How an ‘ancient landslide’ keeps threatening a railroad, homes in San Clemente, California (2011)
It’s been more than three decades since two landslides fell on the Santa Barbara shoreline, obliterating houses and cars and threatening to destroy part of an industrial zone that was home to the headquarters of the nation’s second-largest auto manufacturer. But just as the danger from those two recent slides has faded, another one threatens, at least in the near-term, to be a whole new level of complexity.
One man’s idea of an idea for the future of climate change and its relationship to California’s coastlands.
One man’s idea for an idea for the future of climate change and its relationship to California’s coastlands.
In fact, this is just one man’s idea, a concept he’s been bouncing around for a while, starting back in 2005.
“We all have these great ideas for changes that could make our world better, more just, more sustainable, and more livable,” Mike Peterman, an atmospheric scientist and research scholar at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told the Santa Barbara Independent.
He’s not the guy who came up with the idea that climate change might be a new natural disaster. But there’s no question he has one of the smartest and most creative minds when it comes to thinking about changes we could make to our climate to help save natural areas, make our communities more resilient, and make our country more sustainable.
“The idea that I wrote up in 2005 is probably the best one I’ve ever heard,” Peterman told the Independent.
The idea that he’s had for a long time starts with two ideas: One, that climate change is a new class of disaster for coastal areas, and two, that that damage from that damage, which he calls “ancient landslides” — a phenomenon he likens to an avalanche, rather than a landslide — is being amplified by the global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
And he’d like to see the idea implemented. “The problem is this has been occurring for at least three decades,” he told the Independent, “though I don’t think people have been talking much about it.”
Though Peterman doesn’t speak or write about climate change in a way that would make most climate advocates happy — he’s a skeptic on the cause of man-made climate