When will it all end? After experiencing one of the most deadly years in history last year (re: ABC video at http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/2010-deadliest-year-12506831 ), we are now on track to possibly exceed that record this year with a wide array of natural disasters having already happened including droughts in China; floods in the Philippines, South Africa, Australia, Brazil and the northeastern United States; tornados (178 in the US alone this year); wildfires in Australia; snow storms in the United States; and devastating earthquakes in China, Myanmar, Chile, Argentina, Pakistan, New Zealand and now Japan for the second time. Not included are the continuing effects of the earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004 killing 230,000 people, as well as Haiti's earthquake just last year where another 230,000 may have died. And this list does not even consider the man-made disasters that have wreaked havoc on mankind, most notably the BP oil well debacle last year right off our own gulf coast.
But it is the horrific devastation of the recent 9.0 earthquake and tsunami and possible nuclear reactor meltdown ("The China Syndrome" playing out in real time) now threatening Japan on which world-wide attention is currently focused that has caused the most recent alarm. For those of us living in Arkansas this concern is more than just casual for two reasons. First, while there has been some concern about the possible connection between 950 earthquake events that have occurred in Faulkner County in the past few months and the drilling of injection wells nearby, attention also needs to be focused on the existence of Arkansas' one and only operating nuclear power plant located just a stone's throw to the southwest of this seismic activity and only 75 miles west of Little Rock where the shock of the 4.7 quake, the largest thus far, of February 7th was felt. Just imagine an isosceles triangle 75 miles per side and you've got the relevant distance between earthquake activity, nuclear reactor and the most populated metropolitan region in our state. While I am sure every precaution and safety measure have been taken to protect the public against such an event, I'm sure the same, if not even to a greater degree, were taken in Japan, and nature still got the upper hand.
For the second thing, we need to also recognize that there may be an even greater threat to public safety than the situation described above, and that is the New Madrid Fault that traverses northeastern Arkansas approximately 100 miles to the east from the Faulkner County activity. In 1811 it caused an earthquake of such magnitude that among other things it is believed to have caused the Mississippi River to flow backward for several hours, and has been periodically active ever since to a much lesser degree. Just this year there have been almost two dozen relatively small seismic events along that fault, but we are 30 years overdue for 6.3 or stronger earthquake to happen with 20 times more devastation than in California due to the geological formations in this region of the United States (learn more at http://www.dnr.mo.gov/geology/geosrv/geores/techbulletin1.htm ). Consequently, prudence would dictate that some careful planning and forethought be given to these possibilities.
And if you don't have enough to worry about locally, just consider what may lie ahead for planet earth in the coming years at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGgEKgAGdxE. It's enough to make one believe that we're watching a Biblical prophecy unfold right before our very eyes.
Laura Raborn at http://paintingsofhome.com and http://claygifts.com
Jim Johnson at http://yessy.com/jimjohnson/gallery.html
Russ Powell at http://powellphotos.com
Linda Flake at http://lindaflake.com
Tom Herrin at http://tommysart.blogspot.com
Matt McLeod at http://firstname.lastname@example.org
Artists Registry at http://www.arkansasarts.org/programs/registry/default.aspx
Sandy Hubler Fine Art at http://sandyhublerfineart.com
George Wittenberg at http://postcard-art-gallery.com
Will Barnet at http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&expIds=17259,17315,23628,23670,24472,25834,26095,26328,26562,26637,26761,26790,26849,26992,27095,27126,27139,27147,27178&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=will+barnet&cp=9&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=xpfETMT1O4L6lwf66ugE&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=2&sqi=2&ved=0CEkQsAQwAQ&biw=1350&bih=501
Barry Thomas at http://barrythomasart.com
Sherry Williamson at http://meowbarkart.com
Julie McNair at http://juliemcnair.com
Local Colour Gallery at http://localcolourgallery.com
Chroma Gallery at http://chromagallery.com
Cantrell Gallery at http://cantrellgallery.com
Greg Thompson Fine Art at http://gregthompsonfineart.com
Red Door Gallery at http://reddoorgalleryonline.com
M2 Gallery at http://m2lr.com
UALR Gallery Program at http://ualr.edu/art
Gallery 26 at http://gallery26.com
Boswell Mourot Fine Art at http://boswellmourot.com