Does Fracking Cause Earthquakes? No. Windmills Do.

Windmill

Does fracking cause earthquakes? No. Windmills do.

Liberals look to the reports of increased earthquake activity and add it to their list of reasons why they hate fracking. Hold on there! I wouldn’t be so quick to blame fracking. In every place where earthquakes are on the rise, we see an increase in the construction of windmills.

Take, for example, this story by the Enid News about earthquakes in Oklahoma. It cites a U.S. Geological Survey that reports over 549 earthquakes greater than 3.0 magnitude in 2014. This is a drastic rise compared to 2013, when there were 109, and in 2012 when there were 39. This large, sudden rise demands we investigate windmills.

OK earthquakes

Instead, according to the Enid News, the USGS is investigating if injection wells associated with fracking are responsible for earthquakes.

What are injection wells? You may not be aware of this because I wasn’t until I began working in the oilfield, but oil wells actually produce more water than oil. The oil from a well goes to the refinery, but the produced water is pumped back deep underground at a place called an injection well. (And is transported to the injection well by Peterbilts.)

This distinction between an injection well and the fracking process itself doesn’t matter to a liberal who is determined to hate fracking. He just looks at this chart of earthquakes in Oklahoma and sees a sudden rise beginning in 2009. His conclusion: fracking is to blame.

Am I unfairly caricaturizing liberals? Judge for yourself.

On July 31, NPR.org posted a headline that read, Is Fracking to Blame for Increase in Quakes in Oklahoma? On August 8, the Atlantic focused on fracking in its article Man-made Earthquakes are Changing the Seismic Landscape. MSNBC concluded in its headline on July 8, New study links Oklahoma earthquakes to fracking. The New Republic, however, exercized caution, using the word possibly when it published, Oklahoma Earthquakes Possibly Caused by Fracking.

Yes, these liberal news sites do mention the theory that it’s actually injection wells and not fracking. But the angle taken by the editors stokes their liberal readers’ frenzied hatred toward fracking. However, if the injection well theory is true, banning fracking is not necessary. Modifying the injection well disposal process alone could calm the earthquake epidemic – ifit’s true that injection wells cause the earthquakes.

The culpability of injection wells (and therefore fracking) comes into doubt when you consider two facts. First, the distribution of earthquakes does not correlate to the distribution of water injection wells. And second, the sudden rise in earthquakes did not begin until 2009.

Even the Atlantic in their fracking hit-piece struggles explaining the geography of the earthquakes. Speaking with Robert Williams, a geophysicist with the USGS, Adrienne LaFrance writes:

Why does fracking seem to be linked to an uptick in earthquakes in some places but not in others? “We don’t know exactly why,” Williams said. (Some of the other states where seismic activity is on the rise: Arkansas, Texas, and to a lesser extent, Ohio and Colorado.) “There are a lot of questions yet to be answered. But a key point: There are thousands of wastewater wells across Oklahoma and we’re seeing this concentration [of earthquakes] incentral Oklahoma.”

I’ll do him one better. There are thousands of injection wells all across the United States of America. Anywhere there is an oil well there is an injection well nearby. You cannot operate an oil well without an injection well because the water comes out of the ground at a ratio of 10 barrels to every one barrel of oil. Since this water is actually heavy salt water, you can’t dispose of it by dumping it on the ground. It must be injected beneath an impenetrable rock layer so it doesn’t pollute drinkable water aquifers.

So that means that if injection wells necessarily caused devastating earthquake epidemics, there would be earthquakes in every oil-producing state since Spindletop. Most importantly, it also means any oil production will lead to earthquakes regardless of whether fracking was used to stimulate the wells.

So again, why 2009 and why central Oklahoma?

Can we blame windmills?

The construction of windmill farms in Oklahoma correlates much better to the sudden upward trend of earthquakes. Remember the key year is 2009. That was long after fracking had already achieved widespread implementation. But it was just on the cusp of a massive uptick in windmill farm construction.

The windmill boom began in Oklahoma in 2003 with the construction of Oklahoma Wind Energy Center in Harper County, with a rated capacity of 102 Megawatts. According toinformation published by the Kansas Energy Information, between 2003 and 2008, Oklahoma allowed construction of 6 more bird-killing machines that together have a rated capacity of 706 MW. I say “rated” because who’s kidding who, windmills don’t produce energy like their proponents promise.

But then in 2009, things took a turn for the worse. Large truck convoys pulling loads too big for residential roads clogged Sooner state highways. Eerie metal monstrosities appeared everywhere on the horizon. Their looming stature, lethargic rotating, and sub-sonic droning caused unsettling feeling in people living nearby. Soon livestock were birthing defective offspring. Rumors swirled that the magnetic fields of these windmills next to the ranch were to blame.

Yes, 2009 was a big year. Oklahoma saw four massive windfarms come online. Each of these four were rated to put out between 99 and 127 MW. Compare that to the the previous six years which saw only seven windmill farms built.

Collectively, Oklahoma’s 11 windmill power plants totaled 1128 MW of electrical power. That’s a lot, right? 1128 MEGA WATTS!

All of these windmills turn wind energy into electrical energy, measured in mega watts. 1128 Mega Watts sounds great to a liberal who didn’t do so well in physics class. There’s one big factor he left out of the equation. The clue is in the following passage I found at an online science tutor, physicsclassroom.com, discussing energy:

A common scene in some parts of the countryside is a “wind farm.” High-speed winds are used to do work on the blades of a turbine at the so-called wind farm. The mechanical energy of the moving air gives the air particles the ability to apply a force and cause a displacement of the blades. As the blades spin, their energy is subsequently converted into electrical energy (a non-mechanical form of energy) and supplied to homes and industries in order to run electrical appliances.

The wind applies force to the windmills. Enough force to generate 1128 megawatts. But do the windmills fall over when the wind blows on them? No. So that means that even though some of the wind energy is turned into electrical energy, something else is applying enough force in the opposite direction of the wind to keep the windmills erect. What is that thing? I’ll give you a clue. It’s what the windmills are anchored into: the ground.

The ground keeps the windmills standing up in the fierce winds that whip up in the Oklahoma plains. Yet, as rugged as we think the ground is, it is actually just broken pieces of the earth’s crust floating on currents of magma. So besides turning wind energy into electrical energy, windmills transfer wind energy into kinetic energy by doing work on the tectonic plate. The plate therefore moves in the same direction as the prevailing wind.

Since some of you may be English majors, let me ask you this: Have you ever seen a hoovercraft on the ocean? Have you ever seen a fan boat on the bayou? These boats float on the water and are propelled by a giant fan. What I’m saying is that windmills turn the ground they are on into a giant hoovercraft.

You know the major cause of earthquakes, right? It’s when one of the earth’s tectonic plates crashes into another? Well what do you think happens when you build a ton of windmills in western Oklahoma and the whole ground crashes into eastern Oklahoma? You get tons of earthquakes in Central Oklahoma!

The windmill boom where it literally booms

Remember that 2009 was the year when the windmill building boom just took off. (Together with magnitude 3.0 earthquakes.) In the several years after, Oklahoma kept building many more farms. In 2012 alone, they built 10. One of those, the Canadian Hills Wind Farm, keeps 135 turbines in operation with a total capacity of 295 MW. By the end of 2012, there were 26 wind farms online with a projected capacity of 3.175 Gigawatts.

Say this in a Dr. Emmet Brown voice, “3.175 Gigawatts! Marty, you can’t just go building windmills and get 3.175 gigawatts.”

If we take the USGS chart of the magnitude 3.0 earthquakes in Oklahoma, and add to it the collective capacity of windfarms by year, we see a trend that shows a proportional correlation.

OK quakes a result of windmill construction -- FeedingJimmy.com

The time for action is now! Windmills cause earthquakes. You still don’t believe me? Well too bad. We’re shutting down all windmill construction until you can prove otherwise.

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145 comments

  1. Snoots says:

    This is yet another case of someone with a website failing to recognize the difference between similarity and causality. Failing to take in the world-wide evidence of windmill use, failing to properly read statistical charts (a mild rise in windmill use does NOT correlate to a significant rise in earthquakes), and basically twisting / manipulating data to fit his pre-biased opinion. This is one of the most ludicrous posts I’ve seen on the web, right up there with white supremacy and people believing coffee is worth $5 a cup. The world has no shortage of loons.

  2. Garrett Moffitt says:

    And yet, other places with massive wind turbine constructs and no fracking have no uptick in earthquakes. Wind turbines causing earthquakes make no damn sense.

  3. […] know what’s going to “work” on the internet. For example on feedingjimmy.com the windmills cause earthquakes post is far and away the most popular. It’s the only blog post I’ve done that’s gone […]

  4. Sam Rice says:

    Will someone who is able to construct an educated debate please respond to me? I am not an engineer but a soil scientist. Having a background in science I realize most importantly the effects we seek answers to are rarely found within a singular cause. Often times political/social/financial/personal blinders are restraining the objectivity we seek. Can anyone objectively state a certainty when so many assumptions are employed? Can the cause not be a combination of many factors, including but not limited to SWD wells (especially post 2008, since surface applications of waste water was no longer being permitted by the OK Corporation Commission) and other anthroprologic activity?
    Again, I do not want to argue with anyone but I always look forward to the clash and education found within debate.

    • Jim Kinkade says:

      Sir, if you want an educated debate, you came to the right place: the comment section of my blog.

      “Can the cause be a combination of many factors… and other anthropologic activity?”

      Yes. Human activity can be a factor in earthquakes. The construction of Dams for example can cause earthquakes. The book Texas Earthquakes, by Cliff Frohlich and Scott D Davis, lists five earthquakes felt within two years of major dam construction (in Texas.)

      I highly recommend that book, btw. It was written and published before the Oklahoma Earthquake controversy. They discuss human activities triggering earthquakes.

      Please note, I wrote this article to respond to a single idea: that fracking caused the earthquakes.

      It did not.

      But if we accept the liberal’s premise that humans did trigger the Oklahoma earthquake swarm, Windmills look like the perfect culprit.

      Since writing this, liberals finally began to understand that injection disposal wells and fracking are two different things. It took them a long time to wrap their brains around this. But they shifted their blame pointing to disposal wells.

      In Texas Earthquakes book, they do discuss injection wells’ ability to trigger quakes.

      But here’s where your question comes to play.

      An earthquake could be a combination of many factors. What makes the SWDs in Oklahoma different than the SWDs in Texas, where we don’t have earthquake swarms?

      Windmills.

      Windmills created tectonic stress that would have been one giant devastating earthquake for Oklahoma. But injection wells broke that one giant quake up into a bunch of small, yet mildly annoying quakes.

      So there you have it. Fracking saved Oklahoma from the Big One.

      Mr. Rice, if you like ideas like this, make sure you stay tuned to my Christian food blog, http://www.feedingjimmy.com. Also, I’m launching my new website, http://www.jimkinkade.com, which is the combination of Religion and Politics.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Not to mention every epicenter is located near or right under wind farms as well

  6. Anonymous says:

    And…Pirates are the cause of global warming!!! Don’t believe me? It’s true!!! Pirates are cool. And as the temperature of the earth has increased, the number of pirates has decreased. Clearly, the lack of really cool pirates is causing global warming.

    Or…this article was written by a pseudo-intellectual who doesn’t understand he’s a victim of the correlation fallacy.

  7. Todd Fagin says:

    I can only hope that this was meant as satire. If not, I must point out is it is premised on a blatant logical fallacy (post hoc ergo propter hoc) and riddled with factual errors. After reading some of the comments, I can only assume it is not satire.

    To begin, it is wholly irrelevant that the surge in Oklahoma earthquakes followed construction of large wind farms if a causal mechanism cannot be demonstrated. The utter nonsense of windmills functioning as “hovercrafts” is not based on an objective evidence. Faults are located at depths much further underground than wind turbine anchors (some trees have deeper roots than these anchors). The turbines are on massive, rigid concrete slabs reinforced by rebar (a simple Google search would have shown you this). Moreover, you would have to consider the geographic proximity of the wind farms to the earthquake swarms. Whereas both the mechanism and proximity to injection wells can be shown, the same cannot be said for wind farms. (to be continued…)

    • Todd Fagin says:

      (cont.)

      Where you are correct is that it is the injection wells, not fracking, per se, that is associated with the induced seismicity. Of course, you must consider that hydraulic fracturing, itself, produces a tremendous amount of waste water, necessitating that need for underground injection. That said, all oil and gas recovery, though, produces waste water, so it is not only fracking waste being injected.

      So, to answer your question, no the increased seismic activity has not demonstrable link to the increase in wind turbines. However, there is peer-reviewed studies that demonstrate a clear link between underground injection wells and increased seismicity.

      • Jim Kinkade says:

        Look at the graph I made above. There is a clear link between windmills and earthquakes. It would be clearer if my spreadsheet app allowed me to manipulate the scale more.

    • Jim Kinkade says:

      Regarding the mechanism, it’s been dubbed the “sail push theory” below in these comments.

      Regarding the proximity, all the windfarms in Oklahoma are located in the western part of the state. The prevailing wind comes from the west. The windfarms push western oklahoma into eastern oklahoma causing earthquakes in central oklahoma where the fault lines lie.
      http://www.kansasenergy.org/documents/OK_WindFarms.pdf

  8. Anonymous says:

    Time I will never get back!

    • Jim Kinkade says:

      I’m the moron? You just dropped an article that PROVES MY POINTS!

      Taken from your link:
      “Any human activity that changes stress in the earth might have the potential of causing an earthquake.”

      So do hundreds of windmills spread over hundreds of acres in western oklahoma change the stress in the earth? Yes! The the cumulative 1128 Megawatt rating indicates A LOT of energy is at play here. Energy that changes stress in the earth.

      Also from your link:
      “But there are a lot of other faults and wastewater wells that aren’t associated with earthquakes. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, our map doesn’t represent all the faults in Oklahoma. It’s just an interpretation of the known fault segments, and some faults may be hidden. Second, the orientation of the faults seems to matter, Choy told me.”

      Did you read that? The orientation of the faults seems to matter. Perhaps the orientation related to wind velocity.

      • anonymous says:

        really.. take a fan boat and let the fan free spin.. as in you are not applying power to the fan.. let the wind blow the fan around on its own.. it is not going to power the boat and move it across the water.. the turbines are not using that power and forcing the rotor to rotate.. so very similar to a non powered fan boat.. if the turbines took power from the grid and used a motor to rotate the blades pushing them around your point could be valid, but that is not what they do or how they work.. it is a free spinning rotor that is using the wind to rotate it allowing the generators to produce power.. not used as a motor to turn the blades on their own.. so the force that you are feeling they are having isn’t there.. it isn’t pushing tectonic plates. using your thoughts- buildings are pushed harder as they are not free spinning.. so the force on their bases would be much greater as they are absorbing the pressure from the wind and transferring it directly.. wind turbines are free spinning allowing the wind to rotate them rather than absorbing the power and transferring it to the base like a building does..

        nice write up if you are just trying to spin non factual information for your pure enjoyment, but if these are really your thoughts than I urge you to stop writing your own thoughts down.. go be a witter for somebody else who has legitimate points..

        • Jim Kinkade says:

          ok, well stay tuned to feedingjimmy.com for my upcoming video where I build a model of Oklahoma, broken into sections, with pinwheels on one part but not the others, then position a fan to blow over the model.

          • anonymous says:

            put up some buildings too.. see if that does it.. put up some fake mountains too.. see if those will blow it over.. your points are not valid..

  9. John says:

    I was reading a story about windmills that was written on the bathroom wall at a local truck stop.
    It said in California they have the windmills blowing in a certain direction to keep the state from sliding into the ocean.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I was unfortunately directed to this link to read and comment on for an article related. I have just wasted the last 10 minutes of my life that I will never get back. Everyone involved with this website: please further your formal education. Everything I have read on this website is scientifically incorrect, and quite honestly: stupid. Please do not respond to this post, as I will never visit this website again. Please pursue an education.

    • Jim Kinkade says:

      Thank you for adding so much to the conversation.

      • He’s added more than you have. Frankly, I agree with him.
        I have read through this and failed to find a single fact on here. It depresses me that you get readers to read this.

        Though, I guess I’ll have to write an article about how fracking destabilizes tectonic plates and their affects can’t be yet understood until we have more data (I.E. More post fracking earthquakes).

  11. Eric Wilson says:

    Holy crap people, did the people that come up with this crap not pay attention in school? We sit on tectonic plates, and guess what?, they move, all the time. Our living planet also moves and heals itself, all the time. The theory off wind turbines being anchored deep in the ground is hogwash, I work for a ready-mix company that has done numerous wind energy jobs and the concrete base for these turbines is no more than 20 feet below the sod. And I’m pretty sure that tectonic plates are a lot more than 20 feet deep. So how can you use the argument that wind turbines being anchored to the ground causes earthquakes. Earthquakes have been going on for thousands of years, way before we had computers (which run on electricity, the same electricity that wind turbines produce) and you have to think maybe this isn’t the only spike in earthquakes during the life of this planet. So tell me again why wind turbines are causing them. Just curious.

    • Jim Kinkade says:

      Since you stand to personally profit from windmills, your opinion is biased and therefore invalid.

      Thank you. Good day, sir.

      • Todd Fagin says:

        His comment about the anchoring depth of wind turbines (which is readily available via a Google search) is actually quite relevant to your claims. Wind turbines stand on rigid bases and are not causing any significant crustal movement. Additionally, you have failed to demonstrate the proximity of these wind farms to the earthquake swarms or, for that matter, faults.

        • Jim Kinkade says:

          You said, “Wind turbines stand on rigid bases and are not causing any significant crustal movement.”

          Okay. Prove it. And until then we’re putting a moratorium on windmill construction.

          • Willie says:

            Turbine foundations are only aroun 9′ deep, they use the weight of the concrete, rebar and soil to counteract the overturn potential.

            This article is completely idiotic, please do more research before you spew your illogical assumptions.

      • Anonymous says:

        U said u are a oil worker, don’t that make up biased

      • You’re thicker than the concrete he’s mixing. It’s settled.

  12. Realist thinker says:

    So I guess you can use this “theory” for anything thats attached to the ground right?..buildings, towers or anything really..hell why not cars? When you accelerate the tires grip and put force and torque the opposite direction putting all that stress on the ground below. Or could it just be a natural occurance that earthquakes happen no matter what. Cant control how the earth shapes itself.

    • Anonymous says:

      You need to read the article again to understand it. No, it’s not everything that attaches to the ground. It’s the energy the windmill creates that converts in electrical energy and it somehow goes to the ground as well. Something like that.

    • Jim Kinkade says:

      So I guess by their “theory” every injection well should cause earthquakes. But somehow it’s only the ones in Oklahoma (where all the windmills are)

      • Todd Fagin says:

        Actually, the science is very clear on this. It absolutely is not all injection wells. It is very specific injection wells within proximity to known faults. The state regulatory agency responsible for permitting (the Oklahoma Corporation Commission) is well aware of this and, as a result, has called for certain injection wells to be shutdown from time to time.

        I must ask honestly, have you even researched this topic upon which you are commenting? Such information is readily available.

        • Jim Kinkade says:

          You said “have you even researched this topic upon which you are commenting?”

          That, sir, is the burning question I asked when I read articles from Associated Press, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, etc. all claiming FRACKING causes earthquakes.

          Now the burning question is did you, Todd Fain, call Ted Turner to task for CNN’s journalistic malpractice when they slandered oil and gas by falsely claiming fracking caused the Oklahoma Earthquake swarm?

  13. CB says:

    I would like to point out that the use of the word “Windmill” in the title is wrong. These are “Wind Turbines”. They generate electricity from the wind turning the blades. A “windmill”, as has been known by farmers and ranchers for centuries, is for use in getting water. The windmill blades are turned by the wind. This causes a rod to move up and down within a water well. The end result is that water is brought from below ground to the top. The water is then collected into watering tanks for livestock. These windmills are vital to areas where ground water in scarce, and the water wells are not even close to the depth of oil/gas drilling wells. The windmill is a fraction of the size of a wind turbine. It is important to get the terminology correct before you can have an intelligent argument.

    • Jim Kinkade says:

      I would like to point out that all these major news publications used the word “fracking” in the title wrong. They meant “injection well,” aka SWD. But I’m sure you already pointed that out in the comments of their articles.

  14. […] ignorance was on full display in the comments section of my article where I claim windmills caused the Oklahoma earthquakes. People cannot wrap their […]

  15. […] 7, 2015, I published my study linking windmills to the Oklahoma Earthquake Swarm. Doing more than just flaunting a correlation, I […]

  16. Jim Darling says:

    The problem with your argument is YOU ARE _WRONG_ ABOUT FRACKING!!!!!!!!!!!!

    “Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside.”

    LOOK IT UP YOURSELF, NIMROD!

    So your “proof” that the quakes are not near “injection wells were waste water is deposited, not at the fracking sites”, is invalid.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Sure, injecting a Mississippi of liquid waste has no affect on anything. History will look back on people lack you and marvel. Idiot.

  18. […] Why do windmills cause earthquakes but not skyscrapers? A lot of people asked that question when I first postulated the sail push theory of windmill-caused […]

  19. C T B says:

    Any fool that has the title saying “windmills” is automatically discredited and is only writing this article to get attention because he is bored and has nothing better to do than to stir the pot. We are all taking way too much time to even read his article that doesn’t have ANY facts behind it. You are an idiot and I hope you are ashamed of yourself for trying to fool people into thinking what you write is correct. The funny thing is that yes, maybe you are right, and that WINDMILLS (not wind turbines) do cause earthquakes since they to involve ground water. Look up where wind was started and their history of earthquakes. Get a life

  20. Anonymous says:

    Wait… I’m actually on The Onion aren’t I?

  21. […] If we take the USGS chart of the magnitude 3.0 earthquakes in Oklahoma, and add to it the collective capacity of windfarms by year, we see a trend that shows a proportional correlation. Read more… […]

  22. Ann says:

    With all your “knowledge” sir, why are you only a blogger/ journalist and not a scientist ?oh say ANYWHERE?? Seems to me you are an irresponsible journalist/blogger at that ..BUT if you are determined to continue looking stupid at least give yourself SOME credibility and call them by what they are , (which if you REALLY knew anything would know ) they Are Wind TURBINES
    Big difference

    • Anonymous says:

      Why does he have to have some special credentials behind his name to blog about this information? You are a snob that doesn’t understand the first amendment. He’s got a good point. I experienced on of those Oklahoma earthquakes, 5.2, and that was enough for me. Sure, more investigation is needed. Correlation does not equal causation. But it makes you wonder.

    • Ann, thank you for recognizing that I have the mental caliber to become a Scientist. But I chose not to. Why?
      I’m angry at Science. It ruined food.
      Science invented margarin and tried to put butter out of business. The world is a worse place because of that.
      And that’s just one example.

      • wcblondie says:

        Stupid scientists, they ruined butter for me! Oh wait, I can still buy butter. Or margarine. Damn that open market and capitalism!

  23. […] cause earthquakes. That’s the bold statement I made in a recent bombshell article that made the rounds and generated a lot of […]

  24. Lomon Wolf says:

    I live in central Oklahoma and have been feeling the increase in number and severity of earthquakes on a first hand basis. Everyone is looking in the wrong direction for causality probably because of their own personal views and biases. Fortunately, I have none of those, and I’ve been able to discern the actual cause of these earthquakes. It is surprising that no one has noticed the trend. You may be ahead of me and already guessed the real reason: Soccer! Yes Soccer!. As more and more young boys and girls, men and women, even seniors have begun to play soccer in Oklahoma the seismic activity has greatly increased. The basic science behind this is that as players plant one foot securely in the ground (often wearing cleats!) and kick a soccer ball with as much force as possible with their other leg and foot acting as a tremendous lever, it pushes the earth below them slightly back behind the kicker. This is almost imperceptible to the human eye, but as soccer has grown in popularity, this is being done tens of thousands of times every day! The reason the frequency and severity have increased so dramatically as of late, is so obvious that people are over looking it. Oklahoma City has recently fielded a professional men’s soccer team! Back when it was just little boys and girls playing, we had little earthquakes, and mostly on Saturday mornings, but now with big strong men playing professional soccer and high schools practicing frequently, these earthquakes are stronger and happening any day of the week that ends in the letter Y. I know, I know, this explanation is controversial and not without some holes in it., but truth is poetry, and most people don’t like poetry.

  25. You says:

    Does knowing you are an absolute moron, stop you from sleeping at night? Easily the dumbest thing ever written, bible aside.

  26. Bwahaha says:

    Re: depth of wind turbine foundations…. I work in the industry and the reinforced concrete foundation extends a whopping 8-12ft into the ground. Yes, 8 – 12 feet. They’re not tied into the bedrock. They’re anchored in SOIL. As painful as it is to do so, if I were to humor your position that the wind is forceful enough to move tectonic plates, then surely you’d agree that soil would be a heck of a lot easier to move around. Using your fan boat analogy, if we can give it that much credit, a fan boat moves the water around, but it doesn’t move the ground beneath the water. Because teh water is easier to move than the ground, yes? So would you not agree that soil is easier to move then tectonic plates? Given that 1) wind turbines are anchored in soil and not bedrock; 2) soil is easier to move than bedrock, and 3) the westerly prevailing wind, wouldn’t all the wind turbines in OK have shimmied their way over to New Jersey by now?
    As far as force on the blades… Wind turbine blades work just like airplane wings. They’re specially designed so that the wind flows OVER/AROUND them with as little drag as possible. The drag force would sort of translate to a sideways “push” on the wind turbine. Not really that simple but I’m trying to keep this as simple as possible. Just like with an airplane wing, when wind blows over the blade, a pocket of low-pressure air forms on the downwind side of the blade. The low-pressure air pocket then pulls the blade toward it, which causes the rotor to turn. This is called lift. The force of the lift is actually much stronger than the wind’s force against the front side of the blade, which is called drag. The combination of lift and drag causes the rotor to spin like a propeller, and the turning shaft spins a generator to make electricity. Using the electrical energy output of the generator to draw conclusions about the force of the mechanical energy that is applied by the wind is….just…well never mind. I can hear you already furiously typing a nonsensical response so I’ll stop here.

    • How do you sleep at night knowing your industry causes earthquakes, pollutes drinking water (in China), and – worst of all – congests the highways making us all late?

      • Bwahaha says:

        Please confirm whether you dispute the physical reality that soil takes less force to move than bedrock and tectonic plates? When a contractor is building a house and the excavator starts to work, what moves: soil or the tectonic plate?
        Ps I sleep fine, thanks for your concern.

        • The windmills don’t need to be anchored to the bedrock. The force can be transmitted through the topsoil because of the amount of time over which its transmitted.

          If there were a sudden impulse of wind, the windmill would fall over. But because it happens slowly over time and cumulatively with hundreds of windmills spread out over a large surface area, it’s able to move the plate without shifting the soil.

          Thanks for reading.

          • wcblondie says:

            I hate to say it but you don’t have the credentials to make this claim. It sounds really far fetched. In fact I almost thought this article was more of an ad to support fracking than an educational one. If you want to make your argument without having the actual authority or knowledge to make these claims, then at least do some research and provide links to real scientific research that might back it up. You mentioned something about us that have passed english… well obviously you forgot how to write a creditable argument. That’s the only way to make an argument and to be taken seriously. Your knowledge only went as far as supporting fracking. It seems to me that you made this argument prematurely, and can only blame yourself if people who do real thinking can’t take you seriously.

          • Blondie, I’m not a licensed plumber, but that didn’t stop me from making how-to plumbing videos on YouTube.

            If I practice science without proper credentials what will happen? Will the Royal Academy of Science send a SWAT team to storm my house?

    • Aaron says:

      I suppose all those earthquakes in California are because of all that wind the buildings catch… What’s going on at the surface is only part of the formula, windmills or fracking might cause earthquakes in some places and might not in others because what is underneath can vary wildly. There is a strong correlation between windmills and earthquakes (in this area) just like there is a strong correlation between fracking and earthquakes (in this area). To deny either as complete idiocy shows how much a person has bought into either agenda.

      The oil field agenda is strong with this author, and impossible to ignore. Especially considering how desperate oil is at the moment. If the author wants intelligent people to take him seriously, his childish and divisive nature will only see his opinions cast aside, regardless of how well thought out they are. It’s sad really. He presented a very interesting case here, but lost credibility by insulting those who disagree with him and maintaining his partisan attitude:

      You don’t have to be a puppet for the right… or a puppet for the left. This false dichotomy makes liberals and conservatives both look ignorant.

      Fortunately for the author, I don’t think he’s trying to appeal to anybody’s intelligence… His argument would be better thought out. He’s clearly not trying to convince the smart and independent of his position, but instead followers and idiots who like their opinions spoon fed to them. People who want to believe something so bad that they search for evidence to support it, instead of basing their beliefs on the evidence.

      That’s his target audience, whether he realizes it or not, because nobody else would take this seriously… Not because of what he says, but how he says it.

      I really recommend that he tries to present his theories and arguments with more of a pro-truth approach, rather than an anti-liberal approach. I think he’d be surprised how much more respect he’d receive. That approach doesn’t invite the ignorant masses though, if that is his goal after all.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I think this article is genius. On the premise that people freak out when they don’t understand the science behind how the earth works. People who think fracing is to blame are bred from the same people who thought the angry mountain God caused volcanos to erupt.

  28. Andy says:

    Seriously? Are you nuts? This idea belongs in the flat earth or creationist BS. Your idea is easily squashed by comparing wind farms in areas around the world where fracking does not exist. Take northern Germany, it has some of the highest concentration of wind farms, are there any earthquakes? no. Wow – please go back to school.

    • Anonymous says:

      How do you account for Midland Texas? No windfarms, no earthquakes, fracing and injection wells everywhere….

    • Yup, this other anonymous commenter beat me to it, Andy. Midland, Texas and the surrounding area is a veritable forrest of pump jacks. So there’s hundreds of fracked wells and millions of barrels of salt water pumped back under ground.

      But ZERO earth quakes.

      Which isn’t to say there are no earthquakes in west texas. There was one recently in Sweetwater.

      So what makes Sweetwater special? Why, it claims to be the “windmill capital of texas.” and sports a huge windfarm.

      Wow – right?.

      • wcblondie says:

        I’m don’t want to get caught up in the subject because I do not know enough about this issue to have a creditable opinion. However, I have criticisms for your entire general argument. This is something that every good science professor impressed upon me: correlation does not always imply causation. You need to look beyond the correlation to find further supporting evidence, otherwise this is a fallacy of argument. Or in other words, a poorly made argument that might lead to support based on exaggerations and emotional appeal. Once again, do some real research and cite some creditable sources before I’ll consider your hypotheses. And that’s how a real scientist does it…

  29. Anonymous says:

    LMAO! I love the fact so many people have taken this article so seriously! Well played, sir, well played.

  30. Kelly says:

    oh my god I just got dumber reading this because their was so much non-scientific retardation emitting from my laptop monitor.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Nazis cause earthquakes, and there are more of them in OK than anywhere. How do I know? Because there are more earthquakes in OK than anywhere else. Duh!!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Common people we all know it’s God’s plan…Sarah Palin told him too and if there weren’t so many Muslim in Oklahoma we wouldn’t have to worry about Earthquakes…

  33. Anonymous says:

    The “burden of proof” should be on the frackers to prove they are not to blame. And only a conservative sees this as strictly a liberal issue, although apparently we are much more concerned about polluting our drinking water and earthquakes than you seem to be.

  34. Anonymous says:

    So how about all the wind farms in California? They haven’t seen an increase in earthquake activity since constructing them. The Devon Tower in downtown Oklahoma city is a giant wind catch. Yet no earthquakes happen there… NYC has a bunch of sky scrapers that are being pushed by wind and yet nothing to report. However, injection wells that produce high pressure in areas that normally don’t have it aren’t possible? The USGS even stated that injection wells and fraking are what’s causing this. You keep saying we have the burden of proof yet you haven’t proved anything. It’s a theory, an untested and quite frankly laughable theory.

    • Yes. I made the accusation. Windmills cause earthquakes. Now YOU prove that they don’t.

      That’s how it works.

      • Oklahoma Oil and Gas Engineer says:

        Actually, that’s not how it works at all. Your windmill theory. So, the burden of proof is on you, and the evidence you posted is comparing apples to oranges, which is a prime example of science illiteracy.

        What you fail to understand is that Oklahoma has a very unique geology. First, we have a very high density of natural faults that have existed for millions of years. Second, we have experienced more droughts this past decade than ever before and this has caused our aquifers to become very low on the amount of water they normally contain. This creates air pockets within aquifer’s rock formation, which destabilizes the geology. Combine this with fracking, not injection wells, which further damages the underling geology of the aquifers, and you get a rise in earthquake activity.

        The evidence can clearly be seen in a map of our aquifers compared to a map of the earthquake activity and a map of :

        http://www.tellwut.com/uploads/media/image/4025e1401080424o7603.jpg

        http://ok.water.usgs.gov/gis/aquifers/browse.gif

        http://www.magma.geos.vt.edu/vtso/induced_quakes/ok.png

        http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/tulsaworld.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/20/220d22ea-4be3-598f-9389-442773859a5c/550754f80f7e0.image.jpg?resize=300%2C256

        There is better correlation with this data than your ridiculous windmill theory.

        Evidence that your theory is bunk resides in actual wind farm location in Oklahoma as provided by

        http://en.openei.org/wiki/Map_of_Wind_Farms

        you can clearly see that most of them are outside of the earthquake activity zone.

        • The windmills push west Oklahoma into east Oklahoma. The point of contact is the humbolt fault that runs through Oklahoma City.

          Theoretically, of course.

          • Oklahoma Oil and Gas Engineer says:

            The amount of force transmitted by windmills on the tectonic plate is negligible, and their vibrational modes are no where near the required resonance frequency for them to cause an increase in the geology’s natural vibration modes.

            Sorry, but the windmill theory just doesn’t hold up when placed against the actual physics and physical evidence that we are seeing here in Oklahoma.

            Like I said, due to droughts, our aquifers are losing water. This is causing the geology to become unstable through natural mechanisms. When we fracture this already unstable geology of limestone and shell, which are weak formations to begin with, we can expect a rise in earthquake activity.

            See, the subterranean water was actually strengthening the geology as a result of pressure generated by the rock formations trapping the water. As this pressure decreases, geological formation will settle. This is why Oklahoma has always had earthquakes for thousands of years. We just didn’t notice them because the change in the water levels of our aquifers were minimal.

            So, no, fracking or windmills isn’t the cause of Oklahoma’s earthquakes. It’s always been a relationship between droughts and our aquifers that drivers the mechanism. However, the more we drill and fracture the underlying rock strata, the more intense the earthquakes will become. Of course, if the water levels in our aquifers ever get back to where they were a decade ago, then we should see a decline in the strength of our earthquakes.

        • Anonymous says:

          You don’t frac aquifers

      • wcblondie says:

        Nope, you’re wrong. It’s your theory, do the research to prove it. Or do you not want to be taken seriously at all? A scientist devotes their life to creating hypotheses and testing them rigorously. That paper is them distributed to other scientists who challenge everything. If there’s something in your argument that doesn’t make sense, it is sent back for further testing. I trust this method over your exaggerated correlating. So I say again, support your damn argument if you want to be taken seriously!

  35. Anonymous says:

    It is a wonder New York City has not turned over or floated off with all those skyscrapers. A scale model in Oklahoma would put a 12 inch windmill in a 50ft slab of concrete right? They are insignificant. My college physics classes here in Oklahoma used only the metric system unless we were forced to convert. Just saying. Clever thinking but out of this world or sure.

    • Your college physics class used only metric system? Did you measure angles in degrees or radians? Did you tell time with seconds/minutes/hours?

      Yea. You didn’t use ALL metric system. You’re wrong there.

      And you’re wrong about windmills being insignificant.

      • wcblondie says:

        A second is part of the metric system, and a radian isn’t a real number. You continue to prove why you can’t be taken seriously.

  36. Anonymous says:

    So Jimmy Whittier high school physics education you want to tell me how a building downtown is any different than a wind turbine. Both of them have bases planted in the foundation in the ground both of them would exert drag against the wind . But why is there not massive earthquake outbreaks around all downtown buildings

    • That’s a good question and I’m wondering how you’re going to deal with it since the burden of proof is on you.

      • Deep Nuts says:

        Wow you’re a tool. I thought you were kidding at first. How about I yell “gummy bears cause earthquakes” because study shows there are more gummy bear sales in Oklahoma. Now YOU have to disprove it.
        you are a fucking moron.

  37. Rockin S Ranch says:

    Franking and windmills do NOT cause quakes!!! There are lots of oil injections at Geary Okla (80 miles nw of okc). Every sections and several mile wide of oil injections THERE WAS NO QUAKES!! And the windmills, there are lots of em by Weatherford Okla. There was NO QUAKES!! Quakes came in of nature. Look,, these years have change alot since years in the past,, why did tornadoes hitted moore and Norman about the same path??? It’s the Nature!! So stop blaming the franking and windmills!!!

  38. Anonymous says:

    So much bullshit

  39. JD says:

    Interesting idea, that of course people are going to say is ridiculous. I don’t entirely buy it based off of one state’s data, BUT we do know that fracking has been going on for a long time, so it’s worth considering.

    One issue with your graph is that taking away 2014 substantially impacts the relationship. With a quick regression analysis, I found that for every increase of 100 MW in power resulted in about 8 more earthquakes. Removing 2014, that relationship is about 2.5 additional earthquakes for every 100 MW power.

    Now that’s still a relationship, albeit one with few data points. This question could be scientifically tested, and that knowledge goes beyond me, because I’m sure it has to take into account local of windfarms, fracking locations, injection wells, and faultlines, and I don’t have the expertise to do that.

    Find data from multiple states and include changes in injection wells/fracking data, and you could take this a lot farther. And/or compare some states with substantial fracking but few windmills, lots of windmills/little fracking, both, neither, and look at their earthquakes. Problem is that fault lines are also relevant, so not even sure you can get enough data points for comparison.

    As a non geologist, I like the idea of testing this, but not going to claim expertise on it.

    • Thank you, JD. You bring up some excellent points.

      I think the biggest factor is fault lines. The humbolt fault runs through oklahoma. That’s where all the earthquakes are. I’m researching the size and shape of that plate, but the information on the internet is hard to come by. I’m going to do some research at the Texas Tech Library.

      But I know that the humbolt fault runs through Kansas and Nebraska. So that puts a LOT of windmills in play here.

      I have some experiments to test the plausibility of this theory with some models. So stay tuned to feedingjimmy.com to watch those videos.

      Thanks again for reading and commenting.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Bahahaha. Injection sites are locations where the water is pumped into. Fracking is the process of pumping said water into the drilled hole at high pressure as to xause oil in the ground to flow into the production site. Injection sites don’t cause Earthquakes. Fracking would be the bigger culprit. However, the actual report blames deep wastewater disposal sites and not fracking. Windmills don’t cause Earthquakes, they aren’t buried far enough down nor is the wind strong enough to do so even if they were. The forces the wind places on the windmill are counterbalanced by the rotation of the blades. Now, the reason why fracking and wastewater is to blame is because they are supposedly causing pressure changes due to the deep underground injection. Doesn’t correlate? Well, where the earthquakes happen is entirely dependant on the characteristics of that pressure bubble and the ground. Anyhow I’m wondering if you even frack since you think fracking and injection sites are separate. Injection sites are what allow fracking. Just because you work in the oil field doesn’t make you an expert.

  41. Anonymous says:

    That’s just retarded

  42. Anonymous says:

    The only issue this article sufficiently reinforces is that of Oklahoma’s dire need to fix it’s broken education system. The fact that this can even be considered scientific in any way by the author drives this point home. Giant hovercraft tectonic plates? Really?? Please do us a favor and look into some physics.

    • I took honors high school physics class in Massachusetts in 1997 in a lab with surplus military grade electronics from MIT’s Lincoln laboratory.

      Do you know what a kilowatt hour is? It’s a unit of energy. These windmill farms generate millions of kilowatt hours. That is an indirect indication of the force applied on the tectonic plate in the direction of the wind.

      • Anonymous says:

        Congratulations, you have taken an honor class in HS. Now go your masters in physics THEN come back and reread this article.

      • wcblondie says:

        Energy cannot be created or destroyed. The wind causes the blades to rotate. The rotational energy is converted into electricity, measured as you said in kilowatt-hours, and then piped down the line to be used in homes or businesses. So really a majority of that energy leaves the windmill. So no, it’s not a direct indication of the forces on the ground caused by windmills. A building is more likely to have this affect because it doesn’t transform that energy and remove it, it actually withstands that force. So if you have a basement that extends 8 to twelve feet into the ground like the base of a windmill, then I would expect the building to be a bigger problem than the windmill. At least by using your logic…

        • I said the rated kilowatts indirectly indicated the force the wind exerted on the ground. It doesn’t have so much to do with the conservation of energy. It’s because I could not find the total number of wind turbines for each windfarm. The kilowatts indirectly indicates the number of turbines. The more watts, the more wind turbines. Each turbine catches wind and pushes the ground along.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Lmfao. This is the most ignorant rant of bs I’ve ever read. The towers are not rated anywhere near high enough to handle the force required to disturb the earth’s crust, so they would collapse long before causing an earthquake… explosives going off deep in the crust however…

  44. John Chitwood says:

    Interesting theory, but all evidence indicates that fracking is the primary cause of Oklahoma earthquakes. Above that, this “windmill theory” is not from an unbiased source – it’s by an individual who works in the oil industry…go figure. Look for real science to make a mockery of this theory.

    • Tesla says:

      Wow. You just proved what he was saying at the first of the article. There is a difference between fracking and injection wells. The majority of scientists agree that it is probably injection wells. Let’s get completely away from the “sail push” theory and consider this… Tesla allegedly constructed a vibration machine, smaller than a breadbox, that could shake a building down by tying in to the building’s vibrations. These wind farms could be acting like that little machine on a huge scale. Imagine the vibrations sent into the ground 24/7. Something to think about…

      • Thank you, Dr. Tesla. An excellent consideration. The Breadbox earthquake machine.

        I would point out that the distribution of earthquakes does not match the distribution of injection wells. There is no correlation let alone cause.

        • wcblondie says:

          But you would use correlation that also doesn’t exist to link windmills and earthquakes. You just two faced your own argument. Clearly you aren’t unbiased.

      • John Chitwood says:

        “Dr. Tesla,” I proved no such thing. Neither did you. Most folks who read this article believe it to be satire, and I’m beginning to think that’s true. Well played!

  45. One of the dumbest articles in a while. The term “bird-killing” clearly shows the author’s opinion of wind turbines before the article even gets started. Shaky science and uneducated conclusions. Pure high school.

    • “Shaky science?” Uhh… Yea. It’s about earthquakes.

      This isn’t even high school level. It’s elementary.

      Have you ever seen a sail boat? The wind pushes the sail which moves the boat. Following me?

      Okay. The wind pushes the windmill which moves the tectonic plate. Like a sail boat.

      And that tectonic plate crashes downwind. The point of contact is Oklahoma City.

      Qed.

      • Anonymous says:

        No. They are not acting as “sails”. The crust thickness is estimated to be about 45 km (almost 28 miles) in Oklahoma. That makes for a MASSIVE amount of crust. It isn’t shoved around like a boat or a hovercraft. Especially not via a wind turbine standing 150 meters.

        • First off, do not EVER use the metric system here on feedingjimmy.com.

          If the crust is so massive how do injection wells disturb them? You say the crust is 28 miles thick. Okay. Injection wells only extend vertically what… one, two, maybe three miles.

          Have you ever seen a giant barge pushed by a tiny tugboat with a tiny propeller?

        • Anonymous says:

          28 miles? How deep do they drill?

          • PetroEngr says:

            The deepest wells in southern OK are 23K-25K feet (<5 mi.) deep. Why? Because that's where the oil is!

      • Anonymous says:

        This is not elementary science. The concept yes, but to actually determine the amount of force needed to move a tectonic plate with something as small as a windmill takes University level physics. Secondly, a windmill isn’t sturdy enough to handle those forces, there is no material on Earth capable of supporting such forces. It would snap before even a remote quarter of that needed force could be applied. Thirdly, a sailboat is light. A tectonic plate is heavy. EXTREMELY heavy. You want to move a plate? Use a thermonuclear bomb. Or pump a shit ton of water in the same spot for months on end. The force of trapped water can produce is amazing

        • What’s amazing is that you think an injection well CAN cause earthquakes but numerous windmills in west Oklahoma and Missouri CAN’T.

          Have you ever detected the gravitational pull of the moon? No. Pretty small. But there’s tides in the ocean because of it.

      • Anonymous says:

        I totally agree with you. Do the responding ppl even LIVE in Oklahoma…it is easy to make judgements when you’re not even from the area! Am FROM and familiar with the area concerned…they shut down windmills when the wind is over 35 mph because the equipment can’t withstand more than that speed (we live 5 mIles from a windmill farm and have several within 50 miles and as far as them killing birds, they do. It’s just like animals crossing a highway, the birds don’t realize the windmills are a danger and those blades turn faster than it seems). A well known fact is the higher up you get, the higher the wind speed. In the Plains states (includes Oklahoma) your normal wind speed is between 25 and 50 mph, 10 months out of the year and unless you climb poles, towers or anything else that are from 30 – 150 ft. high and is connected to the earth, you have no idea what it does, period. Their movement is much like a implement that packs the earth and when something is as tall as they are, they have to a base that is at least 50 -60 ft deep in the earth. They also have to withstand hurricane force winds, many times in our area much like Oklahoma, we have winds up to 70 mph.

        • Sian says:

          I have no idea what it is but as far as buildings in NYC against these windmills the windmills are turning constantly and there’s no way those poles can absorb that amount of momentum, so it is plausible, especially when you consider the hundreds of windmills that are in such a close proximity to each other, and it also could be argued that more than the wind, the magnetism could be to blame, research how magnetism affects every thing, if I’m not mistaken magnetism affects everything, even the way humans and animals act and think..

          • Anonymous says:

            Not plausible at all. The turbines themselves will fail well before the pole does if it all. The rotors have brakes on them to slow them down depending on windspeed, so they can’t just spin freestyle and if they did the rotor would send the blades flyING and eventually may cause the rotor to fall. And what magnetism are you talking about? We pollute the airwaves with more radio waves than those towers make em fields if at all, which they dont, otherwise electronics would be effected. When around them.

          • Sian says:

            What I was getting at was that the momentum is transfered into the ground and when there’s a ton of them all having the same momentum , in the same direction, and on the magnetism, just in general, the earth magnetics are affected by anything that gives off any type of magnetic energy,so it could be that the electromagnetic energy in such huge amounts literally pulls at the earth, but like I said, I’m by no means knowledgeable on this subject, just trying to reason through with all the information at my disposal

  46. […] To read more about this theory, check out my post, Does Fracking Cause Earthquakes? No. Windmills Do. […]

  47. […] me remind you that I, a devout Christian, postulated a theory that this burst of earthquakes we’re feeling in the United States is cause… I even made a graph to compete head-to-head against Michael Mann’s hockey stick […]

  48. […] Are we to believe fracking as far away as Western Pennslvania caused an earthquake in Connecticut? I don’t. Instead, I believe the closest large scale windmill farm caused the earthquake. You can read my theory in my post, “Does Fracking cause Earthquakes? No. Windmills do.” […]

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