Humans can cause earthquakes
We don't have a great handle on predicting earthquakes
. But we do know enough about them to know that they aren't all purely forces of nature. Humans can actually cause (or maybe just prompt) the Earth to shake
. We've talked before here at BoingBoing about man-made earthquakes — caused by lubricating rocks deep underground, or by shifting the distribution of weight on the surface of the Earth in significant ways (think: building a reservoir). At Scientific American, David Biello has a short piece on what we do and don't know about this phenomenon
. In light of the ruling in the L'Aquila earthquake trial, I found it particularly interesting to learn that, even when we know we're doing something that could trigger a 'quake, we still aren't very good at figuring out how strong that quake is likely to be.