The Best Places to Live in a Future Troubled by Climate Change
We have passed the point at which climate change is an element of the distant future. Anyone under the age of seventy reading this will almost certainly experience greatly changing natural conditions due to climate change. Not only are some of today’s hurricanes and forest fires made worse by climate change, but the upcoming years will see widespread instances of larger weather catastrophes that will affect more and more people.
What Makes a Place Safe?
Rather than diving into a list, let’s first build an understanding of traits to look for in an area to build or buy a home and enjoy peace of mind.
- A Cool Place: Projections are that by the mid 21st century, roughly 30 years from now, summer temperatures will be 6 degrees hotter in the middle of North America, from Tennessee to Nevada and Southern Wyoming to Northern Texas. Most of the rest of the country will be 5 degrees hotter than now. Days above 95°F will skyrocket as well, meaning great dangers of heat stroke and similar deadly conditions.
- Away From the Ocean: With higher ocean levels, many coastal areas will experience an eroded and shrunken coastline. Flooding will be commonplace, and tropical storms and hurricanes will be more intense and deadlier than now. It is likely that entire towns will be destroyed by a catastrophic storm.
- Access to Water: Paradoxically, while one doesn’t want to be near the site of a storm disaster, one doesn’t want to live in a desert, either. In such a situation, the increased heat parches the soil. When rain does come, it has no ability to sink into the cracked soil, instead of running into creeks or rivers. This means drought. Climate change wreaks havoc from all angles.
- Elevation: While the late 20th century won’t find everyone heading for the hills, being at some elevation can be helpful both for beating the heat and for escaping flooding. Lower elevations, depending on the particular combination of conditions, can be acceptable.
Best Places to Live in a Future Troubled by Climate Change
With those concepts established, let’s look at cities and other geographical areas that your children and grandchildren will find most hospitable.
2. The Great Lakes States
A 2013 projection tells us that Greenland will have some trees and even forests by 2100. It won’t be a bleak icescape and may be among the best places to live.
Not only is this the case, but Ireland is deeply committed to getting it right with the environment and heading into the second half of the century more than ready to face a crazy climate. Its National Development Plan comes with a commitment of €30 billion.
Honorable mentions go to places in central Canada (away from the coast), Scandinavian countries, and North-Central European countries such as Latvia and Estonia. In the U.S., upstate New York and Pacific Northwest locales like Portland and Seattle are also viable. Places that are in grave danger include any developing nations, including Haiti and some African nations. These countries are vulnerable to ravages of nature such as droughts and severe heat.
As we get closer to the middle of the century, it will be crucial to evaluate individual cities on their strategic plans for addressing climate change. A location that can demonstrate it is keeping its infrastructure in optimum working order is the only place for your children and grandchildren.