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November 01, 2016


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Thank you, Jay Bird, for bringing this critical topic back to the discussion.

Our 42-year-old General Plan is finally being updated and will need to address climate change, including sea-level rise. It’s up to us, the public, to ensure a thorough and proper update. I urge as many of us as possible to get involved as we will have only 45 days to comment on the EIR and Documents starting January 3. Sign up on the city website at https://www.planpacifica.org/

And City Council is supposed to revisit the Climate Action Plan next year as well. It’s been so disappointing, as there was supposed to be yearly reporting about whether the city met the goals of the current version, weak as it is, but from what I understand hasn’t been done since 2017.

We have lost key time, critical years to fight climate change, and we need to hold our leaders accountable, and/or elect new leaders in 2022.

What is the City of Pacifica doing to address these facts?

1) Earth's poles are destabilized:

2) Massive Thwaites eastern ice shelf is "years away from failure"
> Global sealevel will rise by about 2 feet

3) The network of ocean currents known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) appears to be weakening.
> "If the system collapsed, it would be a climate disaster, freezing the far north of Europe, cutting crop production across the continent, and pushing up sea levels on the Eastern Seaboard."

4) Rising water tables are damaging infrastructure:
> "Roadways will be eroded from below; septic systems won’t drain; seawalls will keep the ocean out but trap the water seeping up, leading to more flooding. Home foundations will crack; sewers will backflow and potentially leak toxic gases into people’s homes."

///////// It looks like the City considers sufficient:
a) A Local Coastal Plan (LCP) that permits buildout of seawalls (which destroy beaches) and permits new coastal development:

b) a "Climate Action Plan" that took more carbon to produce than it can save:

Is that enough to help local residents? What will be done when coastal properties start to flood? Will taxpayers be on the hook for paying for the damage?

The studies have not been done. The Coastal Commission said that the library was an acceptable usage in a commercial project under the local coastal plan, but that numerous studies needed to be done, and have not been done. Pacifica.city is to be commended for asking the questions of regulatory agencies that no one else, apparently, has asked.

Is this proposed building -- for which the City of Pacifica already spent $400,000 on drawings -- in a tsunami zone? How is it that City Manager Lorie Tinfow and City Council approved a $400,000 expenditure for drawings for such a tendentious idea as building a vital community resource on the coast?

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