Pulls Story Making Quake/Climate Link Claim

     Almost every day a news report comes out linking something to climate change – obesity, food riots or a century of wildfires. Some of the claims seem especially outlandish. Sometimes they are.

     On June 18, posted a story claiming that global seismic activity on Earth is now five times more energetic than it was just 20 years ago because of global warming. The story had no byline, but was attributed to the Associated Press. The story was identical to a June 17 Market Wire press release attributed to Tom Chalko, the scientist that made the claim of the earthquake/global warming link.


            Click image for larger version
However, as of 3 p.m. on June 19, the story was no longer available and both and AP were blaming the other side for report.

     According to Mike Sims, director of news and operations for, the story was an Associated Press story that came across their wire, but Susan James, a researcher for the Associated Press, told the Business & Media Institute no such story exists in their database.

     “It’s not an AP story,” James said. “It’s not turning up in our archives.”

     Sims did not immediately return an inquiry for a response to the Associated Press’ claim.

     The original story and the identical press release detail the alleged increased danger from earthquakes as a result of global warming. “New research compiled by Australian scientist Dr Tom Chalko shows that global seismic activity on Earth is now five times more energetic than it was just 20 years ago,” the release/story said. “The research proves that destructive ability of earthquakes on Earth increases alarmingly fast and that this trend is set to continue, unless the problem of ‘global warming’ is comprehensively and urgently addressed.”

     According to a Web site promoting one of his books, “The Freedom of Choice,” Chalko “holds [a] Master degree in engineering and a Ph.D. in physics (laser holography). His current academic appointment is with the University of Melbourne in Australia.”

     The original scientific citation making the global warming connection to earthquakes was published in the NU Journal of Discovery, a journal that “has been created to facilitate exchange of information about the latest discoveries and stimulate the global intellectual activity on Earth,” according to its Web site.

     Chalko has done worked pertaining to the “Thiaoouba Prophecy,” a theory the supernatural is connected to the stories in the Bible and a theory about auras, which contends “everything in the Universe seems to be just a vibration.”

     Dr. Luboš Motl, a former Harvard physicist called Chalko an “übercrackpot” on his blog on June 19 and questioned Chalko’s claim about the increase in seismic energy.

     “[T]he earthquake energy hasn't increased, of course,” Motl wrote. “Read the FAQ by USGS who are responsible for seismology. The total energy is dominated by earthquakes at 7.0 or higher and they haven't increased - they have actually decreased a bit in recent years. However, many small earthquakes went undetected in the past.”

     Dr. David Legates, a climatologist and an associated professor at the University of Delaware, told BMI the theory was ludicrous.

    “The amount of energy coming in from the sun is somehow heating core of the Earth? I mean come on,” Legates said. “That’s ludicrous.”