A Lot of Places Who Thought They Were Safe From Climate Change Just Got a Wake-up Call

4 min readJul 14

I know, I live in one

Photo by Chris Gallagher on Unsplash

I like to write about climate islands, places that seemed relatively immune from climate-driven weather that takes lives and ruins homes and businesses. More and more people are looking for these secure spots to rebuild lives destroyed by things like floods, fires, hurricanes, and extreme heat, which accelerates all those things.

A lot of those places experienced a shocking wake up call recently, including Upstate New York where I live. Places a stone’s throw away from Rochester, NY, my hometown, got hit with torrential rainfall this week that didn’t just break records, it demolished them. Like 5.5” of rain in one hour.

There are places in the US that don’t get 5.5” in a year.

No one can prepare for that when it has never happened before. The prime example right now is Vermont, that unbelievably picturesque small New England state where the worst weather event might be a blizzard, which the ski crazy state loves.

We used to love our blizzards too. Snow day! Until early last winter when Buffalo, sixty miles away, got 55” and more than 45 people died. Meanwhile we got 2” where I live, not even shovelable. And during that deluge this week in a town less than an hour’s drive from here, Rochester got zero, nada.

It’s been easy to be complacent about extreme weather when it seems to always take place somewhere comfortably far away. It makes it easier for the deniers who claim extreme weather is normal for places like Florida and they should know better.

Believe me, after Ian a lot of Floridians now know better as they can no longer get home insurance and the insurers they had are going bankrupt or pulling out, leaving them with the wreckage of a life.

A Florida government official said the insurers were leaving because of ‘wokeness’. It’s scary that this guy apparently knows nothing about how the insurance business works. Assessing risk is their business model. Too much risk and they are out. They’re not in business to lose money.

Nothing woke about that. But this illustrates the willful ignorance of these politicians when they deny science. They…


Mastodon: @martinedic@md.dm, Writer, nine non-fiction books, two novels, Buddhist, train lover. Amateur cook, lover of life most of the time!