More Americans are moving to high-risk climatic zones
People want to live where they want to live, and selling them on climate change is difficult.
As one real estate agent put it, in the minds of some people these risks are years away, and most are keen on getting close to nature in an area at a good price.
This means an increasing tendency for Americans to move to places more likely to experience dangerous weather conditions.
Economist Daryl Fairweather says areas with growing populations are often affected by drought, fires, hot weather, storms and flooding.
It flies in the face of everything we’ve been taught about staying out of harm’s way.
“It’s going to mean there’s going to be more economic damage, more climate change, more people who are at risk,” Fairweather said.
In Arizona, high heat and drought are already reshaping the landscape, killing off some of the state’s most iconic plants.
“Everyone thinks of cacti as these great desert plants,” said environmentalist Larry Venable. “But if you dry out or don’t give a cactus water, it shrivels and dies.”
The US census shows an increase in population in Arizona, with 90,000 people moving there in 2020. Economists say you should watch the bang people get for their money.
In places like Louisiana, residents are starting to see more frequent and powerful storms. This year, Hurricane Ida, with winds of over 100 mph.
He flooded the houses and shook the inhabitants. But recent New Orleans transplant surgeon Harriett Hudson says she moved to the area for food and culture.
“Since I’ve been here I can see the difference,” said Hudson. “I still love the city, and the storms are not going to take me away.”
As climate change develops, the areas it impacts and the cost of insurance against losses also increase. Yet some people like Darryl Pete from California are happy where they are.
“You can’t go anywhere on this planet to avoid Mother Nature’s wrath,” Pete said. “There is no place that is unaffected.”
Economists predict in the future that poor communities will end up getting paid to relocate because it is cheaper. In contrast, wealthy communities are likely to see a lot of money pouring in to make their buildings more resilient.