the moon is a poor prognosticator…

… and I don’t know why the media continue to give attention to claims about its influence on earthquakes & weather. Or at least, why they do so without applying a modicum of critical thinking.

I spotted an article on ‘moon man’ Ken Ring in Saturday’s NZ Herald, While this was not entirely unexpected, Ken did say back in April (following his previous difficulties with the media and with various ministerial & scientific pronouncements) that unless there was some government or media-led change, he’d be making no further predictions in regard to earthquakes. Yet here he was, saying

What I’m doing is science. I’m university trained and I’ve never done a horoscope for anyone in my life, so no one can level the word astrology at me.

and making predictions. Testable predictions:

Ring initially said there could be more quake activity this weekend given "extremely low air pressures" in the past few days.

"You get strong earthquakes at that time which is why we had the one on the 21st (June)".

But the next day he said quake activity would more likely happen on July 1.

Ring also predicted there would be no snow on the mountains until August and a wintry blast would hit the country in October.

Let’s assume the interview took place on Friday 24 June. In which case he should have stuck with the initial prediction, as there were indeed a string of earthquakes in Canterbury over the weekend. Oh well. No doubt he meant a ‘large’ quake.

As for the predicted absence of snow: when I met friends in Rotorua on Saturday, they commented on having driven through snow flurries as they crossed the Desert Road  Mount Hutt was set to open today, as enough snow has now fallen on the beginner & intermediate slopes. And we appear to be having a wintry blast right now. Oh dear.

So – will we see a follow-up item, an interview maybe, from the Herald? One would hope so, especially considering that back in April Mr Ring is on record as saying that

For us though, it’ll die down. The (earthquake) timeline has always been until the end of April.

Scientists are now saying it’ll be February 2013 before it stops but they’re just making it up.

After this month [24 April] the moon moves away, the Jupiter-Saturn effect moves away that’s been causing solar activity, and it’ll be the end of the main part of the earthquake sequence. Things will die down then.

I mean, how much effort does it take to check through your own back issues? Whatever happened to investigative journalism?
And the ‘Jupiter-Saturn’ effect? Just googled it. Somehow I think that one doesn’t need to cast a horoscope, to be using astrology.

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