Episode #24: When Will San Francisco Be Underwater? (transcript)


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Quinn:    Welcome to Important, Not Important. My name is Quinn Emmett.

Brian:    I'm Brian Colbert Kennedy.

Quinn:    Teddy is not here with us today because I abandoned him.

Brian:    Yup. You left him.

Quinn:    Yeah. He is totally fine. Teddy is fine. Probably better without me. I spent half the year … part of the year on the East Coast and Teddy stays with good friends, stepfather, stepmother that he definitely loves more than he loves me for good reason.

Brian:    Yes. Not only did you leave Teddy, you left me.

Quinn:    Yes. Yes. We are on different posts. You'd put your gear back together for the first in six months.

Brian:    Here's hoping it works.

Quinn:    Who knows? Today, we're asking the question, when will San Francisco be under water, Brian?

Brian:    It is, apparently.

Quinn:    Yeah. Good news. They're fucked. Anyways, here to help us answer that and tell us exactly what to do all the time because she should be in charge, is the intrepid Molly Peterson, a renowned reporter focusing on the environment and climate change. She's worked at Southern California Public Radio, I See Change funded by NASA. She traveled to and reported from Rwanda in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a fellow for the International Women's Media Foundation and is now at Pactio, a super cool new organization supporting independent journalists and we will dig into that more.

Brian:    Yeah. She's done a lot.

Quinn:    Yeah. Boy, she's impressive.

Brian:    And does a lot, yeah.

Quinn:    Yeah. Yeah. Really raised us up a little bit on quality levels.

Brian:    As all of our guests have.

Quinn:    Yeah. No, for sure. For sure. She's just a special one in the length that she went to to get a good recording. Wow.

Brian:    Yeah. Very impressive.

Quinn:    Yeah. She built a fort for better-

Brian:    She recorded from a fort that she built.

Quinn:    Just a hero. Speaking of putting our gear back together, I gave you shit about putting yours back together. I'm like deathly ill over here. I feel like I faked it pretty well.

Brian:    You sounded great.

Quinn:    In putting together my gear, I open the box from California. There's a power cord. It doesn't seem to go to anything but I'm also not sure what it goes to.

Brian:    I want to see it. I want to know what it is because I definitely don't-

Quinn:    You were there when I packed the stuff up. I just took the things that were necessary and I genuinely don't understand what this goes to.

Brian:    Make sure you bring it back when you come home then because you're going to need it for something at the office.

Quinn:    I guess. I don't know.

Brian:    You have a thing with power cords. Remember when you gave me those speakers and left out the power cord? You've either got a power cord or you don't.

Quinn:    Your speakers have the power cord now because what is this?

Brian:    No. Yes, now they do. Everything is fine.

Quinn:    Okay. All right.

Brian:    Thank you for the speakers.

Quinn:    Yeah. You're welcome. You're welcome. Glad those worked out. I don't have our HomePod here so we don't have anybody talking to us.

Brian:    It's been weird. We haven't done this in a while. It came out fine but man, it's been a different day. We only got a couple of more months of it.

Quinn:    You said you were talking to your mom before this. How is she?

Brian:    I was. Yeah. She gave me a call. I think when my phone rings, my favorite person for it to be is my mom.

Quinn:    I would hope so. Who else would be in the running?

Brian:    The only other one that I really like is when my agent calls because if she calls me, I usually means I booked something.

Quinn:    Who calls more?

Brian:    It's up and down. Right now, mom for sure.

Quinn:    Is it?

Brian:    Mostly, mom right now. It's been a little dry in the commercial department.

Quinn:    Does the agent call it's bad news or is that just a no call for bad news?

Brian:    That's just a no call, yeah.

Quinn:    You're just left to wonder what happened.

Brian:    Right, right, right, exactly which is such a good feeling. Yeah but no, mom called, I was so happy to see her on the caller ID and she's doing great. She's a little under the weather actually like you so that part sucks.

Quinn:    Yeah.

Brian:    But otherwise, living it up, getting back into yoga in a big way which I love.

Quinn:    Nice. It's so good. My mom teaches yoga to children.

Brian:    Yeah. That's right.

Quinn:    Yeah. It's crazy. Crazy.

Brian:    Specifically to children?

Quinn:    Yeah. Yeah.

Brian:    Wow.

Quinn:    It's probably to get them to calm their little bodies and minds down. It's very impressive.

Brian:    That's so cool.

Quinn:    I was the kid who … On my report card growing up for like … Not kidding 12 years straight in the same school system, they had … there's a little legend where they could print preselected comments to really get down to how specific your child is. There's just like six preselected comments and mine was always, every time "socializes at the inappropriate time" which is amazing for a couple of reasons. One, I have become more of an introvert these days.

Brian:    Yeah.

Quinn:    I think it's also just being tired every day of my life.

Brian:    You still have a lot of energy to be an extrovert.

Quinn:    Getting that a couple of times is one thing but eventually like an anomaly becomes a statistic.

Brian:    Right.

Quinn:    Interesting.

Brian:    Wow. I wonder if we would have been buddies in middle school, I think so.

Quinn:    You think so? What were you into?

Brian:    I think so. Maybe not buddies but I would make you laugh in class. I would make you laugh in class then I would never see you otherwise because you were always swimming and being an athlete and I was just being a fucking … just fucking around all the time.

Quinn:    What did you do? Did you do anything?

Brian:    I rode my bike. I rode my bike around, started a lot of trouble.

Quinn:    Cool.

Brian:    I worked a lot too. I guess that's more high school than junior high.

Quinn:    You're painting a very specific picture of your life.

Brian:    Listen. Everything was good. I was responsible when I needed to be and then I was a clown all the other times.

Quinn:    Do you think you would have gotten socializes  at the inappropriate time?

Brian:    Absolutely. My comment was always like, we know Brian is smart and normal. Why does he have to be such an asshole?

Quinn:    Was that the preprinted comment that they could pick from?

Brian:    I think it was a stamp. They already had it ready and so they just stamp that every time.

Quinn:    Yeah.

Brian:    Yeah.

Quinn:    Yup. Some things don't change.

Brian:    Wait a minute.

Quinn:    Yeah. I do hope your mom feels better. Do you think she's feeling under the weather because you haven't given her a grandchild yet?

Brian:    No, I don't. Okay. I think we … My brother and I talked about this with her before. We were like, mom, we're so sorry. We can't believe we haven't given you a grandchild yet. My mom was like, "No. If it's going to happen, fine but don't have a grandchild because you think ... don't have a child because you think I want a grandchild. That's not the reason to have a kid." Okay, that makes sense.

Quinn:    Which is fair but at the same time, that's when you ask your significant other, "Everything okay?" They go, "It's fine."

Brian:    Everything is fine.

Quinn:    Yeah. It's never fine. That is the answer. Get on that train Brian. It's the best.

Brian:    Yeah. Thank you. I'm down. What do you mean? Of course I'm down.

Quinn:    It's the best.

Brian:    There's other parties that have to be down.

Quinn:    All right.

Brian:    Working on it. I'll keep you posted.

Quinn:    Let's go find Molly Peterson in her fort.

Brian:    We should talk to Molly.

Quinn:    All right. Our guest today is Molly Peterson and together, we're going to answer the question hopefully, when will San Francisco be under water? Molly, welcome.

Brian:    Woof.

Molly Peterson:    Thank you.

Brian:    Very happy to have you here. If you don't mind Moll, tell us real quick just who you are and what you do.

Molly Peterson:    I am a local, mostly public radio reporter and I've been covering climate change as long as I've been a reporter so more than a dozen years. Right now, I'm working for KQED, the local station in the Bay Area as well as for the startup that supports local independent journalism Pactio.

Quinn:    Tell us a little more about that.

Molly Peterson:    Pactio is kind of like … The idea is that local news is incredibly valuable but we're all facing towards national news at this moment in time. Even local news organizations have a hard time really staying focused on what's a big deal so the idea is to support local independent journalism in a Patreon, Kickstarter way.

Brian:    Nice.

Quinn:    Super cool and it does matter and it's not … it's inevitable that they have to turn towards national things because we are getting pounded every day by these things that have ramifications for everyone.

Molly Peterson:    Yeah. I just really believe deeply in local journalism and one of the reasons why is because I cover climate change.

Quinn:    Sure.

Molly Peterson:    There became this point of view … I am amazed and impressed by people who do research all over the world but there's this way that people I've talked to in California, in Louisiana and Oklahoma, other states are looking at ice flows and polar bears and thinking, that's not me. That's not my problem.

Quinn:    Right.

Molly Peterson:    There's climate change that's happening in your backyard right now that you should know this.

Quinn:    It can take so many different shapes and forms and it's so regional and it can even be hyperlocal. A lot of what we've talked about is trying to get folks again, we always try to urge action, specific action of some sort and you can make the most impact/raise the most hell on a hyperlocal level and there will be some frustrations along the way but it's … you're certain they're going to feel and literally see your impact. You're much more likely to feel and see that impact than you are than pestering your representatives who don't really listen to you anymore. Your federal representatives.

Quinn:    Going to your city council meeting and asking about the local water quality and air quality and things like that and who are the biggest polluters and what are we doing about those if anything is something that you can measure and you can see and your kids can breathe that air.

Molly Peterson:    Yeah. Even just noticing things. Before I work for these guys, I work for something called I See Change which is a NASA-funded … it was NASA-funded, citizen climate observation project.

Brian:    I was reading about that.

Molly Peterson:    That was global and it was … Yeah, it's really cool. It basically takes qualitative observations from local people and pivots them to quantitative observations of carbon in the atmosphere from NASA's orbiting carbon observatory. What that meant was-

Quinn:    That's so cool.

Molly Peterson:    Yeah. We are in contact with scientists to truth squad what people saw and give people context for what they saw and we got observations from Kenya and Rwanda-

Quinn:    Wow.

Molly Peterson:    [crosstalk 00:10:56] of our observers in Kenya last year. It was amazing.

Brian:    Let's get some actions that we can make our listeners realize that they can take and we'll ask all the questions to get there.

Quinn:    Yeah. Before that, Molly, your listener and friend of the pod, when you have time not saving the world, you might already know this but instead of asking what's your life story, we like to ask Molly Peterson, why are you vital to the survival of the species?

Molly Peterson:    Because I'm a journalist and I actually think high quality journalists are incredibly crucial to paying attention to climate change and to connecting something that's science-based to your relationship to your community be it in policy or in your economy and how you're spending choices, all of it. More info is good. Tom Stoppard said … what was the Tom Stoppard quote? "Information is light about anything is good."

Quinn:    I love that. I love that.

Brian:    Nice.

Quinn:    Do you feel like your job has … or your perspective on your job has changed in the last two years?

Molly Peterson:    My perspective on my job has been changing nonstop for the last four or five years but some of it has changed since Trump got elected and some of it in the ways exactly that you think but it's always, always hard and has been something I've been thinking about for the last five, six, seven years to figure out how to connect people not just … Look, I work for a local public radio station. It's a fantastic station, we do great work but we also cover these meetings that happen in Sacramento about policies that it's like, who cares?

Quinn:    Yeah.

Molly Peterson:    There's a policy about a low carbon fuel standard. If you are one of our friends in the kitchen trying to figure out whether to recycle something, that's not what you're thinking about.

Quinn:    True.

Molly Peterson:    The idea of making a closer connection between things is really a big deal. At the same time, yeah, the last couple of years, the other thing besides Trump getting elected and the policies that are coming out of Washington is that there's this sense that the truth is malleable. It's huge and growing and it's scary.

Quinn:    Yeah. It is scary. It really is a whole new world on that front and the efforts that are being made to both make it seem and to make it malleable, to manipulate folks. It's pretty out of control. All right, let's get [inaudible 00:13:27] right here. Let's establish some context for today's question which means it's time for context 101 with Professor Brian. It's like every student's favorite entry level class that you'd schedule at 3:00 P.M. on a Friday and never really go to. it's often oversimplified, gear is off-course, never intentionally wrong but Brian is doing his best. It's a really great book report but we've got Molly here to correct us.

Quinn:    Brian, talk to us about sea level rise.

Brian:    Thank you in advance for all corrections Molly. All right. This is might be a news to you guys but the sea levels are rising and more interestingly, sea levels have ebbed and flowed over the millennia.

Quinn:    Millennia. Big word.

Brian:    Yeah. Thank you and a little bit confusing. Actually, it sounds like it would be a million but it's 1,000. Why would you do that?

Quinn:    Yes. Okay.

Brian:    Anyway, all right. You've got a nice temperate poles and then ice ages and then melting and then ice ages. The poles actually used to be these really lovely temperate places and because they were, the oceans were way higher and basically like everything you know was under water that's why there were shark teeth in Arizona.

Quinn:    I literally was talking with my children about that this week because obviously, they're into Blue Planet and Planet Earth and all that stuff. I think the North American ones call it like the Western Interior Seaway. It's crazy. Just sharks everywhere. Anyways, we'll put in the show notes. It sucks.

Brian:    Yeah. Throughout all this, the oceans absorb 90% of the atmospheric heat associated with emissions but there's a few things that are different this time.

Quinn:    What's different this time?

Brian:    We're here.

Quinn:    Right. What does it mean by we're here?

Brian:    More humans are here and that means that more humans will die when the islands in the coast are under water but also, all of us humans are causing the melting to happen way, way, way faster.

Quinn:    By the way, didn't the marvelous Dr. Kate Marvel tell us that her data says, this was a real clincher. If we hadn't been influencing warming, the earth would actually be in a cooling period? Not like an ice age but like most things are … not a most things are on fire age.

Brian:    Yeah she did and everybody is like, the earth is always changing temperature and that's true but the point is we're not supposed to be right now and here's the kicker, the rate of rise has been rising.

Quinn:    Nice.

Brian:    People, when I say people, I mean ignorant assholes, love to say that like that's leveled off or it's dipping even but that's what we call cherry-picking data like of course, there's going to be fluctuations if there's more snow and the water piles up on land instead of the oceans for example but the point is when water warms, it expands and the water is warming so like so much that not only are the ice caps melting and massive chunks of ice are falling off of Antarctica but the underwater currents that power our entire climate are out of whack.

Quinn:    Right. I'm sure they'll be fine. How much faster is faster? What are we talking about here since we're getting so technical with things?

Brian:    Super technical. Yeah, we've always, and still talk about sea level rise like in inches per year and at some point, and definitely sooner than we thought, we're talking feet.

Quinn:    Not good.

Brian:    Some folks think we're underestimating that. Yeah, we're pretty good at that but okay, so it's risen about 8 inches since 1880 as far as we can tell.

Quinn:    The ocean, right?

Brian:    The fucking ocean.

Quinn:    Okay.

Brian:    That's 140 years almost, right?

Quinn:    Right.

Brian:    Then there's … Current projections are saying that by 2100, so 80 years, we're talking anywhere from 1 foot-

Quinn:    That's about half the time, right?

Brian:    Yeah in almost half the time from 1 foot to 8 feet.

Quinn:    Right. Okay. All right. I'll ask a question. Again, we don't try to dump things down but we do try to operate from the lowest common denominator so people really get what we're talking about. It's more important to be properly and fully informed than to pretend you are. Why does the ocean going up 8 feet matter?

Brian:    Great question. If you're out there in a boat, you don't notice it, right?

Quinn:    Theoretically.

Brian:    What if your house or the local naval base or an airport or a subway system or a power plant, what if they're built at sea level or damn near close to it?

Quinn:    Right. An extra foot of water, even 1 foot over an airport feels bad.

Brian:    Yes it does. We built cities on water, mostly rivers and oceans for trade. Guess what, eight of the 10 largest cities are on the coast or very near the coast. There are American cities who are seriously, unbelievably in some shit over the next 50 years.

Quinn:    Yeah.

Brian:    New York, Miami, actually most of Florida, Norfolk, Boston, Charleston, Atlantic City, New Orleans is mega fucked.

Quinn:    The New York Times did a partnership with The Times picking on covering New Orleans' increasing water issues. It was pretty tremendous. We'll put that back in the show notes.

Brian:    And of course, San Francisco.

Quinn:    Right. Okay. Brian, that was amazing. Thank you for that context.

Brian:    It was something.

Quinn:    Let's focus on our question. It sounds a little ridiculous, when will San Francisco be under water? Molly, you wrote an article recently titled, Like It Or Not, the Water Is Coming: Will the Bay Area Defend Against Rising Seas, or Embrace Them? Again, we put that in a newsletter. When you publish that, we'll put in the show notes here too. Can you give us the one-minute breakdown so we can more fully dig in?

Molly Peterson:    Yeah. First of all, I don't need to correct Brian so this is all very exciting because we're all on the same page about this except the only thing I'd also say is that in San Francisco, you were asking me when is San Francisco going to be under water? The answer is they're already under water sometimes right now. The best guidance for the San Francisco Bay Area about sea level rise is to expect between 2 feet and 10 feet of sea level rise alone by the end of the century. That doesn't count storm surges, that doesn't count high tides which are two other factors.

Molly Peterson:    That's from the State Ocean Protection Council's science advisory team which is based on this 2012 National Research Council report that you got that information from I think that you were talking about earlier.

Brian:    Yeah.

Molly Peterson:    Then you mentioned 8 inches since 1880. San Francisco has the longest continually serving tide gauge basically. Under the Golden Gate Bridge, right, by Crissy Field, by the marina is now operated by NOAA. When it started, there was no NOAA.

Quinn:    Wow.

Molly Peterson:    At that gauge, it's gone up 8 inches in the last century. The story of that tide gauge is kind of a fascinating and amazing thing but the point is is that we have measurable sea level rise in San Francisco already and in the Bay Area, they're planning for by mid-century, this is actually an interesting sticking point because they don't have to plan to a limit there so there's no-

Quinn:    What do you mean by that?

Molly Peterson:    What I mean is in the Bay Area, there's no, while you are required if you make changes, there's something called the Bay Conservation and Development Commission which is a state commission. It's an unusual creation and I can tell you the story about that if you want but what they do have authority over is 100 feet around the edge of the bay. If you pull a construction permit or make any changes around the edge of San Francisco Bay, you have to consider sea level rise but it doesn't say how you have to consider sea level rise. There's a growing body of complex work about what that means but there isn't a, you definitely have to plan for 2 feet or you definitely have to plan for 4 feet or 6 feet or 8 feet.

Molly Peterson:    That's kind of a problem that you can look at in a lot of these communities because I don't believe yet that there is a rule in South Florida for example that you have to plan for a specific amount of sea level rise. You have to consider it but it's hard to get, when the rubber meets the road, about spending money, making regulations. It's hard for people to rely on emerging science. They are entirely comfortable with it so we're slow to adapt to that sort of emerging science and this new information.

Molly Peterson:    We've had huge developments in sea level rise science in the last five years.

Quinn:    But getting people to agree on one number that can be used as a barometer for the development projects would seem to be a pretty contentious battle?

Molly Peterson:    For sure and yet-

Quinn:    Which is probably why.

Molly Peterson:    Yeah. Totally, and yet there's … The thing that I found when I was talking to people in the bay and there is a researcher there, Mark Stacey at UC Berkeley who's been modeling what would happen if sea level rise happened in the bay, it's a really complex dynamic thing so what happens in one community affects another. Decisions that you make in one community to put up a wall are going to affect another community where there's no wall yet so one community's decision affects another's because it makes sense for them to plan together.

Quinn:    Right.

Brian:    That was such an interesting part of that article that I didn't really think to think about before that is that these walls that are redirecting the tides or reversing them, yeah, that water is going to go somewhere and it might be your neighbor.

Molly Peterson:    Yeah. I didn't think of that either and I grew up in the Bay Area so Foster City was this magical fascinating land to me that my parents weren't super into but we would drive by. The fact that they had a lagoon, I thought pirates were involved.

Quinn:    Sure. Default answer.

Molly Peterson:    I thought it was … Yeah. The lagoon by the way has died with … It's really interesting. They die at a darker blue green which helps cut down on photosynthesis and keeps them from getting too many weeds that would affect their electric duffy boats but it gets this kind of Disneyesque color in that lagoon they've got there but it's this plan community that's sticking out on to the bay whose creation was partially responsible for the idea that there even is a local commission that tries to look at the edge of the bay.

Molly Peterson:    Foster City makes a decision and that's going to affect Belmont and Ringwood City and these other cities in Silicon Valley.

Brian:    Right.

Quinn:    All right. I guess yeah, let's ask this pretty practical question. What has San Francisco and Oakland already done to prepare for the sea level rise that is already happening?

Molly Peterson:    There are planning processes going on.

Quinn:    Yeah.

Molly Peterson:    In San Francisco, on the Embarcadero and the Embarcadero itself, the construction of it is this fascinating thing because it took them a really long time to build it. At the time they were building it, it was in the squishy, sticky mud, this kind of old, old bay mud and so they didn't have the technology in the mid-19th century to dry anything out so they just piled rocks in a big triangle. They dug a little hole and they piled some rocks up to try to build and that's a solid engineering principle but it's also … we now know so much more about geotechnical information that there's ways we would not do that.

Molly Peterson:    There's seismic problems for the seawall that has allowed San Francisco to have more land adjacent to the Downtown area and there are sea level rise problems that are associated with that and there's things that you wouldn't think about with a port like that. For example, there's infrastructure when you have those kind of finger ports, those finger piers rather that stick out off the end of the Embarcadero in front of the seawall.

Quinn:    Yeah.

Molly Peterson:    Those are the piers where people put the America's Cup Boats and the ferries. Because sea level is rising, there's less time to maintain the equipment on the underside of those piers because there's higher tides. Because the sea level is higher, that means there's slightly less time and there's less and less time as time goes on for them to maintain this equipment so we're talking about in the Bay Area, I think the status that this is the Pacific Institute which is a local Oakland-based institute.

Molly Peterson:    They have estimated that about 4.6 feet of sea level rise would cause the Bay Area $62 billion in property damage and endanger a quarter of a million people plus. Actually, I think that number is low because San Francisco believes that there is even more behind it when you get into the financial industry, the tech industry, that's in Downtown, San Francisco, that number is probably even a low estimate.

Quinn:    Wow. All right. Again, the inability to agree on a number which humanity-wise would seem to be accepting defeat which we can dig into the philosophy of why these arguments are still happening but they have accepted that obviously, sea level rise is coming because they're already dealing with it and it's going to be exponentially worse. What is the planning and I'm thinking about New York and Miami here too which are still holding on to the idea that they're going to be able to hold these tides off and are undertaking similar planning efforts and a little less action?

Quinn:    What have they done to prepare for this sort of exponential growth that's coming?

Molly Peterson:    There's two paths that they … two very broad paths that they can take and one is to continue to manage a relationship with water the way we have in the Bay Area in San Francisco over the last century and the other is to reconsider what a relationship can be with the shoreline. In San Francisco, in the Bay Area and as well as in New York, the Rockefeller Foundation has held design competitions to try to promote very ambitious, very blue sky thinking about what to do, what you could possibly do to deal with sea level rise.

Molly Peterson:    That's something that's been going on in the San Francisco Bay Area specifically not just with the Rockefeller Foundation. I think nine years ago, the Bay Conservation Development Commission was part of … there's a discussion, there was this idea for this kind of amazing carbon fiber mesh. If you can imagine like a big, huge mesh scoop hooked on to either side of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge and the idea of behind building something like that which is completely science fiction, like completely this amazing huge thought is to slow down the wave energy and to control the flow of water throughout the entire bay.

Quinn:    Wow.

Molly Peterson:    Yeah and it never gotten anywhere but it's an amazing idea.

Brian:    At least people are thinking.

Molly Peterson:    Yeah.

Quinn:    Right.

Molly Peterson:    I love that.

Quinn:    Yeah. No, you think about what … my God I'm braindead today. The Italian city with all the canals.

Molly Peterson:    Venice.

Quinn:    Thank you. Venice.

Molly Peterson:    With all the James Bond movies. The Italian city with all the James Bond movies.

Quinn:    That one. Boy, braindead today. You know what they've done with the incredible doors under water that they've built. Have you seen this?

Molly Peterson:    No.

Quinn:    It's incredible because Jesus, if anybody is facing sea level rise, it's those guys. It's pretty wild the things that they've done and the Dutch are similar, developing things like this because as the Dutch say, "We've been doing this for forever", but the question becomes like, is that enough? Side question, it's election time almost. Has the San Francisco Oakland mayor raised … discussed this at all or is it like the 2016 national election where nobody talked about climate change the entire time?

Molly Peterson:    They are going to have in November, it appears that that's the case, the ports has been taking the steps towards a big, huge vote where people would have to be willing to tax themselves to fix the Embarcadero seawall and they're selling people on the idea of fixing it for seismic and sea level rise reasons. I don't believe anyone is opposed to fixing the seawall in San Francisco, it's just not something that at this point, anyone could reasonably consider and be elected mayor even with that goofy rank choice voting which is still emerging a candidate at the time of this taping.

Quinn:    Do they have any idea what the damage would be like to do that both on the individual tax they're voting for and the total bill to do that and I guess maybe the time to do that?

Molly Peterson:    Like how much it would cost?

Quinn:    Yeah.

Molly Peterson:    They're talking about fixing it in stages.

Brian:    Yeah.

Molly Peterson:    Overall, they believe that it would cost $3 billion to $5 billion just to fix the San Francisco seawall. The San Francisco seawall, the Embarcadero seawall is only part of San Francisco's overall shoreline. The initial amount of money that they're talking about, asking people to vote on in the fall is somewhere between $400 million and $500 million total and they haven't decided or released a plan for how they would ask people to contribute to it.

Molly Peterson:    For what it's worth, they're also trying to get money from the State of California and of course San Francisco and Oakland are suing oil companies to hold them responsible for sea level rise and that case is still alive and has not yet been dismissed. There's a lot of cases with different legal theories that are moving so it may be the case even if that case gets dismissed that a case under a different legal theory and a different court may help hold oil companies responsible for that.

Brian:    Sure. Sure.

Quinn:    God. That would be so … Yeah we'll see where that goes. All right. There's a lot … clearly a lot in planning and being voted on.

Molly Peterson:    I know. Sorry guys, I'm always making that stuff more complicated. Sorry.

Brian:    No, no.

Quinn:    No, no, no, it's good. We like to get nerdy here.

Molly Peterson:    Okay, good.

Quinn:    We just also like to back it up sometimes so everybody totally gets it.

Molly Peterson:    Yeah, yeah.

Quinn:    We've … Yeah, we've gotten there. Don't worry. You'll hear a deep sigh from Brian if he's totally lost. I forgot what Venice was so don't worry.

Brian:    That's Professor Brian. No, but yes, there is a lot in planning like I was saying and being voted on but what is going to happen in the next 20 or 50 years no matter what actions they take.

Quinn:    Right. What's coming down the pipe sea level rise-wise, kill me, no matter what they do.

Molly Peterson:    Here are things we definitely know are happening that are combining to create more risky flooding circumstances around the bay. The predictions are for around 2 feet of sea level rise by midcentury so that's within 32 years.

Quinn:    Right.

Molly Peterson:    In addition, we know that sea level rise of course is rising. God-

Brian:    Nice. Yay. [crosstalk 00:33:20] Quinn, that's what we're going to call it from now on.

Molly Peterson:    I know. Sea level rise is rising. We know that sea levels are rising. We know that there are more … In California, we've got more intense storms and more extreme precipitation.

Quinn:    Yeah.

Molly Peterson:    So managing water on the landscape becomes a big deal. In one of the places I went, we put creeks into … and we do this all around the country. We put creeks into concrete channels and we try to speed the water away from us. When you do that, that's why like in Los Angeles, you have a lot of swift water rescues in the wintertime of homeless people in the Los Angeles River because that water can be 35 miles an hour if it's less than a foot deep.

Brian:    Jesus.

Quinn:    Right. Wow.

Molly Peterson:    It's crazy. Our relationship with water and our relationship with our shorelines has been … our relationship with water has been to push it away from where we live and to keep it away from places we want to build housing and buildings. Our relationship with the shoreline in San Francisco used to be that there were dumps all around the edge of the bay. There are pictures of people just backing up and dumping trash right at the edge of the bay.

Molly Peterson:    We obviously spread out the places where the water comes from San Bernardino Mountain or mountains around San Francisco and where the water falls into the bay and we've kind of widened these areas. When we did that, we rethought our whole hydrology and that's going to affect the risk to everybody around the bay in terms of the cost of flooding and the cost to potentially people and buildings.

Quinn:    For our San Francisco listeners and Oakland listeners and Greater Bay Area and everybody else who's never been to San Francisco but has only seen the Golden Gate Bridge on the map, can you tell us 2 feet in the next 35 years happening no matter what, what within that danger zone?

Molly Peterson:    Let me think of ways that we can say that's … Yeah.

Quinn:    From what I understand, the two airports are in pretty deep shit. Is that correct?

Molly Peterson:    Yeah. Yeah. I was going to try to count stuff up. We're talking about … The two airports, we already have nuisance flooding, they call it, which is kind of tide-related-

Quinn:    That's a dull-

Brian:    Yeah what a word to use.

Molly Peterson:    Yeah, exactly. Nuisance flooding. In BART stations in Downtown San Francisco and in Oakland so BART might be affected and BART of course already has to slow down trains for seismic events so BART now is planning for multiple disaster threats that are dynamic and changing and getting worse. Then completely unsexy like I was completely uninterested in this when I started doing the reporting, but wastewater treatment plants. The reason why wastewater treatment plants are at sea level is because it's cheaper to use gravity to send waste from the hills.

Molly Peterson:    If you live in the Berkeley Hills or in Hillsborough or any place up a hill and you're like, sea level rise isn't going to affect me because I'm sitting up on this hill.

Quinn:    Right.

Molly Peterson:    It's totally possible that your wastewater treatment plant gets swamped. It could get swamped by high tides. Now, there's a lot of planning in the wastewater treatment industry and they all wanted to make sure I knew that on Twitter when I did the story but it is also true that a UC Berkeley scientist figured out that five times as many people are going to be affected by flooding of critical infrastructure around the engineer of the bay than by direct flooding on their own.

Quinn:    Wow.

Molly Peterson:    Traffic jams too of course. There's another reason you could get into a traffic jam because of there's already flooding on Highway 37 in Napa which is a key part of the North Bay commute and the thing about San Francisco traffic that I relearned is there's no way to get around a mess.

Quinn:    Yeah.

Brian:    Right.

Molly Peterson:    I find that in Los Angeles, if I need to go someplace, there's usually two or three different choices I can make. I make a bad one sometimes but in the Bay Area, you usually got one route. You have to go this one way.

Quinn:    I think the other thing people don't totally realize is again, we're talking about the whole Bay Area but how small geographically is San Francisco really is? There's not a ton of options.

Molly Peterson:    Yeah. Right.

Quinn:    It's not that big but they've banked a lot on and Oakland is similar so areas like that, wastewater treatment plants in the airports, those are essential pieces of infrastructure. What planning is being done? What actions beyond planning are being done because 35 years is not a long time?

Molly Peterson:    No it's not. There are things you can do and I will say that this is also a problem for people who aren't in the bay or maybe only visit the Bay Area or are Dodgers fans. There's an entire coastline of California that's got critical plants. We talk about wastewater treatment plants but there could also be peaker plants, natural gas plants or other power plants and you have those along the California coastline as well.

Quinn:    Miami's nuclear power plant is like on the ocean.

Molly Peterson:    Yup. This thing about the wastewater treatment plants is actually true in any city. You think about … Here's what engineers try to do when they build infrastructure. They want to build infrastructure that can last but they also want to build infrastructure that is cost-effective so this isn't just like some dumb idea that somebody had in the Bay Area that caught on. This is a kind of logic that people have in a lot of US coastal cities so it's worth familiarizing yourself about that if you live someplace else.

Molly Peterson:    The kind of planning that goes on is you can take interim steps like moving critical machine equipment to higher levels. I used to live in Louisiana after Katrina for a few years and it was a big deal that the hospital is flooded. People knew that there was going to be 8 feet to 10 feet of flooding in places but what they ended up doing was moving critical generators and pumps that much higher to a second floor if possible if it was a healthcare facility.

Quinn:    Right.

Molly Peterson:    Healthcare facilities are at risk in a lot of cities, not just the Bay Area and not just New Orleans, all around the US, yeah.

Quinn:    Right. Yeah. New York has got a lot of that with Sandy. Again, to tie things together, New York and New Jersey, the shore like all the rebuilding that's happened, it's great but it's like Puerto Rico in that you go, yes but the hurricane season just started again. It's like this is all … it's seasonal, it's cyclical. There are forward-looking planning efforts post-Sandy have been fairly criticized. What's interesting is San Francisco gets a ton of rain, right, but they don't really face hurricane type threats like that so there's not as much of a … There's not as much of a huge opportunity if we can call it that where it come to Jesus moment where you go like, oh shit, we have to figure this out.

Quinn:    Like you said, in San Francisco, and this is where I'm really curious like you said, in New Orleans, they knew there'd be 8 feet to 10 feet of rise and of flooding and you move generators to the second floors. The folks in the bay are saying it's going to be 2 feet to 10 feet on a normal day.

Molly Peterson:    Yeah.

Quinn:    Moving generators to the second floor is not a long-term solution. What do you do with an entire airport or a waste treatment plant or things like that knowing that that's again, it's not going to be 10 feet in 35 years but we find that we're underestimating this every time we look at it and go back and measure it. I'm fascinated and horrified to see what these places are going to do. My best friend is a submariner an hour here from the Norfolk naval base and they're fucked.

Molly Peterson:    Yeah. I would say the government and particularly, the defense department has a history of thinking about climate change is going to affect their operations. Here's another essential truth about planning for sea level rise that makes it really complicated and challenging and the Bay Area is kind of this microcosm of the problem nationally. There are nine counties around the Bay Area. There are 101 cities and something like 43 or 44 that touch water, that touch bay water.

Quinn:    Jesus.

Brian:    Damn.

Molly Peterson:    What that means is that they would have to have clearer authority to decide what to do. They would have … We have not created dedicated funding streams in a lot of the cases. It's a lot easier to go to the public and say, "You want to have an airport? Here's what it takes to have an airport", but it's a little more complicated to do that in a bunch of these communities that are built on landfill that may or may not have a population that's willing to tax themselves. By the way, they had very low voter turnout for this too just like around the rest of the bay.

Molly Peterson:    Foster City is that community built entirely on landfill. It was a developer's vision, the Foster family made that whole thing up in the mid-'60s to the 1970s when it was finally incorporated and it started being Foster City. They taxed themselves basically between … it's an assessed value of the property but between $270 and $440 for the average house, something like that a year to raise an earth and living around that community. That's a strategy that if you continue to do that is going to look like New Orleans in the long run.

Quinn:    Yeah.

Brian:    Wow.

Quinn:    Wow. Woof.

Molly Peterson:    I understand and particularly in California where we have this tradition of local rule, right?

Quinn:    Yeah.

Molly Peterson:    We have very strong cities and the state has tried to take leadership positions on climate change in the last decade or so but it's complicated. Everybody has got their power base and you have to create new piles of money to build piles of things to protect you from the ocean.

Brian:    Okay.

Quinn:    Talk about … Sorry Brian.

Brian:    No, no, go ahead.

Quinn:    Again, you come back to something like Norfolk and multiple stakeholders. Aside from the people who are employed there or the new [inaudible 00:43:45] ship building where we literally produce everything that we put on to the water, the people who work there, the people who live there and then the taxes that are involved in the folks that are living there and the real estate and the federal government, there couldn't be more stakeholders for something like that. Even removing just the military threat of how do you move the world's biggest naval base when-

Molly Peterson:    Yeah. It's got to be so hard. I'm glad you bring that Norfolk perspective. I think about South Louisiana too and how you have a variety of risk factors for a bunch of people in South Louisiana and they all have different levels of economic interest and strength to bring to this. When they talk about building a leaky levy or building protection for South Louisiana and some communities are going to get left out, in some ways, there's a phrase they use that's … you might have heard … I don't know whether you've heard this. It's called managed retreat. They talk about it in New York after Sandy.

Quinn:    Right.

Molly Peterson:    In fact, New York actually bought out entire streets and entire neighborhoods because financially, it doesn't make sense to keep being in some of these places.

Quinn:    That is the big thing and it seems so hard to fathom but it is true and I think New Orleans is probably, for a variety of reasons, facing that more quickly than most folks which is yeah, when is it not worth it to keep occupying these lands?

Molly Peterson:    Yeah but like in San Francisco where people spend so much money for … There was like a teardown shack that was on the market for 900,000 the other day.

Quinn:    Right.

Molly Peterson:    That could be any day of the week here.

Brian:    Right.

Quinn:    Sure.

Molly Peterson:    People aren't going to give up that shoreline in the Bay Area without at the very least, enormous amounts of discussion.

Quinn:    Sure. Sure.

Brian:    Yeah.

Molly Peterson:    Which is deduction which is the opposite of what you're interested in here.

Quinn:    Yup.

Brian:    Yup. Speaking of, what is the action going forward? What should citizens be aware of? San Francisco citizens and elsewhere coming back to how important local news and local action is?

Molly Peterson:    I continue to be this huge, huge advocate for and supporter of people informing themselves and arming themselves with information locally. Quinn, you obviously are a citizen in multiple places and spend a lot of time being passionate about the local communities that you're in. I think that that's a huge deal to inform yourself about if you live in a shoreline or a coastal area to be familiar with the kind of planning decisions that are made and to ask people what they're doing about it because if somebody is putting up a huge business complex near you, the decisions that business complex makes might affect your property.

Quinn:    Right.

Molly Peterson:    Frequently, when I was going around the bay, you talk to people. I met this guy who I had a lot of empathy with who grew up in South San Francisco, he went to a catholic high school that was a rival of my catholic high school, he had been in flooding so bad that he couldn't get to school one day but he had never thought about sea level rise. He had never connected coastal flooding and nuisance flooding to sea level rise. If you have an expansive understanding of what the impacts are of sea level rise and you think about it like that on a local basis and pay attention to local decisions and follow local news, you're going to be a stronger and better advocate for the things you care about.

Quinn:    It is. There's been a lot of talk about how local newspapers have suffered so much in the past 10 years with all the Facebook and more the national players coming online in the national news but it's not just what is your local paper saying about the national news? There are specific issues that you have to tune yourself into even in somewhere like New York or San Francisco or Norfolk or gosh, we vacation sometimes in the outer banks in North Carolina. Like Miami, again, we've talked a lot today about not just storm flooding but on a normal day, those streets are already getting flooded and you have to, at some point, recon with the fact that they always say, we're 30 years to 40 years behind the emissions, right?

Quinn:    If we stopped everything right now, we're still in it for a long time and these places are going to suffer big time but if you don't tune in locally, you're not going to be aware of why and what's being done or something that you can do to help prompt hopefully a discussion that doesn't just stay a discussion, that comes to action.

Molly Peterson:    If you're a property owner of any kind, and this goes not just for sea level rise but for flooding that could come from extreme rain, mudslides, this isn't just a California thing even though I'm describing all these California circumstances, your property risk is changing and I think homeowners can be really smart about asking questions of their insurance agencies and getting informed about how the insurance, their insurance policy sees their risk because that's going to hit you in the pocket.

Quinn:    Sure. We talked a little bit about, and I have to go back and find the specifics of it but how many Americans live within the flooding ranges that sort of newly rectified flooding ranges of America's river systems which are going to get real bad too. Again, it's not just California and the coasts which are going to get it worst but this is happening everywhere. On the other hand, it's also, I haven't read it yet, bouncing around, there's also the problem of running out of water.

Quinn:    If you live in the southwest, these things are happening and you need to start asking questions of your city council and your local representative of going, what is our plan when the Colorado River can't give us our water anymore because we have gotten, not complacent but first of all, I don't think most people in general know where their water comes from, but knowing where it comes from and how that might be threatened, it's going to be pretty important going forward and obviously it's more important in some places than others.

Quinn:    It's not flooding but these are all the repercussions that again are coming down the pipe. Yeah.

Molly Peterson:    Yeah, I know. I really appreciate that you guys want to encourage people to take actions and give people specific concrete action. My only worry about our conversation is that the things that I think people can do, or these small things everyday as opposed to here's an organization you can become involved with. I don't have a recommendation like that. I have more of a, "I believe deeply that when people observe changes in their environment and then incorporate that into how they think, and I hear that with our friends all the time in California.

Molly Peterson:    We talk about how to be prepared for disasters in a way we didn't talked about 10 years ago.

Quinn:    True.

Molly Peterson:    Not just because we're older and like getting to be old farts, but also because the risk is-

Quinn:    Tired.

Molly Peterson:    Tired, but also because the risk is changing and we're not wrong to notice it. You can see it in all different ways, so I just believe in noticing things. No one can pay attention for you.

Quinn:    Absolutely and it's really easy and really understandable why you'd put your head in the sand, not be negligent, but to think, "Well, this isn't going to affect me in my lifetime or whatever," but it already is. It's going to keep coming and like you said, if you're a property owner of any sort, personally, or a business, yeah, anything. Like you said, "It's worth noticing. It's worth asking the questions on your local level." You don't have to join some bigger organization.

Quinn:    Again, we really try to dial it down to what people can do with their voice and their dollar, and sometimes that too, don't buy from these companies that produces much plastic, or whatever it might be. In this case, it is. It's really looking around and going, hey, are these beaches, these very local beaches, that aren't fancy that bring in some of our economic dollars? Are they threatened? What's the situation there?

Molly Peterson:    I think about farmers' markets. We all didn't … Nobody used to shop at farmers' market. There weren't a lot of farmers' markets, and now they're proliferating and people are in more of a dialogue about where did my vegetables come from? Where does my fruit come from? I have a fishmonger or I know my butcher, and I know where my meat comes from. You can do that with news in a way too and I think if you will apply that same logic to news, you can actually be as a local journalist, we want to be in a conversation with people locally to find out what they're seeing and what they're observing.

Molly Peterson:    I had somebody ask me a question about trees in Los Angeles the other day. I'm checking it out for this Pactio thing that I'm working on. I'm literally at the point where I'm answering people's individual questions and it helps me be a stronger journalist, so people paying attention makes the journalism better.

Quinn:    Let me ask a side question that's a little unrelated but I do think is important. Let's say you're a young person listening to this, Molly, and you're pretty young. You might still be involved in your community or you might still live in your original community where you grew up, or go to college in there, or something like this. Somebody wants to get into local journalism right now. How would you and where would you point them?

Molly Peterson:    That's a really good question. I think that we're moving into a land where there's a lot of project-based largely online outlets, and public radio outlets that are contributing to this, and because public radio is doing a better job of paying interns that when I was starting out and seeking diverse applicants, and people who have local knowledge. There's a lot more opportunity even at small local stations because there have been, and particularly since President Trump was elected.

Molly Peterson:    There have been more investments even in small communities to put local journalist's boots on the ground to represent those communities, and to report for them. There's a lot of money that … I mean, I can think of a two or three names of like foundations that have pumped money into local news outlets. If you were a local person in a community that's got a local news outlet, there may be more opportunities than there used to be already for project-based work particularly around elections.

Molly Peterson:    Project-based work around climate change even, and project-based work with a local radio or an online outlet.

Brian:    That is so good to hear.

Quinn:    How do you recommend that they take up this passion turning into a vocation? Did they just go out there and start asking questions and reporting back? Do they try to get a job at a proper public radio station or a local newspaper, or something like that?

Molly Peterson:    I'm always a big advocate for people and I've been doing a lot of work for WWNO in New Orleans in recent years so I don't just work for huge public radio stations on the West Coast. I've also worked at a small station in Louisiana where the funding is complex and different. What I would say about all the places that I've worked, I worked in local journalism in like four places now and the continuing factor that I've seen for people who want to break in to any of those outlets and stations is the skills are going to benefit you as a journalist that you might already natively have.

Molly Peterson:    Asking questions and being persistent will serve you incredibly well when you're trying to do these things. In other words, yes. I believe that if you show up at a local station and present yourself as somebody who wants to get in the door and you are eager to learn, and you're willing to be paid a relatively small amount of money to start, some money though with a small amount.

Quinn:    Sure.

Molly Peterson:    Then you can get in to these stations. I've seen it time and time again.

Quinn:    That's awesome.

Brian:    Yeah. It is.

Quinn:    It's inspiring. We need more boots on the ground.

Molly Peterson:    There are old people like us who always I never turned down a conversation with somebody, because people work-

Quinn:    I know. I always tell people you're my favorite conversationalist. We told you that before we started recording.

Molly Peterson:    Okay. Thank you, and I also mean that I never took like if some young journalist approaches me and asks for advice about something or wants to get into a conversation, I've always done it because I had a more complex and not always positive experience when I was coming up and I wanted to do something else differently. There are journalists like me out there.

Quinn:    I love it, not many though. I mean, you're pretty, pretty, pretty special.

Molly Peterson:    Just keep talking. Keep talking.

Brian:    Yeah, right. You're welcome. Yeah. We're getting close here so we'll get to wrap it up. First of all, just thank you so very much for talking with us today, Molly.

Quinn:    For building a fort. We really appreciate it.

Brian:    Yeah.

Molly Peterson:    It was my pleasure, and is there anything that you feel like … I mean, I really tried to let you drive and I hope I didn't try to take us in any wrong directions. Is there anything that I needed to do differently or that you want to do pickups on, or anything like that?

Quinn:    No. By the way, you should answer that. If there's anything you think we should do differently-

Brian:    Yeah, right. We should be asking you that.

Quinn:    All I've done is try to take your advice to heed here. We really appreciate it so anything specific is always welcome here.

Molly Peterson:    No. Are you kidding? I really enjoyed the fact that you're trying to have a directed conversation where we achieve something by the end of it.

Quinn:    That's the goal. I mean-

Brian:    Yeah.

Molly Peterson:    That's not how journalism always works.

Quinn:    Those, one of the first notes you gave me was, "I have no idea why I'm listening to this. What are you guys talking about?” I was like, "Yeah, that's fair point."

Brian:    All right. Hopefully we addressed that.

Molly Peterson:    Molly, always gentle.

Quinn:    Hey man. I'll take it. I'll take it every time.

Brian:    There's no time for it. Just be blunt.

Quinn:    Awesome. All right. Brian, you want to go ahead with the pseudo lightning round?

Brian:    Pseudo lighting round is starting with is the … Yeah. The first one which is not a lighting round question at all but-

Molly Peterson:    Scary.

Quinn:    No.

Brian:    Yes. We have a couple lightning round questions for you if that sounds good?

Molly Peterson:    Yes. I'm scared but ready.

Quinn:    No. This is not about you. It's about me. I got to fix this. Molly, when was the first time in your life when you realized you had that power of change or the power to do something meaningful?

Molly Peterson:    I walked my first precinct for a local candidate when I was seven years old and it was because, and I've just been talking to my sister about this quite a bit because she's now got a six month old. I remember where I was the night Reagan got elected. My mom let us stay up late and watched election results and she said, "This isn't going to be good but we have to pay attention, and …"

Quinn:    Gees, that's so good.

Molly Peterson:    That was the childhood I had and the person that I walked a precinct for when I was very young was Anna Eshoo, who has now been a congresswoman for quite a long time.

Quinn:    Wow. That's pretty awesome. If you had gone on to pretty much any other career track, I would have been surprised that for that. Molly, who is someone in your life that's positively impacted your work in the past six months?

Molly Peterson:    My gosh. That's a hard one. You know what? I have a colleague named Frank Stoltze who covers criminal justice in specifically the police and sheriff's departments in Los Angeles. He's always trying to argue me into making my work more urgent and making clear to people how urgent it is that climate change is a big deal. It's really helpful to talk to people who are skeptical of the mission of say Important, Not Important, and the mission of being a climate reporter because I would say Frank Stoltze.

Molly Peterson:    Frankly, I interviewed a guy named T. Jack Foster Jr. who is 89 years old and founded Foster City, and does not believe in the mainstream accepted science of climate change. He believes that climate is cyclical and without getting too much into that, the conversation I had with him was fantastic for having to explain to myself why I believe what I believed.

Quinn:    Sure.

Molly Peterson:    It's really helpful to talk to people who disagree with you to test your assumptions.

Quinn:    I love that. I love that.

Molly Peterson:    Yeah.

Brian:    Wow.

Quinn:    Brian, okay, actual lighting round.

Brian:    Actual lightning round. Molly, how do you consume the news?

Molly Peterson:    On my phone mostly.

Brian:    Yeah. We get that a lot.

Quinn:    Are you rocking any specific Apple news or specific apps, or you just doing Twitter, or a combination of them? Or do you just read your own stuff?

Molly Peterson:    I just read my own news and think, "Wasn't that great what I make?" There's a number of things. I actually have a lot of Twitter lists that I use for I don't find Twitter great for interacting with normal people but I find Twitter great for interacting with news outlets and pieces of information from ongoing events. I've got some climate science lists in Southern California journalism lists that I use.

Molly Peterson:    I don't have a lot of special apps. I also do visit the homepages to see what news … I'm like such an old person to see what news organizations do, and I will say I'm very interested in cover a lot of environmental justice issues. I religiously follow the NPR podcast, Code Switch.

Brian:    Code Switch?

Molly Peterson:    Because Code Switch is the race and ethnicity podcast from NPR that's cohosted by Gene Demby and Shereen Meraji, and I just really love that podcast.

Quinn:    Yeah. They're doing important work for sure.

Molly Peterson:    Yeah.

Quinn:    Something I want to dig into more of course.

Brian:    Molly, if you could Amazon prime one book to President Trump, what would it be?

Molly Peterson:    I don't know if I would because it might just make him angry and he wouldn't read it.

Brian:    Pretend-

Quinn:    A decent response. It's a decent response. Basically everybody else has recommended something along a wide spectrum from children's books to ethical things, to sciency stuff, and we've had definitely one other guest who was just like not interested. It's ridiculous.

Molly Peterson:    Honestly, a slightly better answer is, and I can't remember the name of who created it but you guys might have seen it. There was a graphical novel, like a short graphical story about why conflicts in Syria were influenced by water shortages and climate change. It is a picture version of that and it is not very long like I want to say it's like five pages long, less, and I believe that that's a way that President Trump could take in that information.

Molly Peterson:    Just to give him a sense that the world is a small place with a lot of problems that we share and that climate change influences things that he might not think it influences, I would give him that story.

Quinn:    It feels like there's a whole market for these things like five page comic books that's really complicated situation and pictures for him.

Molly Peterson:    If I had something in me more than stick figures, I would've done that.

Brian:    I think I found it so we'll share it.

Quinn:    Well done, Brian. Molly, this has been so great. Thank you so much. Where can our human army of listeners follow you online and all your work?

Molly Peterson:    The best place going forward is going to be this Pactio. It's spelt P-A-C-T-I-O.us, where I'm going to post all the updates of all the local work I'm doing and answer listener questions going forward. I'm there first journalist. I'm basically the experiment right now so between that and mollypeterson.org, you can find anything worthwhile that I've done in the last five years.

Brian:    Beautiful.

Quinn:    Awesome. Awesome.

Molly Peterson:    Yeah.

Quinn:    Listen, lady. Thank you so much for your time today and of course for all that you do fighting for local journalism and to help encourage people to stay more informed on the local level whether it's climate change or environmental justice, or anything else for that matter. It's important. Your community matters and you are an important piece of that machine, so we thank you.

Brian:    Very much.

Molly Peterson:    Thanks for the conversation. I feel better about my job.

Brian:    It was a blast.

Quinn:    Thanks to our incredible guest today and thanks to all of you for tuning in. We hope this episode has made your commute or awesome workout, or dishwashing, or a fucking dog walking late at night that much more pleasant. As a reminder, please subscribe to our free email newsletter at importantnotimportant.com. It is all the news most vital to our survival as a species.

Brian:    You can follow us all over the internet. You can find us on Twitter @importantnotimp. It's just so weird. Also on Facebook and Instagram @importantnotimportant, Pinterest and Tumbler, the same thing. Check us out. Follow us. Share us. Like us. You know the deal and please subscribe to our show wherever you listen to things like this, and if you're really fucking awesome, rate us on Apple podcast. Keep the lights on. Thanks.

Quinn:    Please.

Brian:    You can find the show notes from today right in your little podcast player and at our website, importantnotimportant.com.

Quinn:    Thanks to the very awesome Tim Blane for our jamming music, to all of you for listening, and finally, most importantly, to our moms for making us. Have a great day.

Brian:    Thanks guys.