Friday, January 27, 2023

MLive asks 'Michigan is a climate haven in a warming world. Will everyone move here?'

I telegraphed today's topic at the conclusion of PBS Terra asks 'What is the RISKIEST Region in the US as the Climate Changes?'
I'm heartened to see that the western Great Lakes states of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, along with Iowa, form the safest region from climate change. Half of the ten safest cities from climate change are in these states. As I wrote the last two times I examined this subject: "I'll take it. It reinforces my feeling that leaving California for Michigan has turned out to be a smart move, literally, the longer I live here." I just wish that the economics were such that people would move here instead of into harm's way. That would make a great subject for another post. Stay tuned.
MLive uploaded three videos on this subject, two last month and one this week. I begin with the most recent, which has the best preview image but a worse reading of the script, Michigan is a climate haven in a warming world. Will everyone move here?

In a warming world, Michigan stands out as a relative winner. With protection from the Great Lakes, Michigan will be spared from some of the worst effects of climate change, including extreme drought, intensifying hurricanes and wildfires.
Now for the better written and read video from December 2022, which has a weaker preview image, asking the same question: Michigan is a climate haven in a warming world. Will everyone move here?

Michigan looks increasingly attractive in a country where wildfires turn million-dollar mansions to ash in California, intensifying hurricanes sink homes along Florida’s coasts, and cities like Las Vegas and Phoenix face the alarming reality the Colorado River will no longer sustain them.

This state’s two peninsulas, meanwhile, have ample freshwater – the Great Lakes contain 90% of North America’s supply, lower temperatures, and vast swaths of undeveloped land.

Michigan is a climate haven. MLive's Lindsay Moore explains.
To answer the question MLive asked in both videos — no, literally not "everyone." After all, other states are also climate havens and they will also receive climate refugees. However, could tens of thousands if not millions move to the Great Lakes State and millions more to other climate havens? Absolutely.

I'm in favor of getting people to move here, both because it's a safer place to live (but not immune from the extreme weather associated with climate change as the second video mentioned) and because the state has room. Detroit alone lost more than one million people since its 1950 peak and other Michigan cities have lost people as well, so they alone could take up the slack — that is, if they can become better places to live and work. People moved out of Michigan to seek work, so state and local governments need to work with businesses to promote and create sustainable industries to employ the people who move here and rebuild infrastructure to support them in a warmer and, for Michigan, wetter world. Infrastructure and housing construction to accomodate people moving here will provide a lot of jobs by themselves, but that only lasts so long. Ask Las Vegas, for example.

I close today's post with MLive's interviews of the vanguard of climate refugees who have already moved to Michigan, Families flee climate crises to resettle in Michigan's haven.

Families explain their stories as they flee climate crises to resettle in Michigan's haven. (Kaytie Boomer, Jacob Hamilton, Sheri McWhirter, Cory Morse, Garret Ellison all with
Note that one family moved to Ann Arbor, a city that I can say from personal experience is already a great place to live and work, and another didn't need to live near work at all, so they could live anywhere. Both of them already had connections to the areas where they relocated, so I expect more of the early wave of migrants will be those already familiar with Michigan. If so, welcome back! Michigan missed you!

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