Finding safe haven in the climate change future: The Southeast
Updated: Sep 12
Dr. Parag Khanna is interviewed in this Yahoo News series that analyzes different regions around the country in terms of climate change risks that they face now and will experience in the years to come.
“With Hurricane Ian, I think we’ve seen a conversation at a much more acute pitch and much more rapidly moving in the direction of ‘Do not rebuild here. Do not come back here. We should not be putting taxpayer money into this.’ And those families should not be putting their entire net worth into that place again,” Parag Khanna, the founder and CEO of Climate Alpha, a company that helps investors quantify climate change risks to real estate, told Yahoo News. “The accelerating frequency of these disasters is contributing to that change in mood which is reinforcing what policymakers know they must do.”
“Even for people who are leaving Fort Myers or New Orleans or any place that has been devastated by natural disasters — the Kentucky floods — they don’t just say ‘climate change is my only primary consideration,’ right?” Khanna said. “They say, ‘OK, what is the nearest proximate place where there’s affordable housing, where I might be able to get a job, where are there schools for my kids,’ all of these things.”
As Khanna notes, climate change is really a new factor in the calculus of where to settle, and one that often doesn’t factor in until disaster strikes. The year before Hurricane Ian devastated the Gulf Coast, the Fort Myers area had been the sixth-fastest-growing area in the country, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
Read what more about what he has to say about finding safe haven in the climate change future, check out the full article.