The coming general social crisis of the twenty first century

I can’t help thinking that the western world (at least) is approaching a general social crisis. Perhaps even rolling to the end of one of its grand historical cycles. When I say ‘social crisis’, I don’t mean anything pre-destined or inevitable. Nor are grand historical cycles automatic. The way I see it is this. Societies … More The coming general social crisis of the twenty first century

The earthquake apocalypse – it’s coming. Probably.

Something slightly scary occurred to me the other day. Analysis of the Mw 7.8 quake that ripped through central New Zealand last November suggests it was awesomely complex. We usually imagine quakes being caused when one fault line moves. Or maybe two or three faults, because faults tend to exist in connected systems. And often, … More The earthquake apocalypse – it’s coming. Probably.

Forecasting New Zealand’s seismic apocalypse

This weekend’s tragedy on Japan’s Mount Ontake reminds us that life around the Pacific ‘rim of fire’ is often risky. That string of tectonic plate collisions stretches around the whole circumference of the Pacific and has shaped life in many ways. It was cause of the 2011 tsunami that devastated eastern Japan. It gave the US Yellowstone. … More Forecasting New Zealand’s seismic apocalypse

Close encounters of the meteor kind – this weekend

Back in 2013, I wrote a piece that mashed Pope Benedict’s resignation with the science of the meteorite that exploded over Russia. I was Freshly Pressed by WordPress on the back of it. Good stuff. This weekend, a similarly sized chunk of space debris – about 20 metres in diameter – is rolling past Earth with … More Close encounters of the meteor kind – this weekend

Beware the next Carrington storm – a Q&A wrap-up

After last week’s post on a Carrington storm – a solar event able to do large-scale damage to anything electrical, especially power grids. I fielded a few questions which deserved a post. And I had some new ones of my own… Does the whole Earth get hit? The issue isn’t the Coronal Mass Ejection that goes with the … More Beware the next Carrington storm – a Q&A wrap-up