Pacifica, California’s Natural Coastal Erosion and the Lust for Climate Catastrophes

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Jim Steele

Director emeritus Sierra Nevada Field Campus, San Francisco State University

For 25 years I’ve lived in the beautiful town of Pacifica, California situated about 15 miles south of San Francisco. It was a wonderful place to raise a family. Its great expanse of green space is a delight for an ecologist. My daily hikes vary from coastal bluffs to watch feeding Humpback Whales or migrating Gray Whales, to inland mountain trails with abundant deer, coyotes and bobcats. Oddly this past week I received emails from friends around the country asking if I was “all right”, thinking my little slice of heaven was falling into the sea. Not to disrespect their concern, I had to belly laugh. The news of a few houses, foolishly built on fragile land too near the sea bluffs’ edge, were indeed falling into the ocean and were now providing great photo-ops…

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