Windmills cause earthquakes. That’s the bold statement I made in a recent bombshell article that made the rounds and generated a lot of buzz.
Lots of people took to the comments to pish-posh the idea that windmills could generate enough force to move the earth’s crust. They said I should go back to school and learn science so I’d join them in blaming fracking.
Hold on there! Why am I stupid for thinking something man-made such as windmills cause earthquakes but you’re a genius for concluding that the made-made act of fracking does the same?
Look, I can make a powerful argument about how windmills cause earthquakes. I can back it up with charts, maps, and data. What I don’t have is a huge government grant to fund my research. But with help from feedingjimmy.com readers, we can create a barrage of sensationalistic and misleading headlines on social media to vilify the windmill industry.
But is it true? Do windmills actually cause earthquakes?
It doesn’t matter. I made the accusation. Now it’s up to them to disprove it. And until they do, we need to shut down all windmill construction. That’s the way it works, guys.
Anyways, here’s my plausible windmill-earthqake theory.
How Windmills Cause Earthquakes
Have you ever seen a sailboat? The wind pushes the sail that moves the boat along the water.
The same thing happens to the sections of the earth’s crust called plates when windmills are planted on them. The wind pushes the windmills which move the plates along the molten magma in which they float. The earthquakes happen where the plates bump together.
In the comments of a previous post, someone who identified himself as Tesla dubbed this the Sail Push Theory. (Telsa then went on to discuss his own idea about a vibration machine. How typical is that of Nikola Tesla to try and steal the limelight from true innovators like me and Thomas Edison?)
I think the name Sail Push Theory could stick. However, I prefer to think of it as a hovercraft or a fan boat since a propeller is involved.
What facts do I have to back up my claim? First, I have a chart which shows a correlation between the frequency of earthquakes in Oklahoma and the cumulative power rating by windfarms in that state.
You’ll notice that as the black bars representing the windfarms’ power grows, the green line showing the number of earthquakes grows with it.
It’s worth noting that the cumulative windpower is based on the rated Megawatt capacity of Oklahoma’s windfarms and not the actual output. I couldn’t find what the windmills actually generated, and I doubt I ever will. Green technologies over promise and under deliver. It’s not likely windmill developers or politicians will ever admit that these windmill farms are a bust.
Nonetheless, the Megawatt rating indicates the number of windmills in operation.
The Theoretical Model
Now you see the strong correlation between windmill farms and earthquakes. But how do they cause them?
First we need discuss how earthquakes happen. According to my kids’ World Book Encyclopedia (2000 Edition, Volume 6, for the letter E) most earthquakes happen when movement of the earth happens along faults, which are fracture lines in the earth’s crust.
There’s a really cool illustration here of blocks of earth sliding past each other showing normal faulting, reverse faulting, and even strike-slip faulting. Sorry, I cannot provide a link because it’s not from the web. We bought an old encyclopedia set at a book sale at our library.
I hypothesize that multiple large windmill farms produce enough force on the underlying crust to create some movement. There’s a certain coefficient of friction between the crust and the magma below, and the windmills pass the threshold it takes to get some acceleration.
Now it’s not like a single solitary windmill catches a gust of wind and violently crashes one tectonic plate into the next, like a metal rowboat crashing into the dock at summer camp.
Rather, it’s a cumulative effect of each windmill transferring some of the wind energy to the ground below. By itself it’s not a big deal. But all together hundreds of those constant nudges put stress on fault lines downwind. That stored energy releases in bursts of small quakes, not one giant one.
And that’s exactly the type of earthquake activity we’re seeing in Oklahoma: numerous quakes that are more annoying than destructive.
Next let’s look at this map provided by the US Department of Energy showing the windpower at 50 meters… or uhh, about 150ft. (You’ll have to excuse the usage of the metric system. Normally I forbid it from feedingjimmy.com)
Notice that the regions in pink and purple. These are areas with consistently high windspeeds at 150ft which are necessary for windmill operation. They are all located in the western part of the state.
That’s important because the prevailing wind in North America blows from west to east. So all the windmills catch the wind and put stress on the fault line downwind to the east. In the case of Oklahoma, it’s the Humboldt Faultline that runs through the center of the state.
In fact, the Humboldt Faultline extends all the way through Kansas into Nebraska, bringing all of their windmills into play here.
If my theory is correct, it’s these windmills that cause the spate of earthquakes in Oklahoma. They are pushing the whole landmass eastward into another landmass that does not have as many windmills and therefore is not moving with the same acceleration.
If my theory is incorrect, it doesn’t matter. It’s powerful and compelling and nobody likes windmills anyways. They look really creepy.
Thanks for reading and commenting, guys. Check out feedingjimmy.com for more Bible based nutrition.