America’s climate havens of the future | On Point

Climate change is going to impact where humans can live.

“There could be as many as 13 million climate migrants in the United States this century,” Matt Hauer, a demographer at Florida State University, says. “That’s just from sea level rise, not hurricanes, wildfires, heat, drought, you name it.”

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People in the South and West of this country are already experiencing those hurricanes and wildfires, but mostly staying put.

“Where people live is very sticky,” Beth Gibbons, executive director of the nonprofit American Society of Adaptation Professionals, says. “They’re reluctant to move … but the day is going to come that they are not going to be able to stay there.”

So where will they go?

“Northern cities need to plan for the arrival of migrants who are being driven to places which they perceive as … potential havens for them and their families,” Gibbons adds.

Those cities will have to build more schools, hospitals, fire stations and lots more affordable housing.

Today, On Point: America’s climate havens of the future.


Maria Agosto, she left Puerto Rico and moved to Buffalo, New York in 2017 after Hurricane Maria.

Matt Hauer, demographer at Florida State University who studies climate migration. (@theHauer)

Beth Gibbons, executive director of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals.

Also Featured

Missy Stultz, sustainability manager for Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Amy Condorodis, real estate agent in Cincinnati, Ohio.

This program aired on September 27, 2022.


Stefano Kotsonis Senior Producer, On Point
Stefano Kotsonis is a senior producer for WBUR’s On Point.


Kimberly Atkins Stohr
Guest Host, On Point
Kimberly Atkins is a senior opinion writer and columnist for Boston Globe Opinion. She’s also a frequent guest host for On Point. She formerly was a senior news correspondent for WBUR.


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