The Great Displacement

The Great Displacement

It is not your imagination that disasters like hurricanes, wildfires and floods are occurring much more frequently lately. The world is heating up resulting in not just more frequent but also more severe weather events. With insurance companies making historically high cumulative payouts, they are forced to raise rates. Higher rates mean homeowners are increasingly underinsuring their property so they cannot afford to rebuild when the next disaster strikes. Where does that leave all but the wealthiest residents? Embarking on The Great Displacement from coastal and Southern communities to middle and upper America where prices, and risks, are much lower.

The book contains true life personal stories about many recent disasters and their aftermath. However, its main point is that we built in the wrong areas to begin with. Farming a water hungry crop like cotton in arid Arizona or living permanently on a transient island like Big Pine Key just doesn’t seem like a good long term plan.

As someone who lives in the California high desert, I have thought of buying a house in the rust belt, to rent now and live in later in case the drought gets worse (or the promised Big One earthquake hits nearby). This book makes me want to follow up with my plan as sooner rather than later.

If you live in an area that is high risk, do yourself a favor and read The Great Displacement. It is an eye-opener that may prompt you to make better choices now and into the future. It is also very readable (as opposed to the textbook feeling of many other books about climate change). 4 stars!

Thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for a digital review copy of the book.

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