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Several California cities are already spending millions annually to dump sand and rocks and to build/expand seawalls, to try to stave off the ocean taking prime beachfront real estate (and it's not working, in the long run).

Those cities (though not in the ideal location for this project, I guess) would likely be ecstatic to have subsidized assistance (though who subsidizes it?). They're losing the beaches no matter what they do, the question is how long will it take, what will it cost to push it out a few more years, etc. For cities that don't have the budget to dump millions of dollars worth of sand only to have it mostly wash away in the next storm, a green beach is probably much more appealing than no beach.




My main point was about developing countries. Eric himself noted that "the idea is to utilize mines within 300 km (186 mi) of the destination beach" and "or many of the first beaches, we will be looking to use tailings piles (waste rock) from previously dug and developed mines, as well as the infrastructure from those mines, such as rail for transport". The idea is summarized in this image [1], which shows mines and their associates beaches that the project intends to target due the proximity.

Most of those beaches are in developing countries. If nourishing the beaches with olivine has some unforeseen, negative ecological consequence, those countries might not be financially equipped to deal with the cleanup. How are those beaches going to be insured?

In the case of California, I'm not familiar with their beach nourishing process, but I assume they are using sand that is more similar in content to what was naturally present. If the beaches have been replenished for years, then we at least have some idea about the short-term effects.

1. https://projectvesta.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Image-59...


Shouldn't the thing pay for itself in climate impact costs avoided?


The benefits are global though, while the impacts on beaches are local.


Which is true of all of the costs of climate change. The costs are already being most harshly felt in poorer communities and nations, and that divide will accelerate the more expensive and resource-intensive it becomes to keep living "normally" under climate change. As droughts strike rich regions, they'll build dams to retain water than would have traveled to poorer regions (e.g. as a significant portion of Californians want to do already at even the first hint of climate change striking the area, despite its impact on people to the south).

I don't know what the right answer is on this question, but I know that the pain of climate change will be felt by poor nations more than it will be felt by rich ones, no matter what. It may be that staving off climate change, even if it has its own negatives, is less bad than the alternative of doing nothing for those places and communities. But, maybe not. Hopefully it would get a lot of study and small scale experimentation before going big.




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