Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Big One

I wish the news would stop saying that the Pacific Northwest is going to have The Big One™ any day now, as if the entire state of California will be sloughed off into the sea tomorrow by an earthquake so great we can’t even measure it. The messages I’ve been getting from worried people are out of hand (which to clarify is not their fault, it’s the freaking media instigating panic for views).

First of all The Big One™ just means 8.0 or so. Which, let’s be clear, is a really big earthquake and nothing to laugh at but there are fault lines capable of much more powerful earthquakes. It would be bad, it would be less bad than Fukushima.

Furthermore scientists suspect ‘any day now’ will actually be 'sometime within the next 30 years.’ There’s no way to really know until right before it starts, so there’s no use living in constant fear of it. Be prepared, urge your loved ones to be prepared, but don’t dwell on it like you/they may not wake up tomorrow. People have survived much worse natural disasters.

Also? California isn’t going to fall into the ocean like America got butterfingers and couldn’t hold onto it anymore. Eventually the movement of the plates will probably slide the entirety of the west coast northwards, but it won’t simply cease to exist because of a single earthquake. Climate change stands a better chance of drowning the west coast (and wiping out Florida entirely), actually – so maybe less listening to the media and more investing in clean energy?

Lastly, just to be clear, where I live is nowhere near the epicenter of this quake. I do not live on the fault line. We’d probably feel it, if it was really big, but it wouldn’t be catastrophic here. So while I am absolutely terrified of earthquakes, I do not feel compelled to flee the state under the cloak of night tonight. I am in far more danger from wild fires exacerbated by the exceptional drought we’re experiencing. So… maybe also conserve water? Don’t buy bottled from California (Aquafina, Dasani, Arrowhead, Niagra)? Please?

The natural disaster we’re actually having RIGHT NOW is more important than one that might happen by 2045.

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