SustainLaine's Ranking of US Cities by Catastrophe Risk


Few of us are willing or able to relocate based on pure environmental risk. This fundamental human trait is why people hold on to their dreams in tornado alley, on the banks of the Mississippi River, in the Gulf Coast hurricane zone, and over California's earthquake faults. It takes more than statistical awareness or news reports to change the designs of daily life. Conversely, it's pretty easy to whip up paranoia about natural catastrophe elsewhere, fostering the "I'd never live there! What's wrong with those people who stay there?" view. Exceptions? Obviously, cumulative tornado incidents (as depicted in the graphic) do not shape state demographics. Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas are still growing, overall; and tornado proof dwelling standards remain a rarity. Severe drought leading to collapse of an agricultural economy is the proven exception to this rule. The Dust Bowl of the 1930's "singing so long it's been good to know you" stands in testimony to that reality. It was only in response to a complete collapse of the agricultural economy, followed by massive out-migration from the worst stricken states, that universal soil conservation practices were designed and implemented in the US.What then is the point of SustainLaine's website that characterizes cities by cumulative chance of natural catastrophe?

If our thesis is correct, it will be the people of Milwaukee, at the bottom end of the risk list on SustainLaine's catastrophe risk ranking, who will again greet climate change refugees. California is already full.

Footnote: entrepreneurs pushing the idea of selling Great Lakes water to western cities of the US are ignoring the basics. It's far faster, easier, and cheaper to import people from a drought-broken, tornado-ridden region, than to move Great Lakes area water and solstice to the western cities.