Digging Deeper for Solutions

In most places right now individual property owners must decide whether and when to move away from an unsafe location because the issue is not dealt with at a whole-community level. This puts a tremendous amount of stress on individuals and families, and produces unpredictable and often inequitable outcomes for themselves and others in the community.

Climigration is more than just a p0licy and finance issue. Household resources, including money, relationships, and capacity to engage with institutions impact each person's ability to adapt to change. Climigration therefore affects individuals and populations differently. Also, moving can be a deeply emotional experience, even under the best of circumstances, so grief and other reactions may be even more pronounced when moving is compelled by reasons that feel beyond one's immediate control. Given the complexity of the issue, communities need thoughtfully-designed and compassionately-facilitated processes to support difficult conversations, in addition to scientific data, economic analysis, and other technical information.

A productive whole-community conversation about climigration includes some or all of the following elements:

  • A wide range of parties coming together to talk and find creative solutions, such as government officials, insurance companies, funders, activists, and residents.
  • Skilled assistants, including neutral facilitators and technical experts who can advise on scientific, economic, and policy or legal questions.
  • A conscious effort to effectively engage those who are most affected. This is particularly important with traditionally underserved communities to ensure that well-meaning efforts to be forward-thinking don't exacerbate past injustices or inequities.
  • Thoughtful avenues for the expression of strong emotions associated with climigration, including loss, grief, fear, etc.
  • A high level of commitment from local leaders to collaborate and stay engaged in the conversation, even when challenges arise.