Sometimes we need to take a clear view, even knowing we aren’t going to like what we see.
In his recent Rolling Stone article, “Welcome to the Age of Climate Migration,” Jeff Goodell helps the medicine go down with his compelling writing and thorough, unflinching research. In some places we simply won’t be able to adapt, he points out, and as cities like Miami, New Orleans, Houston, and Phoenix become all but inhabitable, millions of Americans will move. “Climate change is going to remap our world,” he writes. “We will learn that ‘retreat’ is not a dirty word. And we will become, more and more, a nation of refugees.”
Goodell’s 2017 book focusing on the complicated realities of coming sea-level rise is also excellent and well worth the time to read: The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World.
And for an interesting piece about some of the actual difficulties that arise in an attempt at managed retreat, see this story by Christopher Flavelle about Sydney, New York, and its response to the repeated flooding of the Susquehanna River.
This series is curated and written by retired Colorado State University English professor and close climate change watcher SueEllen Campbell of Colorado. Use the Twitter hashtag #ICYMIclimate to flag works you think warrant attention, or send an e-mail to ICYMI@yaleclimateconnections.org any time. Let us hear from you.