Climate Change Is Bankrupting America’s Small Towns
A recent article in the New York Times highlights the financial crises that small towns, particularly in low-income areas, are experiencing in the face of climate shocks. Without the financial ability to rebuild and recover from natural disasters, communities enter into a downward spiral of shrinking populations and declining revenues; furthermore, those who stay in damaged communities find themselves unable to sell their homes at a price that would enable them to relocate somewhere safer. These problems are exacerbated by slow-moving and sometimes conflicting relocation and adaptation efforts by federal government agencies.
"Rather than bouncing back, places hit repeatedly by hurricanes, floods and wildfires are unraveling: residents and employers leave, the tax base shrinks and it becomes even harder to fund basic services," according to the article.