The seismology of Hugo Chavez and Pat Robertson

Clowns they are, but no time for comedy

Presenting the Chavez theory of natural disasters:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez blamed capitalism for earthquakes hitting India, Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as for mudslides in Central America and Mexico. Speaking on radio and TV, Chavez said these catastrophes were nature’s answer to the “world global capitalist model”. Never have there been such disasters, hurricanes, droughts, torrential rains. Incredible! The world is dangerously off balance,” he said. [DT]

And this is what Pat Robertson, who has been engaging Chavez in a battle of words, had to say:

The recent spate of natural disasters affecting the globe “might be” signs that the Biblical apocalypse is near, says Christian televangelist Pat Robertson.

On an Oct. 9 episode of CNN’s “Late Edition,” the preacher noted that hurricanes such as Katrina and Rita and earthquakes like the ones that struck Pakistan this past weekend and the tsunami-causing one that struck Indonesia last December are hitting with “amazing regularity.” [MSNBC]

These gentlemen deserve each other, but they both deserve to, shall we say, exercise more discretion in what they say and when they say it.

18 thoughts on “The seismology of Hugo Chavez and Pat Robertson”

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  3. We are quite aware that they are nutcases and are bound to make such insane pronouncements from time to time.
    But why is your blog, which is great btw, wasting time writing about them ?

  4. Even if they don’t have a monopoly on stupidity, they certainly got more than their fair share. Search their scalps well and you’ll find evidence of multiple lobotomies.

  5. Dilip,

    Isn’t it amazing how almost all religious say the same things. (spelling intentional)

  6. Global warming and climate change have contributed to these natural disasters to a large extent and Chavez is right when he sees capitalism responsible for this.

  7. Climate change responsible for earthquake …. :-O

    Shashi dude what is it that you have been smoking ??

  8. Ok, so Chavez and Robertson are a bit loony. Nothing new there. But in their own ways, they are trying to make sense of what’s going on, with all these disasters in the last 10 months. Can this all really be put down to coincidence? Probably not. Climate change is one theory, but it doesn’t really explain much. Unbridled capitalism certainly can be part of the problem since deforestation, for one, does exacerbate disasters. But what is really at play here? It’s a fair question, perhaps even a critical one for this planet to answer. You can expect the extremists – left and right – to come out with their pet theories and be shot down. But what are more rational people saying? What explains this?

  9. Roshan….

    You assume that humans action control climate and build your theory on that.
    Problem is that we don’t know enough about climate, much less control it.
    Human actions are causing global warming is not well established fact, so is the statement that global warming is causing more extreme weather conditions.
    Mind you, I dont reject or accept it, I am merely saying that we don’t know enough.
    It will be better if we study the phenomena of climate to get a better handle on the issue.
    I seriously hope you are not saying that earthquakes are due to human activites.


  10. shashi, roshan, using Pat Roberston, or Hugo Chavez (or Rajeev Srinivasan) to bolster your argument against global warming or against capitalism is pretty pathetic. There are easier and sounder ways to whip both these babies. I’d recommend using better ambassadors for your messages against global warming/capitalism/whatever. These guys are deep thinkers on the level of broccoli.

  11. gaurav and libertarian: i’m not sure if you read me correctly. i explicitly said that i think robertson and chavez are nuts. and i also am not blaming human activities or capitalism entirely for climate change and not at all for earthquakes. what i am simply saying is this: there have been too many major disasters in the last year to ignore the fact that we are being sent a message of some sort. my question is: what is that message? robertson and chavez have their own ideas, and i think those ideas are bunk. so let me ask you guys then: what do you think is happening? is this all pure coincidence in your books? [see this post for a partial list of the disasters in the last year: you see, gaurav, my problem is in fact that i dont have a theory for this! do you?

  12. roshan, sorry to offend you on the Chavez/Robertson front. Read your blog entry about disasters around the world. It would be neat to be able to assign scientific explanations for what’s happening. Absent that, it is what it is – nothing more, nothing else. Looking for root causes at that point inevitably leads down some meandering conspiracy theories, religious and not.

    It’s also possible that with the current info overload, we’re just more sensitized to each disaster. I’m not terribly callous, but I remember reading about 500,000+ people dying in a Bangladesh floods and then looking to see which theater Amar, Akbar, Anthony was running in. OK, maybe I am callous 🙂 . Seriously though, if you did a casualty-count from natural disasters (Acts of God in the US!), I wouldn’t be surprised to see it actually diminish over the last 20 years.

  13. Roshan,

    what i am simply saying is this: there have been too many major disasters in the last year to ignore the fact that we are being sent a message of some sort. my question is: what is that message?

    I’m not sure what kind of a message you imply. If it is of a scientific kind, then yes, there is a need, for India in this context, to beef up research into geology, oceanography and climate change. But I’ve yet to see evidence that the calamities of recent years fall out of the pattern of their occurence over the last several centuries.

    But if you mean a message of the religious or spiritual kind, then I certainly won’t be one getting it. I don’t have a receiver for that kind of a message 🙂

  14. There is absolutely no evidence that Global warming causes natural disasters. Especially earthquakes, it is absurd to think that that fractional temperature changes on the surface of the earth can affect geological processes. The fact of the matter is Natural disasters happen. And any anthropologist will tell you that humans, through some special narcissism always feel that they are responsible, either by upsetting the gods or now through global warming. It’s not that I don’t believe global warming exists it’s just that the idea that it is either exacerbating or causing natural disasters requires a tremendous leap of faith. By the way, quite possibly the number one polluter on earth is Communist China.

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