Let’s Say I Wanted to Escape Climate Change. Where Should I Go?

Lambert here: Since I’m a meliorist, this piece appeals to me. It also occurs to me that many of are already exactly where we should be. Anyhow, the earth is round….

By Eve Andrews, who writes Ask Umbra, Grist’s civic advice vertical. Originally published at Grist.

Q. I am not giving up … but if I were to move, where in the United States could I go to minimize climate disruption?

— Uneasy in a U-Haul

A. Dear Uneasy,

So you want to escape climate change. That’s a reasonable impulse — climate change rivals nuclear war for the greatest threat to human life in the history of our species’ existence. Every survival instinct we’ve cultivated to date should, understandably, make us want to get away from it.

Let’s start by evaluating regions of the U.S. based on the basics of what we expect climate change to bring. We know that the seas will swell and temperatures will go up. So that particularly endangers a host of coastal cities with relatively warm climates, especially in the summer — so Miami, New Orleans, Norfolk, Washington D.C., New York, Los Angeles. A 2017 paper in Nature Climate Change estimated that the 13.1 million people displaced from those cities by sea level rise could head for more inland locales like Atlanta, Houston, and Phoenix.

So there you have it, Uneasy! Let’s all head to Atlanta, Houston, and Phoenix.

But wait a second: Hurricane Harvey gave an alarming preview of how Houston will fare in a climate-changed future. Phoenix is in the middle of a desert with no reliable water source, where temperatures can surge to 120 degrees F in the summer. And Atlanta is the third fastest-warming metropolitan region in the country.

Forget about those cities. What’s a nice, temperate place? Never gets too hot or too cold, has lots of water? Aha — the Pacific Northwest. Umbra’s home! It’s part-rainforest, after all.

But it’s a rainforest that’s seen bigger, hotter, deadlier, and more unpredictable wildfires in recent memory. Even a small increase in temperature has detrimental effects on plant and soil moisture, which will dry out forests and make them into true tinderboxes. And we’ve had warmer winters, which means less snowpack on the mountains and thus a less reliable water source for the region. (Oh, and we’re overdue for a truly devastating earthquake, but that’s separate from climate change.)

Hmmm … how about Alaska? Tons of snow. Really cold. Well, except an increase in average temperatures has already begun to displace thousands of the state’s Native inhabitants along the coast. On top of that, millions of ancient viruses and bacteria to which humans have lost immunity will be unearthed as the permafrost becomes, well, less permanent.

This is hard math. Or maybe hard geography? I called Jesse Keenan, climate-adaptation specialist and a faculty member at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, to get a more informed perspective on where one could limit their exposure to climate change.

His suggestion: places that aren’t dependent on snowpack, ground-level aquifers, or reservoirs for their water. More specifically, that tends to be rural, wooded, northern areas with lots of clean water wells — so the Upper Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan), and maybe parts of Montana. Justin Timberlake was on to something!

But if everyone moves to rural areas, altering the wooded landscape and taxing all those pristine wells, they won’t last long as climate strongholds.

“Well, exactly,” Keenan said. “There’s nowhere you can hide. I think you need to come to terms with what you think you’re running from. Are you trying to beat people to something? Are you trying to run because there’s a hazard and you’re at risk? Are you running because of your health or welfare? Then you need to come to terms with the fact that you’re trying to make an economic investment decision of where you’re trying to put your limited resources.”

Resources, limited or vast, are the crucial factor here. I imagine if you’re posing this question, you have some means to pick up and move. That’s not the case for many people — one might say most people, considering that nearly two-thirds of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings and the average long-distance move costs about $5,000.

But even putting the money aside, moving isn’t a small change. You have to start an entirely new life, build a new social circle. “You can try to move to one of these places,” Keenan said, “but you need to learn the position you’re putting yourself in, and you’ll have to become a part of these new communities.”

Keenan said he gets versions of your question almost daily — usually from “people at big institutional real estate funds, rich people who want to buy land or already own land, or survivalist types.” And acquiring the ability to answer the question “what land will survive climate change?” is already a lucrative endeavor.

Not to wealth-shame you, but the fact that the unholy trifecta of insurance companies, real estate investors, and Silicon Valley is mobilizing on these concerns should give you a bit of pause.

If you recognize that climate change is a huge, terrifying problem, and you have the means to at least try to escape it — why wouldn’t you devote those means to trying to fix it instead, especially if you know it’s impossible to escape? By “fix it,” I mean try to make the place you live, where you’ve made your home, where you have some sense of ownership and responsibility — and oh, let’s call it investment — more resilient to climate change. Maybe agitate for more storm-resistant infrastructure, mass transit, green spaces.

Because the future isn’t for sure, but running away from the problem ensures that it will be.

Permanently,

Umbra

P.S. If you want a preview of how climate change will affect every region of the United States, check out the map my colleagues put together here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

105 comments

  1. Redlife2017

    Odd – the poster didn’t mention the one big city that should be OK (this is relative) in climate change: Chicago. And as luck would have it, it is depopulating due to mismanagement. Which is a minor thing if you want to survive in the long-run. Great food, big fresh water lake (OK, need to manage that a bit better too), OK public transit, good music, lovely parks, friendly Midwesterners. And over 200 feet above sea level. And north enough that the weather will be rubbish, but it’s the Midwest. It’s always rubbish, except for a few months a year.

    Reply
    1. Carla

      Having just experienced the polar vortex and + 55 degrees temps within a couple of days of each other here in NE Ohio, I’m wondering what this kind of violent weather volatility will do to the wildlife here and in the rest of the midwest. Can’t imagine the effects will be positive.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        It’ll be good for them. It will put them through Darwin’s Wringer. It will teach them discipline. It will help them build character.

        Reply
    2. DJG

      Living as I do in a middle / upper-middle neighborhood in Chicago, I can assure you that Chicago isn’t ready for any kind of change. After the thaw of the last few days, I am finding (and this is no new discovery) that the streets are covered with a layer of trash. On Friday, I witnessed a woman dropping a bag of trash out of her car into the street on one of the residential side streets. I live near one of Howard Schultz’s coffee emporiums–Starbucks is a factory for trash, which is all over the sidewalks. So when you write of rubbish, be ready for rubbish. Or to put it more bluntly: What Chicagoans seem to be best at is shitting in the nest. (And you can see how there is a limit to how long such behavior can go on.)

      Reply
      1. Redlife2017

        Ha! Very good point. I think I must gloss over that issue in my memory from having lived there a million years ago. There always was a suspicious level of trash after the spring melt. Do you think that has gotten worse over the years?

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        1. DJG

          Worse: And as Yves Smith keeps pointing out, there has to be an enormous drop in consumption for us to attain any viable path through climate chaos, as Steve Ruis terms it, below. But since I moved to Edgewater, the same neighborhood he mentions, it seems that there was a tipping point with regard to disposables, dog poop, and gentrification about four years ago: Layers of it.

          We cannot keep consuming at these levels, pretending we are “woke,” and supporting pampered “emotional support animals.” Even if Chicago has much water, sits at an altitude of 594 feet, and is miles inland on the waterway to the Saint Lawrence. And that depopulation is not due to mismanagement: That’s good old-fashioned racism, which is another factor in whether or not the U S of A will survive the climate crisis.

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    3. Steve Ruis

      I would just add that from our location in Edgewater (a Chicago neighborhood on the lake) the surface level of the lake has risen four feet in the last several years. I calculated that there are now 16 trillion gallons of fresh water available than there previously. And the retreat of the glaciers from the last ice age is still causing a rebounding lift in the land to the north, so the water is going to drain farther and farther south over time (slowly). Water access is going to be a critical factor as climate changes play out.

      I wish they would have called it “Weather Chaos” instead as 70 degree swings in temperature in one week (as we have had this week) aren’t exactly normal … anywhere.

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        Except Siberia (the temperature swings). I don’t see that recommended, but it’s as good a bet as Canada. At least the parts that are high enough and reasonably solid without the permafrost.

        Reply
      1. Isotope_C14

        Very good point Chris,

        The heavy industrial pollution of Northeastern Illinois has rendered any freshwater fish nearly inedible. I mean you *can* eat it. It’s just full of PCB’s and mercury. I’m sure they haven’t tested it in a long time, but they used to have guidelines that were 1 fish per month of many species. I think Lake perch over 18″ and all carp/catfish were do-not-eat.

        The farther west farmland is all soybeans and corn on heavily fertilized soil. You aren’t going to convert that to organic kale farms anytime soon. Plus the soil has been depleted from farming for the last 200 years. That, and it’s by dry weight likely 10-20% roundup.

        The collapse is not going to be pretty. A sad component of the capitalist education system, farming is not taught.

        Reply
  2. Wukchumni

    I think the key in the USA is to find those places where Native Americans lived through extended bouts of climate change with compared to us, a meager technology toolkit.

    How did the Indians here survive 2 lengthy droughts lasting 200 & 135+ years that hit California around 1,000 a.d.?

    They would’ve been screwed if they lived in what is now SD/OC/LA/SF, and would’ve had to vamoose, but water from on high really never abates, so they were perfectly ok in their surroundings.

    Of course, most places they lived have gone through profoundly huge population changes, and that’s not where you want to be, but there are plenty of little outlier towns such as where we live, where the number of people living here now, is the same as the historical population of yore.

    Another thing you want is the ability to move up or down in altitude relatively easy. The acorn drop this year @ 1,000 feet was abysmal, but @ 4,000 feet incredibly plentiful. This will also help with new high heat, as you can grow things higher, as it’s about 4 degrees cooler for every thousand feet you ascend, in the growing months.

    Reply
    1. Ed Miller

      Since I’ve got a few minutes this morning and I usually find your comments interesting and worth considering I need to point out what’s missing in your reference to Native Americans. Before Europeans showed up to ruin everything for them they just moved constantly to take advantage of what nature offered. They didn’t pollute to the extent of us modern “advanced” humans and their numbers were never so large that they needed to develop technologies in order to feed themselves, etc. I don’t see how this applies to today’s world in any way, shape or form.

      Of course Native Americans, not having to deal with especially aggressive peoples like Asian and European warriers to fight against (or alternatively they were the aggressors), they did not develop the war machinery needed to protect themselves and their land from well armed, devious Europeans. They lost and now we have to deal with the consequences of our own success.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Point taken, but consider everything to the east of me as that perfect unspoilt land, as it has been Federally protected as such for 129 years and counting. No industry, and very few private inholdings, for the next 50 miles in a huge swath. I have no say over the awful air pollution that streams in from the SF area and holds sway against the purple mountains majesty above the fruited plain, but you go with your strengths.

        As with most tribes in California, the ones here were largely peaceful to one another, and i’d be under no delusion that the same compact would hold true in our time of trial & tribulation to come. And it wasn’t European weapons that killed 85-90% of all Yokut tribe populations, it was European measles.

        In a similar way to how the donkey show has become the party of war, liberals had ample chance to go out and get as armed and dangerous as those on the right that had already done so, and I think a good many did.

        Dealing with a trigger happy populace, is a whole different set of concerns.

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        1. Ed Miller

          European measles was certainly a big factor, as I know, but war technology was the final deciding factor. Once measles hit, the younger population was immune. In the decades that followed many tactics involved superior armament, even the killing of the buffalo herds required rifles, not bows and arrows. I know I am oversimplifying things but I wanted to acknowledge your reply regarding measles. That angle was part of the devious to which I referred.

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          1. Wukchumni

            The first settlers showed up in the mid 1850’s and by all accounts had good relations with the locals, and there was respect for one-another for the most part. from what i’ve read.

            I saw a group of around a dozen Wukchumni men @ our museum in town when a reproduction of an outdoor dwelling of the type they would’ve lived in historically had it’s grand opening, and they would’ve been immune to measles, as their great-great-great-grandparents, were the lucky ones that didn’t perish in 1868-69. And i’m loathe to say it, but they looked like Derrell and his other brother Derrell and his other brother Derrell, as once was one of the most populous regions of the country in Native Americans, emptied out, in a percentage of survivors that strikes me as what you might optimistically hope for in the aftermath of nuclear war.

            Their historic population never recovered from 2000 people for thousands of years, and is now around 200, a century and a half later.

            Reply
            1. Anon

              Revisionist history is the lifeblood of the web, it seems.

              While measles was a scourge to the American Indian it was smallpox that was the major debasement of the native population. Developing immunity to European disease was limited as the DNA of native Americans did not allow for it. That is why the population/cultural collapse was so complete. It is intermarriage that has allowed native Americans to gain disease immunity.

              The California natives had brief contact with Europeans sailing along the coast in the early 1500’s. Then endured the “righteous” conversion by the Padres beginning in 1769. They fell victim to disease at this time.

              The reasons for the California Indian population collapse is both disease AND persecution by the white settlers. Read through old California newspapers from 1865 to 1900 and you’ll see tales of lynchings that rival the Old South through Reconstruction.

              Reply
              1. Wukchumni

                Why did all the Yokut tribes, along with the Paiute tribes east of the Sierra decide to get together and have a week-long marathon ‘Ghost Dance’ in 1870, if all those people that died a year or 2 earlier was only hype on my part?

                The thought being if they danced without stopping, 8 or 9 out of 10 that perished from measles would come back. They held these until the mid 1870’s, and then gave up.

                http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/anthpubs/ucb/text/ucp028-004.pdf

                Reply
                1. Anon

                  The proffered link indicates that the Ghost Dance was essentially a mystical cult that was not wide-spread. It was originally seen by most of the local Indians (Sierra foothills) and shown mostly disinterest.

                  But that was is not the point of my comment. The point is that (coastal) California Indians had contact with Spanish explorers well before the late 1800’s. And many succumbed to the diseases and servile constrictions of the “Catholic cult”of Padre Serra and his subordinates. The 49ers then dispersed/dismembered many of the remaining natives into the hinterlands; it is referred to as California Genocide of the 19th Century..

                  Ishi (Yahi tribe) was considered that last “wild” California native when he emerged from the foothills of Lassen Peak in 1911

                  Reply
      2. Adam Eran

        The bulk of the deaths in the New World were from Old World diseases. I’ve read that the wars were unbalanced because the armies were sick. The slaves who had immunity to yellow fever managed to fight off Napolean’s troops in the successful slave revolt in Haiti.

        Still, 90% of the native population died, compared to 35% of the Irish in the potato famine…so there’s that.

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      3. rd

        Most of them were dead from imported diseases like smallpox before the white armies even showed up in an area. If they had immunity to these diseases, it is unlikely the Europeans would have been able to take over the continent as they would have been greatly outnumbered.

        The records of early explorers (e.g. 1500s in the Amazon Basin) indicate many, many people in locations that a couple of centuries later had very few.

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        1. rps

          Agreed. Wiki: Before Cortez’s arrival, the Mexican population is estimated to have been around 25 to 30 million. Fifty years later, the Mexican population was reduced to 3 million, mainly by infectious disease. This shows the main effect of the arrival of Europeans in the new world. With no natural immunity against these pathogens, Native Americans died in huge numbers.

          It’s increasingly clear that most of the carnage had nothing to do with European barbarism. The worst of the suffering was caused not by swords or guns but by germs. By 1700, less than five thousand Native Americans remained in the southeastern coastal region.

          Numerous diseases were brought to North America, including smallpox, bubonic plague, chickenpox, cholera, the common cold, diphtheria, influenza, malaria, measles, scarlet fever, sexually transmitted diseases, typhoid, typhus, tuberculosis, pertussis (whooping cough) etc. Each of these brought destruction through sweeping epidemics.

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        2. a different chris

          >as they would have been greatly outnumbered.

          And beyond that, *other* Europeans would have been happy to sell the natives, in the unfortunate racist vernacular I grew up with, as many “fire sticks” as necessary.

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          1. JBird4049

            The native population of what is now the eastern United States was large enough to hem in the British colonies for a few centuries.

            It wasn’t until after the War of 1812 and the destruction of Tecumseh’s Confederacy that the United States could easily crush them. There were Americans who wanted to integrate with or at least have a peaceful political solution with the natives having a fair bit of power and independence; with Indian haters like the genocidal President Andrew Jackson and his illegal Trail of Tears, endemic greed and corruption, as well as all the internecine stupidity among Native Americans a critical mass for a successful political opposition didn’t happen.

            Reply
      4. Aldous

        The idea that native American populations moved constantly is a myth. As Charles Mann’s excellent and eye-opening book “1491” points out, recent archeological evidence confirms that North America was far more densely populated and cultivated than previously thought.

        Native groups also frequently clashed over natural resources, and while there were some basic philosophical/religious tenets that were common to indigenous people as a whole (the concept of ‘private’ property, for example, was unheard of), the image of native Americans as peace-loving foragers who lived lightly on the land before moving on is an idealized projection.

        Reply
    2. Dan

      The Medieval Climactic Anomaly as us archaeologists call it seems to have been pretty hard on many California tribes – Al Schwitalla’s recent book demonstrates increased incidence of disease, malnutrition, and strife during this period, which was hot and dry compared to earlier and later periods. There was also a decrease in people living in permanent or semi-permanent settlements – I recall from some recent reading about the central coast region that large villages disappear for a few hundred years from the archaeological record, the implication being that smaller, more mobile groups of foragers made more sense than larger settled communities. Though Wukchumni is right that with the diversity of topography that we have here, there are/were an incredible variety of ecotones and options for food procurement.

      Side note on the acorn drop: I hope we don’t have to go back to eating acorns, but I do think sometimes about the incredible amount of food that is wasted because we don’t harvest the nuts that are all around us!

      Reply
  3. Peter

    Consider the fact that in the US private and publicly suported climate change denial is a fact, that in some states and communities discussions of climate change are disallowed, that the EPA has been gutted: is there really much chance of ameliorating the damages that will be inflicted – and already are by private efforts? a country of unlimited power of financial and industrial capitalims that ignores all concerns for its citizen, hell bent on power projection?

    We decided after becoming pensioners to spend the remaining years twenty or so years in a place that does not have natural resources, poses no threat and is of no interest to anyone other than the inhabitants, that over centuries have proven to be able to live independenly and are still mostly agricultural with a small fishery and year round ability to produce your own small animals and vegetables and is practically in the middle of nowhere.

    We are somwhat selfish in that – no apologies, moving from Canada’s north where we spend 2000$/year for heating alone, in close neighbourhood to a bully that will not accept any boundaries when the shit hits the fan and the people will migrate in mass from the drying up central plains and flooding west coast to a fairly unpopulated place like BC or Alberta, where especially east of the Rockies they still offer a viable option to live but unfortunately also have large resources of gas and oil, timber and minerals.
    But with their culture of violence will come in like IS into Syria, no kidding, disrupt the social fabric and damage social cohesion that still exists and make life still a pleasure to live there.

    Who needs that getting old and deal with even the prospect of it happening? So, move we did.

    Reply
      1. Peter

        https://www.livescience.com/50085-states-outlaw-climate-change.html

        “We were instructed by our regional administrator that we were no longer allowed to use the terms ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change,’or even ‘sea-level rise,'” Kristina Trotta, a former DEP employee who worked in Miami, told the FCIR. “Sea-level rise was to be referred to as ‘nuisance flooding,'” Trotta added.

        maybe not disallowed, but discouraged. Although to longer allow personnel the use of the term sounds to me disallowing a discussion. I take it you are a US citizen, maybe you are more tuned to the fineries of official language use.

        Reply
          1. shinola

            I’m from Kansas – ya know, Dorothy, Toto & all that…;).

            “Discouraged” is not “disallowed”. Disallow implies legally banned which would, of course, be a constitutional issue. If a state or community actually passed a law/ordinance banning speech related to climate change, I would gladly go that place & start speechifying loudly & widely on just that subject. I would enjoy a good 1st amendment battle.

            A little less hyperbole, please.

            Reply
        1. polecat

          Florida is not a state .. rather, it is a state-of-mind, less ness …

          Just ask Mark ‘I wanna kick some Venezuelan ass’, Debbie ‘doeselectionfraud’, and all the rest of the bruising PurpleParty flotsam …

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        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          If saying the forbidden words would get you fired for saying them, then that is functionally disallowed. Even if clever definitional casuistry wishes to call it “merely discouraged.”

          Reply
    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      Interesting article from Brookings that argues the effects of climate change on various areas of the nation, including on mortality rates and agriculture, will vary widely; and that economic impacts will disproportionately fall on and more negatively affect many of those regions of the country where voters have been electing policy makers who are opposed to climate policy even as their geographic areas are most exposed to the effects of climate change. Assuming the paper is largely accurate, it could provide useful data to reconcile presently divergent regional political positions that are presently based on oppo to curtailment of emissions due to short-term economic considerations rather than on longer term economic and social effects. Just a thought.

      https://www.brookings.edu/research/how-the-geography-of-climate-damage-could-make-the-politics-less-polarizing/?stream=top

      Reply
  4. JTMcPhee

    Lambert, thank you for posting this. I’d hope the conclusion might encourage many or most of us to put to good use all the bits of melioration in with all the bad news and intimations of futility that make up so much of the discourse.

    I do see that per latest GIS information, the elevation of my little house in west central Florida, five miles from the Gulf and much nearer to various waterways that connect to it, has been revised from 19 feet above high water to 18 feet. Our utilities and services here are at much lower elevations — sewage and water and power plants are right at or only slightly above current high water. And of course here we have the issue of efffects of random increasingly violent storms, with preachers praying that the storm path will hit someone else and spare their parishioners and church edifices.

    But most of the noise from our city fathers and mothers is still just about “development” and “growth” and such, with, if one listens very intently, a susurrus of less apparent efforts to “harden” and “prepare.”

    Most folks probably have that “i’ll be gone, one way or another” attitude — many of them are “special” enough to afford to move someplace less vulnerable, already have a bolt hole “over yonder,” or just have so many neoliberally presssing crises to deal with that such considerations are way outside their field of view.

    Reply
  5. Linden S.

    Minnesota is often brought up as a ‘place to go.’ Compared to the droughty west and the east coast, I guess that makes sense, depending on your time horizon. I feel like the biggest thing about the Great Lakes states is the surface water and groundwater, which we are overusing and polluting at incredible rates. The Star Tribune (Twin Cities newspaper) had a great series on three specific groundwater stories in Minnesota and Wisconsin: http://www.startribune.com/in-brewery-town-of-cold-spring-minnesota-options-for-water-are-running-dry/502368121/. Once one place becomes unlivable, people migrating are going to smooth out any advantages one little pocket of land has..

    Reply
  6. The Rev Kev

    It seems the billionaires have also gotten the message. Otherwise, why all the talk of New Zealand or even Mars? Maybe down the track they will try to place themselves in the position of “absent landlords” like those which so badly plagued Ireland in the 19th century. Maybe use their secreted wealth to buy up land on the cheap if chaos breaks out. It would be naive to not think that some of these billionaires have not gamed all this out to take advantage of it all.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      I think the appeal of NZ is the splendid isolation and sparse population (about 5 million people in a place the size of Colorado), over a thousand miles of open ocean from anywhere really. And as far as water goes, there are glaciers around 20 miles long in the South Island, and generally water everywhere you go. (one of the leading causes of deaths in the 19th century was drowning while trying to cross a river, there being so many of them)

      Mars strikes me as overkill though in that regard…

      Reply
      1. Ignacio

        No, no, no! Please send the billionaires to Mars!!! Or Bermudas, or Saint Helena. And burn the ship after arrival.

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      2. allan

        Given that the air pressure on Mars is just like that on Earth – at 100,000 ft above sea level,
        and what little there is is 95% CO2, Elon’s idea for a bolthole seems like it needs a little more work.

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  7. Inode_buddha

    You can’t escape the effects of climate change, so don’t bother going anywhere. Instead learn how to survive as well as possible where you are.

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      It’s not climate change that they’re running from; Mars will none of those hungry pestiferous wretches roaming the ruins looking for some long pork.

      Reply
  8. oaf

    “where in the United States could I go to minimize climate disruption?”
    Minimize (personal experience of worst effects of) climate disruption?…or minimize (contribution to) climate disruption???
    Is there any place that results in a net lower energy requirement( heating/cooling/travel distances/resource transportation distances, etc? For instance, mid(temperate) latitudes might require less energy consumed to heat or cool living space…but don’t necessarily reduce energy needs for other aspects of life…
    Maybe there’s a sweet spot , somewhere…if you locate it….will you tell anyone? Won’t be lonely, then…that’s for sure!

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  9. Jim A.

    Are we talking about “for the rest of ones life” or “for the sake of my descendants”? Because the answer to the first one is “probably anywhere except for low-lying coastal areas.” And as for the second one…It is a worthwhile exercise, because having a few generations living there will be advantageous when the shit REALLY hits the fan and the natives decide to close the doors to climate refugees. The problem is that climate change is climate change. We really don’t know how the prevailing weather conditions will be different in the future. It may well be that with warming, the upper Midwest will become as arid as the southwest is now. We just don’t know and our models really aren’t good enough to figure that out.

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  10. Steven Bailey

    As Yves’s post by Gail Tverberg the other day showed so well, there is no escape. The continued use of fossil fuels is a terminal situation for humanity and much of what shares the planet with us. The exit from fossil fuels and timeline required to mitigate the terminal scenario would crash economies and basically the world social order. War, hunger, disease and social collapse would probably be just as terminal and happen more quickly than the full effects of climate change. To say things are bleak now is really being an optimist.

    Reply
  11. timbers

    Well, this can be simplified to a great extent.

    No one lives forever, so know your timeline – how long do you need to live as best you can? It’s too hard to predict what will be good places to live hundreds of years from now, but as an individual you don’t need to.

    I faced a non complex choice – a previous home on the waterfront that in my estimation will probably be required to have flood insurance the next time FEMA or the powers that be re-evaluate the general location, or banks refuse to lend w/o flood insurance. So I sold and bought a house about 130 ft above sea level, and checked the city’s source of water to make sure it too was similarly above see level.

    130 ft above see level won’t protect my home for 500 years or maybe not for 200 hundreds years, but by then I’ll be dead so that was not a factor.

    Reply
  12. Shonde

    You could say that I am already a climate refugee. Last year I sold my home that was 3 miles from the coast in San Diego County and moved to a small Minnesota town of 25,000 that is situated at the confluence of two rivers and an hours drive from the Twin Cities.
    My CA home was on a bluff well above sea level. However, the city services were mainly close to sea level. The billion dollar desalinization plant one city south was also at sea level. The Army Corps of Engineers (at taxpayer expense) on a yearly basis was dredging sand from the ocean to maintain the beachfront for the rich oceanfront homeowners. Violent winter storms then eroded that sand back to the ocean. When homeowners in my subdivision started getting notices their home insurance was being cancelled due to fire risk, I could see what the future was bringing when the two main entrances to my area were reclassified as “extreme fire risk”. Time to get out since the day might come soon when no insurance would be available and I need the home equity to supplement my retirement.
    So guess I am one of the lucky ones. I could move. I have survived the Minnesota polar vortex and am learning to drive on ice and snow. I have relatives who live a couple hours from me so maybe this move was easier for me than it would be for most. Strangely, I have learned there are at least 3 other former Californians who have moved to this small town recently so maybe we are all the first of many to come.

    My question now (selfishly) is when are the heartland taxpayers going to revolt at what will be taxpayer cost of minimizing climate disruption for all the wealth on the coasts?

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      The Californian equity refugee can just about write their ticket anywhere they want to go.

      If shift got real, one place i’d consider splitting for is Jemez Springs NM (sorry to spill the beans, and please pass some salsa) with a bunch of hot springs in the vicinity. Homes are $100-300k.

      Reply
            1. Oregoncharles

              There’s a lot of natural radiation at high altitudes like NM, anyway. And close to Los Alamos also means close to the ruins at Bandelier NM. Probably high enough to be fairly safe, for now. Might be isolated by surrounding desert, though.

              We’ve been to both; gorgeous area.

              Reply
          1. MichaelSF

            I remember as a teenager a wildfire coming to the other side of the ridge from our “cabin” in Jemez Springs one summer. That’s as close to a major fire as I ever want to get.

            Reply
            1. MichaelSF

              Actually, we were at La Cueva, about 8 miles past Jemez Springs. It has been 45 years and I remembered we’d talk about going to Jemez but it was just on the highway. We were off the road to Fenton Lake.

              Reply
  13. Ptb

    The EIA recently published its 2019 energy outlook, with predictions till 2050 based on current policy. Slight signs of climate related content, some carbon use figures. Solar is projected to grow, eventually providing 1/3 of electricity. Abundant natgas, to be exported too. Industrial use of methane (a massive carbon use sector) to keep growing. Coal electric projected to level off at 17%, wind consisted uneconomical (vs modern natgas) – i.e. won’t be built without subsidies, even tho it’s arguably the most widely available renewable energy source, and complements solar in seasonal availability in many places. No anticipation of changes to individual automobile based transport, and mostly expected to still be gasoline fuel in 2050.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      That’s pretty good news! — well, when given the fact that the EIA is reliably almost comically wrong about everything. What was their, say, 2012 prediction for 2018 wind power? Oh yeah, right.

      Sadly, even that’s too thin a thread to happily hang my hopes on.

      Reply
  14. Left in Wisconsin

    We should try to solve our problems rather than run away from them. But it does seem as if relocating (generationally if not individually) away from the coasts and the places with no water might be a good idea. And there are places ideally located that have plenty of built infrastructure already that could use you (or your descendants): Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, Utica, Jamestown, Erie, Cleveland, Akron, Toledo, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Duluth/Superior, etc., etc. Lake Erie has its issues – Toledo in particular has water problems – and lots of the (initially incredibly well-built infrastructure) has fallen into disrepair in many places. But compared to trying to hold back the sea? It’s a no-brainer.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      While we are quietly welcoming in the climate reality-accepters away from the coasts and into the survivable areas, shouldn’t we also be putting on our straight faces and encouraging the climate reality-deniers to move to the coasts and buy up all that becoming-cheap land and houses?

      Reply
      1. Tony Wright

        I thought he who should not be named had already got one – called Mar a Largo I believe?
        The Mar will win, probably sooner rather than later.

        Reply
  15. rd

    The Grist article is sensationalized by focusing on coastal areas and highly urbanized locations. For example, the portion of the Northeast that will be directly impacted by sea level rise is minuscule compared to the land area included in the Northeast. It just happens to be high value real estate poorly sited and constructed right along the water edge. The rest of the Northeast will be un-impacted by sea level rise over the next century because the elevation rises rapidly away from the sea edge. This is very different from places like Florida where much of the state is endangered by flooding and salt water intrusion into aquifers.

    Lake Erie is the only Great Lake with a lot of algae blooms because it is small and shallow and has the Ohio-Indiana farmlands eroding fertilizer into it along with sewage from several major cities. Both of these problems can be easily solved by the states that border Lake Erie if they want to.

    I live in the Lake Ontario watershed and I think this area will be a net neutral on the climate change impacts. We will warm up to be like Harrisburg, PA area which will change the vegetation and farming some (apples may be less prevalent). Our biggest challenges are likely to be things like invasive plant and insect species that are not directly related to climate change.

    We have a lot of topography, so intense storms cause flooding in low areas and in general the areas is not heavily built up in flood prone areas. We have a lot of lakes and excellent groundwater aquifers. It looks like precipitation is becoming more intense at times, but we are not seeing unusual droughts. So water supply should be good as long as we address agricultural, industrial, and septic system pollution sources. It is up to us, not climate change, to protect our water supply. Salting the roads in the winter has started becoming a pollution issue, so if a warmer climate meant less snow here (many areas currently get well in excess of 60 inches/year), then we would have less road salting.

    Reply
  16. Tom Doak

    When I was in college 35 years ago, in upstate NY, our youngest professor told us that before our professional lives were over, people would start moving back from the sunbelt to the Great Lakes, because water. I think he had his timing about right. California is beautiful, but as a long-term real estate play it’s not as attractive as it once was!

    Reply
  17. Craig H.

    If you want to survive the coming apocalypse (who would want to watch all that?) there really is only one play: go to work for the United States government and kiss enough ass to get a Continuity of Government function. They are on the inside track to win the race of being the last one standing.

    Did that guy who wrote the article about his consulting gigs for rich survivalists ever post photos anywhere? Those guys deserve to be mocked if anybody does. Including the guy who does the consulting gigs.

    Reply
  18. elissa3

    Do not come to New Mexico. We have hantavirus, the plague, and rattlesnakes. We are usually 50th in all the good things and 1st or 2nd in the bad things. Too much sun. Dry. Stay in AZ or TX. CO has legal weed.

    Reply
  19. tokyodamage

    Why does the author assume Ms/Mr “uneasy in a u-haul” is a banker (booo!!) rather than one of the millions of ‘climate migrants’ (poor souls, who will save them?) which many articles on this very site warn us will shortly be migrating? Are the climate migrants jerks too? Should we build the wall?

    Just because billionaires want to move to New Zealand doesn’t mean that trying to move to a safer place makes you an asshole.

    Just because no place is *absolutely* safe doesn’t mean that no place is more *comparatively* safe.

    And most important, [moving to higher ground] and [fighting the powers that be for environmental justice] are NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE OPTIONS. You can do both!

    TLDR the author isn’t wrong about the extent of climate change’s impact on all of North America, but their tone is condescending and I feel double-crossed: it’s like, first you scare us with daily briefings of the coming apocalypse, then you scold us for being scared of it?

    I’m harrumphing and crossing my arms.

    Reply
  20. level

    Washington D.C. is not a “coastal city.” It lays on a river over 100 miles from the Chesapeake Bay. If you consider DC a “coastal city,” you would also deem St. Louis and Pittsburgh to be “coastal cities.”

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Washington DC is “not” a coastal city in the way that Albany, NY is “not” a coastal city.

      Washington DC is “not” a coastal city in the way that Baton Rouge, LA is “not” a coastal city.

      Just give it time.

      Reply
  21. Cal2

    A decade or so ago there was a detailed survivalist page about this which I cannot locate online.
    Other parameters they mentioned besides sea level rise, distance from hurricanes, lack of droughts, not near tornadoes, were being away from big cities with large numbers of food stamp recipients who would riot when things stop working.
    Oh, and you don’t want to be near any military bases that will be nuked.
    In addition local water supplies and deep rich soil, plus local farming and small communities were mentioned. The location-from memory?
    The northern Florida panhandle just south of the Alabama border.

    Here’s an example of such websites, although it’s not the one I mentioned above that was much more exhaustive and gave good reasons for all its parameters. Yes, this example is alarmist and over the top, but still has useful info.
    http://www.askaprepper.com/the-best-places-in-america-to-be-in-the-event-of-a-collapse/

    Reply
    1. polecat

      The whole thing amounts to luck .. hopefully being in the right place at no so wrong time, under somewhat favorable circumstance !

      It’s a dice game .. and we all get our chance to play it !

      Reply
    2. Phil in KC

      Another survivalist website insists on the mountain northwest as best place to hunker down in the event of social collapse, climate change, or nuclear war (although the last is likely to mean you’d last maybe one more month or so than everyone else in North America–maybe). Idaho, specifically northern Idaho, Eastern Washington state, and the mountain west of Montana are described as a redoubt. Seems a decent claim, but again, you have to wonder about the wildfire risk, plus the northerly migration of various blights and pests.

      Reply
      1. Unna

        In the American “Inter-Mountain West” as they call it, there’s not much “community” unless you’re a Mormon. And the Mormons are extremely communal. People who go there for survivalist reasons at least are sometimes armed, paranoid, or semi delusional. And stay away from places dominated by skiers and assorted outdoor life style recreationalists. Their idea of “community” is the local outdoor equipment co-op they belong to. They are not the kind of people you can rely on. Also, these are arid to semi arid regions so how much living off the land population can such places support? On second thought you might be able to find “community” by joining a militia. But first watch that old Kevin Costner movie, “The Postman”, to see if that’s such a good choice for anybody.

        If I were to live in the States again, I’d go to a place with water, agriculture, trees, and a history of “community.” So first on my list would be Northern New England away from the cities. Someplace like Northeast Vermont. Next I’d look at the run down areas of New York. Stay far away from the “City.” Indiana, Ohio etc may be too polluted with ag run off, etc, I don’t know. 4 Corners region I bet will become as dead as the ruins of the Ancestral Puebloans aka the Anasazi or “ancient enemies” as the Navajo called them which is now a very disfavoured term.

        I’m told that small agricultural towns in the South might work but I’ve never personally experienced the South. Any where you go you have to extend yourself, fit in, make yourself useful to others. Living in a small community that has a culture of mutual support of its members might be the most important factor.

        I’m sure there are lots of other good places to go in the States that I’m not familiar with. In the area where I live in BC they don’t meter the water there’s so much of it. I’m hoping that lasts.

        Reply
  22. Synoia

    Best place on earth – The African HighVeldt.

    No heating, no a/c required, insects manageable, good food.

    Mutari or Blantyre would be my choice. Dollars are welcome.

    Don’t swim in the rivers, it’s not crocodiles but billharzia.

    There is nowhere in the US that is as idyllic. The US is too hot, too cold, high earthquake risk, or too hurricane prone.

    Reply
  23. lordkoos

    If I was serious about moving I wouldn’t stay in the US at, but would relocate to South America. Climate change is projected to impact the northern hemisphere more than than the south. Other benefits would include being further removed from American culture which I find increasingly toxic.

    Reply
    1. Oregoncharles

      The trouble with South America is that the farther you are from the equator, the narrower it is. OTOH, Patagonia might be a good investment. The far part of Chile is even narrower, but does have elevation. And earthquakes.

      Reply
  24. rps

    How about escaping the affects of diminished solar sunspot activity on the climate and Maunder’s minimum.

    In 17th century there was a prolonged reduction in solar activity called the Maunder minimum, which lasted roughly from 1645 to 1700. During this period, there were only about 50 sunspots instead of the usual 40-50 thousand sunspots. Analysis of solar radiation showed that its maxima and minima almost coincide with the maxima and minima in the number of spots.

    The new reduction of the solar activity will lead to reduction of the solar irradiance by 3W/m2 according to Lean (1997). This resulted in significant cooling of Earth and very severe winters and cold summers. “Several studies have shown that the Maunder Minimum coincided with the coldest phase of global cooling, which was called “the Little Ice Age”.

    The study of deuterium in the Antarctic showed that there were five global warmings and four Ice Ages for the past 400 thousand years. The increase in the volcanic activity comes after the Ice Age and it leads to the greenhouse gas emissions. The magnetic field of the Sun grows, what means that the flux of cosmic rays decreases, increasing the number of clouds and leading to the warming again. Next comes the reverse process, where the magnetic field of the Sun decreases, the intensity of cosmic ray rises, reducing the clouds and making the atmosphere cool again.

    Reply
    1. Susan the Other

      my understanding of the Danish research on cosmic rays is that it is, in fact, the cosmic rays that cause an interaction that causes clouds and storms which cool the earth, or most usually since this happens at night the cloud formation can be part of the greenhouse effect. Nights are warming faster than days. and that the sun’s magnetic field interferes with cosmic rays reaching our atmosphere and prevents cloud formation causing the surface of the earth to warm. So I’m not sure where the balance falls. the gist of their research was to demonstrate that climate change is a sun-made phenomenon more than man-made. but global warming has put so much moisture into the atmosphere that this argument doesn’t seem possible.

      Reply
  25. bondsofsteel

    The most genius thing about Night Of The Living Dead is how the threat from people inside the house turned out to be just as dangerous than the threat from outside.

    Instead of asking where you can move to avoid the climate, you should be asking where you can move to avoid the billions of other displaced people who have the same idea as you.

    Or, maybe a better movie metaphor… maybe you should pour yourself a nice drink and listen to the band. It’s not likely most of the people scrambling for lifeboats are going to make it anyway. Plus, the ones who do will never be the same.

    Reply
  26. Rosario

    Assuming any worst case in this (very probable) long, slow decay of our most optimistic ideas of future I have a pretty short list of recommendations.

    Pick up some good skills or a skill that is not dependent on complex social or political arrangements (i.e. strictly material). Also, these don’t have to be “hard” skills. Playing an instrument (even if not good) and/or cooking good food count, in fact those are the ones that will go the farthest with others.

    Always remember the sacredness of care taking, and I don’t mean this in any religious sense. Its benefits to others are quite material. Care taking makes life bearable. This is another one that doesn’t have to be done excessively to be effective. A little bit works wonders. Make someone a cup of tea. Tell a passable joke (I have found even bad ones work to the same effect), etc.

    Be courteous and helpful (it doesn’t take much). Even not being an a**hole is good enough with most people. That’s really all I ask for. I’m fine with moody.

    Most importantly, stay right where you are.

    Money is not going to save anyone, and for most circumstances, neither will property or the “right” place.

    Reply
    1. jrs

      considering very few people can even survive playing an instrument now (well some do survive as professional musicians, but most can’t make it that way), why would anyone assume it is the ticket to survival in an EVEN harder future? On the prosaic level: if you lost your job now and couldn’t find another, how many people would really take you in and feed you because you are fun to jam with? I’m thinking not many, not usually what desperate people do, it’s usually blood relatives or lovers/spouses that would help one out if anyone, maybe the extraordinarily kind friend. And probably couldn’t make much busking either.

      Sure if you enjoy the hobby do it for that reason alone. Noone gets out of here alive regardless. But survival skills I don’t know.

      Reply
      1. Rosario

        I’m not making a policy position here, nor am I assuming anything is as simple as I am presenting it. I get that people need to work with what is there. I’m just highlighting that, acknowledging the worst excesses of 500,000 years of human history (I’m not trying to romanticize primitive life), we seemed to manage quite well, despite repeated close calls, by relying on each other. This included our doing all the work to deal with the material aspects of survival, food, water, shelter, etc.

        We need to remind ourselves of that. We need each other, and the most poorly compensated and often times little respected human skills/work in modern economy are precisely the things that held and hold us together in a very material and psychological way.

        I’m doing the best I can to keep the machine going as much as anyone else who cares, I’m far from the homesteading, prepper type. I hope that we don’t have to deal with as much of a mess as I think we are going to. I do think our recalling how much power we have as a group, working with others, even in the most subtle ways, will do much to fix our problems. This must be said because I do not think our culture and economy values that picture of humanity.

        Reply
    2. Eclair

      Having a decent fiddler and a good drummer in your community is a requirement. Dancing and singing together is therapeutic as well as great for bonding.

      One of my favorite memories of my time at Standing Rock was doing the slow shuffle of the circle dance around the fire. And listening to the low rythmic beat of the drummers as I fell asleep in my tent.

      Reply
  27. Oregoncharles

    This article is disturbingly, or pointedly, unhelpful. The short answer, of course, is “north.” I’ve met self-declared climate refugees.

    Next question: what are the hazards? One is sea-level rise, so you want to be above 200 ft. Quite by chance, our place is at 220. But there’s a warning there: we’re a long way from the ocean, and barely high enough. Another, if you move to a well-watered place, as you better, is wildfire. Don’t build or buy in the woods, attractive as that may be. If you’re homesteading, get hold of the original Permaculture books; they have whole chapters on fireproofing. And pay attention to water supply. Better if it isn’t dependent on snowpack, as it is on the east side of the Cascades and even the east side of the Willamette. The west side of the river depends more on rain. At the moment about 3/4’s of Oregon is in moderate drought – everything but the Willamette Valley and the Coast Range. That’s a warning.

    Full disclosure: those considerations would tend to make my property more valuable. They’d also make it more crowded, a disadvantage. And none of this helps with a subduction quake, which would be severe here, but not as bad as the coast – where elevation is even more important, because of tsunamis. Good friends of ours figure they probably wouldn’t make it, as he’s 90 and can’t evacuate with any speed.

    I’ve probably missed some considerations, but the model is think about what matters to you. But not Phoenix – that’s in the zone that will become too hot to live in, which is a shockingly large part of the Earth.

    Reply
    1. AndrewJ

      I just moved from Colorado to Oregon for exactly these reasons. I adore Colorado, the only region I’ve ever been that I want to go back to, but land is unaffordable, Texans are fracking the bejeezus out of the place, and it’s only going to get drier in my lifetime. Not that I could ever afford arable land there, or want to hold out during the Jackpot against the hordes that don’t have any place that can grow food.
      Some do pip for the Great Lakes region. I can’t help but think about the degree to which the watershed has and will be poisoned by industry, big ag, and fracking, fracking, and more fracking.
      Politically, too, I don’t expect much of the United States to do very well. I’m hoping the Northwest’s strong tradition of civic involvement will come good.
      I do have a certain sense of schadenfreude about the Southeast’s coming hell – combine temperature and humidity, and it becomes too hot for a human being to survive in the summer. That prepper will be alright as long as the power holds out, but when it stops… the whole region has a long-held inability to work together, is totally complacent about corruption in government, deeply racist, and has a kin-first-and-only culture that I cannot stand. I grew up there. Never, ever returning.
      I’ll take the wildfires, thanks. Let’s hope SB100 keeps turning out OK for Oregon.

      Reply
  28. neo-realist

    Other issues to consider in where to live to minimize the worst of climate change–if one is approaching social security and retirement age, where can a retiree go to not only avoid the worst of climate change, but get good access to quality health care and obtain something close to an affordable quality of living without the cost of living in the region driving you into destitution?

    I don’t expect the elites and their puppets in the government to change their policies to accommodate those who aren’t wealthy–we can see that that they’re more concerned about where they’re going to go when the proverbial “shit hits the fan.” It will potentially be an every man/couple/family for itself situation in the long run.

    Reply
  29. Knot Galt

    Studying the causes and history of the Great American Dust Bowl of the 20’s and 30’s is understanding at a smaller scale the consequences of what to expect with climate change. Surely, something akin to hissing and screaming centipedes that you crush with your iron skillet as they crawl around on the insides of your crumbling interior walls is only the beginning.

    There is really no way to prepare for a catastrophe of that magnitude; dust storms eventually took over Washington D.C. and it still took years before action was taken. Deciding where to move on the unknown magnitude of climate change is speculative at best and still more akin to an ostrich sticking his head in the sand. It all come down to one thing.

    In the words of Harry Callahan: “I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five’? Well to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I kind of lost track myself. But being that this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well do ya, punk?”

    Reply
  30. Phil in KC

    One thing we learn from the Dustbowl years is that people who are hungry and thirsty seldom stay in place: they migrate to wherever they think things might be better. Read “Grapes of Wrath” and pay attention to the idea of California as a land of plenty.

    My uncle tells me that during the 1930’s, unemployed men would walk along US Highway 71 between Kansas City and Saint Joseph, Missouri, as they had nothing better to do, and because they might chance on some sort of good happenstance.

    Many of the African and Middle Eastern refugees aiming for Europe are fleeing drought and famine conditions in their own home countries, troubles compounded by social instability and conflict over dwindling resources.

    As I recall, the Center for Navel Analyses, a federally funded think tank, produced a study on global warming two or three years ago. One of the Admirals interviewed suggested that the European Union and the United States may have to build fortified barriers to keep out climate refugees, lest they be overwhelmed while in the middle of dealing with climate change problems within their own borders. Machine gun nests atop walls? Maybe also along the US-Canadian border!

    Reply
  31. drumlin woodchuckles

    If I were in this position, recognized as a genuine certified expert and someone from the Upper or the Over classes asked me where he/she could flee from climate change; I would try to keep a straight face. If I could keep a straight face, I would try to imagine the worst most dangerous future place and then I would try to trick them into going there.

    Reply
  32. dutch

    If the General Circulation Models are accurate, those regions driest and coldest will see the most warming. Places that are already hot and humid will see little warming. To avoid climate change move to the tropics.

    Reply
  33. saylor

    interesting comments and fun speculation.

    However, I would posit that there is NO medium to long term place that can be recommended

    Climate change will mean places with no water may end up with a lot of water and visa versa.

    Consider Arizona…, it was a moist pleasant place in ‘the good old days’.

    Reply
  34. John Mc

    The Marketing of where to go (consensus) and the reality of where to go, if one/or a group decides upon this path of uprooting families and moving are two very different issues.

    The areas most successful to combat the changes taking place will not be advertised. In fact, my thesis is that the community’s success may often be determined by larger consensus thinking, ignoring them.

    I would look for places that are modest, moderate in temperature, and have a longstanding history of supporting public libraries. If i am going to die in climatastic cataclysmic cluster***, then I am going down with books.

    Look for the places with best libraries and start from there — living in the upper floors of a library –

    Quasi-Frodo

    Reply

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