Andre Hueber in the HoS reports:
Nick Smith is the Minister responsible for ACC – but some might say he’s just asking to come a cropper.
Smith and the Skeptics Society are planning a lunch in one of Christchurch’s highest, oldest, stone buildings – on the day that “moon man” Ken Ring says the city will be hit by another devastating earthquake. Ring’s prediction of another earthquake on March 20 – a week today – has caused alarm among some Cantabrians, who have said they will flee the city.
But the minister, who has a doctorate in geotechnical engineering, said he took a very dim view of people causing alarm with no scientific underpinning.
“I believe in free speech but just as people should not stand up in a picture theatre and scream fire, people should not be making phony predictions of major earthquakes.”
That’s a good practical way to try and calm down people who actually believe Ring.
The lunch will be held at noon on March 20 at the Sign of the Kiwi, on the top of the Port Hills – which Smith said was the closest building to the epicentre of the February 22 quake.
Skeptics spokeswoman Vicki Hyde said she wouldn’t be surprised if a shake happened during the lunch because Christchurch had been getting shakes almost every day – “but it wouldn’t have anything to do with what Ken Ring’s been saying”.
Again, a good initiative.