In the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill – with a theme song by Duran Duran – Christopher Walken plays the bad guy, Max Zorin.
Zorin goes speed-boating with Grace Jones and grins a lot. He has blonde hair.
His plan? To blow-up the San Andreas fault outside San Francisco. This will cause a massive earthquake that will flood Silicon Valley and thus do something or other for Zorin’s own microchip business.
This will allow him to take over the world.
The plan is worked out – this is fascinating – using a model of the city, while flying around in a blimp. You’re in the realm of simulation, hovering anti-gravitationally above the planet – even while discussing a plan to weaponize the earth.
They may as well have hired BLDGBLOG to write the screenplay…
Because then Zorin goes beneath the earth’s surface, wearing a hardhat, where he gets into a discussion with some engineers about the geotechnical nature of the San Andreas fault – including how to blow the thing sky high.
Bond teams up with a female geologist to thwart this evil plan; needless to say, they thwart it.
Two quick points: harddrives are already landscapes, of magnetized silicon; therefore by bombing the San Andreas to achieve a kind of microchip/harddrive monopoly, Zorin is imploding the macro- into the micro-, one landscape into the other. William Blake would have loved this film!
Second, I’d bet $100 the U.S. military already has something like this in the works: surprise earthquakes in Iran, anyone? Surprise earthquakes in Pakistan?
I mention all this because I was thinking of Max Zorin and his View to a Kill when I read about Bill Ellsworth of the US Geological Survey and his suspicious seismic plan: “Ellsworth, his USGS colleague Stephen Hickman and Mark Zoback of Stanford University in California… will use an oil drilling rig to burrow to within metres of where earthquakes are born [on the San Andreas fault]. Then they plan to set up an electronic network and watch the tremors go off again and again… By drilling directly into the fault, the team will be able to observe the chemistry and physics of what happens before, during and after quakes as never before. “
Or so they claim.
[Image: A cross-section of Ellsworth’s San Andrean lab; from New Scientist].
The New Scientist reports that Ellsworth’s team will also use a strategy called the “virtual quake”: “During a natural quake, seismic waves created by movement at a fault are detected at the surface and analysed to estimate their point and time of origin. In their virtual quake the researchers turned this on its head by firing off seven explosions at the surface. They then used the newly installed sensors to detect these seismic waves at depth. Since the timing and location of the explosions were known, the team was able to map the structure of rock even more precisely” – and future strategies of tectonic warfare were no doubt noted…
Anyway, you can read more about it here and here; or you can watch the Bond film – or you can even declare tectonic war on some country yourself – earth as the planet-weapon – but either way be sure to think of BLDGBLOG…