A Dangerous Place: California's Unsettling Fate

A Dangerous Place California s Unsettling Fate Writing with a signature command of his subject and with compelling resonance Marc Reisner leads us through California s improbable rise from a largely desert land to the most populated state in the

  • Title: A Dangerous Place: California's Unsettling Fate
  • Author: Marc Reisner
  • ISBN: 9780142003831
  • Page: 481
  • Format: Paperback
  • Writing with a signature command of his subject and with compelling resonance, Marc Reisner leads us through California s improbable rise from a largely desert land to the most populated state in the nation, fueled by an economic engine productive than all of Africa Reisner believes that the success of this last great desert civilization hinges on California s denialWriting with a signature command of his subject and with compelling resonance, Marc Reisner leads us through California s improbable rise from a largely desert land to the most populated state in the nation, fueled by an economic engine productive than all of Africa Reisner believes that the success of this last great desert civilization hinges on California s denial of its own inescapable fate Both the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas sit astride two of the most violently seismic zones on the planet The earthquakes that have already rocked California were, according to Reisner, a mere prologue to a future cataclysm that will result in immense destruction Concluding with a hypothetical but chillingly realistic description of what such a disaster would look like, A Dangerous Place mixes science, history, and cultural commentary in a haunting work of profound importance.

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      Published :2018-010-21T01:36:53+00:00

    1 thought on “A Dangerous Place: California's Unsettling Fate”

    1. This book is part history of California (fascinating), part geology/seismology (fascinating), part state-wide logistics - things like how our drinking water is delivered, etc (shocking in some ways), and part novel in which the author tries to tie it all together in a hypothetical earthquake in the SF bay area. Obviously the prognosis isn't good, but it's far worse than one might otherwise imagine given some of the vulnerabilities of which most of us are ignorant (at least I was).The San Diego U [...]

    2. Reisner was an environmentalist wrote a seminal book called Cadillac Desert about water in the American West. A Dangerous Place is his smaller, later book about earthquakes in my adoptive state of California. It's the first book of his I've read (Cadillac Desert is on my shelf, next up), and he's a good writer. Having enjoyed his whirlwind tour of the ill-advised settling of Europeans en mass on this part of the continent, atop a spiderweb of destructive faultlines and prone to floods and fires [...]

    3. Reisner died before the final edit so it's not well annotated. So it goes from being a scholarly meditation to more of a polemic. But a good polemic. The only part I didn't care for was the imagined earthquake. I can't imagine he would have left that in as it really brings down the very factual descriptions of how California has unwittingly put itself in a really bad place.

    4. This wasn't anything new to me since I am familiar with earthquakes and the Delta. Still scary, though. Anyone who lives in California and doesn't know a lot about geology (or the disaster in the making that is the Sacramento River Delta) should read this.

    5. and here's a non-fiction book which explains exactly how likely California is no simultaneously flood, fall into the ocean, catch fire, and get eaten by dinosaurs. It's pretty good, though it prompted a small flurry of emergency-prep in our house.

    6. Reisner writes about the infrastructure problems that exist in the Bay Area due to the threat of earthquakes. It is a very interesting read of what if?. Reisner creates a scenario of damage that would make Katrina and New Orleans pale in comparison.

    7. Time to either get out of the Bay Area, or stock up on water, food, gas, and meet a friend with a boat in Marin. Great book, very scary to learn just how unstable the densely populated areas of California are

    8. This book was published three years after the author's death, so there are some things that probably would have changed and improved the flow and clarity of the book. However, it's got a great recap of the history of water in California, and a lot of deserved focus on the vulnerabilities of the levees in the delta not only to natural decomposition, erosion and flooding, but to seismic activity. He brings that home again in the scenario he paints for the future, and he is not uninformed. The scen [...]

    9. Excellent history of the 19th and early 20th century population booms of San Francisco and Los Angeles, particularly in LA and the engineering (and chicanery) involved in getting water from point A to (a very far) point B. The book ends with a rather lengthy but horrifyingly detailed hour-to-hour imagining of THE BIG ONE hitting the Bay area, based on past disaster and modern understandings of seismology and structure. Why again did I move to California?

    10. Amazing and just a bit frightening. Concisely spells out the dangers associated with building on unstable land. Also identifies the financial forces that encourage unwise siting and building practices. Focuses on San Francisco and LA. Yes, in concludes with a possible earthquake scenario centered on San Francisco. Could benefit from more maps. As it is, it assumes you can figure out where these places are. Also, could benefit from a few more photos.

    11. Interesting look at the dangers the Bay Area is under due to fault lines and tectonic movement. Interspersed with Reisner's non-fiction is his [future] fictional scenario of a catastrophic event and the destruction that would occur.

    12. Just discovered this at a library sale in Buena Park a few weeks agois is a very interesting book on California's latent earthquake problem.If you're going to live out here, you might as well know something about that, because at some point San Francisco will probably turn into New Orleans, and you can read all about it in the last half of the book.Most interesting fact in the book, on page 93: the Hayward fault line is located directly under UC Berkeley's football stadium. If an earthquake hits [...]

    13. If you live in California and don't have an earthquake kit or plan, you'll want to start one as soon as you finish this book. Telling the story of a potential earthquake is probably the most effective way I've ever seen for communicating what life might be like after a major quake in the Bay Area. The initial toll and devastation is horrifying, but the completely life-altering repercussions that spread to the Central Valley and even Southern California are food for thought. The blend of informat [...]

    14. What I learned from this book is that I should probably pick up a spare property in another state! Of couse, I've known for some time about the state of California's siesmic problems (my mom was a geologist) and it's water problems (I work for the state). I suppose some kind of well thought out emergency exit strategy is in order, in case this scenario Reisner proposes happens. I actually have little doubt that it will someday--I've watched the state's political debates over water and earthquake [...]

    15. Disturbing.We Golden State dwellers have ignored history and built two of the largest cities in America on soil that is prone to liquifaction, landslides and is in danger of tsunami.The potential for destruction and loss of life is staggering, and the carnage is inevitable.Especially troubling considering the current events in Japan. I frequently drive by the San Onofre nuclear power plant, situated right on the ocean and find the authorities claim that ' it couldn't happen here ' laughable.The [...]

    16. Were this not posthumously published, I think it could have been great (If Cadillac Desert is any indication). That said, the message is incredibly important, and I'm sure that's the reason he pushed it out in this form. I'd be curious to see an update from someone similarly-minded. A lot of the issues he mentions have since been addressed, but I'm guessing we're still a long way from preparedness in the Bay Area.

    17. Reisner was an excellent researcher and writer. This book scared the snot out of me, and I live north and east of the really bad areas (the Bay Area and the Delta).[Edit:]As I thought about this more, I realized that what scares me is less the disaster scenario -- though that's horrific enough -- but more the blindness and stupidity, past and present, that will contribute to that disaster.

    18. Reisner is justly famous for Cadillac Desert, a detailed account and critique of water usage and resources in the West. This book was put together from notes after his untimely death. First he shows why Los Angeles and San Francisco are among the worst places to build a large city. The largest section details the catastrophic aftereffects on both infrastructure and water supply of a major earthquake on the Hayward Fault. Very chilling.

    19. I much preferred Reisner's minor classic, Cadillac Desert, a history of water exploitation in the western U.S. This book is mostly an expose of the earthquake "menace" in California and the author's elaborate description of a worst case catastrophe. As a resident residing in Davis, California, just east of the San Francisco Bay Area and who lived in Southern California and experienced numerous minor earthquakes over the years, I am interested in the topic but underwhelmed by the presentation.

    20. In this unsettling book, Reisner discusses the continuous commercial and residential development in the geographically unstable state of California. The book sometimes has a doomsday flavor to it but it really makes the reader stop and think about the non-stop growth and greed all over the countryt just in California.

    21. realistic assessment of what will happen to the Bay area when the Hayward fault goes, sometime in the next 30 years. USGS estimates costs greater than $100 billion. The east end of the Bay Bridges is not anchored to bedrock--it is floating!

    22. Worst case scenario for an earthquake in the bay area -- major seismic event on the Hayward fault ultimately leads to LA's water supply getting cut off -- chaos ensues in the Bay Area as all transportation infrastructure is destroyed. You know, a feel good book.

    23. This was a nice short read, although most of it was a "what if" scenario. Part non-fiction and part fiction, Reisner paints an ominous picture of California's fate as the most populous settlement along a fault line.

    24. This felt unfinished (and maybe a little cheaply sensational). And it was, unfinished at least. Reisner passed during its writing. The second section of the book: an imagined first person account of a major quake in SF felt a little half-baked.

    25. Great book that highlights the environmental challenges facing California. I had always wanted to read his Cadillac Desert but found this book in used bookstore, hard cover, cheap price, so I grabbed it. An engaging read.

    26. The final speculative chapter is terrifying. I still can't get it out of my mind whenever I cross the Richmond, Golden Gate or Bay Bridges.

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