David Nabhan: Earthquake Predictors • The Scott Helmer Show - 05.09.17

The Scott Helmer Show • ORIGINAL AIR DATE: Tuesday, May 9, 2017

GUEST: David Nabhan • Earthquake Predictors

Millions of people on three continents, from London to Caracas, from Liverpool to Los Angeles, have heard the evidence in Earthquake Prediction: Dawn of the New Seismology— on television and radio, in newspapers and magazines.  It’s a supremely important message for the immense populations along the US and Canadian west coasts, and the Mississippi River Valley.

Skyhorse Publishing in New York, via their prestigious science imprint Arcade Publishing, is soon to releasea powerful work, unique in making public some very candid opinions of a cast of world-class scientists from a half-dozen nations who have previously refrained from speaking out regarding the threadbare "earthquake prediction is impossible" mantra that has somehow held sway for so long.  The reader will be quite stunned not only by who these individuals are but by the tone of what they have to say--including their unsettling view of how politics may be part of the problem rather than the solution.  
Yet, these seismologists and scientists are in good company, since Earthquake Prediction takes aim at antiquated as well as modern fallacies.  The all-encompassing view of the topic--beginning in the mists of past histories--puts to rest the mistaken idea that the great sages and naturalists of ancient civilizations never gave a thought to how, why, when and by what means their world should come tumbling down from time to time due to earthquakes.  To the contrary--Aristotle, Lucretius, Pausanius, Aelian, Thucydides, Pliny, the Elder, Seneca--many titans from humanity's intellectual hall of fame cracked their heads on this enigma in Greece and Rome, with not a few of them brushing ever so closely to what we realize now to be the scientific facts regarding seismicity...and accomplishing that feat two thousand years ago.  The thread of attempts to understand and predict earthquakes proceeds through the Middle Ages, is intertwined with the Black Death, is the focus of a great debate throughout the Age of Reason, with Voltaire, Immanuel Kant, Rousseau and other heavyweights wrestling with the conundrum--and more than a few of them hitting the nail squarely on the head, using nothing more than their intuition.  This, however, only sets the stage for the great eye-brow raising core of the work: a reasoned and sober refutation of the decades-long litany that has been repeated as if holy writ on the US West Coast and elsewhere regarding the supposed hopelessness of seismic forecasting.  Tens of millions of Americans have been somehow let to believe, for reasons never explained, that the same society which has catalogued the three billion base pairs of the entire human genome, the nation whose crafts are at this moment piercing the heliopause on their way into interstellar space, that a civilization that transplants organs with such mundane regularity as to be commonplace, somehow will never...ever...get a handle on its first steps toward a rudimentary method, at least, to predict seismic events with some degree of accuracy.  Such a pessimistic and unsupported view is plainly destined to be noted with so many other missteps in the history of science.  If the world doesn't spin, the continents don't drift, the atom can't be split, the Van Allen Belt doesn't exist, smallpox vaccines are useless, the sound barrier is unbreakable since man will never fly--then earthquake prediction is impossible as well.  Read more -->

David Nabhan

About the Author: David Nabhan is an advocate who has been calling for the creation of an earthquake advisory for the US West Coast for the last two decades.  He writes a regular column for Newsmax, "Shaking Up Science," in which he highlights current developments in seismic forecasting and other related topics for a wide audience. He proposes a plan with zero cost and available for the first steps to be implemented tomorrow which, if after being validated and viewed as feasible by the appropriate panel of experts, could lead to the incipient phases of a rudimentary seismic warning system.   His proposal to undertake a thorough investigation to determine whether higher probability windows for elevated seismic risks might be ascertained has placed that controversial debate into the public forum with the USGS, Cal Tech, and the Southern California Earthquake Center.   Nabhan is currently directing a campaign to marshal public opinion to impel the Honorable governor of the state of California to convene the California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council for the purposes of establishing the viability or fallibility for such higher probability alerts.  Mr. Nabhan is the author of four books on this subject,  and has been invited to voice his opinion about the merits of the plan he proposes by science journals both in Europe and the United States and by many hundreds of media--television, talk radio, newspapers and magazines.  Nabhan spent most of his adult life in Southern California, taking degrees at Mesa College and San Diego State University.  He was a certificated bilingual public school teacher for nineteen years in South Central Los Angeles and the former Los Angeles Unified School District Earthquake Preparedness Coordinator for his school site for fifteen of those years.   

David Nabhan is now retired from teaching, relocated to the Northeast, where he travels, writes science fiction--Skyhorse Publishing/Talos Press, New York, The Pilots of Borealis (Pilots of Borealis: sci fi)--and tutors Spanish.