Unlivable Places: Sunny Beaches, Mountains, High Desert, and…the Midwest?

Much of the US may soon no longer be viable for humans



Photo by Lawrence Hookham on Unsplash

Do you know what corn sweats are? If you live in corn-producing states in the Midwest, you probably do. Corn fields, when the temps are high, ‘sweat’ out huge amounts of moisture, raising humidity to nearly unbearable levels.

Now add the Midwestern farm belt states to the list of places that may be unlivable in the near future. Heat, the aforementioned humidity from the enormous corn fields we depend on, loss of topsoil, and tornados, once an acceptable risk, but now even more dangerous and destructive.

Midwesterners take pride in living in mid-America and view themselves as the backbone of the country, the place where regular folks grow the crops we depend on for food, feed, and a host of products we use daily.

They really don’t see themselves as being at the forefront of climate change in our country. Many, following conservative tenets, don’t even believe in warming, and that is their right. But no matter your beliefs, sometimes reality comes in and hits you in the face.

This huge and essential region of the nation is at great risk, right now, of becoming unlivable. One definition of unlivable these days may be if you need to stay in air conditioning during summer months to survive. The Midwest is becoming one of those places.

You can’t really blame midwesterners for being climate skeptics. A few years ago I crossed the country on a train that spent days moving at ground level through Illinois, Indiana, and Nebraska and it was an eye-opener. Tiny towns surrounded by hundreds of miles of corporate farms with corn as far as you could see, a sea of corn. For a northeasterner, it was hard to comprehend what life would be like in such isolation.

My world would be an alien planet to many of the people who spend their lives in that world. Which is why their possible fate as climate change accelerates will be hard for them to accept.

It’s hard enough for Floridians to admit their paradise is unlivable, for Californians to watch mountain homes burn, and for retirees in Arizona to find that simply going outside can be deadly. This summer…




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