Friday, July 18, 2014

Tornadoes, Earthquakes, Six Flags, and the Governor


While reading the news on the internet this week, I found quite a few articles regarding a proposal to split California into six states. New York, the state I live in, is on the opposite side of the country from California, so at first I paid little attention to the stories.

After all, to listen to New York’s esteemed governor, Andrew Cuomo, New York is totally awesome and everyone should want to live and work here. A short time ago a tornado touched down in New York State, right in the middle of the state. Governor Cuomo was incensed and outraged.  “We don’t get tornadoes in New York. Anyone will tell you that.” Cuomo said, “...it is a challenge for government, it’s a challenge for first responders and it’s a challenge for every citizen of this state.”

I think, most of all, it is a challenge for the governor on two fronts. First, it tarnishes the image of New York. He wants to present a safe, business-friendly, wonderful place to live. Secondly, it presents a challenge in the area of reality contact. Since tornadoes do strike New York, in fact, according to the National Weather Service, New York is visited by a dozen or so tornadoes every year. You can see the article here


So, I looked at California and this plan of splitting it into six separate states. It makes sense. Take all of the huge problems and split them into little ones. Then you no longer have huge problems, you simply have a bunch of little ones. This is a problem-solving skill that is taught by educators everywhere. Take the big problem, and break it down into bite-sized chunks.

Then, I examined the map closer, and I discovered something truly unique. Two of the states have a border along the San Andreas Fault on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. This is amazing! For many years scientists have said that at sometime, everything west of the San Andreas fault will fall into the Pacific ocean.

In fact, I remember my sixth grade teacher talking about the possibility of California falling into the sea. He made it sound as if this disaster could occur at any moment. I think he was a republican.

Now someone has planned ahead for that eventuality. Rather than one state, California, losing a huge portion of its tax base and population, simply split that portion of the state off, so when it falls into the ocean, it has no negative impact on everyone else.

Not only is this part of California that is destined to fall into the ocean separated from the rest, it is split into two parts, just in case it doesn’t all fall in at once. This is the kind of planning that makes every disaster official proud.

The biggest hurdle seems to be what to call the six different states. One person noted, with amusment, “We should call the whole thing, ‘Six Flags California’.”

If splitting California into six separate states doesn’t work, perhaps New York’s esteemed Governor Cuomo will move to California and say, “We don’t get earthquakes in California, anyone will tell you that.” Then everything will be all right.