-tzn5czsdvaOOEKAwKYhFw9p0__aA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">lilady (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205912">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205913" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351083754"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Bob, the buildings in that region of Italy are not "reinforceable", they are 300+ years old piles of stone. Large old growth trees in those areas, which could give you sturdy beams for support during an earthquake, have been cut down in Roman times. It's not like the west coast, where old is measured in decades, and most construction is some kind of filled frame.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205913&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="mNv04SaiGK5vA9BGDnPuB5EuW4YmR_G-04I_oChnej0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mu (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205913">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205914" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351085656"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Lest we forget, San Francisco doesn't have many buildings that predate 1906. There also aren't many buildings made of stone there either.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205914&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="SWjD0p0hnHi7v8Fn7kOvdfwpktSFX5DvNpAcr67WLdw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Politicalguineapig (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205914">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205915" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351086126"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Renate,</p> <blockquote><p>As long as no-one is complaining, I suppose one can do what one want here.</p></blockquote> <p>Unless you put out your garbage on the wrong day, then you're doomed.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205915&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="rL1yN2p4TzlwH8IC6M2KgSzmNN-7i6ZekkR773r3cu0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Krebiozen (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205915">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205916" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351086376"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>so many of the buildings were built centuries ago, before we knew how to build them to withstand earthquakes. The same was true of Christchurch when the earthquake hit there a year or two ago</i></p> <p>Christchurch has not been around for "centuries". Most of the deaths in the most recent quake occurred in the collapse of a building from 1986 which was supposedly up to modern earthquake specs; the architects, engineers and building inspectors are currently playing pass-the-parcel with the responsibility for its shoddy construction.</p> <p><i>the Code Civil (Napoleonic Code) [...] means any disadvantageous event must have a responsible agent. </i></p> <p>According to Evans-Pritchard, a similar attitude used to hold sway among the Azande tribe -- if *anything* bad happened, there must be *someone* to blame, and it was only a question of sniffing out the witch.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205916&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="1nZUHQDoBcpxTGiFAckfaPz9WvkA2H2JZnt7ZkFmCoQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">herr doktor bimler (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205916">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205917" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351091631"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>According to Evans-Pritchard, a similar attitude used to hold sway among the Azande tribe — if *anything* bad happened, there must be *someone* to blame, and it was only a question of sniffing out the witch.</p></blockquote> <p>I believe it was Evans-Pritchard who adopted the local custom of sacrificing a chicken and inspecting its entrails (or something similar) before he decided anything. He said it was as good a way as any of making decisions. It's probably as good a way of deciding whether a series of tremors portend an earthquake as anything our current science offers.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205917&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="LmW1Bgd0qWHBPK0IDgws9MvjXdiHHSwBy1YLDpcHUOs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Krebiozen (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205917">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205918" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351091974"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The problem was that the geologists wanted to communicate to the public the message that Giampaolo Giuliani is a quack (which he is). But the message the public received was: There will be no earthquake – which was partially the fault of one of the "science-based" geologists, who used words that portrayed a greater certainty than the science-based geologists could possibly had. They had to reaffirm their authority in matters or earthquakes.</p> <p>So this is not a question of malpractice, but a question how to deal with quacks – and I would say that the science-based crowd would do good not to overplay the evidence when fighting with quacks.</p> <p>And asking the question whether assigning a number like 2% would have helped is a straw-man. The only right answer would be: "We don't know either way if an earthquake happens, as it is still impossible to predict earthquakes (or their absence)." But because they wanted to strike down an quack, they had to take the high road.</p> <p>Would the people have done actually something different, had the geologists send a different message? Probably not. So you are right that they are probably not responsible for any loss of life or loss of property. But then again if they didn't want to influence the behavior of the people, they shouldn't have used words that had that effect.</p> <p>Take it as a lesson how <i>not</i> to fight a quack.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205918&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="r-3XYA5eCrTmghWwozn6lnwQ1jl3oYYDKgFvhIRHDSE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Tony Mach (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205918">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205919" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351092106"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Slight correction, it was <a href="http://tinyurl.com/poisonoracle">the Azande poison oracle</a> I was thinking of. Ideally suited to adaptation for predicting earthquakes.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205919&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="tlWd0lU7r5QQ7xvKCOpQrkJ-uScJZnGSxBhz5AEqHrw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Krebiozen (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205919">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205920" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351093342"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Here is the quote, BTW:</p> <p>"<i>Although that meeting was followed by a press conference, it was actually an interview given before the meeting—by one of the indicted, Bernardo De Bernardinis, at the time deputy chief of Italy's Civil Protection Department—that has gained particular notoriety. He told a television journalist that the tremors posed "no danger" and that "the scientific community continues to confirm to me that in fact it is a favorable situation, that is to say a continuous discharge of energy."</i>" <a href="http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/05/earthquake-experts-finally-testi.html">http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/05/earthquake-experts-fi…</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205920&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="NBmeg-udmEH8XCAXisECaAMQ1xFVXeWqkJ1ScfKGTx8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Tony Mach (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205920">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205921" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351094719"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Unfortunately, Orac, when you decide to comment in snarky fashion on a subject you have no understanding about, you make a fool of yourself. The reports on this case appear to be highly misleading. I suggest that you read Prof. Roger Pielke 's blog (for a scientist's perspective) and Prof. Kenneth Anderson's blog post (for a law professor's perspective).</p> <p>In Italian Court Convicts Scientists for Failing to Warn of 2009 Quake (Updated), by Kenneth Anderson (Oct. 23, 2012),<br /><a href="http://www.volokh.com/2012/10/23/italian-court-convicts-scientists-for-failing-to-warn-of-2009-quake/#disqus_thread">www.volokh.com/2012/10/23/italian-court-convicts-scientists-for-failing…</a> , he quotes Prof. Pielke, who is quoting an article from Science:<br /> "[A]s the trial unfolded here over the past year, a more complex picture has emerged. Prosecutors didn’t charge commission members with failing to predict the earthquake but with conducting a hasty, superficial risk assessment and presenting incomplete, falsely reassuring findings to the public. They have argued in court that the many tremors that L’Aquila experienced in the preceding months did provide at least some clues about a heightened risk. Meanwhile, a recorded telephone conversation made public halfway through the trial has suggested that the commission was convened with the explicit goal of reassuring the public and raised the question of whether the scientists were used—or allowed themselves to be used—to bring calm to a jittery town."</p> <p>The Italian criminal justice system is very, very different from the US's. Many matters are handled in the criminal courts in Italy that in the US would be handled as tort suits for damages (if at all -- however, US federal and states criminal laws are greatly expanding what is criminalized so the US may catch up with Italy and the rest of Europe in that). Moreover, the procedures are completely different. If you followed it, you may recall that the "appeal hearing" of Amanda Knox's conviction look like a re-trial. The appellate judges called and questioned witnesses, subpoenaed evidence, and made independent evaluations and findings of fact. </p> <p>A good scientist (or investigator or attorney) knows to find out what the facts really are before making conclusions. Even the little that Profs. Pielke and Anderson have reported indicate that rushing to judgment here may resemble rushing like lemmings.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205921&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="o9_qDLgtSufyYsUzjEmfyV_69njlVNvIaDEL_OyuESw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">wfjag (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205921">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205922" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351094729"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>It seems to me, in our current world population, there are far too many that expect everything that touches our lives to be an 'all or nothing' situation. If we can't give 100% certainty about everything, then that particular item, service or procedure should be done away with. We are also too fond of instant gratitude, which in many cases, when it comes to science, just cannot be given. Science takes time to reveal the mysteries it holds. To expect instant results when a study is done is immature to expect instant results and many times it can take multiple studies done to corroborate the findings of the first study before anything can be reported. It is also irresponsible for any scientist to announce findings of a study in a manner that could potentially stir up a public panic *cough* Wakefield *cough*, or cause a false sense of security. I personally believe that more science needs to be taught in the primary school system, that will help to raise adults who can be critical thinkers and will better understand what science is, how it works and what it does. If that could happen, I think situations like these that have happened in the Italian courts, would not actually happen, because people would understand better. It might also lead to the downfall of alt meds and the supplement industry too. What a shame that would be, eh?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205922&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="L0jOscjlnk5mT5u6AhnjzpQxQ1j4eY0JrVpgsEoDKg8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="Lara Lohne (AKA: Venna)">Lara Lohne (AK… (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205922">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205923" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351095737"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>Prosecutors didn’t charge commission members with failing to predict the earthquake but with conducting a hasty, superficial risk assessment and presenting incomplete, falsely reassuring findings to the public.</i></p> <p>How does that differ from Orac's post?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205923&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="7zl-ugMtSTYfnwcS0yyr0KmIrNUzI_V-oGwpgPkbQyE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">herr doktor bimler (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205923">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205924" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351099461"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><blockquote>Prosecutors didn’t charge commission members with failing to predict the earthquake but with conducting a hasty, superficial risk assessment and presenting incomplete, falsely reassuring findings to the public.</blockquote> <p>How does that differ from Orac’s post?</p></blockquote> <p>While not endorsing wfjag's extraordinarily polarizing characterization, I would say it is the difference between the accusation "these scientists did the best they could, but it wasn't good enough, and they should be held responsible for the failure" and "these scientists did not do the best they could, and they should be held responsible for failing to do their best." I haven't looked closely enough at the charges of the Italian court to be able to say which is the more accurate characterization.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205924&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="SsKwZR8A9JqeqY4us1jihBj2SK3HY8HeBIV1ELtT37M"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Antaeus Feldspar (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205924">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205925" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351100766"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>The reports on this case appear to be highly misleading. I suggest that you read Prof. Roger Pielke ‘s blog (for a scientist’s perspective)</p></blockquote> <p>Roger Pielke Jr. is not a scientist.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205925&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="AqRGpJtiMMnPmnxzJFrrOE-W57aWMXFI3YgnsgfHwIg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Narad (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205925">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205926" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351101762"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Because political science is not a real science.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205926&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Pdg_W6BVQLtwXHEb6-fJBLY1X5rLN6rRj02tEH6Z6MA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chris (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205926">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205927" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351104915"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>Because political science is not a real science.</p></blockquote> <p>I don't mean to demean the field of endeavor in the slightest, but he's basically a policy guy.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205927&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="a3ci3ELZ9CiD6tZq-2qEok0yqgHTorWBdKvtkHMT8Eg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Narad (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205927">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205928" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351105507"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Of course. Though I see there are places where he is highly criticized for some of his writings.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205928&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ZPIRQvbtapyc33rr9Ya0dkUOl7sqDOESYpW1pKVMkr8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chris (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205928">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205929" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351106157"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>How does that differ from Orac’s post?</p></blockquote> <p>It doesn't, at least not in any substantive way. wfjag clearly didn't read my post very closely or didn't care in his eagerness to fire off a few polemics.. One notes that wfjag also cites the exact same passage from the <em>Nature</em> article that I did as though I hadn't mentioned it.</p> <p>I find it most amusing that wfjag accuses me of making a fool of myself by leaping to conclusions without having examined the evidence, when that is exactly what he did with with his characterization of my post. Indeed, I rather suspect that he read the first part of it, skimmed the rest, and then fit it into his apparent desire to defend the prosecutors and the Italian justice system. Indeed, I'll go one further. His entire characterization of my post is a massive straw man.</p> <p>More importantly, even if everything wfjag says about the "nuances" of the case is true, it doesn't change in the least my conclusion:</p> <blockquote><p>What Vox doesn’t seem to understand is that when public policy intersects with science, “remaining silent” is not always an option. Science is messy. Scientists understand that and in their communications to each other communicate that uncertainty. The public often does not; the best that we as scientists can do is to make our recommendations as clear as possible but with an honest assessment of the uncertainty inherent in the prediction. Ironically, the Italian verdict is very likely to inhibit that process—and inhibit it in a big way—in Italy. Scientists will likely either refuse to serve on the Commission or will become hypercautious, as I suggested above. The end result will be that throwing a few scientists in jail for having been wrong about what sort of warning should be issued is far more likely to harm the very process the prosecutors claim to be championing: More accurate earthquake predictions.</p></blockquote> <p>And personally I think that any laws that criminalize such mistakes will have horrific unintended consequences. Nothing wfjag has said is sufficient to make me change my mind.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205929&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="yZW6Qh4k8_QtBclv8qbYwFTeIWJvSc28J-Lbv3RYRvk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://scienceblogs.com/insolence" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Orac (not verified)</a> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205929">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205930" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351116060"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>@wfjag</p> <blockquote><p>Even the little that Profs. Pielke and Anderson have reported indicate that rushing to judgment here may resemble <b>rushing like lemmings</b>.</p> <p>Not a good simile to use on a science blog - lemmings rushing over a cliff is a myth.</p></blockquote> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205930&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="BfJ_SOjEyDGRkEPwOrUzcL23olEOPt9P1XZPfWUnfLY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Militant Agnostic (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205930">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205931" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351116828"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>You seem to support the misrepresentation of that they were sentenced for "not predicting", but in fact, they were sentenced for *predicting*, namely low probabilities, on grounds of no more than their gut feelings. The public should be protected from such, how else are we to trust experts? Read here and in the comment section of that article:<br /><a href="http://www.science20.com/alpha_meme/manslaughter_sentence_scientists_who_misinformed_public_deadly_aquila_quake-95522">http://www.science20.com/alpha_meme/manslaughter_sentence_scientists_wh…</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205931&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="wboObLyKRtaT6WQKUtkd_61ZQA0-WaUnoGe5u8VnASQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sascha Vongehr (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205931">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205932" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351126118"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I must say, I find this story truly perverse. I majored in geology (though I won't lay claim to have ever been much good at it), and one of the most persistent complaints I heard from people who had worked in the field was of irresponsible developers ignoring basic safety. I once had an instructor who laughed when showing us a picture of a residential development at the bottom of an obviously unstable cliff face. Then there was an account I heard of a warning system for the area around Vesuvius, the same volcano that killed Pompeii: When a warning is issued, so I was tole, most of the people just stayed put, evidently mainly because looters were moving in as soon as evacuations occurred. Given this kind of horror story from Italy, it's hard not to suspect that these scientists in the present case are being made scapegoats for problems that are fundamentally of the government and public readiness.</p> <p>David N. Brown<br /> Mesa, Arizona</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205932&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="f4BiFAbRnbnNmiGZwnmnAHmEIabdyIgWJeeSzP1Djh4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">David N. Brown (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205932">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205933" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351133741"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>@wfjag. quote: "The Italian criminal justice system is very, very different from the US’s." unquote</p> <p>Yes others pointed that out too . Education in the Swat valley differs from that in Iowa but the mere difference hardly allows a defence of shooting young women in the head. The fundamental problem IS the Italian legal system, which provides no reasoned basis for these scientists NOT to be guilty, having attempted to do their jobs in a manner that seemed to them appropriate in their professional judgement. </p> <p>@ David N. Brown: Quote "it’s hard not to suspect that these scientists in the present case are being made scapegoats for problems that are fundamentally of the government and public readiness." unquote</p> <p>Scapegoating may be in play, however it is not necessary to explain the judgements, which could be arrived at simply as artefacts of the Italian legal system. Essentially someone has to be held responsible and having acted (irrespective of how reasonable/professional) the scientists have no defence given that loss occured. Rotten laws produce rotten results - of course they also support corruption.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205933&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="9KfEgUuqDZ-8H8H_GhsKumPgjejy6VwiUdjGy0QEw6k"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">In Vitro Infidelium (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205933">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205934" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351144065"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>@Sascha Vongehr</p> <p>You seem to suffer from the same problem as wfjag; i.e., that you appear not to have read what I wrote very carefully (or only skimmed it) and then attacked a straw man version of what I wrote. Either that, or you're just being obtuse. See my comment to wfjag two comments above yours.</p> <p>Oh, and I looked at your post. Any time I see someone using the word "scientism" and using phrases like "the pretend defenders of rationality," I know right away that he probably doesn't know what he's talking about. Your post did nothing to counter that impression, particularly the way you brought in class warfare and the war on drugs in a bit of a non sequitur.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205934&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="slh3OVgia4WrpLYCB5aywor8eQAqcMg2cNIDwpaNIgs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://scienceblogs.com/insolence" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Orac (not verified)</a> on 25 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205934">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205935" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351145537"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Again, without endorsing either view, I think we have two different interpretations of the basis of the case competing:</p> <p>a) the scientists and the official were placed on trial because acting to a reasonable professional standard wasn't good enough;</p> <p>OR;</p> <p>b) the scientists and the official were placed on trial because they DID NOT act to a reasonable professional standard.</p> <p>I have to say that in the case of the official, at least, b) DOES appear to have some traction. According to what I've seen in the news reporting, which I've not seen anyone dispute so far, the official got a simple prediction from the scientists which acknowledged some risk and turned around and told the public that the risk was almost non-existent, and invented his own sciencey-sounding details as to why the risk was so low, based on nothing the scientists had communicated to him. Based on that, I can't confidently say "the case was based on a) and therefore the correct verdict should have been summary judgment in favor of all defendants."</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205935&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="DdYzcKgfQqklEswrTMdoWGWIx-PvOR_Uq0XrjCsGHy8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Antaeus Feldspar (not verified)</span> on 25 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205935">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205936" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351161935"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Earthquake prediction is far more sketchy than weather forecasting. There's hardly any scientific basis beyond the statement that a specific fault might break or slip within fifty to a hundred years or so.</p> <p> Thus the prosecutors in Italy have NO CHANCE AT ALL of proving manslaughter or murder beyond a reasonable doubt. Any jury here in the United States would render a verdict of "Not Guilty", Most local, State and Federal judges would refuse to place a case like this on the docket.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205936&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ZW2oqesdF7B-WH3YFtRIhLoCKdG0rwaZoUl1ju5pAP4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">John Andre (not verified)</span> on 25 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205936">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205937" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351167032"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>@antaeus,<br /> The real "elephant in the room" is how the scientists were treated by the civil government. As I mentioned, there are chronic problems with "experts" being ignored even when they give very sound and clear advice. It seems all too plausible that, in some cases, the pros have simply been cowed in one way or another into keeping silent. Maybe it's not the case here, but that's the question that needs to be asked.</p> <p>David N. Brown</p> <p>Mesa, Arizona</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205937&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="awd1Vxxtgp4wsFdAcg8vVFT_CFd4ZiYaf6CJxh6166o"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">David N. Brown (not verified)</span> on 25 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205937">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205938" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351168489"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>I have a strong suspicion that this was done to draw attention away from either poor or unenforced building standards.</i></p> <p>Not to mention local officials who regularly pressure experts to minimize threats in order to avoid "panic." That was, in fact, the reason those scientists did what they were convicted of doing: responding to a panic caused by someone else warning of an earthquake and even setting a date (no word AFAIK on whether that prediction was accurate). That warning set off a panic and at least a few people running away, so the local government took action to soothe the people and reassure everyone that predictions like that can't be trusted. So if anyone deserves to go to jail, it's the local government (and of course the builders who built such crappy structures), not the scientists.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205938&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="yo9Tpf3m1J4MtU0bvF3xQlLXeNELNx3_5j_2UglVWCI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Raging Bee (not verified)</span> on 25 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205938">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205939" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351168699"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>...but in fact, they were sentenced for *predicting*, namely low probabilities, on grounds of no more than their gut feelings.</i></p> <p>Citation needed.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205939&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="qxuXAC0EcFMz7tDKbjeHPJ-O0fu3rCkuRuimKFm7fvA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Raging Bee (not verified)</span> on 25 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205939">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205940" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351188553"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>…but in fact, they were sentenced for *predicting*, namely low probabilities, on grounds of no more than their gut feelings.</i></p> <p>...that, and several centuries of records and the science of statistics. You know, science.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205940&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="jN-wVd75xqT3X7N_oGjpuqXXV4vtXiSPvY0UW23mRDg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">idlemind (not verified)</span> on 25 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205940">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205941" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351195755"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Two points, one having been made by someone else in passing:</p> <p>There is a reason that the Anglo-American countries have held onto the right to trial by jury. The fact that judges become hardened and a bit cynical after a while, not to mention friendly with political and law enforcement authorities, is nothing new. Imagine if all the trial judges were like Scalia, and there were no juries? </p> <p>Second, the idea that failure to be a competent scientist or even to do one's best should be a crime is a little weird from the Anglo-American perspective. Suppose one or more of these scientists was a bit overly flippant, or didn't take the matter as seriously as hindsight demands? So what? Does Italian law require that scientists also be seers? I own a hand calculator, but not a crystal ball.</p> <p>Afterward: One commenter points out to me that the west coast of the US does not have buildings from 300 years ago, and this is one reason we withstand earthquakes better. This is of course entirely true. That does not mean that European governments shouldn't think carefully about seismic retrofitting, upgrading building codes, and (this is the hard part) developing an effective and honest system of building inspection. Perhaps the Italians should think about a 20 or 40 year plan to upgrade habitations. Considering that Italy is home to some of the finest architects (and educators of architects) in the world, it may even be possible for Italy to review and flag some of their artistically and historically important buildings, churches, etc, and figure out how to protect most of the people most of the time.</p> <p>Shorter version: I was walking around the top rows of the Roman era amphitheater in Verona about 10 years ago, looking out at buildings nearby. I can remember looking at one old building that obviously housed a large number of people, and saying to myself, "Wouldn't withstand a 6.5." I didn't know about Italy including seismically active areas at that time.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205941&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Pt-tiuDOOPBg_tiufgRxmt4yHseN0sL0Uzp1hTiv_Pk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Bob G (not verified)</span> on 25 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205941">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205942" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351197658"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Bob G:<br /></p><blockquote>Afterward: One commenter points out to me that the west coast of the US does not have buildings from 300 years ago, and this is one reason we withstand earthquakes better.</blockquote> <p>Japan has buildings that are several centuries old. They are mostly made of wood, and include some interesting designs for quake resistance. Though some were not successful, and there has been retrofitting. (going one an exhibit I saw at a science museum, and <a href="http://factsanddetails.com/japan.php?itemid=687&amp;catid=20&amp;subcatid=129">this</a>)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205942&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="qSnnNHX5YC_vOd1lp6Pfs4TItiCJ0yeQ1fQBOsvbSpM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chris (not verified)</span> on 25 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205942">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205943" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351208307"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Three thoughts:</p> <p>1. Playing devil's advocate I can see that there are occasions when people would be at fault... such as government officials not issuing warnings in time despite having the means/information to do so. I'm not sure criminal conviction would be right even in this case, but I could understand why people would want some sort of action taken.<br /> 2. This seems like the government trying to use their scientists as scapegoats for not having better warning systems in place (granted that's difficult to do) and/or better earthquake-resistant housing. Given their history with the town being destroyed numerous times, you'd think the architecture would be better; and you'd think the government would have a perfect excuse to try and avoid blame if the victims' families came knocking.<br /> 3. This is not good for science. And I feel incredibly sorry for those convicted.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205943&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="LHSADblBhhtWPvG1KkOv7gh7PKF3H6L7KixvXeCk7Jo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">flip (not verified)</span> on 25 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205943">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205944" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351239043"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Chris: Thanks. That is very interesting. I would add that perhaps the difference lies in being able to learn from human mistakes and natural disasters. We have the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Kobe, and Oakland as lessons, and we continue to learn and to change our construction patterns. I remember reading that the mid-20th century california single-family home is fairly earthquake resistant because it is flexible, being of wood frame construction. This seems analogous to the japanese concept, although the two systems may simply be convergent evolution.</p> <p>After the 1994 earthquake, there was a flurry of retrofitting which largely involved making sure that the frame of the house was strongly connected to the foundation -- this consisted simply of making sure that the frame was bolted down and couldn't slide off the concrete blocks that pass for a foundation in southern California.</p> <p>There is one other point. If I am reading the stories correctly, major earthquakes seem to be spread out over 300 year intervals in Europe, particularly in the Aquila region. The Pacific rim countries see lots of earthquakes, ranging from the small day-to-day tremors of magnitude 2 or 3, and fairly strong quakes of 6 and higher fairly often. The attitude of the authorities is quite different too -- we are always being warned to be prepared (have an earthquake kit, pharmaceuticals, pet supplies, etc) -- and they use the term "the big one" to refer to the anticipated major quake along the San Andreas fault. In other words, the word from the USGS, from local governments, and from the universities is that we can't predict the exact day and time, but the populace should understand that it could happen at any moment.</p> <p>That being said, I can remember a recent flurry of small quakes in southern California and the official response. We were told that there was a small probability that these shocks were a precursor to a larger quake, but that there was a higher probability that they were not. In other words, Cal Tech and the USGS used language that was not appreciably different from what these Italian scientists (now convicts) are reported to have said.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205944&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="3EDnQF9prMoHPKgb5aGhgliRPeuO8F5TliI6MkUYBx8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Bob G (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205944">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205945" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351240462"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I feel we must be missing something in translation here, because there is no way that "manslaughter" is an appropriate charge even if you were to accept that the scientists had understated the risk of an earthquake. Certainly nobody could ratoinally claim that the scientists were hiding their knowledge of a earthquake that was definitely going to happen.</p> <p>And another thing...<br /> David N Brown wrote:<br /> Then there was an account I heard of a warning system for the area around Vesuvius, the same volcano that killed Pompeii: When a warning is issued, so I was tole, most of the people just stayed put, evidently mainly because looters were moving in as soon as evacuations occurred.<br /> This highlights another problem. Evacuation, or other actions defending against a threat, are not without risks either. These risks are much less subject to probabilities, given that we are now talking about a statistical mass of people (and sometimes those real-but-intangibles like "economy" and "community") that will really experience some measure of suffering. So evacuation (for example) at 100% probability has costs that need to be measured against an earthquake at 2% probability.</p> <p>And of course the building codes - which should have been able to protect practically all those killed and injured in this only-moderately-severe earthquake - have already been mentioned. Those too have costs, but also typically benefits beyond mere earthquake resilience.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205945&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="jZ43pPMKEHwT4crzEGdfZs_HD8xR7jRoLZ5y696cXm0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Joffan (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205945">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205946" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351244214"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>I do feel obligated to dispense with a straw man version of the verdict that I’ve seen floating around the Internet. That is the claim that scientists were convicted for having failed to predict the earthquake. This is clearly not the case, as far as I can tell.</p></blockquote> <p>I don't believe it is a straw-man version of the verdict, to say that they were convicted for failure to predict the quake. Saying, instead, that they were convicted for making statements that were too reassuring is, in this case, a distinction without a difference.</p> <p>The court has taken issue with the scientists’ “reassuring” statements, such as the low probability that the swarm of minor quakes heralds a major quake, or that the swarm is not by itself reason to evacuate the town. But those statements are 100% accurate and reflect the best advice that the science could have given. The reason the court has taken issue with the statements is because the court believes that the advice given was bad advice. And the court believes it was bad advice only because an earthquake did in fact occur. In other words, it was bad advice only because the scientists failed to predict the quake.</p> <p>Another way of looking at it: in hindsight, what action would the scientists had to have taken in order to avoid this conviction? It seems the only way to avoid the conviction would have been to have stated something like, “These swarms represent an unacceptably high risk of an impending major quake. Prudent residents should evacuate the town immediately.” However, without the ability to accurately predict quakes, the scientists would never be able to make such statements without lying.</p> <p>The court’s and prosecutions’ long-winded arguments insisting that this isn’t about a failure to predict the earthquake are unconvincing. The scientists were convicted for failure to predict the quake (or for failure to lie and exaggerate the risks).</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205946&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="iV_YDXIfTTW83pCiITNEh3uRHCk6JTEHY5h1hWnvQ8g"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dandover (not verified)</span> on 26 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205946">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205947" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351410735"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>welp, i hope they weren't interested in being able to have any warning on any future earthquakes, ever. period. after all, why in the world would any sane, right-minded scientists ever work for them again? maybe they can get a dog that can predict earthquakes? i heard that was a thing. and then when that fails they can send the dog to prison, too.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205947&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="KXADoEsaEnu3jNGTTfBQxjkdpXFPX71TQ7MFD5M4YuI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">solarspace (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205947">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205948" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351479026"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>@mu: <i>the buildings in that region of Italy are not “reinforceable”</i></p> <p>Sadly, modern buildings (i.e., from the sixties and seventies) collapsed and killed many people; among them were a hospital, a large students' dorm, a fancy four star hotel. Italy, like Japan and for the same reason, has laws about building in a quake-resistant way; such laws, like so many others, are systematically ignored.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205948&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="jmUwu7qDPeCAGg9XH_kLSeg83YyfDhixO4oQB3jDY08"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">damigiana (not verified)</span> on 28 Oct 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205948">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1205949" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1351887974"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>A minor quibble: I don't write for Skeptic mag, I write for my own site Doubtfulnews.com </p> <p>Skeptic syndicates our site as it is noted there, just duplicating the posts, they have NOTHING to do with the content. So, since we are always trying to get new eyeballs, a link to the original site is appreciated. Thanks.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1205949&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="LzdNf-Aras-wCqd92J-YvidZ1a8jVO_1foKCBAK3tVA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sharon Hill (not verified)</span> on 02 Nov 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1205949">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/insolence/2012/10/24/criminalizing-scientific-mistakes%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Wed, 24 Oct 2012 01:08:47 +0000 oracknows 21372 at https://scienceblogs.com Who felt the earthquake? https://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2012/02/22/who-felt-the-earthquake <span>Who felt the earthquake?</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><iframe width="500" height="284" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2J5dYXsIDC4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a></span> <span>Wed, 02/22/2012 - 03:35</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/uncategorized" hreflang="en">Uncategorized</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/earthquake" hreflang="en">earthquake</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/new-madrid-fault" hreflang="en">new madrid fault</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1444198" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1329903830"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Obviously the earthquake is due to the very religious who live in the region. God wanted it to happen, but it is a warning to turn secular or the big one is coming. ;)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1444198&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="xusGPkP9Oxh9nxLuxWjl1_4uN-JkZWwzyFe5SKyUYvU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">NewEnglandBob (not verified)</span> on 22 Feb 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1444198">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1444199" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1329908830"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Maybe it's Gawd's punishment for all the ignorant rednecks in the region who claim that hurricanes are Gawd's punishment for gays.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1444199&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Dg8nesRBbvx5n2YazLouE50RjB6hMVz3K81UIvI0Jno"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Artor (not verified)</span> on 22 Feb 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1444199">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1444200" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1329910907"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Amazing how the earthquake permanently shifted the entire state of Indiana a couple hundred miles to the west.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1444200&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="aiPdmgIVuZNfqU74WSGr_UrwJgThvuhj4pkvRs939bg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Emory K. (not verified)</span> on 22 Feb 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1444200">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1444201" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1329940027"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I think the quake shifted Oklahoma 300 years into the past.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1444201&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="wmMYSEuBncjs8VDfu0lh6477Gj99-F8ndakt6m0npsE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://divineafflatus.blogspot.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">mark (not verified)</a> on 22 Feb 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1444201">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/gregladen/2012/02/22/who-felt-the-earthquake%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Wed, 22 Feb 2012 08:35:05 +0000 gregladen 31512 at https://scienceblogs.com Two years post-earthquake, Haiti still struggles with cholera https://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2012/01/12/two-years-post-earthquake-hait <span>Two years post-earthquake, Haiti still struggles with cholera</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Two years ago, a 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, killing 300,000 Haitians and leaving 1.5 million homeless. Nine months later, a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/10/health/haitian-cholera-epidemic-traced-to-first-known-victim.html?scp=2&amp;sq=cholera&amp;st=cse">cholera epidemic began</a> -- its first victim a 28-year-old man who bathed in and drank from a river that was likely contaminated by raw sewage from an encampment of UN peacekeepers from Nepal. <a href="http://www.voanews.com/english/news/health/Health-Officials-Seek-Support-to-Stamp-Out-Cholera-in-Haiti-137148128.html">Half a million people have been stricken by cholera</a> since then, and 7,000 have died. New cases are being reported at a rate of roughly 200 per day.</p> <p>Cholera is also spreading in the Dominican Republic, which shaires the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. Officials from CDC, UNICEF, and the Pan-American Health organization have pledged to join the two countries' governments to eradicate the disease from the island by <a href="http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/01/11/haiti-cholera-usa-idINDEE80A0IF20120111">investing in clean water and sanitation</a>. Their amibitious goal is to reach two-thirds of the Haitian population by 2015, at an estimated cost of $1.1 billion.</p> <p><a href="http://www.voanews.com/english/news/health/Health-Officials-Seek-Support-to-Stamp-Out-Cholera-in-Haiti-137148128.html">Vindushi Sinha of Voice of America</a> notes that cholera is not the only disease afflicting Haitians who lack sufficient access to clean water and sanitation: More than one million Haitian children under age five are killed by diarrheal diseases every year. </p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/lborkowski" lang="" about="/author/lborkowski" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">lborkowski</a></span> <span>Thu, 01/12/2012 - 09:02</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/infectious-diseases" hreflang="en">infectious diseases</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/water" hreflang="en">water</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/cholera" hreflang="en">cholera</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/earthquake" hreflang="en">earthquake</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/haiti" hreflang="en">Haiti</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/sanitation" hreflang="en">sanitation</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/water" hreflang="en">water</a></div> </div> </div> <section> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/thepumphandle/2012/01/12/two-years-post-earthquake-hait%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Thu, 12 Jan 2012 14:02:47 +0000 lborkowski 61463 at https://scienceblogs.com OK Earthquake 2011 https://scienceblogs.com/erv/2011/11/07/ok-earthquake-2011 <span>OK Earthquake 2011</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>We get little earthquakes all the time in OK. This is my usual reaction:<br /></p><blockquote>Department mates running into the hallway: OMFG WHAT WAS THAT???<br /> Me: Wat?<br /> Department mates: HOLY CRAP THAT WAS AN EARTHQUAKE!!<br /> Me: ... I didnt feel anything... ... ... Thats what she said.</blockquote> <p>But this Saturday we had the strongest quake in OK history:<br /></p><blockquote><a href="http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/usb0006klz.php#details">Magnitude 5.6 - OKLAHOMA<br /> 2011 November 06 03:53:10 UTC</a></blockquote> <p>This was my reaction this time:<br /></p><blockquote>Me in bed watching TV<br /> *earthquake*<br /> Me closing my eyes and holding my breath until its over, silently hoping it is an earthquake and not something worse.<br /> Arnie making a bee-line for the bedroom, dive-bombing into bed, and hiding under the covers with me.</blockquote> <p>I imagine my face looked like this:</p> <iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/D5idJmdag50" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>BUT, everything is fine. Some of my friends got a few cracks in the walls of their houses/apts, but everyone is okay.</p> <p>My friend <a href="http://www.dougschwarzphotography.moonfruit.com/">Doug Schwarz</a> (who recorded and uploaded <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2009/04/abbie_vs_charles_jackson.php">my 'debate' with Charles Jackson</a> a while back?) summarized the event thusly:<br /><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dougwantsrevenge/6317428638/" title="Oklahoma Quake poster by Doug Schwarz, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6055/6317428638_7b2518f76c.jpg" width="500" height="400" alt="Oklahoma Quake poster" /></a></p> <p>More lulz-- We had one Saturday morning too (didnt feel a thing... ... ... thats what she said). This inspired some nut to declare <a href="http://www.goddiscussion.com/84207/earthquakes-in-diverse-places-pastor-says-oklahoma-earthquake-is-sign-of-the-end-times-2/">earthquakes in OK were a sign of The End Times</a>. Considering another event some would have said was impossible happened Saturday (I road a motorcycle), I actually agree with him. End times. END TIMES!!!!</p> <iframe width="480" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/O49c5xwp1wE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Remember folks, religion is liek, TOTALLY elegant.</p> <p>And then there is this-- Video of the earthquake... <a href="http://www.news9.com/story/15970858/paranormal-researches-catch-earthquake-on-camera">captured by paranormal instigators</a>:</p> <iframe width="480" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/CUFP5PrYEi0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><iframe width="480" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/EBkNQnIvTSQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>No ghosts. Only a stupid earthquake. **YAAAAAAWN!!!** BORING!!!</p> <p><strong>EDIT 9.45 PM--</strong></p> <p>Well, we just had another one:<br /></p><blockquote><a href="http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsus/Quakes/usb0006lpf.php">Magnitude 4.7 - OKLAHOMA2011 November 08 02:46:57 UTC </a></blockquote> <p>I didnt feel it. So, we have established that they have to be pretty big for me to feel them.</p> <p>... ... ... Thats what she said.</p> <p>I was speaking with a guy friend at the time, though, and he did feel it. Leave it to a guy to think a small one is big.</p> <p>... ... ... Thats what she said.</p> <p>*blink*</p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/erv" lang="" about="/erv" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sa smith</a></span> <span>Mon, 11/07/2011 - 06:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/general-science" hreflang="en">General Science</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/personal" hreflang="en">personal</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/earthquake" hreflang="en">earthquake</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1748724" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1320665334"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I'm not THE Bubba Fernandez, but that's probably the funniest name ever.</p> <p>I've lived in OK (Tulsa thereabouts) for a few decades now and I can say I've never once actually felt an earthquake here. Common knowledge (whatever that's worth) is that OK doesn't "get" earthquakes. I certainly thought as much, considering the one a few days ago as strange as a tornado ripping through Hollywood. I guess there's lots of "little" quakes but I imagine most of them only show up on highly sensitive equipment. Not this one, I felt that sucker. I actually thought it was a huge burst of wind at first, because again, I never think "earthquake" when something shakes. Maybe the ones you can actually feel happen more often in OKC?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1748724&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="OYXZBsY320zsYa0EWAbnEbL6LYwcQz50J7jbHKlQrQk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Bubba Fernandez (not verified)</span> on 07 Nov 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1748724">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1748725" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1320665897"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This guy is the best:</p> <p><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVXjK0jMeWY&amp;feature=player_embedded">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVXjK0jMeWY&amp;feature=player_embedded</a></p> <p>I was in the bath tub. </p> <p>My only reaction was to roll my eyes and think "Oh great. Dead, wet and naked under several tons of brick and busted two by fours."</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1748725&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="JbBB8qv02wC-Q8AeGxAROHFPzDCkpG4G_JWlJTAihm4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Prometheus (not verified)</span> on 07 Nov 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1748725">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1748726" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1320673353"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>At least it was not a tornado, right? As a native Alabamian, I have been through one earthquake, which was something like a 4.9 or another. I slept through the damn thing. I imagine my response to one would be much like the guy in the video above me.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1748726&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="RcfrmTwx-CVGss9vJRX_zL8ijYTKobc-n8dOyHKNwwY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Daniel Kolle (not verified)</span> on 07 Nov 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1748726">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1748727" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1320681284"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The one that hit Illinois a few years ago also had me thinking "tornado!" I'm only used to hearing building rattles and creaks from high winds. Which is still our bigger risk out here; use wind-resistant construction and build tornado saferooms, folks!</p> <p>I hope Arnie wasn't rattled for long.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1748727&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ssj4rgwAIglBZWbIhZ3IR1ZazuEL7QnAsS6SkCS-Ww8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jaranath (not verified)</span> on 07 Nov 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1748727">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1748728" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1320685336"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>It isn't that only the west coast gets earthquakes; we just get LOTS of them, and everybody else only gets a few. That's "few" on a geologic time scale, not a human scale. Don't doubt that you don't have lots of faults; it's just that they aren't inspired to move very often.</p> <p>Killer quakes (which a 5.6 is not) are <i>possible</i> away from the west coast. They're <i>inevitable</i> on the west coast.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1748728&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="tLuMg2jIQ8-1taGhCRCRMHIQODiMWJgOByoSl4gHxNc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Karen (not verified)</span> on 07 Nov 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1748728">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1748729" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1320702249"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Abbie, sorry I was trying to rock your world. That new lipstick drove me crazy!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1748729&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="CZZPNygecdVzQP-3lrIHbz3jjBPBixb1-N6n_IlKoTA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.jetlagandgaming.com/forum" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Justicar (not verified)</a> on 07 Nov 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1748729">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1748730" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1320729779"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Any ideas on the PGAs? (I.e. idea of what the shaking was like)</p> <p>Christchurch is my hometown. Don't live there now, but I was near the centre of the Boxing Day aftershock so I've a bit of an idea. That was on the smaller end of the bigger aftershocks they've had, but it still ripped all the ceiling lighting out of the shop I was in.</p> <p>At least Arnie didn't go walkabout. That has apparently been one of the themes of the atershocks in Christchurch - some pets, some dogs in particular, seem to take off and take a while to return home.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1748730&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="QOwgB4K77gGNpsJy3EtXAga-GqvT6zDMFHVpda3Ulj0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Grant (not verified)</a> on 08 Nov 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1748730">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1748731" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1320749605"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Big, scary, "dangerous breed" dog hiding under the covers, hehehehe.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1748731&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Fsmy-lIxsOpSKt5nMmSI9JfI22-XdG2BjQMJ2Wu_vNY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Erk (not verified)</span> on 08 Nov 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1748731">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1748732" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1320752037"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Glad you survived. We had a little earthquake (m4.6) here in North GA about eight years ago, which was a first for pretty much everybody. I was very interested in the way people reacted to it, and noticed a distinct difference between males and females - males tended to notice it and be frightened by it, while females mostly slept through it (happened about 5:00 am local time) - I hope I am not making a "sexist" observation. It scared the heck out of me, with my entire house making popping and creaking sounds and my bed (which I was laying in) sliding around a little.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1748732&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="eUxvk_WcC-69TRyuU2V_lE32DdKTi5cJWuIfFoV6C3k"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">peter (not verified)</span> on 08 Nov 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1748732">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1748733" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1320773042"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Abbie might want to consider what Tori Amos was talking about when she named her first solo album "Little Earthquakes".</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1748733&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="b5cV28Mi6d3dZINlzET6krHu9bllh10gPoqiJwy-eK0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://ucsd.edu" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">EvilYeti (not verified)</a> on 08 Nov 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1748733">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1748734" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1320782267"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>So, what youre saying is ERV wont need no c-section.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1748734&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="IgoL8jfQ-NJwizcYMRDZuAWZfbvAW5udaqfw1d7esF0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">William Wallace (not verified)</span> on 08 Nov 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1748734">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/erv/2011/11/07/ok-earthquake-2011%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Mon, 07 Nov 2011 11:00:10 +0000 sa smith 51677 at https://scienceblogs.com Fuk-D: what happened to the reactors? https://scienceblogs.com/catdynamics/2011/03/21/fuk-d-what-happened-to-the-rea <span>Fuk-D: what happened to the reactors?</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>It will probably be some years before we get the full story of what happened at the Fukushima Daiichi reactor complex after the earthquake.<br /> Information has not exactly been put out coherently or comprehensively, but we can make some inferences from the data that is out there.</p> <p>It is likely that one or two reactor vessels were breached with release of fuel and radioactive ash into the containment vessel.</p> <!--more--><p> There are a lot of nuclear agencies in Japan:<br /> the <a href="http://www.jaea.go.jp/english/">JAEA - Japan Atomic Energy Agency</a> - whose <a href="http://www.jaea.go.jp/english/misc/online-info.shtml">online environmental radiation monitors are now online</a> (Oarai is the interesting one, between Fukushima and Tokyo)<br /><a href="http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/index-e.html">Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)</a> with its minimalist press releases<br /><a href="http://www.nisa.meti.go.jp/english/">NISA - Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency</a> - I don't know what they do. They have a press release saying TEPCO found Iodine and Cesium radioisotopes at Fuk-D - well, duh (ok, they include actual quantitative info on concentrations).</p> <p><a href="http://www.jaif.or.jp/english/index.php">JAIF - Japan Atomic Industrial Forum</a> - they have actual hard information, in particular, their daily status report includes timelines of reactor events, and pressure, temperature and water levels for the reactors. </p> <p>Just to recap: there are six Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) at <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_I_Nuclear_Power_Plant">Fukushima Daiichi</a>.<br /><a href="www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/te_1181_prn.pdf">Useful IAEA document on BWRs (pdf)</a> - 1-5 are Mark I reactors (old and crude) the 6th is a Mark II I believe.<br /> The reactors use Low Enriched Uranium, at 2-3% enrichment, except reactor 3 which has some plutonium oxide (mixed oxide fuel) mixed in. The fuel is in oxide pellets inside zirconium fuel rods.<br /> Each rod is a little over 3 m long and the core is assembled as a grid of these rods held vertically, with support structure and control rods in between, and water coolant and moderator circulating through the grid of rods.</p> <p>The magnitude 9 earthquake caused a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_I_nuclear_accidents">bit of an accident</a>, as you know.</p> <p>Three of the reactors: 4,5 and 5, were offline for scheduled refueling.<br /> The operating reactors were scram'd when earthquake warning was given and started shutdown.<br /> The ensuing tsunami wiped out a lot of the plant infrastructure, including electrical switching rooms and generators, but not the reactors or containment buildings.<br /> The recovery has been brutal, the workers heroic, and the management not.</p> <p>Who is in charge of the Fukushima-Daiichi site?<br /> Anyone know? Engineer? Manager?<br /> No, I don't know either...</p> <p>However, with power out and rapid successive failure of power the primary cooling circulation in the reactors shut down.<br /> Boiling Water Reactors of this generation rely on active circulating of water, the core boils water from the pool it is embedded in, and the overpressured steam goes to condensers which drives the electricity generating turbines, and the cool water returns to the reactor vessel. Later designs can stay cool using passive circulation, but these need several MWe turbopumps to keep the primary coolant circulating.</p> <p>The cores stay hot, initially due to residual fission, and just pure heat capacity, each core is a few hundred tons of fuel, cladding and control rods. </p> <p>So this is where the problem began.</p> <p>The hot reactor core boils the water, the water level drops exposing the tops of the fuel rods, reducing cooling.<br /> If the rods get hot enough, the zirconium cladding oxidises: Zr + 2 H<sub>2</sub>O -&gt; ZrO<sub>2</sub> + 2 H<sub>2</sub><br /> This is an exothermic reaction, which increases the heating of the rods which can accelerate the oxidation.<br /> ZrO<sub>2</sub> does not have the structural properties of zirconium metal, so the fuel rod cladding integrity is compromised, and the fuel rods can crack or split spilling fuel.</p> <p>The steam, and any hydroen generated, raises the pressure in the (airtight) reactor vessel.<br /> Excess pressure in the reactor is bad, and the pressure is measured.<br /> So, if the pressure gets too high it is vented into the containment building.<br /> The reactor vessels is a steel flask, it is vented into a water torus inside a massive concrete and steel containment vessel, surrounded by a secondary containment building.<br /> The roof and top two floors of the outer building are deliberately flimsy with "blowout panels", so any explosion is vented.<br /> The reactor vessel atmosphere should have no oxygen; the containment usually is low oxygen air; the outer building normal atmosphere.</p> <p>Now, when the steam is vented any hydrogen generated is also released.<br /> Hydrogen detonates in air over a very wide range of non-stoichiometric mixing ratios with a fast shock.</p> <p><b>Boom.</b><br /> That is what happened to reactor 1 - it was vented, hydrogen had been generated and promptly detonated.<br /> Now, these are big buildings, it take some explosion to knock out the top floor panels.<br /> Certainly tens of kg of H<sub>2</sub>, if not more.<br /> That hydrogen must have come from fuel rod cladding oxidation.<br /> Many tons of fuel rod cladding must have been oxidised, so we conclude that significant fraction of the fuel rods are damaged and possible spilling fuel.<br /> The fuel rod cracking also releases the highly radioactive ash inside the fuel rods, including short and medium halflife isotopes.</p> <p>Now, IF fuel pellets fall to the bottom of the reactor, or the fuel rods became hot enough to melt and slump, THEN it is possible for a compact lump of fuel to form within the reactor within the residual water, and it may start fission reactions again, heating up.<br /> That is bad.<br /> In particular core melt can breach the reactor vessel causing molten core material to fall into the containment well - this is concrete/sand/steel/concrete layers, very thick, and it ought to hold most of the core indefinitely.</p> <p>This did NOT happen to reactor 1: we know this because the reactor vessel in reactor 1 is holding its internal pressure. The water level is low but the core must have cooled down and is stable.<br /> This was probably ensured by the dumping of boron and seawater (because they were out of fresh water) into the reactor.<br /> The reactor is trashed, but probably won't do anything more.</p> <p>Reactor 3 also had a hydrogen explosion: a bigger one, later, after steam venting.<br /> So we infer its fuel rods also oxidised and its core is damaged.<br /> The reactor vessel was holding its pressure, but with the fuel rods exposed, until march 20th when the reactor vessel pressure apparently dropped to ambient (or the gauge broke). The water level stayed about 2m below where it should be, and radiation levels around reactor 3 are high.</p> <p>This suggests, strongly but indirectly, that the reactor vessel is breached - probably a crack about halfway down the core, basically where the water level is stuck.<br /> If I understand the relative pressure measurements - they are relative, not absolute, relative to what is moderately important.<br /> This suggests that some fuel may have escaped into the containment well, and the reactor may still be undergoing partial fission.</p> <p>Now, reactor 2 also had an explosion, but it was not a hydrogen explosion at the top of the building; it was apparently a steam explosion from the water torus vent - that suggests massive overpressure in the reactor vessel driving a "steam hammer" into the torus with a shock erupting into the containment building.<br /> The reactor has been stuck with a low water level, almost 2m below nominal, and the reactor vessel has been persistently unpressured.</p> <p>Reactor 2 almost certainly has a cracked reactor vessel; it is possible the explosion was due to hot melted core material and water falling into the drywell and a lot of water flash vapourizing. Or not, but something damaged the suppression pools outside the vents.</p> <p>So: it seems likely, to me as physicist working from incomplete and mildly incoherent information that one or two of the reactor vessels have breached and released fuel and ash.</p> <p>Is there ongoing fission in molten bits of the core.<br /> I had thought not, until I read the handy-dandy press release from NISA on TEPCO measurment of radionuclides at the plant.<br /> They find I-132 and I-133 on March 19th.<br /> Those isotopes are short lived - hours, not days - and they are fissile products.<br /> If there is any significant amount of them at the plant a week+ after shutdown, then I start thinking there must be an ongoing source of these isotopes.<br /> Finding other, shorter lived fission products, would be the smoking gun.</p> <p>Of course, these may come from the spent fuel ponds, not breached reactors.<br /> I'd love to know if they are seeing <sup>16</sup>N around either reactor.<br /> It comes from an (n,p) reaction on <sup>16</sup>O and has halflife of seconds, so is only there is there is active neutron flux and a current leak...</p> <p>The fuel ponds are a separate issue - reactor 4 is a mess because they just unloaded a quarter of a core into the spent fuel pond - the fuel ponds are there next to the reactor in open concrete pools, you need them to have some place to put the hot spent rods when you lift them out of the core, but they're not supposed to stay there indefinitely!<br /> Unless you have no other place to put them.</p> <p>The spent fuel ponds actually hold more radioisotope inventory than the cores, and they are hot. If the water drains out, like if explosions cracked the concrete pools, or if it just evaporates, the fuel rod cladding can burn releasing the fuel and ash. In principle melted spend fuel rods could also reach a geometry where they go critical and fission resumes, except this would be open air fission, not inside containment.</p> <p>++Ungood.<br /> Which is why there is so much focus on keeping the spent fuel pools cool and not on fire.<br /> The older reactors have several cycles of spent fuel rods - up to 4 core loads!<br /> Those rods need to be moved out to some stable less crowded storage, but the explosions destroyed the cranes and gantries.</p> <p>How much radioactive material is there?<br /> Well, if dispersed uniformly, enough to make of order 10,000 km<sup>2</sup> uninhabitable.<br /> For real, not at the arbitarily way low standard safety limits for radiation doses.</p> <p>Fortunately the inventory will not be spread uniformly, but mostly be clumped.<br /> There is still the potential for massive radiation release, still, with a significant area closed to habitation and a larger area being unable to produce consumable agricultural products.</p> <p>Radiation traces will also show up in manufacture, mostly at a harmless but scary level.<br /> Any alpha emitters spread around could trash japanese manufacture of bleeding edge electronics - high density chips don't like hot spots on them.</p> <p>This is going to be a mess.<br /> But, hopefully just a mess, not a mass casualty event or panicked mass evacuations.</p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/catdynamics" lang="" about="/author/catdynamics" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">catdynamics</a></span> <span>Mon, 03/21/2011 - 17:54</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/politics" hreflang="en">Politics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/science" hreflang="en">Science</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/accident" hreflang="en">accident</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/earthquake" hreflang="en">earthquake</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/fukushima" hreflang="en">Fukushima</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/japan-0" hreflang="en">japan</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/radiation" hreflang="en">radiation</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/reactor" hreflang="en">reactor</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Categories</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/channel/environment" hreflang="en">Environment</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894787" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300757063"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>So to recap: Fuk-D is hot and wet, but not wet enough which can be dangerous. They need to pull out the rods. Problem is after they pull out they don't want their rod touching older rods for fear their rod may get hot and that'd be gay. And to top it all off the box that their rod is currently stuck in is a big gas filled contaminated hole. Never thought so many people would be pulling for a cold Fuk-D over a hot one.</p> <p>Well written post. Loaded with good info and your acknowledgement(s) of uncertainties was most welcomed. Most writers posting on this topic seem to convey a high degree of certainty concerning the accuracy of their content.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894787&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Dqgxzj8xaE_U1h0A0Hkszul63Rs3O5PfJxxFL5gWpEE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Toejam (not verified)</span> on 21 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894787">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894788" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300771312"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"Now, IF fuel pellets fall to the bottom of the reactor, or the fuel rods became hot enough to melt and slump, THEN it is possible for a compact lump of fuel to form within the reactor within the residual water, and it may start fission reactions again, heating up."</p> <p>There's a great discussion on atominfo.ru site (<a href="http://forum.atominfo.ru/index.php?showtopic=575&amp;st=120">http://forum.atominfo.ru/index.php?showtopic=575&amp;st=120</a> - for those who can read Russian). And it seems that the molten corium can't become critical that way, as there's no moderator inside the molten lump.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894788&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="9OpqFbzNpvxFJJ_ElUHYQ7MtbjuqRMvND0xY3z6u2O4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Alex Besogonov (not verified)</span> on 22 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894788">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894789" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300804523"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Thank you for the very good post, and as a previous commenter noted, thank you for the uncertainty estimates.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894789&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="h3Vte5zDFf-1g3gEeOe-ggoLFpEHsTAH82Io3cmagg0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="Eccentric and Anomalous">Eccentric and … (not verified)</span> on 22 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894789">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894790" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300848103"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Loved the info. Thanks.</p> <p>I wanted to point out that this is incorrect:</p> <p>"JAIF - Japan Atomic Industrial Forum - they have actual hard information, in particular, their daily status report includes timelines of reactor events, and pressure, temperature and water levels for the reactors." </p> <p>I hear everyone screaming for the temperature, but they leave that out. It's all we need to know to know the level of the problem.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894790&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="kepzUVdb8ctemhicwYCoIg3_19JKPBjACbJwNUmYG58"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dave (not verified)</span> on 22 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894790">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894791" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300918900"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>@Dave - yeah the JAIF site has some temperature info for the spent fuel pools, but not the reactor vessels, and they have that info for at least some of the reactors.<br /> The way they are acting they clearly fear there is critical fuel melt in one or more reactor, and I still suspect one or two reactor vessels are cracked, but we won't know until they get cameras in there and/or release the data.</p> <p>@Alex - don't read russian, to my shame.<br /> The "corium", if it slumped need not be homogenous, moderator from control rods can be entrained in it, and it can have bubbles from steam or H2 which allows water to percolate.<br /> They've dumped a lot of boron in those vessels, and been asking for more.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894791&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="hEz1WDG2b2RwEGCAbSEv_2qmxomr1I4I_js-DvOMyII"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://scienceblogs.com/catdynamics" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steinn Sigurdsson (not verified)</a> on 23 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894791">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894792" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1301172234"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I132 is the daughter of Te132 which is a long enough lived fission product that there could still be some around. The levels of Te132 and I132 look suspiciously similar, suggesting the I132 is the daughter of the Te132.</p> <p>Not sure where the I133 is coming from.</p> <p>Ionizing radiation in water produces H2 and H2O2 from radiolysis. The decay heat is a lot more than the oxidation of zirconium. I think most of the H2 is probably from radiolysis. Oxides like ZrO2 strongly catalyze the radiolysis of water (under certain circumstances). In bulk water there are ~0.4 molecules per 100 eV.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894792&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="3bte3UIRIYRWqcoBjdFfleBoArCPj--85ZgQped98ZM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://daedalus2u.blogspot.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">daedalus2u (not verified)</a> on 26 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894792">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/catdynamics/2011/03/21/fuk-d-what-happened-to-the-rea%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Mon, 21 Mar 2011 21:54:01 +0000 catdynamics 66206 at https://scienceblogs.com This is not something you see every day https://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2011/03/19/this-is-not-something-you-see <span>This is not something you see every day</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>One day I was walking along a path dedicated to philosophers in Kyoto, Japan, with my friend Hitomi. It was interesting that there even was a path dedicated to philosophers. It made me think deeply about paths, which at the time was the subject of my PhD Thesis. Suddenly, earning a Doctorate of Philosophy with a specialization in Paths made sense. But that feeling wore off quickly enough when we something rather unusual unexpectedly appeared in the sky. </p> <!--more--><p>First, we heard it. A thump thump thump sound. Then we noticed other people looking up and in one direction, so we looked too. We watched as dozens of helicopters ... maybe fifty or sixty ... forming a ragged, sinuous line passed overhead. There were blue ones in the color of the Japan Self Defense Force and green ones that looked like US military. They were going slowly enough that it took a few minutes for them to pass over, as everyone watched.</p> <p>Over the previous several days, I had been encountering one new thing after another as Hitomi showed me around Inuyama and Kyoto (and later Osaka), and in each case as I would be taking in the novel sight Hitomi would quietly interject, at just the appropriate moment, a caption that perfectly fit the scene. So, as I watched the choppers go buy, I thought about what we were witnessing. It was, as I recall, some sort of local holiday, and New Years was just around the corner. Perhaps this was the annual areal parade. It could have been some sort of regular maneuvers designed to keep the JDF and the US military on the same page. Perhaps it was the monthly flight of some important dignitaries who liked to keep an eye on the philosophers path. In any event, I assumed this was normal and run of the mill, for Japan, for this city, for Hitomi, as was the case with everything else I had seen so far. </p> <p>So when the choppers were out of sight but still audible, I assumed there would be a caption. We continued walking along the path. I waited for the caption. There was no caption. Finally, I said to Hitomi, "What the heck was that?" Her reply: "I have no idea. I've never seen that before."</p> <p>Yet another example of not being able to tell what is normal in an unfamiliar environment unless you either ask or hang around for a while. Central to the ethnographer's methodological conundrum. </p> <p>But today, I imagine that there are millions of Japanese People experiencing the a sense of uncanniness and unrooted discomfort every moment of the day as they observe things that just should not be there. A lack of home, missing members of their families, pets gone (and unfamiliar strays wandering hopelessly by), boats on roads, aircraft in junk heaps, cars piled haphazardly on public gardens, dead fish in bird baths, and the smell. The smell probably evolves, being different every day, with new kinds of rancidness as an unholy mulch breaks down between, beneath, on top of, everything pushed aside by the ocean acting very large next to an island that is actually very small.<br /><img src="http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/wp-content/blogs.dir/472/files/2012/04/i-e01c5662dc9ea1694ac75126d987fc01-japan_photo.jpg" alt="i-e01c5662dc9ea1694ac75126d987fc01-japan_photo.jpg" /><br /> I just glanced through <a href="http://www.life.com/gallery/57741/japan-disaster-most-shocking-pics?xid=weeklytopten#index/0">this</a>, which is one of the more interesting and poignant collections of images from the Tsunami area. It is not what Japan normally looks like, and it is not what Japan looks like in most places today, but it is what Japan looks like to the rest of the world, for now. Very sad. </p> <p>One of the novel things I saw in Japan was at Hitomi's family home. Her home had been badly damaged by a typhoon (though I'm not sure which one) and she, like many others in Osaka, rebuilt their abodes to be typhoon proof. The unique feature that caught my eye (though admittedly not as interesting as <a href="http://quichemoraine.com/2009/05/when-your-field-school-goes-into-the-toilet/">this item, found in the bathroom</a>.) were the window coverings. Each window had an external 'shade' made of metal roll-up sheets. Resembling the wood of a roll-top desk, or the metal covering one might use to seal up a storefront in a bad neighborhood, these covers made the windows of the very sturdily built house impervious to storm level winds. I'm pretty sure that these would even protect against a tornado, up to F-2 or F3, though the coverings themselves might sustain damage. </p> <p>That is not something you would see in the US. Go find homes rebuilt after a tornado or hurricane. They'll be built pretty much in the same way they were built before, plus or minus this or that change in building practice or zoning code. In coastal New England, there are two kinds of post-hurricane or post-nor'easter homes: The kinds that were built about the same as the ones that were destroyed, and the kinds that were never rebuilt because of laws prohibiting rebuilding of homes that fell into the sea. ("That was a bad idea to begin with" laws.)</p> <p>I don't put much stock in comments people make about how the information coming out of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants can cause future nukes to be built more safely. In the US. But in Japan, that just might happen. Japan seems to be a society that is capable of introspection and evolution, very much unlike American society. When I was a kid, my parent's peers scoffed regularly at the Japanese, in their feeble, even child-like efforts to replicate American products. Some of the grownups had been in Japan in the occupation forces. They scoffed in particular at the clones of the use Jeeps that were brought there by the military. They scoffed at the cheap, low quality consumer products coming into the US market. </p> <p>I remember that pretty well but I also remember the day one of our neighbors, who's livlihood was the repair of complicated business machines such as cash registers and all-key calculators, coming over to our family's stoep where we were hanging in the shade of the maples out trying to stay cool one hot August afternoon. He had a white and black plastic squarish thingie with him. It said "Canon" on it, and had buttons. </p> <p>"Look at this," he said. "This is going to put me out of business." It was a desktop Canon electronic calculator. His machine shop, he explained, did not have a single tool that would ever be used to fix something like this if it broke. And, it was cheap enough that one might not bother fixing it. The damn Japanese. They had produced something that was actually pretty nice. How dare they.</p> <p>Several years later I worked on a contract to survey for archaeological sites in a 1960s period suburb, during a time (in the late 1970s) when the US Auto Industry was feeling it's first heat from Japan. The "energy crisis" had made it clear that small and fuel efficient cars were good. The Japanese were, rumor had it, selling cars at below cost (I have no idea if this is true) and more and more Americans were buying them. Toyota, that company that was cloning the jeeps back in the day, was leading the pack and making cars that were better than the American cars. Better, cheaper, more fuel efficient. </p> <p>And in this neighborhood, a group of what I imagine to have been angry white men of a certain age ... former cash register repair men and the like ... had gone from house to house and identified every home that had a Japanese car. They took large chunks of children's' sidewalk chalk and written racist and insulting phrases, sometimes threatening in nature, at the entrance way of each driveway known to serve a Japanese vehicle. The parents, they were, of the next generation of Teabaggers, I have no doubt.</p> <p>All that brought back memories of my childhood, when my over the fence neighbors were a two person Japanese Family. The mom had married a US occupation soldier during the war. They had one kid, and then the father died. So it was just mom and son, both identified as ethnic Japanese even though the kid's father was not Japanese. In those days, boys played "war" and since everyone's dad had been in World War II (or, disgracefully, not) it was the Americans against the Jerries or the Japs. Interestingly, the kids who were German were not required to be the bad guys. But Billy, my over the fence neighbor was. He and I played together and alone quite a bit. We were friends, and we did things together. But when the kids played as a group, he was only occasionally recruited, and was always, eventually, denigrated by the handful of kids who were always that way, who always had the racist remark or the racist joke, and who were, by the way, always the first to strike out with punch or challenge someone to a fight. Teabaggers of the future, I have no doubt. </p> <p>The Japanese don't really need America's Love. They are fine the way they are and are quite independent and in many ways, above or at least way to the side of Western culture and economy. But American attitudes towards the Japanese have historically been embarrassingly immature and stupid. Shameful. There is a lot of hatred and distrust, disdain and racism. Interestingly, most Americans who have had actual interaction with actual Japanese people and who have spent actual time in the country come away with respect and love for the people, their land, and their culture. That has to tell you something. </p> <p>The earthquake-tsunami-nuclear catastrophe in Japan is not something you see every day. But the way the Japanese will eventually deal with it is. It is something you see every day in Japan, and something we can learn from if we allow ourselves as a nation and a culture to see something good and smart rather than sinister or childish when we gaze to the east. </p> <p><strong><em>For more information and essays about the Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Reactor problems in Japan <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2011/03/japan_quake_tsunami_nuke_news_5.php">CLICK HERE</a>. </em> </strong></p> <p><img src="http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/wp-content/blogs.dir/472/files/2012/04/i-af727314bb91def34a44e4261c14ccca-PleaseClickOnThisStuff.jpg" alt="i-af727314bb91def34a44e4261c14ccca-PleaseClickOnThisStuff.jpg" /></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a></span> <span>Sat, 03/19/2011 - 07:36</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/japan-disaster" hreflang="en">Japan Disaster</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/earthquake" hreflang="en">earthquake</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/japan-0" hreflang="en">japan</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/kyoto" hreflang="en">kyoto</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/tsunami" hreflang="en">tsunami</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1433226" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300539886"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>"Japan seems to be a society that is capable of introspection and evolution, very much unlike American society."</i></p> <p><i>"Interestingly, most Americans who have had actual interaction with actual Japanese people and who have spent actual time in the country come away with respect and love for the people, their land, and their culture."</i></p> <p>THIS.</p> <p>The hubs &amp; I were wondering when we could make a trip back. The last time we were in Kyoto, we stayed at a ryokan just up the street from Nanzen-ji &amp; the Philosopher's Path. It was beautiful, and I am glad that circumstances in my life have enabled me to consider myself a Japanophile.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1433226&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="3JSkFZAzLjjFRgVBM-HwbcrAybJzHQNsveM3LAw6Uf0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">RavenOrb (not verified)</span> on 19 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1433226">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1433227" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300540312"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Ignorance beckons disaster and grief. It's not an if but a when. Our time will come and if we are not ready for it, we only have ourselves to blame.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1433227&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="7mYhYCT0uN-POISLfudOLaMfXaoXRtced6u0xXBGkrM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Richard Chapman (not verified)</span> on 19 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1433227">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1433228" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300541297"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>People in general often react with fear and hatred to anyone sufficiently "different" from them. This may be partly genetically coded in us. The question is how can individuals within cultures discourage (or, unfortunately, encourage) this tendency? Leaders have traditionally used this seeming universal tendency to direct attention away from real problems while unifying a political base. This is common for right-wingers (the evil Mexicans are taking away your jobs) as well as left-wingers (the evil Japanese are taking away your jobs).</p> <p>Traditionally the Japanese culture used to be considered one of the more xenophobic around. This supposedly has driven even their recent immigration policies. Are the Japanese as a culture truly more tolerant of others while Americans are truly less tolerant? Could it be that you can just as easily find Japanese people who bear a hatred of Americans?</p> <p>I do know that Japanese culture used to be more concerned with outward appearance than Americans. For example, while there has been some looting in Japan during this crisis (which seems to be another universal trait), the news reports about that are almost never passed along to international media for rebroadcast. Could it be that the Japanese are just as bad as Americans (on average), but simply keep it better hidden? I suppose itâs time to hit the journals and see about studies done along these lines.</p> <p>As for metal roll-up storm shutters, they are somewhat common in the US in Florida at least. Newer models are hidden so well itâs often difficult to see which homes have them and which donât. They are, however, expensive. In a nation where wood is cheap, itâs often far more economical to board up your windows before a big storm.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1433228&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="PbdE6RzKACe1kfnRYSiiT6BcPHd_TCfq5R0mtI0Rcis"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ken (not verified)</span> on 19 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1433228">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1433229" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300541316"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Funny that you should mention "F-2" just after showing a picture of a washed-away F-2. (Really, it just <i>looks</i> like an F-16 - <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_F-2">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_F-2</a>)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1433229&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="-jg86jWQ01Dx7l2fJsplt8sL-KOHqkS5EFTwzeEHLBo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Woof (not verified)</span> on 19 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1433229">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1433230" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300542710"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>Are the Japanese as a culture truly more tolerant of others while Americans are truly less tolerant? </em></p> <p>I did not suggest they were, by the way. All of my Japanese friends, and I have a number and have been quite close to some, are progressive liberal academics. But the culture/society is at some levels fairly xenophobic and unwelcoming, on other levels quite welcoming. </p> <p><em>As for metal roll-up storm shutters, they are somewhat common in the US in Florida at least.</em></p> <p>Good to hear. I'll bet their made in Japan!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1433230&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="qW_tyuf91ZG_dvi_7J8lS9lz8P6sfOOS68nLPU7F1B4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 19 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1433230">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1433231" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300543013"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Woof: I did not know that. That is funny at many levels. OK, let's just say I did that on purpose and I'm really smart and stuff.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1433231&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="HbVEvu1T0x9uwqDIf1Uv9qrVcpPQQAfyp4mksERiaTM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 19 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1433231">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1433232" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300544057"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>Good to hear. I'll bet their made in Japan!</i></p> <p>I'll bet they are made in China. But then again, does that matter?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1433232&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="yPicS4wJkEjVcwVhzr0c9fUeC2qYB935kiRKVdgUkTk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ken (not verified)</span> on 19 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1433232">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1433233" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300544415"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>I did not suggest they were, by the way.</i></p> <p>Sorry. I guess I got confused when every example given was of Americans being jerks in an article contrasting the two cultures.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1433233&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="eKo_xW9tf_H4BXK5UNpSRkR4VBSZn4NzMZbdX_vZSWk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ken (not verified)</span> on 19 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1433233">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1433234" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300545342"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Everybody's a jerk. We're just trying to overlook that in our friends who are getting hammered at the moment.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1433234&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ttoNsumEzYyN9Tj0iuLOQYXdbu3ueEcqQxo5T0yLVek"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 19 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1433234">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1433235" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300547663"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Thank you for this article. I've never commented before, but this entry spoke to me personally in more than one way. First, my mother's situation growing up was likely similar to that of your neighbor, Billy. I am too young to have seen the historically intolerant attitudes of Americans toward the Japanese that you described, and it is not something my family talks about. However, I am certain that what you describe is a lot of the reason my generation (in my own family and the few people I have met who share a similar family history) tends to have a complicated relationship with that part of our heritage. Fortunately for me, my branch of the family has embraced it. </p> <p>Second, because of my connections to the country (including some time spent living there), I have felt very deeply affected by the events in Japan, even after confirming that my friends &amp; family there were safe &amp; relatively unaffected. It has therefore been strange to see my friends here in the US, while sympathetic, finding it so easy to put it out of their minds. </p> <p>But with your point that many seeing the images out of Japan do not have a "normal" reference point to compare it to, this makes a little more sense. No matter how horrible the pictures, understanding what has been lost, what those places should look like and the daily life that has been interrupted, perhaps makes the images cut more deeply. To many, as you pointed out, this is just what Japan looks like right now.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1433235&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="sUGRhw73Hg42Cz4kvdzZ3HqqSJS7P0wsFxRNcVOJk84"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Melissa (not verified)</span> on 19 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1433235">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1433236" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300554627"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Japan is a fascinating story. They rose from a dynastic monarchy to a republic in a very short time. </p> <p>Not only that, they embraced western culture and made it their own. In fact they probably made it better, not worse. </p> <p>And you're right, used to be a day that "Made in Japan" was a symbol of lack of quality. But I hold in my hand right now a radio made by Vertex Standard a Yaesu VX-7R made in Japan and it's one hell of a radio and well worth the price I paid for it. </p> <p>And I'm sitting on a leather chaise that was made in China. </p> <p>So yes, Asia can build high quality goods. </p> <p>But I wish we still built some of it in the United States.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1433236&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="EcK5u9nasjdZbTYXCilR2JXeE4loxNny4QdqIWqEnhI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://truthspew.wordpress." lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Tony P (not verified)</a> on 19 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1433236">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1433237" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300561094"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Tony P, they are still not a republic. A democracy, yes, but not a republic. Like Britain.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1433237&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="NC58RnMqH_Xpp84mMF5KjhrmYVnLV9pJaElErR-Fxms"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Nemo (not verified)</span> on 19 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1433237">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1433238" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300622141"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>All Japanese people hate stereotypes.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1433238&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="0E8y6AF1MpcKX69H0XiHbEgylBm6ACqnNwXuwBg_bDc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">doug l (not verified)</span> on 20 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1433238">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1433239" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300631274"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The adults whom you knew in your childhood lived through WW2, and through the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. They read the stories and may have known someone who lived through the Bataan Death March - I am 63, and in my childhood I knew 2 adults who did so. Both were badly disfigured and crippled by torture.</p> <p>Traditional Japanese culture was, and is, one of the most uncompromisingly xenophobic in the world. When I lived there for a couple of years in the Sixties, it was commonplace for gaijin to be spat upon in public.</p> <p>These truths are not justifications for racism or cultural bias; there are NO justifications for those attitudes. But they are truths. Westerners have no monopoly on xenophobia.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1433239&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="mskOeFUAIRXSTDZE6FkIwo1PfY17YOzrU6GRpMh9JhQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">nancy brownlee (not verified)</span> on 20 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1433239">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1433240" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300635175"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Nemo, you say "Tony P, they are still not a republic. A democracy, yes, but not a republic. Like Britain."</p> <p>But I disagree, I don't think they're a democracy either. After all they had the same party in power for the 54 years following the end of the II world war. It seems to me they're much more hierarchical. On the other hand they've a high opinion of consensus, so most opinions are taken in their reckoning before the decisions arrive.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1433240&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="A0gHVHUmvxmDv78fzxrpvd9MIJxPzlIgOFm0z6XcHpw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Antoni Jaume (not verified)</span> on 20 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1433240">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1433241" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300654868"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Quite agree with almost everything about the Japanese, except, it is not the Japanese as such, but certain cultural characteristics that the east Asians around that area share, e.g. not having to suffer the remnants of Judeo-Christian culture as much as Westerners.<br /> The Chinese are now catching up, jeeps and all, and we should indeed welcome them taking over the world, which they do soon without a doubt:<br /><a href="http://www.science20.com/alpha_meme/asia_has_taken_over_scientific_leadership_role_us">http://www.science20.com/alpha_meme/asia_has_taken_over_scientific_lead…</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1433241&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="cN-6Vf73qB1QeUNVe9L3i8-txfHmx7fxB5v4zUOhV6M"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.science20.com/alpha_meme" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sascha (not verified)</a> on 20 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1433241">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1433242" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300686006"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The adults whom you knew in your childhood lived through WW2, and through the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. They read the stories and may have known someone who lived through the Bataan Death March - I am 63, and in my childhood I knew 2 adults who did so. Both were badly disfigured and crippled by torture.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1433242&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ndhog0M6dCg8aPTm1l0rYAQQgB7iy5UAkVppdVly1D4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.breastgain.biz.tr" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">breast gain (not verified)</a> on 21 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1433242">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1433243" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300713831"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Japan is very much a democracy, although I can understand how it could appear otherwise. The key is that while the LDP was in power for most of the post-war era, it was not a monolithic or ideologically rigid party. Japanese politics is based much more on individual personalities than party identity, and different personalities &amp; sects within the LDP regularly emerged throughout this period, embracing different ideas and rising or falling in prominence in response to the voters. It was not uncommon for politicians to change parties without changing ideologies, or change policy positions without changing parties. Had the LDP been inflexible and refused to accommodate the demands of voters at any point in this period they would have ceased to be the ruling party. In fact, in 1993 they did become the minority and there was a short-lived non-LDP coalition government, although this had more to do with a party realignment than an actual change in voting patterns. It is also worth noting that the rule of the LDP ended in 2009, and the ruling party since the 2009 elections has been the DPJ.</p> <p>This is not to say that the Japanese system is without problems- it has plenty. But it is inaccurate to say that it is not a democracy. Also, the factors behind the long single-party rule are extremely complex and do not boil down to simple cultural values such as hierarchy.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1433243&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Fp_6Wh8ZNAF5VpesHoDMwRu_jdDSHppcEkg11BF3w8k"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Melissa (not verified)</span> on 21 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1433243">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/gregladen/2011/03/19/this-is-not-something-you-see%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Sat, 19 Mar 2011 11:36:01 +0000 gregladen 30477 at https://scienceblogs.com Japan's Disaster and the Limits of Self-Sufficiency https://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2011/03/18/japans-disaster-and-the-limits <span>Japan&#039;s Disaster and the Limits of Self-Sufficiency</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>In the early hours of March 11th, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck northern Japan, and a massive tsunami followed. More than 5,000 people are dead and almost 10,000 are missing. Hundreds of thousands are homeless, and those living near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station have been told to evacuate - while <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2011/03/workers_brave_radiation_to_ave.php">a small crew of brave workers</a> remains nearby to try and avert catastrophic meltdown.</p> <p>Here in the US, our budget debates highlight differing opinions about how much we want our government to do for us. The stories we tell ourselves make a virtue of self-sufficiency, and we highlight those who work their way out of poverty into fortune. While hard work and persistence are laudable qualities, though, they alone won't get us through earthquakes, hurricanes, or wildfires.</p> <p>Disasters remind us that there's only so much we can do on our own. The homes and businesses we invest in so proudly can't survive tsunamis or unscathed. A full checking account isn't much good if there's no food or clean water for miles around and the roads are impassable. When disaster strikes, we must rely on others for help.</p> <p>Humans form societies because we benefit from doing so. Together we build cities and towns - and when they're damaged, we rebuild them. Whether we work through governments, volunteer organizations, or other institutions, we do these things together, because we can't do them on our own. </p> <p>At the moment, the international community is thinking of how we can help Japan. If you want to make a donation, I recommend giving non-restricted gifts to <a href="http://www.msf.org/">Medecins Sans Frotieres</a> or <a href="http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.6621121/k.3D08/Japan_Earthquake_Tsunami_Relief.htm">Save the Children</a>, which have teams on the ground in Japan and can also channel funds to other worthwhile projects (like Haiti, which still hasn't recovered from its disastrous earthquake) should donations exceed Japan's need for assistance.</p> <p>Over the long term, I hope Japan's tragedy reminds all of us to remember that no matter how hard we work individually, we can't do everything on our own. I hope we all invest in making our local, national, and international institutions strong enough for the worst-case scenarios - so that when disaster does strike, we're ready to help one another.</p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/lborkowski" lang="" about="/author/lborkowski" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">lborkowski</a></span> <span>Fri, 03/18/2011 - 01:30</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/public-health-general" hreflang="en">Public Health - General</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/earthquake" hreflang="en">earthquake</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/institutions" hreflang="en">Institutions</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/japan-0" hreflang="en">japan</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/self-sufficiency" hreflang="en">self-sufficiency</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/tsunami" hreflang="en">tsunami</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1871005" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300799573"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>By the same token, there is so little that government can do in a socialist society. The Japanese system was fraught with corruption and on a NUCLEAR POWER PLANT of all things. The tsunami will bring to light all sorts of disastrous things, like plant safety and the ONLY thing that kept this from becoming a Chernobyl was the design of the rods (US) and the fact that Inconel melting into a radioactive mass will break the reactions. </p> <p>I on the other hand demand that my children be totally self sufficient. Have since they were 10. 2 am Big Daddy rolls through the house and screams earthquake and they roll out, drop to the floor and grab their flashlights. Out come the shoes, on they go and a backpack next to the door. Having a house that cost an extra 20,000 to bring it up to an 8.5 standard is also something that your average gomer isnt going to do. Expensive but do you live next to a beach or a fault line? They are 17 and 21 now and they have subdued intruders, with the oldest carrying a Glock now. The 17 year old is able to field strip and assemble an M-16 in about 25 seconds in the dark. So, if it happens and they are not killed they have food, water, guns and ammo, and they are both up to EMT-2 level. They can live on the land, but they know what to do if a nearby nuke plant gets whacked and the water/food is contaminated. </p> <p>Society is where you make it and it starts with one, then two and on and on. The fact is that we in the US are way too dependent on government and we are seeing the fractures starting not from a disaster, but from the costs of maintaining that government. If it happened now in the US it could collapse the government. </p> <p>Anyone who depends on government to do the right things, in a timely manner is someone getting their checkbooks out to pay taxes, which will be misspent and sent to some of the cheesiest candidates so they can stay in power and thats both sides of the aisle. </p> <p>Let even a 7.5 hit the central US and I wouldn't be surprised if the US broke apart from it. </p> <p>Personal responsibility to take personal care of ones personal things and issues. How many of you can last for a month if there is a quake? Might hurt your feelings but thats the time they believe that some in Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi would see their first food and water shipments. </p> <p>Control what you can, when you can and that means just about everything in your life. Never ever let government take that away from you. You abrogate your responsibilities to yourself and family to the government - They might not be there on time .... Or worse in time.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1871005&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="K6gAdwnHRzy7QQgMYNIwHLoo2LBoRMoGU4OhZ20Hhlo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">M. Randolph Kruger (not verified)</span> on 22 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1871005">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/thepumphandle/2011/03/18/japans-disaster-and-the-limits%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Fri, 18 Mar 2011 05:30:43 +0000 lborkowski 61227 at https://scienceblogs.com fukushima questions of nippon https://scienceblogs.com/catdynamics/2011/03/15/fukushima-questions-of-nippon <span>fukushima questions of nippon</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>there are a number of questions that need answer regarding the situation at the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_I_Nuclear_Power_Plant">Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor</a>, aka Fuk-D.</p> <p>As a starting point, here is an <a href="http://park18.wakwak.com/~weather/geiger_index.html">amateur online feed of radiation in Tokyo (Park18)</a>.</p> <p>It is a geiger-counter, the normal count rate is 10-20 cpm, around noon on march 15th the count rate peaked at about 120 cpm, the counts then dropped before there was another broad rise on march 16th to about 40 cpm.</p> <!--more--><p> The first question is: why am I having to link to an amateur with a geiger counter?</p> <p><a href="http://www.jaea.go.jp/english/misc/online-info.shtml">The Japanese Atomic Energy Authority</a> has four online environmental radiation monitors.<br /> All went offline at 4 pm on friday march 11th and have not come back.</p> <p>I understand they are busy, I understand that they don't want to panic people, but this is stupid. </p> <p>I don't have the energy to get into the weaknesses of 40 year old GE designs for the Mark I Boiling Water Reactor.</p> <p><a href="www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/te_1181_prn.pdf">BWR containment specs and age related safety management (pdf) - IAEA TECDOC-1181</a> has many of the gory details if you care - including descriptions of the generic containment layers.</p> <p>Nuclear power has its place, I accept that <a href="http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/index-e.html">Tokyo Electric Power Company</a> might have reasonably spec'd magnitude 8 as a reasonable maximum earthquake to design for, and who knew a tsunami (in Japan of all places!) would wipe out all the backups, and that it was bad luck the 9th magnitude quake hit just before the oldest reactor was scheduled to be shut down (modulo the decade extension for pure profit operation).</p> <p>So, riddle me this:</p> <ul><li> The reactors are supposed to scram when alerted to a major earthquake.<br /> Given the location, Fuk-D had about 30 seconds to scram.<br /> A Mark I BWR should be able to insert the control rods in 10 seconds.<br /><b>Did they?</b><br /> Was it automatic? Require manual override decision?<br /> The design has control rods go <i>up</i> into the core, not drop in. Did they go all the way in before the whole thing jumped? Or did they buckle?<br /> I'm sure the operators have been debriefed and there is an incidence officer who knows the timeline for the first couple of days.<br /> Tell it. </li><li> What has been emitted?<br /> It is known, even if the PR department has not been briefed, and journalists couldn't tell us when it is spelled out for them.<br /> Radiation need proper units when reported: we need milli<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sievert">Sieverts</a><i> per unit time</i>, total <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curie">curies</a>, date stamps and size of contaminated area. <p>As y'all know, ambient dosage is about a milliSievert per year.<br /> Occupational limit doses are usually 20 milliSieverts or so for a year.<br /> So background is about 0.1 microSivert per hour (or <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_equivalent_dose">One Banana Equivalent Dose - man that <sup>40</sup>K is nasty</a>).</p> <p>An acute dosage of a Sievert puts you in hospital.<br /> 10 Sieverts and you are not coming out of hospital.</p> <p>So, if there are measurements of 400 milliSieverts per hour at the site, as was reported on the 15th, workers who volunteer can only last about an hour before having to leave, permanently.<br /> But, is that a single small spot due to direct exposure to fuel elements? Or a little burp of <sup>16</sup>N - with half-life of 7 secs it is hot, but not for long?<br /> How big is the spot that is, or was, so hot? </p> </li><li> What isotopes are being measured on site?<br /> Are they seeing <sup>137</sup>Cs and <sup>131</sup>I?<br /> Technetium? In what quantities.<br /> Quantity matters.<br /> Are the fuel rods compromised and venting?<br /> Is the containment leaking?<br /> You can "detect" anomalous radioisotopes in extremely low concentrations, what matters is how much material is dispersed and in what form. </li></ul><p>Basic question: did the scram of any of the reactor cores fail, and are there therefore any of the reactors sitting there with critical sub-cores - chunks of uranium still undergoing sustained fission?</p> <p>If not, did the loss of primary coolant occur early enough for substantial breach of fuel rods due to thermal stress, and has the resultant fuel dispersal lead to undesigned criticality?<br /> Are the random blobs that fell out sitting there undergoing nuclear reactions.</p> <p>TEPCO ought to know this by now, and it makes a very big difference whether these are just hot cores sputtering while residual heat is bled away, or whether they are undergoing fission without permission of the operators and without actual functioning cooling systems, or containment... </p> <p>Hot damaged cores are bad.<br /> Unscheduled fission in cores is catastrophic.</p> <p>Oh, and please, someone, explain to journalists that "white smoke" is often the thing popularly known as "steam".</p> <p>Habemus fission?</p> <p>Go to <a href="http://mitnse.com/">MIT NSE Nuclear Information Hub </a> for actual authoritative information</p> <p>PS: <a href="http://www.gereports.com/facts-on-the-nuclear-energy-situation-in-japan/">General Electric website with fact sheets and news</a> - eg GE is shipping new mobile generators to Fukushima, say they offered, took TEPCO this long to take them up on it.</p> <p><a href="http://files.gereports.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/03RC-GE-Energy-012.jpg"><br /><img src="http://files.gereports.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/03RC-GE-Energy-012.jpg" width="350" /><br /> GE mobile turbine generators<br /></a></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/catdynamics" lang="" about="/author/catdynamics" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">catdynamics</a></span> <span>Tue, 03/15/2011 - 18:10</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/politics" hreflang="en">Politics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/science" hreflang="en">Science</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/earthquake" hreflang="en">earthquake</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/fukushima" hreflang="en">Fukushima</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/radiation" hreflang="en">radiation</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Categories</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/channel/environment" hreflang="en">Environment</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894758" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300230816"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Suggest putting nuclear construction activities on hold until we get a better-educated class of journalists out there. </p> <p>Governments, not to mention energy companies, are supposed to try to keep secrets. Journalists, however, should not be so easily distracted / misled / misinformed / pacified. </p> <p>(Not the only area where this shortcoming has been apparent, of late. Maybe this is what Twitter is for.)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894758&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="BD84EfqS5UItcGyvtfG-rc1dCrb2U1fHrnVI-J7-at4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Derek Fox (not verified)</span> on 15 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894758">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894759" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300245688"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Steinn,</p> <p>Most of what I know is what I read in the papers, but: Any reactor is expected to scram on reaction to a large earthquake. Since the earthquake was quite a few miles from the reactor, I kind of doubt that the shaking was far enough outside design parameters to interfere with scramming. We didn't, for example, see any obvious signs of seismic damage to the outsides of the buildings. </p> <p>But even once scrammed the residual heat is immense. The failure of the cooling system and of the backup power to the cooling system is almost certainly the major cause of all the problems. To paraphrase a well-known failure analyst, "I don't think anyone anticipated the overtopping of the seawall" (around the diesel generators).</p> <p>In a BWR the water is also the moderator. "Moderator" is a terrible nomenclature since the moderator actually enhances the reactivity by slowing fast neutrons to where they can be captured by other uranium nuclei. Reactor fuel is not highly enriched, so it does not reach criticality without a moderator. As bad as a molten lump of uranium, cladding, and maybe concrete sounds, I am guessing that it is unlikely to maintain fission efficiently. But for God's sake we want it to stay inside the pressure vessel. In TMI-2, a partial core melt was not catastrophic, as containment was maintained: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Graphic_TMI-2_Core_End-State_Configuration.jpg">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Graphic_TMI-2_Core_End-State_Configur…</a> On the other hand, at Chernobyl the "corium" lava flowed into the building. Until a couple of days ago I didn't know corium was an actual word. Of course this reactor isn't like Chernobyl's.</p> <p>The tragedy is that it's entirely possible that if the backup diesel generators had been 30-40 feet off the ground the failures would not have happened. I assume that the generators are very large and this would have been expensive. This is the real problem: nobody wants to pay the full cost of energy, so safety corners for unlikely events are cut, and we wind up paying the cost when oil rigs blow out or nuclear reactors fail, instead.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894759&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="kGGmqQnDhyDEpGpjvRpDEG50X4mtooq0xTtOV-oLzn4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ben (not verified)</span> on 15 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894759">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894760" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300265016"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>The design has control rods go up into the core, not drop in.</i></p> <p>That accounts for something that has been puzzling me. According to sources I have seen, and I don't know if they are reliable, TEPCO came up with the brilliant real estate saving idea of putting the cooling ponds (I'm forgetting the exact technical term here) for spent/extracted rods on the roof. This would be a bit awkward if you have drop-down control rods (which I would expect because gravity will help you if the power fails), but much more feasible if the control rods are push-up.</p> <p>Which leads to the obvious follow-up question, per Ben's point, of why they didn't put the backup generators on the roof instead. It couldn't be any harder to lift the generators up there than the control rods, and you can leave them up there when you shut down for scheduled maintenance (as was the status of reactors 4-6 at Fukushima Daiichi when the earthquake struck). It also has the advantage of putting the generators above any possible typhoon storm surge--while the east coast of Tohoku probably doesn't get many landfalling typhoons, western Honshu and Kyushu certainly do.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894760&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="73W1pByG_YikVK5w1D-AA-OEwexPxyjUsgw_oummVNY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Eric Lund (not verified)</span> on 16 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894760">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894761" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300267224"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Shakemap at earthquake.usgs.gov has peak acceleration at 0.1-0.2g at Fukushima.<br /> Ground wave travel time is less than a minute from the epicenter, but earthquake monitors would be on shore most likely, so I'm guessing ~ 20-30 secs notice.<br /> Enough time if scram is automatic, maybe not if it needs an operator to manually authorize. </p> <p>The primary diesel generators are ~ 4MWe (6000 hp), I am told.<br /> That is diesel locomotive size.<br /> Apparently the replacement generators rushed there were not "plug compatible" - or so I read anecdotally.<br /> That seems farcical, any half decent engineer ought to be able to bypass plugs and jury rig a DC connection straight into the system.<br /> I'm figuring they had the original 40 year old generators, probably US spec and therefore no longer plug compatible with what is available in Japan.</p> <p>Having the cooling ponds four stories up, in a building with blowout panels seems a bit moronic. Given how critical cooling is for the rods, you'd think they'd want in-ground ponds with drainage towards them, not away.</p> <p>The old BWRs need active primary cooling - H2O has to be force circulated, the newer designs are supposed to be able to hang in there through convective cooling only. Don't know how critically dependent that is on the condenser and secondary cooling though.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894761&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="FquhuMOlx2HZs26jcWpsXbXr9gEA6SLczqkqVl0oUoU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://scienceblogs.com/catdynamics" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steinn Sigurdsson (not verified)</a> on 16 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894761">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894762" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300269386"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Everything I've read (e.g. World Nuclear News, MIT NSE, wikipedia, etc) indicates that the scram was automatic, and completed successfully. There is no longer U fission going on in any of the cores, the problem is the residual heat, which is problem enough.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894762&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="GYdXR4KowMjlYeA4-kRjMRIiwZgWgG6Z60ewMvljQFk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Craig Heinke (not verified)</span> on 16 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894762">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894763" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300269706"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>Having the cooling ponds four stories up, in a building with blowout panels seems a bit moronic. Given how critical cooling is for the rods, you'd think they'd want in-ground ponds with drainage towards them, not away.</i></p> <p>Well yes, there's that. There is also the minor detail that if your rods start to melt,or if the building underneath them falls down, the remaining fuel in the spent rods tends to flow toward the fuel in the reactor. You might live to tell the story if containment holds, but it kind of compounds your problems in a worst-case scenario.</p> <p>There are only two advantages. One is that you need less real estate (a nontrivial consideration in Japan). The other is that in-ground ponds on oceanfront property might not be feasible, between risk of leaks and risk of introducing salt water due to a tsunami or storm surge. My guess is that they decided in-ground ponds had too high a probability of a minor radiation release into the ocean, and they underestimated the probability of catastrophic failure of their rooftop ponds.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894763&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="5LqRTCQ5Th75aMEWCiL39Vj5rAshmuia21Aw6z4Bp7E"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Eric Lund (not verified)</span> on 16 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894763">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894764" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300271263"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>For what it's worth, Daiichi means "first". The two plants are Fukushima-Daiichi (Fukushima-I) and Fukushima-Daini (Fukushima-II). "Fuk-D" does not disambiguate successfully.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894764&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="1sTbdJ1IwMFnfNXS2wFOKYCfExwaqTOFQZPGWPW1tpo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Joseph (not verified)</span> on 16 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894764">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894765" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300272449"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>@Craig - the reports I've seen say automatic shutdown was initiated. ie command to put control rods in was issued and something spring into action.<br /> I have not seen an affirmative statement that the rods were seen to go in completely - ie they say power drop all the way down to idle or neutron flux go down to levels consistent with idle etc -- not saying they didn't, just haven't heard it.</p> <p>The whole sequence of events makes more sense if the core didn't shut down completely - the diesel generators didn't fail immediately, the core ought to have cooled down quite a lot, for it to heat to the point where Zirconium was oxidizing suggests a significant power source, didn't think the residual heat from longer lived fission products would heat it that much, that late, even with partial coolant loss.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894765&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="j_ZJPKPCHYa-ytWqqSM9L-4eof1TQT0YuThXuRzyuGQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://scienceblogs.com/catdynamics" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steinn Sigurdsson (not verified)</a> on 16 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894765">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894766" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300274180"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>k@J - so Fuk-D-1 or FukD-1?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894766&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ou_IwdX5mndcGqXmU9WSq5rQmSiYQCSxtZilntBGlN0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://scienceblogs.com/catdynamics" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steinn Sigurdsson (not verified)</a> on 16 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894766">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894767" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300284306"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Couple quick comments:</p> <p>I don't think having the spent fuel storage in an upper story of the containment building interferes with control rods at all. The control rods have to be inside the steel pressure vessel. Here is a cutaway of a GE Mark I BWR: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BWR_Mark_I_Containment,_cutaway.jpg">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BWR_Mark_I_Containment,_cutaway.jpg</a> The pressure vessel is the brown cylinder, the cutaway wine-bottle shape is the primary containment structure. See also <a href="http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/basic-ref/teachers/03.pdf">http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/basic-ref/teachers/03.pdf</a></p> <p>Something I read also implied that having the spent fuel up there was more common than just being a TEPCO innovation. Having them overtopped by a tsunami also wouldn't be great.</p> <p>The flow rates for cooling are really large. I haven't found an estimate on the NRC or GE website yet, but wikipedia says typically 45e6 kg/hour of water. That is 3400 gallons/min which is consistent with other stuff I have read. When a reactor is scrammed it's still hot and it still produces about 7% of the heat of operation from residual radioactivity. So the power requirement to pump coolant is still large and the generators must be big.</p> <p>My father (who has worked on properties of fuel rods) says that if the fuel becomes partially uncovered the zirconium cladding gets very hot, hot enough to drive the oxidation reaction (implication was ongoing fission not required). These things run at many atmospheres of pressure, so even under normal operating conditions the water inside the vessel is at of order 300 C.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894767&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="-cpOh6grhLxZljecsfEJ97Py5ojDqEd_Spmo7KhAYx8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ben (not verified)</span> on 16 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894767">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894768" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300286669"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>The primary diesel generators are ~ 4MWe (6000 hp), I am told.<br /> That seems farcical, any half decent engineer ought to be able to bypass plugs and jury rig a DC connection straight into the system. </p></blockquote> <p>I'm a half decent engineer and I happen to think that jury rigging a 4 Megawawtt power supply is insane.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894768&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="E5Gxg7v_MtA4xc7NPIbqE_GguR8g0vmmiNQyxq_x1wM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Adam_Y (not verified)</span> on 16 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894768">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894769" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300295436"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>IIR correctly, The Japanese National Earthquake management system is designed to initiate shutdowns of all major industrial facilities on the arrival of the seismic P waves (of a certain size) at the closest station. The P waves travel at about 8 km/sec, while the surface waves responsible for the shaking move at 1-3 km/sec. So it is likely that the shutdown was completed before the shaking started. </p> <p>Even if they weren't, the various reactors have now been filled with seawater and borax, which should surpress future fission.</p> <p>Everything i've heard is that they simply can't supply water fast enough to keep pace with boil-off, so the fuel rods are exposed to steam and/or air, both of which oxidize Zr at high temperatures.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894769&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="NGsPnczkyACT_Qcw6yJzi58d53-nglW-xQJMkeF3mK0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://lablemminglounge.blogspot.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Lab Lemming (not verified)</a> on 16 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894769">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894770" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300307057"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Link to <a href="http://www.insc.anl.gov/cgi-bin/sql_interface?view=rx_list&amp;country=all&amp;type=all&amp;status=all&amp;plant=fukushima_daiichi">all the Daichii reactor parameters you ever wanted</a>. </p> <p>Just after shutdown, the decay heat power is on the order of a couple hundred megawatts in the core of one of these reactors. By a day, it's down to O(10) MW. It falls off only very slowly after a day.</p> <p>After a day, an exposed and uncooled fuel rod's cladding melts in O(1 hr). The Fermi-1 (different design) cladding melt happened within 4 minutes of the first problematic readings. </p> <p>A day or two to boil off, and then hours to melt down, is not at all inconsistent with the decay heat, or the observations.</p> <p>Also, google NUREG-1150 if you want to read about disaster scenario meltdown probabilities for a BWR.</p> <p>As for the spent fuel ponds, an NRC document I don't have handy suggests they boil off in 100-140 hours without coolant. Again, consistent with timelines we've seen so far. </p> <p>You can read <a href="http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/364/radiological_terrorism.html"> for some useful numbers as to what happens once the spent fuel ponds boil off.</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894770&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Sn9Y-L3-Acx8V_tW17tkyAjn7aZ5IJvNv2lLifClFSY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Andrew Foland (not verified)</span> on 16 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894770">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894771" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300323388"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>@Adam - consider the alternative...<br /> You have a generator, and load, and the plugs don't match.<br /> You have a machine shop and stock.<br /> Jury rig a a conductor to bridge this, even temporarily,<br /> or have a nuclear reactor meltdown.</p> <p>@Andy - thanks, very useful.<br /> The spent fuel pond scenario is worrying.<br /> I'd guesstimated 10,000 km^2 as the ballpark area to worry about with uniform dispersal of radiological load from a core's worth of rods.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894771&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="vJNlgN7c-lIBnKo6Ap6dQpNlm-bqjoqdrDJpw2QOXHE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://scienceblogs.com/catdynamics" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steinn Sigurdsson (not verified)</a> on 16 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894771">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894772" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300324055"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I will guess that if someone said spare generators weren't "plug compatible" they meant they couldn't plug and play for some larger reason, like incompatible voltages or impedances, not that the physical connectors were incompatible. I don't think you hook this kind of generator up with a plug and jack - more likely a junction box and bus bars the size of your arm or leg.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894772&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="xIY7jBAGncKDQSRJPJWazfYEulslXkIO5PfH_ptRVKI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ben (not verified)</span> on 16 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894772">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894773" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300324394"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I'm pretty sure they are DC...<br /> I'm sorry, but if you lose a generator, and you have another one running, you convince the current to go into the system, and ignore safety regulations - I agree you'd need bus bars like that - it is a 4GWe power station, they have machine shops and materials.<br /> Power up the primary coolant pumps using whatever you can, as much as you can.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894773&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="aKc9Y2neP0W4J8wMwN6Ir9lMEFVCwPj9VtLjOM_gywA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://scienceblogs.com/catdynamics" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steinn Sigurdsson (not verified)</a> on 16 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894773">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894774" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300325005"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Idle thought: the first hydrogen explosion looked like tens++ kg of H2 detonating. Zr has atomic number ~ 90<br /> So order 10 tons of zirconium metal oxidised to produce that hydrogen.<br /> The core is 100++ tons. </p> <p>So a significant fraction of the fuel rod cladding had to have oxidised. So a significant fraction of the fuel rods lost structural integrity.</p> <p>++ungood</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894774&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="LLXM5ncmVvGDmM_MqgfXgdO0ywa3dWvvyP54l7StiUc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://scienceblogs.com/catdynamics" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steinn Sigurdsson (not verified)</a> on 16 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894774">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894775" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300326993"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>WRT plugs... I'd guess: 1) something was lost in translation (like 50 workers retreating to safety not meaning that they evacuated the plant), 2) needed machinery/tools/supplies were swept away (look at the sliding photos on ABC.au site), broken or otherwise unavailable to cut large hunks of metal, or 3) the culture "Let's follow protocols, discuss options and achieve consensus" won out over "I'm the one on the front line, so it's my call to do whatever I think is best." Hopefully, they'll live long enough to tell the story.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894775&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="uzATXYqPj9qacGnjO48Vnvbhg0Yge4zEwYANc82XnNA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">astro (not verified)</span> on 16 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894775">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894776" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300328373"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>If the primary containment vessel is not damaged, then would that much H be able to escape into the rest of the building so quickly? I realize H is small and hard to prevent leaks, but still that's a significant enclosure. </p> <p>If not, then wouldn't that suggest that either: 1) the hydrogen in the original explosions came from spent fuel, or 2) the primary containment vessel is damaged enough that Hydrogen can escape. As for option #1, would there have been time for its water to boil off before the first explosion (at each reactor)?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894776&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="r10aS1vDCMnurpanK_Uoj9rVj6srOnbF80xXutUGe_Y"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">astro (not verified)</span> on 16 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894776">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894777" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300338219"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>This is the real problem: nobody wants to pay the full cost of energy, so safety corners for unlikely events are cut, and we wind up paying the cost when oil rigs blow out or nuclear reactors fail, instead.</p></blockquote> <p>But, but, nuclear is *TOO* cheap to meter, right?!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894777&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="DAVr5n2gdzbSUIIuKf1QTEUgotaaJlqhjo7NOUEBjhw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Fred Magyar (not verified)</span> on 17 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894777">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894778" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300412996"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Hydrogen probably was produced in the reactor vessel and escaped into the secondary containment building while venting steam from the cooling system. More sophisticated explanation than I'm capable of at <a href="http://mitnse.com/2011/03/15/explanation-of-hydrogen-explosions-at-units-1-and-3/">http://mitnse.com/2011/03/15/explanation-of-hydrogen-explosions-at-unit…</a></p> <p>Nobody sensible has claimed that nuclear power was cheap for a long time now. I am a card carrying bleeding heart environmentalist and I am deeply ambivalent about nuclear power. Fossil fuels are not really better, just less instantaneously scary. While a crisis like this focuses everyone's attention on the drama, it is likely that the long term effects on people and the environment are still going to work out much lower than, say, the aggregate effects of mining and burning coal (which generates 45% of the electricity supply of the US). I can understand why countries that are not rich in fossil fuel resources have gravitated to nuclear power.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894778&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="eULif8RzrgqYbTjivPc26MObhXS6JbvIE9O1PzTl0KI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ben (not verified)</span> on 17 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894778">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1894779" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1304699016"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>It's Jerry-Rig, lol</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1894779&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="1bOSV4vFKANc4hqtMCPpGO-RkvTLgcMHsHa_kYyRNvs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Roberto Mejia (not verified)</span> on 06 May 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1894779">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/catdynamics/2011/03/15/fukushima-questions-of-nippon%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Tue, 15 Mar 2011 22:10:39 +0000 catdynamics 66200 at https://scienceblogs.com As world watches Japan's nuclear plants, damage to manufacturing infrastructure poses chemical risks https://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2011/03/15/as-world-watches-japans-nuclea <span>As world watches Japan&#039;s nuclear plants, damage to manufacturing infrastructure poses chemical risks</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>By Elizabeth Grossman</p> <p>After posting <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2011/03/the_news_from_japan_protecting.php">yesterday's story</a>, I began to learn what a hub of chemical-intensive industry the region of Japan most directly affected by the earthquake an tsunami is. Hit with varying degrees of damage from the earthquake and tsunami are more than a dozen major petrochemical plants, most, according to a March 14 Goldman Sachs memo to investors, built in the 1970s. In addition, numerous factories that manufacture agrochemicals, silicon wafers, semiconductors, photovoltaic cells, and other high-tech items have all suffered damage as have warehouses and shipping container depots. Some of these are in coastal areas, some close to where the quake and tsunami hit hardest, near Fukushima and Sendai. </p> <!--more--><p>Precise details are now just emerging, but a <a href="http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4214018/Japan-quake--Tracking-the-status-of-fabs-in-wake-of-disaster">March 14 story in EE Times</a>, a publication that covers the electronics engineering industry, also reports damage to automotive plants as well as power outages and aftershocks that are affecting operations further from the disaster's epicenter. Among the plants affected is a <a href="http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4214035/Quake-caused--substantial-damage--to-TI-fab">Texas Instruments fabricator in Miho</a> that suffered major damage to its "infrastructure systems for delivering chemicals, gases, water and air." A Canon plant in Utsunomiya that makes specialized lenses "suffered extensive damage," reports <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/business/global/15supply.html">The New York Times</a>.</p> <p>Although oil refineries and chemical plants may be the obvious sources of potentially hazardous chemical releases, it's important to remember that <a href="http://www.siliconfareast.com/semicon_matls2.htm">silicon wafer</a> and <a href="http://www.praxair.com/praxair.nsf/1928438066cae92d85256a63004b880d/4565ebbbbd76eba149256c330008f1ac?OpenDocument">semiconductor</a> production involves use of numerous hazardous chemicals, including flammable and corrosive gases. Even under normal operating conditions, use and storage of these materials poses risks that must be addressed. What is already a difficult job of assessing damage and beginning clean-up and repair - work that involves many obvious potential health and safety hazards - has been made considerably more difficult by not only the physical damage wrought by the earthquake and tsunami but now hazards from nearby nuclear power plants. </p> <p>As I read through the list of petrochemical plants, silicon wafer and semiconductor plants imperiled by the disaster and watched news of the ongoing nuclear crisis including the plant workers <a href="http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/15_29.html">Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan</a> described as "risking their lives to inject water to cool the reactor cores," I thought of something Paul Anastas (now assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Research and Development) said a couple of years ago when explaining how we now manage chemical hazards. "We currently deal with chemical security through guns, guards, and gates rather than by redesigning materials," said Anastas. "Protective measures against hazards can and will fail. And when they fail, risk goes to the maximum."</p> <p><em>Elizabeth Grossman is the author of <a href="http://chasingmolecules.org/">Chasing Molecules: Poisonous Products, Human Health, and the Promise of Green Chemistry</a>, <a href="http://hightechtrash.com/">High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health</a>, and other books. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including Scientific American, Salon, The Washington Post, The Nation, Mother Jones, Grist, and the Huffington Post. Chasing Molecules was chosen by Booklist as one of the Top 10 Science &amp; Technology Books of 2009 and won a 2010 Gold Nautilus Award for investigative journalism.</em></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/egrossman" lang="" about="/author/egrossman" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">egrossman</a></span> <span>Tue, 03/15/2011 - 12:04</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/environmental-health" hreflang="en">Environmental health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-health-safety" hreflang="en">Occupational Health &amp; Safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/chemicals" hreflang="en">chemicals</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/earthquake" hreflang="en">earthquake</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/japan-0" hreflang="en">japan</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/manufacturing" hreflang="en">Manufacturing</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/environmental-health" hreflang="en">Environmental health</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1870985" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300207247"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I'm approaching the limit of my worrying capacity, which I didn't think possible. Still, thanks for this -</p> <p>It's a public health aspect of the situation that's under-reported and could influence planning in a future emergency situation.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1870985&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="5qZNxBT4gySNN7KHP4Nx8A_RS5GWn9edrdOLuGYprrs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.medicallessons.net" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Elaine Schattner, MD (not verified)</a> on 15 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1870985">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1870986" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1300212854"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I've been worried about the release of hazardous materials from all the high-tech plants there ever since I heard about the earthquake and tsunami. After the 1989 Loma Preita earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area, there were serious concerns about toxic chemical releases (and our quake was a 6.9 compared to a 9.0 plus tsunmai). Fortunately, we had recently passed hazardous materials storage ordinance and a toxic gas ordinance which prescribed stricter containment regulations, and many people here believe that the damages were not more severe than they were because of these requirement. I'm not aware that Japan has adopted the toxic gas containment requirements - so I've been searching to find information about toxic releases from these electronics plants. I have seen information that many of them were damgages and shut down, so there is no question that there must be serious problems.<br /> Ted Smith, Founder, Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition<br /> Coordinator, International Campaign for Responsible Technolgy<br /> San Jose, California</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1870986&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="S3rsWxzf2bXQn0ghdRbDuXTFOkYRkOuiZrFfi4lsRAM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.icrt.co" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ted Smith (not verified)</a> on 15 Mar 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/1770/feed#comment-1870986">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/thepumphandle/2011/03/15/as-world-watches-japans-nuclea%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Tue, 15 Mar 2011 16:04:29 +0000 egrossman 61223 at https://scienceblogs.com