Letter: In Response to ‘High Tides’


We can no longer afford the luxury of dismissing “conservationist dog whistles.” “Managed retreat” based upon solid science is far preferable to the chaotic rout that’s looming. This is not Coastal Commission overreach. Tomorrow’s public beaches will be radically altered, and many oceanfront and bluff-top structures will be gone or unsafe. Del Mar’s plans to address sea level rise by shoring up sea walls and bringing in sand to replenish the beaches is a Band-Aid for a severed artery. Read Jeff Goodell’s book, “The Water Will Come,” reviewed in the New York Times on Nov. 22, 2017: “For anyone living in Miami Beach or South Brooklyn or Boston’s Back Bay or any other low-lying coastal neighborhood, the difference between three feet of sea level rise by 2100 and six feet is the difference between a wet but livable city and a submerged city.” For “low-lying coastal neighborhood,” substitute Laguna Beach (or Venice Beach, or Santa Monica, or Balboa peninsula). Mr. Gasparotti is right about the need for sophisticated planning, such as changing the route of beach-level stretches of PCH, which are not defensible with shoreline protection. That is no dog whistle; it’s a train whistle, getting closer and louder every day. Meanwhile, all the remedial steps in the world will fail if the generation and release of greenhouse gasses continues. By far, the most viable plan economically to address this is a carbon fee. I endorse H.R. 763, the and Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, which our representative, Harley Rouda, has signed onto as a co-sponsor. Get familiar, get scared, get involved.


Gary Stewart, Laguna Beach


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