New Climate Maps Show a Transformed United States, reads the headline of a recent story from the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica.
The article summarizes climate-related threats for every county in the United States. Out of over 3,100 counties, mine ranks 42nd overall in terms of being expected to be heavily affected by climate change. (I live in Volusia County, Florida).
(To readers in other countries, I apologize that this article only covers the USA. Some of the suggestions in here may still be useful to you; I hope so.)
The article lets you view the whole list of counties, in order of overall threat ranking. It also lets you input your county name and just look at the assessment for your own county.
It’s useful to see the breakdown of how strongly your place is expected to be affected by various categories of climate threat, and also get its overall ranking.
The categories include sea-level rise, reduced crop yields, large wildfires, wet-bulb temperatures (where the combination of temperature and humidity is so high that the body can no longer cool itself off by perspiring), and economic damage.
I’m saving this post right now but will be back later to write more. (The old “Save as Draft” option seems to have disappeared awhile back.) For now, I invite you to visit the article and check out where your county stands.
In the “extreme warming” forecast scenario, some places, especially in the southern part of the country, have the potential in the next 20 years to become too hot and/or dry for humans to live and to grow food.
The very real climate-related threats notwithstanding, I feel confident in offering you some reassurance. Humans are a highly resilient and adaptive species (sometimes too much for our own good, it turns out). You probably won’t need to move unless you choose to. And even if you are in one of the most highly affected counties, you are not helpless and you have options.
As I mention above, my county is ranked pretty high in terms of climate-related threat. But I am not feeling scared or worried. Just prudently making plans. And I can help you make your plans if you would like help.
There is A LOT we can do, as individuals, households, and communities — not only in terms of adapting to what may come, but even possibly being able to avert some of the worst impacts. We have more power than we think.
More thoughts coming soon! Either in this same post, or as a Part 2 of this post. Update: I have now posted “Making Your Plans for Climate Change (Part 2)” (just search for the post; it’s the post after this one — sorry, I can’t get WordPress link feature to work right now).
Also: I’ve decided to offer climate-change planning/adaptation advice free to any person or group who wants it. (I will endeavor to override the conventional wisdom on what “free advice” is worth.) Drop me a line or give me a call.