We must have visited for over an hour before a serious look came over Sarah's little face and the word, "earthquake" was spoken. It had been only a few days since Edmond had experienced a set of earthquakes and she was clearly beyond concerned, she was shaken, so much so Waleah had been searching for ways to explain what had occurred to her child to help reduce the fear though understanding. The next words this child spoke were "tectonic plates" with her tiny hands out in front of her moving to indicate the movement beneath the surface of the earth.
No matter how we tried to distract and change the subject, the face would become serious, the eyebrows crunched and the single word earthquake would be spoken again. That face and that word, I wanted the representatives from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and the Oklahoma Geological Service to hear and see when they come to the 19th National Environmental Conference at Tar Creek on September 27.
The earth's tectonic plate theory gets some help in Oklahoma from the oil and gas industry and their activities of fracking and the injection of waste water back into the earth under extreme pressure which we know are the cause of the earthquakes here in Oklahoma. The official term, inducted seismicity refers to the relative frequency and distribution of earthquakes. They are man-made and done because it is profitable to the oil and gas industry. The 11,365 wells have pumped 8.6 trillion gallons of waste water into the ground in Oklahoma. They are injecting waste water every day, not just our waste, but we have been accepting waste water from as far away as South Dakota for years to pump and dump here in our state.
We Did This.
But we are shaking the trust of our children and robbing them of solid ground, something we all have taken for "granite" until now. It was hard to leave that child fixated on earthquakes, but we did have a party to attend, and she had an extravagant pizza to experience. Oklahoma’s recorded seismic history dates back to 1882. The number of earthquakes felt in Oklahoma over the last five years is unusual as compared to historical seismicity trends in the state of 2 per year.
In less than ten years Oklahoma has had more than 20,000 earthquakes. In Sarah's 3 year lifetime she has experienced over 3500 earthquakes 2.7 or greater. No wonder she says, "earthquakes" so seriously.
Rita's party with family was simple and gave us time to have a good visit before we got onto I44 to head back to Vinita. We drove through Tulsa about 1 a.m., only 18 minutes before a tornado hit, we proceeded on, stopped at Claremore where a store clerk showed me the weather on his phone and warned more was coming.
We kept driving and the winds and rain pounded us. We learned about the damages the "August" tornadoes had caused a few hours later. These tornadoes were too close. Craig County Emergency Management offered the Individual Safe Room Program and my application was accepted and in 30 days I will be on my way to having one installed on my property.
The extreme weather changes we are experiencing around the globe are linked to the changes we have made to our atmosphere, predominantly from the use of fossil fuels.
Some may still deny it, but I stand with the science, we did this. we have to hope we can also un-do it, and allow us to change. Johnson Bridgewater, Oklahoma Sierra Club will speak at our conference about the gifts we have, clean energies given freely to us all, the wind and the sun, when harnessed and put to use can power our needs and protect our future and help Sarah forget that word that haunts her.
Respectfully Submitted ~ Rebecca Jim