With all the hoo-ha going on about Ken Ring's quake forecasts and with the world watching in horror as Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant teeters on the brink of meltdown, I find myself wishing that I'd spent more time at school on left-brain subjects.

Latin, English, French and drama were a breeze for me; maths and science not so much.

But I really need to fill in the gaps in my knowledge because without a basic understanding of science, it's hard to distinguish between the scientists and the nutters - whether or not the moon has anything to do with earthquakes; whether the Fukushima meltdown can possibly be compared to Chernobyl; whether man's interference with the planet is a catalyst for earthquakes. Who knows?

I believe that Ken Ring is a scaremongering charlatan - albeit a well-intentioned one - but I have no scientific evidence with which to rebut him or his supporters.

I believe that there's very little man can do to influence the shifting of the tectonic plates, despite what the proponents of the Haarp theory believe - but again, that's just gut instinct and not certain knowledge.

Conspiracy theories and whacky predictions become the stuff of mainstream when people live in darkness, and it seems that there's a lot of us who might as well be living in the 16th century given our gullibility and desire to put our faith in soothsayers.

It's time for me to go back to school.