The Great Climate Change Migration
A feature article by Jeff Goodell for Rolling Stone raises the specter of mass migration caused by climate change. Goodell didn't have to dig too far into the history books for anecdotes—tales of residents fleeing Texas and Louisiana after Hurricane Harvey are plentiful. Still, Harvey was only one chapter of the extreme weather story in 2017:
In 2017, a string of climate disasters – six big hurricanes in the Atlantic, wildfires in the West, horrific mudslides, high-temperature records breaking all over the country – caused $306 billion in damage, killing more than 300 people. After Hurricane Maria, 300,000 Puerto Ricans fled to Florida, and disaster experts estimate that climate and weather events displaced more than 1 million Americans from their homes last year.
According to Goodell, the hope of rebuilding locations that have been repeatedly ravaged by the effects of climate change is unrealistic—with so much damage already done, extreme weather events and long-term droughts are only expected to get worse. Scientists warn that a massive shift in habitability is on the way in many places around the globe, including in the United States.
Goodell's feature coverage samples evidence from scientific study, tours post-Katrina New Orleans, examines the potential effect of rising sea levels and flooding on property values in Florida, and describes the feeling of extreme heat in Phoenix. There's even a map that lays out the expected "winners and losers" of climate change.