Monday’s steady snow, which seemed to exceed the forecasts we saw over the weekend, might make the following seem bit harder to swallow, but here goes.
Tech and science writer David Pogue, a correspondent for CBS News Sunday Morning has a new book out, and he suggests that Western and Upstate New York could be havens in the age of climate change.
In his book, “How to Prepare for Climate Change,” Pogue says cold, snowy Buffalo and Syracuse could be veritable shelters from the more volatile weather that scientists attribute to climate change.
“I looked at 15 ‘climate haven’ cities in the sense that they have no wildfires, no hurricanes and unlimited clean, fresh water,” Pogue says in an interview with Next Avenue, a PBS digital news platform for Baby Boomers. “And they tend to be in the Great Lakes area.”
Other climate havens, he says, are Cleveland, Cincinnati, Duluth, Minnesota and Madison, Wisconsin.
Pogue even devoted a page to Buffalo — and we presume, somewhat by extension, that all WNY would offer similar benefits
“The city’s prime spot on Lake Erie means that fresh water will never be a problem, that wildfire risk is minimal and that water sports, fishing and lovely parks are all part of the portfolio,” he writes in the “Where to Live” chapter.
Buffalo rated high on a similar list in 2013, when online real estate service Trulia named it the fourth-safest city in America from five major natural disasters: hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, forest fires and earthquakes.
In his climate change book, Pogue notes that the cost of living is relatively low in Upstate New York, citing Buffalo’s as 82% of the national average. Again, WNY as a whole costs less in which to live than many regions.
In Pogue’s telling, WNY is a great place to live despite — or maybe because of — its heavy lake-effect snow.
Pogue points out that no city or state will be spared the effects of climate change, predicted to cause hotter temperatures, stronger hurricanes and more wildfires. Even the Great Lakes region is starting to experience what a warmer and more weather-turbulent future is expected to look like. Lake levels surpassed or were at near records the past year and a half, while algae blooms have been a problem more on the western end of Lake Erie.
But if you’re planning for retirement, Pogue suggests, don’t flock with all the snowbirds to the South.
“Florida and Arizona are the worse places for you to retire,” he says. “It’s time to really reconsider what we consider our climate refuge as we retire.”