On the next boat to Wellington
Posted by Danny Morris on February 23, 2009
Climate change adaptation is years away from having its day in the policy limelight, but someday soon it will be a big deal. Until then, we just get to enjoy the random places where it pops into the public consciousness. The Washington Post today has a fun story today about climate-driven ecomigration. They interview Adam Fier, who has determined the United States is not a safe place for he and his family to be in this climate-changing world of ours. Where will they find refuge? Middle-earth New Zealand!! The logic (which is pretty solid) behind Mr. Fier’s choice is as follows:
Fier, 38, a computer security professional who used to work at NASA, said he thought hard about the risks of global climate change. He knew moving to a new country would be difficult but thought that the dangers of staying in the United States were worse. Several years ago, he drew up a list of countries and studied how they might fare over the next century. He examined their environmental policies, access to natural resources and whether they would be safe from conflict. He decided that New Zealand would offer a comparable quality of life, has an excellent environmental record and is isolated from global conflicts by large tracts of the Pacific Ocean. Its tropical, subtropical, temperate and arctic zones also offer a variety of “bioenvironments” as a hedge against the vagaries of climate change.
Ready to jump on the panic train to southern Pacific safety? If not, a peek at the lovely people you’ll be living with should entice you a little further. You won’t be alone though. The article mentions that the 100,000 citizens of Kiribati are busy looking for a new place to live and have similar thoughts to Mr. Fier. Props to President Anote Tong for getting on the ball, but he’s not quite as impressive as Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically elected President of the Maldives. Last November, President Nasheed annouced he was going to start diverting tourism revenue to purchase a new homeland. At least someone is willing to invest in real estate in this market. As for me, I had a brilliant plan to retreat to the Rockies and build a giant Swiss Family Robinson-type tree house to wait out the climate crisis, but that might not work out either. Any other brilliant climate refugia ideas out there?