Is southern California doomed? and other interesting scientific questions

Is southern California doomed? and other interesting scientific questions October 18, 2019


The Garlock Fault, from space
This public domain image was created with data from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), flown in February 2000.

It depicts the Garlock Fault — running along the foot of the mountain ranges, from the lower right to the top center of this image — in Southern California. The Garlock Fault extends from a junction with the San Andreas Fault in the Antelope Valley (Los Angeles County), eastward (through Kern County) to a junction with the Death Valley Fault Zone in the Eastern Mojave Desert (San Bernardino County).


I was very excited when I first read about the study referred to below.  Planting trees is a wonderful thing in any case, and the idea that doing so might be an excellent way to combat global warming and counteract increased carbon emissions was — and is — an extremely pleasing thought:


“Researchers Find Flaws in High-Profile Study on Trees and Climate: Four independent groups say the work overestimates the carbon-absorbing benefits of global forest restoration, but the authors insist their original estimates are accurate.”


Fortunately, it seems that planting trees remains an excellent idea, even if the impact of doing so might not be quite as great as the study suggested.  However, please note that the authors of the study stand by their conclusions.




I love dogs.  And my dogs have always seemed to love me.  (Plainly, they lack human discernment.)  But has it really been love?  Or, when we imagine that they love us, are we merely anthropomorphizing them, the way we also imagine that they’re smiling at us when, in fact, they’re physically incapable of smiling?  These books might help to resolve the question:


“New books explore why dogs and humans have such a special bond: Dog Is Love and Our Dogs, Ourselves look at the relationship we have with our canine companions”




Natural laws seem to be uniform across the cosmos.  That’s interesting, and worthy of reflection:


“Distant exoplanets not so different to Earth: Analysis finds terrestrial geochemistry and geophysics is far from unique.”




Previously unrecognized pseudo-earthquakes and unexpected earthquake-related phenomena:


“Powerful storms may be causing offshore ‘stormquakes’: Strong ocean swells hammer ridges in the seafloor and produce the earthquake-like shaking”


“Major Southern California fault line eyed after study shows unprecedented movement”


Another reason to abandon California?  Alas, though, we have faults here in Zion, too.  And I’m not referring merely to my character and personality.




You may, like me, have seen advertisements on television in which law firms attempt to gin up clients for litigation against the makers of “Roundup”:


“Trials should be settled by ‘scientific evidence, not speculation and emotion’: In unusual twist, California medical groups join appeal of jury verdict finding Monsanto’s Roundup causes cancer”



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