America's Great Lakes beckon as a climate sanctuary

Michigan's abundant water resources and lack of extreme weather make it an attractive destination for future climate migrants.

Abrahm Lustgarten reports for The Atlantic.


In short:

  • The Great Lakes region, once the heart of American industry, now offers a unique "capacity" for absorbing climate migrants due to its ample water supply and mild climate risks.
  • Urban planner Beth Gibbons advocates for the Great Lakes to market itself as a climate refuge, suggesting that the area's natural resources could fuel economic and population growth.
  • Scientific predictions suggest that as southern regions of the U.S. face economic challenges from climate change, the northern latitudes, including the Great Lakes, could experience significant economic growth.

In short:

“There’s no future in which many, many people don’t head here,”

— Beth Gibbons, climate adaptation specialist

Why this matters:

Michigan, with its diversified economy that spans agriculture, manufacturing, and technology, could leverage its relatively stable climate to attract businesses and residents looking for a refuge from more volatile environments. Investments in infrastructure and sustainable practices could further enhance its appeal, turning the state into a model of resilience in a changing world.

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