Sunday, January 11, 2009

Yellowstone: nowhere to hide

Dr. Michael Rampino, a Vulcanologist from NYU, was interviewed by Fox News on January 7th. I can't embed the video because they turned that off but you can click the link and watch it at their site. Here are a few of the statements. The clip is interesting, lengthy for a tv news spot, and has a lot of graphics shown while the Doctor is talking:

Interviewer: "What do you see in all these small earthquakes that have occurred since the day after Christmas?"

Doctor: "It made us all sit up and take notice that something is going on at Yellowstone. It is a restless volcano, most people don't know that when they go to the park they are inside the cauldron of a supervolcano that has erupted many times in the past..."

Interviewer: "Is this realistic, or are we just scaring people out there? I mean, people are writing in, thinking this is Armageddon..."

Doctor: "The probability that this will occur at any particular year is very small but we know it has happened in the past and we know that Yellowstone tends goes off on these large supervolcanic eruptions..."

Doctor: "We may be seeing the magma chamber doing things in preparation for a large eruption, or we may be seeing presagings of a small eruption, or we may just be seeing restless magma chamber moving around and things will go back to normal and we won't see an eruption for thousands of years."

Interviewer: "Old Faithful: not so faithful any that a suggestion of what's happening below the earth's surface?"

Doctor: "We look for any changes. We see the ground bulging up, we see geysers going off at different times, we see earthquakes below the volcano...all these may indicate a lessening of stress on the volcano, or it may indicate the stress inside the volcano is getting greater. We really don't know enough about the precursors of a large volcanic eruption to make any kind of a reasonable prediction about what might happen at Yellowstone."

graphical interlude: 1,000-3,000 eqs per year at Yellowstone, in one week there have been 500+

Interviewer: "Doctor is this the kind of thing that keeps you up at night?"

Doctor: "It doesn't keep me up at night but it certainly keeps me thinking about what sort of major disaster may be hitting us from left field. We are not prepared for the global environmental effects that could affect the climate, for example..."

The upshot is that there would be nowhere to hide. Except in Jesus' saving grace and knowledge that life in Him is eternal. The Yellowstone incident has shaken the world, and caused more than a few to understand that self-sufficiency is illusory. God is in control, and with Jesus as savior there is nothing to fear. Ever.

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