Anatoly Perminov: "You Can Forecast Earthquakes"
October 19, 2011 • 10:40AM

In an interview with Executive Intelligence Review in Capetown, South Africa, on October 5, Anatoli Perminov, the former head of the Russian Space Agency, Roskosmos, outlined a program using presently available technology for predicting natural disasters. "I am co-chair of the committee of the Global International Monitoring System (the 'system of systems')," Perminov said. "The agreement is signed by 30 states and by more than 70 institutions and organizations worldwide. So I invite you tomorrow to our meeting at Hotel Westin on the 4th floor; at 16:00 will be 4th meeting of the committee for a presentation of the system project. We'll report what has been done in the last two years and what we'll plan to do next year. This work is very important and necessary. Why so? Because during the last year nine years as many people died in different catastrophes, natural and man-made, as have died during the entire 20th Century. Can you imagine this? It is difficult to explain why it happens. So, forecasting is very important. There are five large monitoring systems. Everyone does monitoring, but no one makes forecasts. So, with any emergency agency, as in Russia, targeting comes in after the event. They extract the dead bodies. That is why prediction is so important.

"We had a forecast for the Japan tsunami seven hours before it happened, but we didn't know whom to contact. There was no such mechanism. Now all necessary agreements, however, have been signed between Russian and Japanese emergency agencies. Had we had this previously, 82,000 people could have been saved. So that is why it is important to create a system that can forecast and not only monitor. 30-40% of scientists say that it is impossible to forecast. We say that it is possible, especially for such a serious event as an earthquake," he said.

While Perminov was fired from his position at the head of Roskosmos because of a series of accidents in the Russian space program, he remains the co-chairman of the Global Monitoring System, which he took the initiative for during his time at Roskosmos. He has also recently been elected the vice-president in charge of science policy for the International Academy of Astronautics, an independent international community of leading experts committed to expanding the frontiers of space.

Perminov also commented to EIR on his plans regarding science policy in the IAA.

"As Vice-President of the Academy, I will speak about science. I will carry on discussions about these science issues. I will study the issues in detail, and then will be ready to make decisions — organizational, institutional, technical, methodological. I think there will be changes in the International Academy of Astronautics with regard to science work. In which direction? I will take some time to listen to different people as to what they have done, looking at different directions to take. Then I will prepare a proposal, discuss this at the committee, and then we'll come to a decision. This is what I can say about the manner of my work in my new position as Vice-chairman of the Academy."