Radio Freethinker

Vancouver's Number 1 Skeptical Podcast and Radio Show

Posts Tagged ‘Doom’

RFT Ep 249 – Killing the CBC Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on April 18, 2014

Download the episode here! 


Whine of the Week  : Killing the CBC

corrigan april 12 2014

As ye sow, so shall ye reap…can also be stated, as ye fast, so shall ye whither, and whither the CBC has. Facing an $100 million budget short fall…thanks to Harper, losing hockey and other factors…the CBC is cutting staff by over 650.

Polling shows the CBC is the most trusted media source in the country, more three-quarters think the government should fund the CBC at a sufficient level…most of those think funding needs to increased.


The Harper government has regularly and consistently slashed the CBC grant budget after budget while spending  the entire CBC budget on a single F-35 jet…or overpriced frigates. What money they are giving, they think would be better spent by just giving it to private media companies…here’s how that would turn out…

Friday, April 11, 2014

Why are we not moving to a BBC style of funding…create a strong, stable and independent broadcaster, whose sole interest to provide the best of Canada.


Seriously the Unfair Elections Act is Important

Moudakis April 10 2014

How did Poilievre become Minister for Democratic Reform, how was the act craft and again…how it can destroy democracy in Canada – The Harper fix is in!


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The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report


Climate Change…even more certainty and dire warnings, again – The IPCC released it latest report on the state of the worlds climate and we’re serious screwed!

Conclusions of the WG1 report (The Physical Science Basis) are summarized below:

  • “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia”.
  • “Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years”.
  • Human influence on the climate system is clear. It is extremely likely (95-100% probability) that human influence was the dominant cause of global warming between 1951-2010.
  • “Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further [global] warming and changes in all components of the climate system. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions”.
  • “Most aspects of climate change will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 are stopped”

Conclusions of the WG3 report (Mitigation of Climate Change) are summarized below:

  • The global surface temperature increase by the end of the 21st century is likely to exceed 1.5 °C relative to the 1850 to 1900 period for most scenarios, and is likely to exceed 2.0 °C for many scenarios. With the possibility of an increase as much as 4.5°C
  • The global water cycle will change, with increases in disparity between wet and dry regions, as well as wet and dry seasons, with some regional exceptions.
  • The oceans will continue to warm, with heat extending to the deep ocean, affecting circulation patterns.
  • Decreases are very likely in Arctic sea ice cover, Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover, and global glacier volume
  • Global mean sea level will continue to rise at a rate very likely to exceed the rate of the past four decades
  • Changes in climate will cause an increase in the rate of CO2 production.
  • Increased uptake by the oceans will increase the acidification of the oceans.
  • Future surface temperatures will be largely determined by cumulative CO2, which means climate change will continue even if CO2 emissions are stopped.

Find out more:

Society Is Doomed


NASA funded study shows the not only do civilizations collapse, it happens regularly and is inevitable…but there is an upside.

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How Vancouver will Meet its Doom: The Big One

Posted by Ethan Clow on September 23, 2011

Growing up in the Vancouver area, I’ve often heard warnings of the “big one” an earthquake that would level the city and liquefy Richmond. At first I thought this was standard media hysteria and hardly likely to happen. After all, the media loves the chance to say “we’re all doomed!” so I generally wrote it off.

However I decided to do some research to see exactly what, if any, danger there was. Was Vancouver due for a massive earthquake and would it spell the end of the city?

It turns out that this might be a rare case where caution and perhaps even a bit of fear is warranted.

As most of us know, earthquakes are caused by plate tectonics. What is this? Plate tectonics is the scientific theory that explains how the continents on Earth move about and how new crust for the planet is created and destroyed. You might think of the plates as conveyer belts on top of which sit the continents.

Various plates

Interactions between tectonic plates creates friction and stress, this is a form of potential energy, which can ultimately lead to strain or deformation of the crust, which is the principal cause of earthquakes.

How does this affect us in Vancouver? The province of British Columbia is located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, a volatile region of active volcanoes and shifting tectonic plates.

To make matters worse, Vancouver is located right above two tectonic plates, the Juan de Fuca Plate and the North American Plate. What this means is that we could be looking at a Megathrust earthquake. These occur at subduction zones where one tectonic plate is forced under (subducts) another plate. As we mentioned, this will obviously cause a great deal of friction and stress, creating energy. In addition, because of the shallow dip of the plate boundary, large sections tend to get stuck, as pressure builds, the plates are eventually forced through and all that built up energy is released as a Megathrust earthquake. These quakes are among the world’s largest, with moment magnitudes that can exceed 9.0 on the Richter Scale. Since 1900, all six earthquakes of magnitude 9.0 or greater have been Megathrust earthquakes. No other type of known tectonic activity can produce earthquakes of this scale.

Juan de Fuca plate

Guess what the Juan de Fuca Plate and the North American Plate are doing? That’s right, subducting. Juan de Fuca is subducting under the North American plate and this is what caused the massive earthquake in 1700, known as the Cascadia Earthquake. It’s also been suggested that the Cascadia Earthquake might have been a causal agent in the 1750’s volcanic eruption of the Tseax Cone, a volcano near Terrance, British Columbia.

So, these Megathrust earthquakes have happened in the past, can potentially happen again, and have disastrous consequences, are they likely to happen again? If we look at the historic record of when megathrust earthquakes happen in the Vancouver area we can see an interesting trend. According to some research, megathrust earthquakes occur on a frequency of about once every 600 years.

Does this mean it’s likely to happen? The consensus appears to be that over the next half century, experts say there is a one in 10 chance that a Big One will hit somewhere in the province.

Part of the reason it’s so likely is that the Pacific Northwest also has a number of different plate boundaries that could prove problematic – the destructive plate boundary (caused by the subduction of the Juan de Fuca Plate and the North American Plate) which stretches from Vancouver island to Northern California. – the divergent boundary (caused by the Explorer plate, which was once a piece of the Juan de Fuca Plate until it broke off, and it’s about 241 km west of Vancouver Island.  – there is also a Transform fault, running along the west side of the Juan de Fuca Plate and between the Pacific Plate.

Given all these hazards, a earthquake is considered very likely.

The result of an earthquake would cause extreme damage to the city of Vancouver as many of the buildings here are not earthquake proof. In the Vancouver area, cities like Richmond and Delta are built on lowland sediment, which would put them in danger of landslides and liquefaction.

You can see examples on the internet of liquefaction where water and sand geysers up from the ground, or see large areas of land float on water that’s been shaken up by the earthquake.

So as it turns out, there actually is a sizable amount of evidence that a large earthquake is likely to strike the Vancouver area. If we take the previous records as any indication, the last major quake was 1700, so it’s been over 300 years since another. This puts us in the danger zone, so to speak. Basically within the next 50 to 100 years the probability for a megathrust quake is anywhere from 10 to 37%.

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