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The Absurdity Of Cuadrilla’s Fracking And 0.4 Earthquakes Near Blackpool

Whether or not fracking is a good idea is entirely up to you – around here we think it’s a great one. For we like this civilisation and all this stuff about staying warm and being able to cook tender bits of dead animals. However, say you’re of an opposite persuasion. It’s still ludicrous to stop fracking because of earthquakes at the level of 0.4 and the like. And yet that’s what we are doing in Britain. We really are under the thumb of the lunatics who have taken over:

Fracking operations in Lancashire have been shut down after seismic activity was detected. The move came a little more than a week after the process was restarted in the UK for the first time since it was banned in 2011.

Cuadrilla Resources, which is carrying out the operations at its Preston New Road site, confirmed it paused work early on Tuesday as a precaution because of the microseismic event, which was measured at a magnitude of 0.4 and within the limit allowed by UK authorities.

Well, gosh, how dangerous is that?

What does this mean? Well, tremors below magnitude 3.0 are considered to be barely noticeable, and bear in mind that the Richter scale is logarithmic: the energy released by a tremor of magnitude 0.5 is equivalent to the energy released by a large hand grenade.

But don’t forget this is happening thousands of feet below the surface: a 0.5 event escapes the detection of all but the most sensitive seismic monitoring equipment.

Yet one 0.5 event alone will be enough to halt fracking and it can only be restarted by the minister.

No, this is a logarithmic scale, 0.4 isn’t just below 0.5. It’s much less than. It’s also true that a hand grenade is a dangerous thing, that’s what they’re designed to be, but one going off under 3,000 feet of rock isn’t, which is what is happening here in energy terms. We do generally think that a hand grenade going off under someone else 20 feet away will leave us just fine. Preferably an enemy to be sure but still. To give another example of how bad this is:

Another calculation at the same time was that it was equivalent in effect, at the surface, to someone dropping a bowling ball from head height onto the lawn. And you’re in the house when they do so. This is not a sensible limit for anyone to be placing on the inevitable earthquakes that fracking can and will cause. Seriously, a limit that the USGS doesn’t even bother to report to?

And another example:

Fans at Leicester City’s final home game of the season against Everton caused the biggest earth tremors recorded at the ground.

A team of Leicester Geology students installed a seismometer at Hazel Community School near the King Power Stadium earlier this year and has been monitoring seismic signals during Leicester City home matches.

Goals by both Jamie Vardy and Andy King notched up quakes of 0.4 magnitude. Previously, the largest signal was produced during the game against Norwich following Ulloa’s 89th minute winning goal.

Leicester City mania has rather declined but. And do note another important thing about all of this:

Fracking was halted early tonight after a tremor at Cuadrilla’s site near Blackpool.
A seismic event with a magnitude of 0.4 on the Richter Scale was detected in Lancashire today close to where the energy firm is fracking for gas in shale rock.

It’s all happening in Lancashire. Near Blackpool. So it’s not as if anyone cares anyway.

There’s really only one reasonable conclusion to all of this, the government has been expending great effort to put the mental back into environmentalism.

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5 years ago

Seismologists seem to have really shot themselves in the foot when they adopted a logarythmic scale. It’s exactly the sort of thing that human intuition gets completely wrong. If instead they’d adopted a linear scale it would be so much more obvious what the difference between a fracking quake of 1nm and the Lincolnshire earthquake of 32,000nm that tipped over one whole garden chair.

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