Is Michigan prepared to be a climate refuge?

MLive reporters Lindsay Moore and Sheri McWhirter join CultureShift to discuss how housing more outsiders could impact Michigan’s current residents and ecology.

the sun sets over a lake with a grassy shore in northern Michigan

Beulah, Mich.

In a not-so-distant future, it’s possible that places like Houston, Texas could have summers that feel more like Pakistan. It’s part of the way our planet is transforming due to climate change, and some areas will be more affected than others.

While the South could be too hot to live in, Michigan is projected to be a “climate haven,” with mild temperatures and access to lots of fresh water. But are we ready to welcome millions of people who move here to take advantage of our natural resources?

In the last couple of years, there were 30 million people around the world displaced by extreme weather as a result of climate change, and here in the U.S., as many as 50 million Americans may relocate to so-called “climate havens” in the coming decades — likely much sooner rather than later. The Mitten State is looking like a very appetizing place to land.

MLive reporters Lindsay Moore and Sheri McWhirter recently wrote about this phenomenon. In their reporting, they write that “Michigan looks increasingly attractive in a country where wildfires turn million-dollar mansions to ash in California, hurricanes sink homes along Florida’s coasts and cities like Las Vegas and Phoenix face the alarming reality the Colorado River will no longer sustain them.” Moore and McWhirter join CultureShift to discuss how housing more outsiders could impact Michigan’s current residents and ecology.

“We’re not promoting [Michigan] as a playground for the wealthy. There are already folks, especially in the Southeast Michigan area, that are really in tune to the wealth disparity and to the socioeconomics here.” — Lindsay Moore, MLive reporter

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Author

  • Ryan Patrick Hooper

    Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. Hooper has covered stories for the New York Times, NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.