Earthquakes Benefit Humanity

Is humanity at fault for Earthquake Deaths?

“Every year, around 60,000 people die worldwide in natural disasters. The majority of the deaths are caused by building collapse in earthquakes, and the great majority occurs in the developing world. This is despite the fact that engineering solutions exist that can almost completely eliminate the risk of such deaths.” (Reference)

earthquakes benefit humanity

Earthquake Cost Benefit Analysis For California = $100 Million a year (Profit not Loss)

10 mins Video: San Andreas Fault – How it Impacts California (MP4)

5mins Video: Money from the San Andreas Fault (BBC iplayer)

dollars

Humanity needs to invest in better buildings to save earthquake lives but doesn’t see the cost benefit. However according to Dr. Iain Stewart of BBC’s “How Earth Made Us:  Deep Earth” fame – California’s cash-flow, for example, is enhanced by around $100 million – every year – because of the region’s San Andreas Fault’s positive influence on California’s geology.(Reference)

Deadly and Yet Necessary, Quakes Renew the Planet

From New York Times By WILLIAM J. BROAD

Scientists argue that in the very long view, the global process behind great earthquakes is quite advantageous for life on earth – especially human life.

Powerful jolts ……are inevitable side effects of the constant recycling of planetary crust, which produces a lush, habitable planet. Some experts refer to the regular blows – hundreds a day – as the planet’s heartbeat.

The advantages began billions of years ago, when this crustal recycling made the oceans and atmosphere and formed the continents. Today:

  • it builds mountains,
  • enriches soils,
  • regulates the planet’s temperature,
  • concentrates gold and other rare metals and
  • maintains the sea’s chemical balance.

Plate tectonics (after the Greek word “tekton,” or builder) describes the geology. The tragic downside is that waves of quakes and volcanic eruptions along plate boundaries can devastate human populations.

“It’s hard to find something uplifting about 150,000 lives being lost,” said Dr. Donald J. DePaolo, a geochemist at the University of California, Berkeley. “But the type of geological process that caused the earthquake and the tsunami is an essential characteristic of the earth. As far as we know, it doesn’t occur on any other planetary body and has something very directly to do with the fact that the earth is a habitable planet.”

Many biologists believe that the process may have even given birth to life itself.

The main benefits of plate tectonics accumulate slowly and globally over the ages. In contrast, its local upheavals can produce regional catastrophes, as the recent Indian Ocean quake made clear.

Even so, scientists say, the Dec. 26 tsunamis may prove to be an ecological boon over the decades for coastal areas hardest hit by the giant waves.

Dr. Jelle Zeilinga de Boer, a geologist at Wesleyan University who grew up in Indonesia and has studied the archipelago, says historical evidence from earlier tsunamis suggests that the huge waves can distribute rich sediments from river systems across coastal plains, making the soil richer.

It brings fertile soils into the lowlands,” he said. “In time, a more fertile jungle will develop.”

Dr. de Boer, author of recent books on earthquakes and volcanoes in human history, added that great suffering from tectonic violence was usually followed by great benefits as well. “Nature is reborn with these kinds of terrible events,” he said. “There are a lot of positive aspects even when we don’t see them.”

Plate tectonics holds that the earth’s surface is made up of a dozen or so big crustal slabs that float on a sea of melted rock. Over ages, this churning sea moves the plates as well as their superimposed continents and ocean basins, tearing them apart and rearranging them like pieces of a puzzle.

The process starts as volcanic gashes spew hot rock that spreads out across the seabed. Eventually, hundreds or thousands of miles away, the cooling slab collides with other plates and sinks beneath them, plunging back into the hot earth.

The colliding plates grind past one another about as fast as fingernails grow and over time produce mountains and swarms of earthquakes as frictional stresses build and release. Meanwhile, parts of the descending plate melt and rise to form volcanoes on land.

… despite such staggering losses of life, said Robert S. Detrick Jr., a geophysicist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, “there’s no question that plate tectonics rejuvenates the planet.”

Moreover, geologists say, it demonstrates the earth’s uniqueness. In the decades after the discovery of plate tectonics, space probes among the 70 or so planets and moons that make up the solar system found that the process existed only on earth – as revealed by its unique mountain ranges.

In the book “Rare Earth” …., Dr. Peter D. Ward and Dr. Donald Brownlee of the University of Washington argued …. that the slow recycling of planetary crust was uncommon in the universe yet essential for the evolution of complex life.

“It maintains not just habitability but high habitability,” said Dr. Ward, a paleontologist. (Dr. Brownlee is an astronomer.) Most geologists believe that the process yielded the earth’s primordial ocean and atmosphere, as volcanoes spewed vast amounts of water vapor, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and other gases. Plants eventually added oxygen. Meanwhile, many biologists say, the earth’s first organisms probably arose in the deep sea, along the volcanic gashes.

On balance, it’s possible that life on earth would not have originated without plate tectonics, or the atmosphere, or the oceans,” said Dr. Frank Press, the lead author of “Understanding Earth” (Freeman, 2004) and a past president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The volcanoes of the recycling process make rich soil ideal for producing coffee, sugar, rubber, coconuts, palm oil, tobacco, pepper, tea and cocoa. Water streaming through gashes in the seabed concentrates copper, silver, gold and other metals into rich deposits that are often mined after plate tectonics nudges them onto dry land.

Experts say the world ocean passes through the rocky pores of the tectonic system once every million years or so, increasing nutrients in the biosphere and regulating a host of elements and compounds, including boron and calcium.

Dr. William H. Schlesinger, dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke, says one vital cycle keeps adequate amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. …..an appreciable level is needed to keep the planet warm enough to support life.

Having plate tectonics complete the cycle is absolutely essential to maintaining stable climate conditions on earth,” Dr. Schlesinger said. “Otherwise, all the carbon dioxide would disappear and the planet would turn into a frozen ball.”

Dr. Press, who was President Jimmy Carter’s science adviser, said the challenge in the coming decades would be to keep enjoying the benefits of plate tectonics while improving our ability to curb its deadly byproducts.

“We’re making progress,” Dr. Press said. “We can predict volcanic explosions and erect warning systems for tsunamis. We’re beginning to limit the downside effects.”

Summary

I think its fair to say we are all sad for the lost of our loved ones but Earthquakes Benefit Humanity both in the future just as they have done for us all in the past.

More here.

Juniper Secure Access: Understanding ECC Certificates

Understanding ECC Certificates

Public-key cryptography is a cryptographic system that requires a secret key and a public key that are mathematically linked with each other. One key encrypts the plain text while the other decrypts the cipher text. RSA is the most widely used public-key algorithm.

Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) were introduced as an alternative to RSA in public key cryptography. One advantage of ECC over RSA is key size versus strength. For example, a security strength of 80 bits can be achieved through an ECC key size of 160 bits, whereas RSA requires a key size of 1024. With a 112-bit strength, the ECC key size is 224 bits and the RSA key size is 2048 bits.

The most popular signature scheme that uses elliptic curves is called the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA). The most popular key agreement scheme is called Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH). An ECDH exchange is a variant of the Diffie-Hellman (DH) protocol and is an integral part of the Suite B cryptography standards proposed by the National Security Agency (NSA) for protecting both classified and unclassified information.

About Suite B

The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a specification for the encryption of electronic data established by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 2001. Because a single encryption algorithm cannot satisfy all of the needs of the national security community, NSA created a larger set of cryptographic algorithms, called Suite B, which can be used along with AES in systems used by national security users. In addition to AES, Suite B includes cryptographic algorithms for hashing, digital signatures, and key exchanges.

Per RFC 6460, to be Suite B TLS 1.2 compliant the server and client should negotiate with the following ciphers:

  • TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256
  • TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384

RFC 6460 also lists a transitional Suite B profile for TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1. Clients and servers that do not yet support Suite B TLS 1.2 should negotiate with the following ciphers:

  • TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA
  • TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA

There is no special configuration to ensure that Secure Access Service and Access Control Service negotiates Suite B ciphers. However, the following general steps should be performed to enable Suite B compliance:

  • An ECC certificate signed by an ECC Root CA is associated with a network port.
    • A P-256 CSR is signed by either a P-256 or P-384 Root CA.
    • A P-384 CSR is be signed by a P-384 Root CA.
  • Manually enable only AES128 and/or AES256 custom ciphers.
Note: Secure Access Service and Access Control Service cannot be configured to allow only Suite B ciphers.

Using ECC Certificates with Secure Access Service and Access Control Service

ECC certificates are currently supported only on the MAG and virtual appliance platforms. As with RSA certificates, ECC certificates are associated with a network port. You can create multiple virtual ports on the server with each port supporting a specific certificate. For example, external virtual port 1 can use a 1024-bit RSA while external virtual port 2 uses ECC P-256 and external virtual port 3 uses ECC P-384. Only clients that support ECC cipher suites can connect to the web server on that network port.

When an Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) certificate is associated with a network port, only clients that support ECC cipher suites can connect to the Web server on that network port.

Except for the key and certificate generation process, the use of ECC certificates is basically the same as using RSA certificates.

Published: 2013-11-15
Client Verification

Click the lock icon located at the end of the address bar and then click the View Certificate link

SSL

Click the Details tab and scroll down until you see the Public key field. In this example, the public key value is ECC (256 Bits) which matches the server port p3 certificate.

ECC cert