Encourage Climate Migration Now

David Trammel's picture

One way or another, we are going to have to abandon the coastal towns. Miami is already dealing with seawater flooding their beach front stores at high tide. Florida fresh water wells, which the state depends on, are turning brackish and unusable. Add to that, too many people have fled the rural cities and towns. To have flourishing democracy and an economy, we need to re-populate the smaller cities of the country.

Maybe we could see more of these kind of programs in the big infrastructure bill, rather than the give aways to business?


"From 1953 to 2003, the U.S. rural population declined from 36% of the population to 21%. By 2050, fewer than 13% of Americans are likely to live in rural areas based on current trends. The decline of small farms and rural manufacturing has reduced employment opportunities for educated youth, driving many to leave. Four-fifths of rural counties have fewer businesses today than in 2008.

In some areas this trend has become a downward spiral. Population and business losses reduce tax bases, impoverishing public services, making communities less attractive for new residents and leaving fewer opportunities for local kids who want to stay. This pattern can contribute to feelings of insecurity, political polarization and a decline of trust in democratic institutions across rural America.

Given the right support, community leaders may be able to reenergize their towns by encouraging people displaced by climate disasters to move in."

mountainmoma's picture

A problem could be the politics We here are trying hard to be apolitical. However, it must be acknowledged that the coasts of most, not all, of the country go for team blue, while the dying inland towns are often going for team red, and dont want the culture changed. Everything is so divisive and extreme right now.

Otherwise, absolutely ! and if any of us here are in one of those areas, we should move now and beat the rush ! And, there are inland areas that can match your team, it is best for community building to fit in with the culture you move into so that current residents dont hate you. Or, if you can be apolitical and open to learning a new culture you will have more happy options.

I just had a neighbor of mine tell me that bought a house right on the coast in Florida, done deal by the time I heard of it, and yes, I was astounded that they would buy right on the coast.

You're right, but the willing immigrant is a scarce breed of cat. I don't believe most people will leave family, home, and hearth unless they've got no choice. Even at the height of the Irish Potato famine, plenty of people remained.

What I envision (Bill's sister lives in Arizona) is that gradually, the willing or fearful or observant residents will leave, leaving the diehards behind. Then they'll move.

Something like bankruptcy if I remember the quote correctly: slowly at first and then all at once.

Keep in mind that no one likes walking away from equity. Many of the residents who'll flee the American Southwest -- soon to become uninhabitable to anyone who needs air-conditioning and unlimited water -- have all their wealth tied up in their homes. If you can't sell, you've got no money in your pocket for the new place.

David Trammel's picture

I figure you are right about the trickle then flood. When it turns to flood, and the people moving then have no money, there will be a huge cry to fund it with tax payer money. Just like flood damage down on the plains is done here in the Midwest. I worry that the government might not have the money then.