tv Samantha Montano Disasterology Kim Mc Coy Waves and Beaches CSPAN October 23, 2021 3:02pm-3:37pm EDT
can do to get into people's minds that words cannot do. i think that's a powerful and about geometry and statistics. >> i would love to keep talking. but for the rest of you listening in every book so you can imagine can also purchase the book from our partners bookshop.org backslash shop and please consider supporting the literacy.org. the entire panel speakers and panels thank you so much tim think of your contributions in jordan and you thank you for these lovely works. >> thank you so much.
>> thank you for j author discussion on disaster relief in the united states. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ hi all welcome to the festival of books meet the authors q&a series environment reporter for the san diego union tribune. today's session welcomes authors mccoy and samantha montano. kim is an author and oceanographer recently crafted
the third edition of the marine science classics the powerful dynamics of c and coast. samantha is an expert in emergency management that wrote the book disaster dispatches from the front lines of the crisis. let's start with you but first, the first edition was initially written in the 1960s kim tells about the book impacted your early career and how you came to form a relationship later in life. >> thank you for having me. that certainly influenced me early on very bright and
talented guy that all sorts of wonderful things, you can read about it on wikipedia. >> how did you meet him? >> at the pilots association meeting in san diego in the late '90s. he was talking about after that i went up to him and thanked him for writing the first edition. not really interested. >> interesting. did you ever think you would be forming the relationship with this guy that inform the early life. >> not at all.
we used to meet once a week or so he would give things to read him the second copy and said read this and tell me what it means. he did and liked my edits if you will in here we are 20 years later. >> how much time did you end up spending with him before he passed away? >> a couple of years. we interacted pretty well. we shared birthdays and other things, every generation down to great-grandchild.
so i'm involved with the bascom family still that's kind of like a father-son experience even though he was about 35 years older than me. he died in the year 2000. and so the effort sort of went moot for a while because he passed away. he just received the rights back from doubleday prior to his death. his daughter asked me too, do a third addition and i would be honored to do it. for five years and gone back and forth and hooked up with the publisher patagonia and over the last five years eked out this very substantial change for the third edition. >> it seems like this is a new
work of art here that you have created. i am wondering if you the third addition here the art in this thing is just gorgeous but the pictures are amazing. who put all this together? >> some of those, the pictures are modern versions that he did himself and didn't groom himself. it is black-and-white. turns into the illustrator so i was intimately involved in every aspect of the book.
it's really emerging of his experience and my experience over the past 70 years. my experience of 70 years started about 1946. it is a gorgeous book to hold even to flip they're quite remarkable. you did a very good job on this third addition. let's switch gears quickly, samantha your book draws heavily time spinning post- katrina new orleans as a teenager went through to places that are suffering disaster like this? >> thanks for having me. i as we mentioned started doing disaster work in katrina.
i grew up and went down after the floods to do volunteer work. when i got there i was just completely blown away with the destruction never seen anything close to that before how many needs are going unmet moving to new orleans to help with that response to finding these other disasters that are happening around the country and starting to find a lot of
different similarities between the challenges that are coming up in these events. go to grad school to learn about what research says and how we should manage them. that is what led me to the work i do now teaching, researching and speaking publicly about disaster events. but we can do to make our response to them better. >> you do a lot of different things besides teaching. your testifying before congress recently, what is that like, it seems like your work is more relevant now than ever. i don't sleep much. i've been fortunate to take on more and be in a position not
only my own research but to share research from other disaster researchers from decades past from all over the world. and really talk to local communities how they may affect to see how research can employ standard practice and have the opportunity to talk with policymakers and other elected officials to try to again see what we can do to try to influence and make it more effective down a path towards disaster justice. >> very overwhelming, do you feel this is something that shows you are you chose this
line of work? >> that is a great question. i was within 24 hours of going the first time disaster work was what i should be doing. i also have done a lot of self reflection. you see different elements of disaster that make a lot of sense. i will say when i was in new orleans i knew nothing about emergency management. i did not have any sense of anything related to disaster. i was very focused on itself and so one off kind of crazy thing that happened rather than being the product of these decisions even not necessarily connecting that
what that would actually look like it. certainly i knew disaster exactly what that path was. >> is that something that has been rewarding are you happy with this or does it get frustrating at times? >> it really is disasters that happen when you see decisions made that's the wrong decision he see destruction that comes with these disasters. it is endlessly frustrating. but at the same time we know what to do to make emergency management better. we know the kind of policy changes. and it really is a matter of
getting the policies implemented. in that sense i am hopeful because there are more disasters happening across the country and around the world there were paying more attention to this. i'm hopeful in the near future and how we manage our risk. >> for anyone interested in reading disaster allergy of everything that could go wrong with disaster relief in case after case. or really taking this apart and won't fall cracks the crooks in the effort. >> a goal for me writing this book was providing how we think about disasters rather than just having helping them
with the bigger picture here and try to be proactive. >> with the line of climate change and went to switch back to you, you really spiced up the latest version over the last two decades. can you tell us how the text diagrams and explanations about waves and beaches was from the scientific perspective why is important to packages altogether? >> from a disaster management aspect it covers what causes and storm surges and saltwater
intrusions, looks at it from a vantage point and certainly provides a few topical suggestions on what to do. i believe samantha you are at the disaster in the gulf of mexico to show the complexity of that because of its explosion and other things but it sank in the ocean. the juror's is super complex for that. at least to a british company, bp operating in u.s. waters flagged in the marshall islands so who has got control to manage the disaster? it's a disaster of disaster management. there is no singular explosion it's like a leak in your roof
the roof is rotten and it ruins your furniture and i can't keep buying new furniture. so the sea level rise miami for instance you spend $500 million just on pumps and manners of keeping saltwater out of the drinking water and everything. and in san diego this all sorts of crystal structures, indonesia is dealing with relocating the capitol of the country because they've been at sea level rise for 20 plus years. and in delmar just north of -- the train tracks are under siege and it will take several billion dollars to reroute it. he was going to pay for that? so when a disaster happens unfortunately the, how do you
account for that countries like the netherlands do excellent job of the project. other interacting in the coastline and the surge in topic into geopolitics, is really describes how human interacts in a policy manner i touch on policy a little bit. >> we should mention, here in california we cannot stop talking about wild failures is the dominant natural disaster but the southeast flooding is the big issue. we have a case of this with delmar and what were going to do about that of course it will have to be public money that pays to realign the train tracks there.
but yes these are the issues we are dealing with now across the country. >> is not just physically. the interaction that interact with the physical structure whether or not the watershed is getting enough intimately connects when halibut live in the seagrass or whether or not there's adequate nutrients growing in the ocean to satisfy the sardines which in turn the larger fish eat it's really, really connected in that process. >> both of these books are great reading for particularly elected officials and decision-makers who often come
at this from a layman's perspective to make important decisions based on their understanding of science and both of these books are accessible to a large degree and could help people during tough choices i think. >> they have about hundred 50 references in the tenant climate change action some of those have over thousand pages. >> it is an access point. he really dressed up the textbook to begin with. >> you have been all around the world on ships can you give us a personal of climate change what have you seen firsthand?
what strikes you? >> i did seven -- eight trips to the arctic one to the antarctic. when it first went to get was mentioned in 80 the west coast of greenland but had not been accessible. the ice was too thick and they tried to walk out they all died. now 40 years later cruise ships go up into that area. and then in this south in antarctica the species who had been living there for 5000 years have been supported by both species of penguins slurs of bones and stuff like that
you can carbon date to get an idea of which species for the last 5000 years we've been there. these are visible changes. we had a lot less kelp burning kelp coverage is really, really diminished in southern california. okay that's fine the whole ecosystem but certainly massively overstretched remember their heat waves in the ocean also. these are all in the ocean are getting stressed during these heat. these people live on land they've never been to see. i went swimming two days ago in the ocean it was great
after this interview i'm going again. it's great for swimming. >> anyone who lives in san diego knows the beaches have been warmer as of late. samantha, just tell me you detailed so many disasters in your book. what is the through line you want the reader to take away from this? what do you want people to really walk away from this understanding better? >> i think the biggest thing is all of these disasters that have happened to talk about katrina, harvey, others in texas i talk about repetitive, talk about my experience but
really they have many more similarities than they do differences. i think sometimes experiences of a disaster you see happen again and again. what's happening in your community is really, really unique that demonstrates this is inexperience a lot of people are having. on one hand it's terrible on the other hand that means there are bigger policy changes that we can do to shift some of this risk that we can talk about national policy changes are given the
urgency of the situation we are in right now so hopefully this book demonstrates you are not alone in your community of got other people experiencing this and inspire some these local groups to reach out to other groups across the country and start working together with changes to our emergency management policy, that really ultimately demonstrates disasters or not inevitable but worsening climate change given the decades of court development are things we can do to prevent them from happening or at least minimize the distraction. >> i don't you feel you have to go into a wonky policy debate here, what would be
your top prescriptions? what can we do to scale up disaster relief in the united states? >> at the national level there is a focus on federal emergency management agent currently one agency within the department of homeland security post 911 change. so taking things, returning it to independent cabinet level agency is the number one policy. past that we really need to be talking about the capacity, the management system across the country has an emergency manager agency in some form. but unfortunately in most places you have a part-time
emergency manager is doubling as the fire chief. that we know needs to happen. really growing that capacity increasing the funding of our emergency management will be huge to do things even like apply medic patient grants or subduing mitigation projects but they want to be doing. >> i think were going to start to see a lot more of the resiliency resiliency or adaptation strategies going forward. a lot of what cities have been doing over the last five years is try to figure out how to shrink their carbon
footprints. most of the money has gone into developing climate action plan et cetera. the index of climate change are coming home to hit as hard but were going to have to spend money how to live in a warmer climate. >> exactly. we are unfortunately at the point we did not act quickly enough on climate. now we have the repercussions. there still things we can't and have to do to prevent climate change from getting worse. we are facing the consequences of it now. we cannot forget those communities on the front lines of these consequences. we also have to understand is not only climate change it is development these decades that come together i absolutely
hope you are right there's going to be more of a focus on adaptation. i really hope to they focus on adaptation they recognize emergency managers for very long time in terms of mitigation we have been buying out homes for decades. were not completely reinventing the wheel we have the knowledge and resources that we do have emergency management and applying it. >> to have any thoughts on how they can prepare for a coming heat waves,. >> understanding the
mechanisms, to create the disasters is fundamental or potentially creating disaster the netherlands had a terrible it's a finger in the dike kind of thing. they realize they took a national policy. to echo off what samantha just said we need a national approach to effect these policies is not just a local issue is the international it's global we live in a globalized climate a globalized world economically. you cannot disassociate what's happening in a port in china or the indian ocean without recognizing something happens there is going to change your insurance rates here in san diego the upper day bay to
most cost effective way for anything. instead of planning something postal coastal structures need to be approach not only the structural requirements but anticipated climate change that almost certainly will be occurring at the limits of what we think we are now. >> probably one of the most controversial and hottest topics is the use of sea walls to try to protect property and
infrastructure along the coast. of course that means basically doing away with the beach in those areas. what do you think when you cc walls? >> it's sort of a schizophrenic approach. upstream is permanent and money. downstream, go figure. no need to recognize and is seawall somewhere but unless you're doing something with the national policy little portions of land that's great,
go fall into the ocean near san francisco is a very good example. you can see there hanging off and free space really have to recognize in harm's way. not to mention you can buy houses and real estate at a national level to preclude the damage. what hurricane katrina was 500 million or something like that. it's anticipating, understanding the phenomena
that is occurring disasters. and those that can be mitigated long-term approach. those that cannot be mitigated. >> great topics but important reading from our authors today kim mccoy who crafted the third edition of the scientific classic and i just want to say again this is gorgeous anyone out there should just get this to look at it if not read it. samantha from the front light of the climate crisis this is the master class and what has gone wrong with disaster response over the past 20 years. thank you so much for being with us, really appreciate it. to the audience out there you can purchase either of these from a number of independent booksellers at bookshop.org