It seems like things that cause earthquakes are the ultimate in evil or hyperbole. But now we’ve achieved that end: human technology can cause earthquakes. Hurray!

A recent Scientific American article discussed a new way to generate free power called enhanced geothermal. It works great, there’s just one minor drawback, it causes constant earthquakes. The project in Oregon is far enough from settlements that it merely annoys the neighbours with the small rattles. But still. A technology that causes earthquakes? That’s fantastic!

Here’s another one: geologists are worried that Taipei 101 may have torqued the earth so much that it opened up a new fault. Cool! The residents of the building will be OK because it’s highly earthquake resistant.

All new technology presents benefits and dangers. People say that the atomic bomb is purely a danger. But think about the upside. Major international conflicts have ceased because they’re too dangerous. And if we ever find a giant asteroid coming our way, we’re probably going to need nukes to blow it up, right?

So I think we can actually measure our progress by the sheer destructive power of our technologies. Now that we can cause earthquakes, can the colonization of other planets be far away?