Why, yes, linking climate change to Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes DOES seem "to be bordering on the insane"

Don’t worry, this guy is just trying to sell a book conveniently located on the left sidebar of the Guardian. I hear there’s a two for one special with Chariots of the Gods on Amazon.

Get a load of some of this rubbish:

The world we inhabit has an outer rind that is extraordinarily sensitive to change. While the Earth’s crust may seem safe and secure, the geological calamities that happen with alarming regularity confirm that this is not the case. Here in the UK, we only have to go back a couple years to April 2010, when the word on everyone’s lips was Eyjafjallajökull – the ice-covered Icelandic volcano that brought UK and European air traffic to a grinding halt. Less than a year ago, our planet’s ability to shock and awe headed the news once again as the east coast of Japan was bludgeoned by a cataclysmic combination of megaquake and tsunami, resulting – at a quarter of a trillion dollars or so – in the biggest natural-catastrophe bill ever.

Could it be then, that if we continue to allow greenhouse gas emissions to rise unchecked and fuel serious warming, our planet’s crust will begin to toss and turn once again?

The signs are that this is already happening. In the detached US state of Alaska, where climate change has propelled temperatures upwards by more than 3C in the last half century, the glaciers are melting at a staggering rate, some losing up to 1km in thickness in the last 100 years. The reduction in weight on the crust beneath is allowing faults contained therein to slide more easily, promoting increased earthquake activity in recent decades. The permafrost that helps hold the state’s mountain peaks together is also thawing rapidly, leading to a rise in the number of giant rock and ice avalanches. In fact, in mountainous areas around the world, landslide activity is on the up; a reaction both to a general ramping-up of global temperatures and to the increasingly frequent summer heatwaves.

Whether or not Alaska proves to be the “canary in the cage” – the geological shenanigans there heralding far worse to come – depends largely upon the degree to which we are successful in reducing the ballooning greenhouse gas burden arising from our civilisation’s increasingly polluting activities, thereby keeping rising global temperatures to a couple of degrees centigrade at most.

Alaska has detached OMG!

Yeah right, that ~0.8°C of atmospheric warming in the past century reached all the way down to the bottom of the ocean and disturbed the fault off Japan. Of course if Mr. McGuire doesn’t do anything but let himself get scared by computer model predictions instead of examining measured reality, I can see how he’d be driven to write a book like this.


This Guardian article is even less credible when you pitch a sensational book in the “news” article at the Guardian right alongside it. I may nominate this guy for idiot of the year, he may beat Peter Gleick for this honor.

Here’s the book:

Waking the Giant: How a changing climate triggers earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes by Bill McGuire

Buy it from the Guardian bookshop

UPDATE: 9:00AM 2/27 Anonymous whiner “The Power of X” complains in comments that I “didn’t use enough science” in this post. I didn’t realize that when mocking such absurd claims I had to worry about it that much, especially when I tag the story with “GLOC” and “ridiculae”. I figured hey, I just won Best Science Blog for the second year in a row and Lifetime Achievement Award in the 2012 Bloggies, plus the post went up at 3:30AM PST, so I though maybe I’d get a little slack. Oh well, that’s what updates are for. Steve Goddard helpfully points out what the USGS has to say about this nonsense. They write on their website:

Are Earthquakes Really on the Increase?

We continue to be asked by many people throughout the world if earthquakes are on the increase. Although it may seem that we are having more earthquakes, earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater have remained fairly constant.

A partial explanation may lie in the fact that in the last twenty years, we have definitely had an increase in the number of earthquakes we have been able to locate each year. This is because of the tremendous increase in the number of seismograph stations in the world and the many improvements in global communications. In 1931, there were about 350 stations operating in the world; today, there are more than 8,000 stations and the data now comes in rapidly from these stations by electronic mail, internet and satellite. This increase in the number of stations and the more timely receipt of data has allowed us and other seismological centers to locate earthquakes more rapidly and to locate many small earthquakes which were undetected in earlier years. The NEIC now locates about 20,000 earthquakes each year or approximately 50 per day. Also, because of the improvements in communications and the increased interest in the environment and natural disasters, the public now learns about more earthquakes.

According to long-term records (since about 1900), we expect about 17 major earthquakes (7.0 – 7.9) and one great earthquake (8.0 or above) in any given year.

They make the exact same argument that I do about severe weather, another favorite worry-wail of the CAGW camp:

Why it seems that severe weather is “getting worse” when the data shows otherwise – a historical perspective

Oh, the GRACE data isn’t the definitive answer on ice loss=earthquakes



correlation ≠ cause



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Mike (UK)

I wonder how long it will be before the BBC picks this up and spins it.


You could’t make this stuff up.
Oh, wait a minute………………. .
H.G.Wells would be so envious of the imaginations of these folk.

I think Piers Corbyn sees links, but would link both climate and geological events with external forces such as solar forces. As we say so many times, just because 2 things are correlated doesn’t mean there’s a causal link one way or the other — in this case there may be a cause driving both of them.

a jones

Dear me Chariots of the Gods.
You are going back a bit aren’t you?
Not that gullible persons of that time didn’t rush about talking about it. Oh and the BBC made a show or two.Don’t blame me I was strictly fiction dept. Where we had real monsters you know.
Still there we are.
And congratulations on your success in the Bloggies.
Kindest Regards


That should read “couldn’t”.
My computer can’t spell.


I don’t think we’ll ever see Peak Stupid.

John Marshall

Included in the drivers of climate change are volcanic activity and plate tectonics amongst a host of others. These drivers work over millions of years for plate tectonics to a few weeks for a volcanic eruption of sufficient intensity. But the reverse is impossible. Earthquakes are feature of plate tectonics with the most severe occurring near subduction zones but no connection with climate.
This book sounds like typical Guardian alarmism based on fairy tales.


Do you think he believes the cr*p he writes or is he just in it for the money? I surpose you could ask the same of many-a rent-a-eco.
‘Buy it from the Guardian bookshop’ – no thanks I prefer more action in my Fiction, oh and Elves and Dwarfs.

Neil Jones

Piers Corbyn has been saying that a quiet sun could cause more earthquakes/volcanoes for some time. This guy is betting he’s right to sell his book.


Can’t blame him , lots of other have jumped on the AGE gravy train with equally mad claims .


Oh come on! Possibly the other way round perhaps, but this is stoopid.

Erich Von Daniken

Chariots of the Gods is a good book!

Ian W

This is a common cause correlation here but these people are blinded by their absolute faith in the power of carbon dioxide.
There are many studies that have found statistical correlation of solar activity and earthquakes/volcanic activity. In the same way as many studies have found statistical correlations of variations in climate and solar activity (see Piers Corbyn). So there will be some common correlation between volcanic/earthquake activity and climate changes; they possibly have the same causation. This is complicated by the impact of large volcanic effects on climate of course. But then there can be no simple relationships between aspects of a chaotic system of chaotic systems.
However, as the Guardian article shows, there will always be someone who tries to draw simple causal links between correlated effects or trend lines through time series of data from stochastic processes.

Lew Skannen

It is insane… unless you are trying to sell a book to a bunch of deluded cultists and make one last smash and grab for cash before the game ends and the whole scam comes tumbling down in a heap.
This book has basically made the final claim. The one that has been too whacky for anyone else to make. But now that there are books about all other possible effects of climate change this was the last seam that could be mined and he has done it.
The only extension now would be to claim that our CO2 is messing up the Sun. It will be made soon but I don’t think that it will have quite the following needed to make a book worthwhile.

I was about to fisk this tripe myself but you’ve beaten me to the chase Anthony….
May I offer something else instead – the reaction of the True Believers to the Heartland forgery has frankly – been beyond belief, with the likes of DeSmog, the Guardian etc continuing to treat it as if it is genuine. And this McGuire bloke doesn’t seem to be cut from a different cloth himself.
So I cut a small vid (don’t worry, not a Downfall vid this time) from an amusing Star Wars parody that sums up the situation for me. There’s one mild cuss word in the vid. The first reaction I get in the comments from an alarmist on Youtube is much ruder though I’m sure it will amuse everyone….


Carbon Dioxide Supermolecule! Wears his knickers on the outside, not only can he defy gravity and stay in the sky for thousands of years, he can lift whole continents!

Well, if THIS be science, let them make the most of it.

Vince Causey

Who the heck is Bill McGuire?
No, this is not a slur. According to Wikipedia: “Bill McGuire may refer to: Bill McGuire (volcanologist) Bill McGuire (baseball) Bill McGuire (footballer) Billy McGuire, one of the World’s Heaviest Twins.”
Assuming that the first adjective is the correct one, a vulcanologist should know that whether or not you move glaciers around, the tectonic plates are always undergoing stresses that would result in a constant rate of drift, if they were allowed to move freely. Melting glaciers, although in theory may make the plates slide more easily, cannot increase the average rate of this drift. This is because the forces driving the plates has not altered. Thus, if the plates slide more easily, as McGuire suggests, then there will be more frequent, but smaller tremors. This is actually a good thing.
McGuire is simply another one in a long list of alarmists, who make outrageous and ridiculous claims about so called climate catastrophe. Although what he is claiming, on closer inspection, appears to relate to areas currently under ice, that does not stop him from throwing in examples that have absolutely nothing to do with his theory. The Japan tsunami did not result from an area that was covered by ice, and the icelandic volcano, was in fact a volcano, and not an earthquake.
Having conflated the totally unrelated issues in the readers mind, he then makes his final leap of logic by claiming that:
“the geological shenanigans there heralding far worse to come – depends largely upon the degree to which we are successful in reducing the ballooning greenhouse gas burden arising from our civilisation’s increasingly polluting activities, thereby keeping rising global temperatures to a couple of degrees centigrade at most.”
No lack of adjectives there. Greenhouse gases are said to be “ballooning”, which implies geometric growth – also a nonsensical claim, and civilisation’s activities are “increasingly polluting” which is a non-sequitor in any case. If there is more pollution, there is likely to be more aerosols and therefore global dimming – remember that theory? Well, perhaps by pollution he is referring to CO2 emissions only, rather than actual pollution. Yet he is now out on a limb, because whether global temperatures will rise by more than a couple of degrees depends totally on the amount of positive feedback in the climate system. This is a contraversial issue, but most evidence to date suggests feedback will actually be negative, not positive.
But I guess a vulcanologist wouldn’t be expected to know much about the climate system. Maybe Peter Gleick wrote that bit for him.


Oh noes! The dreaded isostatic rebound is torquing Gaia to bits! Buy the book, soon to be a major motion picture!
Seriously, this guy may be crazy but he’s certainly cunning. His doomsday article is so carefully laced with “mights” and “coulds” and “maybes” and “possibly, somedays” that nobody can ever legally complain. He’s just writing a thriller and cashing out on popular confusion and fear.
The fact that his work is so sloppy and over-the-top suggests that the opportunists see the end of the scam as imminent, and either want to double-down on the potential consequences even as the probabilities dwindle; or they want to rush the last hysterical warnings to market and collect a check before the public wakes up.
Either way, this is most interesting.

cui bono

Next week in the Grauniad: “How climate change makes the Earth more vulnerable to asteroid impacts.”

Makes me wonder if the 1964 Alaska quake (9.2 magnitude) was pre- or post-Global Warming.
And about that 2010 quake in Haiti (7.0). Melting of the Papa Doc Glacier?

If this type of nonsense isn’t confronted we’ll end up with climate trials like Oliver Reed’s in ‘The Devils’.

Viewer from afar

Not to mention all those old copies of National Geographic in everyone’s garages causing subsidence. /sarc

sarc. abandon ship ! mann the boats !


Oldseadog says:
February 27, 2012 at 3:37 am
You could’t make this stuff up.
A rational person couldnt make this up, but warmists can.
They couldnt give a monkeys about the truth, all theyre interested in is going for the big “scare me” story.
The bigger the scare the better they like it and will promote it, no matter how ludicrous, no matter how bizarre, no matter that its completely made up, the product of a sick imagination.
The wilder, the dumber, the more stupefyingly erm stupid the idea, there will be a warmist behind it, screeching hysterically, hair flying in the carbon dioxide “saturated” atmos, foaming at the mouth and pointing their pointy fingers at everyone hollering the “repent” the end is nigh” codswallop thats so their hallmark.
They accuse sceptics of being “anti” science- whats scientific about the british taxpayer funding a “rainman” out in africa somewhere?
Yup, theyre actually chucking cold hard cash at some voodoo loving screwball to produce rain.
Thats the level of agw “science”, complete garbage at every possible level.
Right, now onto the rapture….ha ha!

Hector Pascal

Oh dear. Oh dearie dear. Utter plonking lunacy. There was a time I read the Grauniad, but for The Arts and sport, never for Science. Now I won’t touch it because I can’t bear to add the slightest advertising revenue to their insane drivel.

Hot under the collar

Good grief evacuate all hills immediately, the ice holding the hills together is melting!

cui bono

Vince Causey says:
Bio: he’s a professor of end-of-world studies – sorry, ‘climate hazards’. He keeps writing books about imminent apocalyse.
“Seven Years to Save the Planet”
“The End of the World Reports” on TV.
Who’s who entry says hobby is ‘worrying about the future of our planet’.
‘Nuff said.

The North Atlantic rift has spread for 150 million years. 35 volcanoes have erupted in the past 10,000 years. I don’t see how people caused that. But, people with deeply held beliefs will conquer the facts needed to support their belief, common sense needn’t apply. Pretty good proof that AGW is a religion instead of a science. The book is not bordering on insane; it is insane.

Roger Knights

This is “climate porn.” I think one of the motivations for warmism was a secret desire to revel in doomsday / end-days porn. These buttoned-up scientists had so suppressed their juvenile, fantasizing side that it erupted in CAGW and porn-type self-indulgence in imagining the 1001 catastrophes that an inexorably warming climate would bring.

Vince Causey

“Next week in the Grauniad: “How climate change makes the Earth more vulnerable to asteroid impacts.”
Yes! “Ballooning” greenhouse gases creates a “heat trapping blanket” that raises the temperature of the atmosphere “to unprecedented levels of heat”. Basic physics tells us that the heated atmosphere expands and becomes thinner. The dangerously attenuated atmosphere offers less resistance to asteroids. This won’t affect the impacts of giant asteroids, which are very rare anyway, but of much smaller ones, which are extremely common.
Small asteroids, of the size of a brick, or smaller, are either burnt up, or reduced to terminal velocity – about 120mph. However, with “dangerously attenuated atmospheric syndrome”, these small asteroids, will hardly be slowed down at all, and will strike the ground at speeds of thousands of mph. They will explode with the force of atomic bombs. This is basic physics – E = 1/2MV**2.
I wonder how much the Guardian will pay me to publish it?

Steve C

Saw this thing on my morning scan of the ‘news’ media, but somebody had already Tipped and Noted it, good to see you took it up so quickly. Maybe one day the Guardian will come to its senses, but until then … keep shining the light on their idiocies, and we can hope that yesterday’s shower of awards on the realist blogs drives a few more bemused people to call by and form – no, make that correct – their own opinions.
The Guardian – It’s Worse Than We Thought!

Al Gore's Holy Hologram

Quickly, adopt Socialism, [snip], eat raw food, live on rations, end freedom, establish trillion dollar carbon credits market, save planet!

Cold Englishman

Certifiably insane!

I find that bookcover highly insulting. I think mr Mr. McGuire should travel to places like Rikuzentakata or any other place that was hit in the greater Tohoku area and tell those who are left there that this was al caused by the CO2 super molecule.

Wow. A book that’s entirely based on material from newspaper headlines of trash tabloids! He probably lays awake at night worrying about the Easter Bunny and that Santa may lose his kingdom up North, for real!

Climate Methodist

The Crazy World of Bill McGuire…
“If we think about climate change at all, most of us do so in a very simplistic way…”
You think he’s about to acknowledge any hitherto ignored complexities of climate mechanics?
Maybe a denouement on the dynamics of ocean-atmospheric interface?
Perhaps he’ll posit the possibility of a negative feedback or two?
Nope, no Gaian gestalt evident in this factual wowsers methodism, It’s straight to the fire and brimstone when reading from the geological gospel according to Bill McGuire!
No room for any benign, gauzy, Earth Mother goddess in mad Bill’s world view, he worships at the feet of a vengeful god. The god of catastrophic climate change! Bill’s book of revelations brings forth his fervid vision of hell unleashed, mountains unhinged torrents of magma and tsunamis summoned forth to purge all trace of the unbelievers. AND IT’S HAPPENING NOW PEOPLE!
…or p’raps not?
“Critics have said that McGuire has sometimes made exaggerated claims, in the media and in popular science publications, about geohazard risks that are outside his field of expertise.”

cui bono

How many folks have had (or heard of someone having) this experience (I’m guessing a lot)?
A friend of mine was trying to get a UK grant for studying a specific aspect of owl behavoir, and was getting nowhere. So he changed his grant application to ‘the effects of climate change on [the specific aspect of owl behavoir]’ and the grant came through quicker than you could say ‘what-a-con’. In the end, he added one meaningless paragraph to the resultant paper mentioning climate change.
So, what’s going to sell better in this insane period – a book subtitled ‘Earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes’ or a book subtitled ‘How a changing climate triggers earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes’.
Follow the dosh, as well as the insanity.


It’s an attempt to re-energize the movement………..sorry, couldn’t resist.

cui bono

Roger Knights says:
A lot of scientists are reliving 1950s B-movies where only the sage scientist and his beautiful daughter could save the world from imminent catastrophe.
Then it was giant ants; now it’s tiny horses.
‘Klaatu barada nikto’…


Ha ha ha. Chariots of the Gods? Ha ha ha. I actually have that book. It’s a fun book to read for the fun of it.
Chris Dunn’s books are much closer to the truth than fiction compared to Chariots of the Gods… http://www.gizapower.com/ He’s an engineer with tons of experiences with machining tools. Much closer to reality, like Watt and others are…


Did he see the big white rabbit as well?
CO2 molecules have a cape, and a little mask. It was a freak gust of CO2 which blew the crew of the Marie Celeste overboard, shortly before dinner time.


Best laugh I have had for a while. Is Bill McGuire going on tour with this comic masterpiece?

I think the author just read that and decided to take that theory and flip it to CO2 since he knew the last 20 years (until recently) have been dominated by a strong solar cycle 23, volcanism and rising CO2.
It’s like the old joke graph connecting CO2 to piracy.. only not a joke and a lot more shameless.


Just more from the self-loathing crowd. Truly nothing to see here, folks. Move along to sanity; you won’t find it here.


the claim of a 50 year study time, the the wild one about a MILE?? depth of ice melting in 100years..so what i wonder is his proof of that?


“Alaska has detached OMG!” I think detached is Brit for noncontiguous.

“…In the detached US state of Alaska, where climate change has propelled temperatures upwards by more than 3C in the last half century, the glaciers are melting at a staggering rate, some losing up to 1km in thickness in the last 100 years…”
Yet, in the detached continent of Antarctica, scientists drilled through two miles of ice (3.22km) to reach Lake Vostok.
At the rate of 1km/100yrs, they’ll open a beachside resort there somewhere around 2312.
Book your slots now…

Paul Vaughan

Natural Hazards Funding 101:
Fiction seductress attracts more victims if appearing straight-laced.