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"I see the systematic de-stressing of the earth's surface as a benefit. "

Those of us in geological fields totally disagree with you. If you start a small earthquake in San Andreas, say up in the northwestern section, you can trigger a full-length chain reaction that culminates in unleashing the big one which will rip all the way through Mexico. What is worse is that the earthquake will get stronger as it propagates along the fault line. What you call the big one in the northwest section where it all began is thousands of times weaker than what gets felt further down the fault.

What makes you think a man-made stress release will be any different from a natural one?

Timing, for one thing. "The big one" might not hit the San Andreas Fault for 10,000 years for all we know.

It might not ever hit. Crustal rocks can permanently store tremendous amounts of energy as stress; if the stress is changing, the fault might only move enough to release some small delta of the total stored stress. But: grease the system and you might release a lot more, and all at once.

It's very hard to predict what will happen, either naturally or human-triggered. IMO this is a good argument to not rush it. Every day that passes gives us more time to understand and prepare.

So you would rather just wait for it to randomly unleash as the big one?

It does seem better than purposely releasing the big one, or doing so accidentally, which would be a risk until we can build much more sophisticated models that would guide these release efforts.

Absolutely. Would you rather it be triggered by some person or corporation, and then have the problems of trying to hold them responsible for the deaths and damage that will happen?

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