Title: But they never told me!308

Whose responsibility is it? *

Key words: Natural disasters

National and State standards: National # 18, State # 15.10.6

Teaching level: high

Objective/purpose: The student will:
discuss policies that are designed to guide the use and management of the earth's resources
develop plans to solve regional problems

Introduction: A significant portion of California is a risky environment for buildings. Some of the risk is due to their unique climate which causes smog in the summer, fires in the Autumn, floods and mudflows in the winter and of course earthquakes all year long. As a result many Californians have what geographers call a "disaster culture". They are so used to minor climatic hazards that they can nor even think about major disasters like earthquakes. The California government has increasingly passed more and more legislation that will protect people from the surprises that come with natural disasters. Concerned citizens in that state feel that this type of control inhibits their constitutional rights of privacy. This lesson will address those types of concern.

Divide the class into two debate teams
Give each team a synopsis of the Alquist-Priolo Special Studies Act (see attached) and have them debate the pros and cons of the plan.
Have a thoughtful discussion regarding how influential government should become in regards to geographic issues.

Evaluation/assessment: Write a position paper on the question "My
hottub water is green again, should government control the water flow?"
or some other significant geographic concern that the student population may have.

How successful was this lesson? Did all students benefit? Were there any surprises? What might you do differently another time? Please note any changes that will make this lesson more effective and useful in the future and pass them along to the NHGA. We appreciate your comments.
Thank you
The authors.
*Based on Why not here?, Gersmehl, Philip , National Council for Geographic Education,Indiana,Pa.

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