But it does not; a paradox.
While raging wildfires made the highly combustible West Coast look utterly uninhabitable, a hurricane unleashed devastating floods across the East. It’s getting biblical out there — or what used to be “out there”, and is now very much here, or on its way soon, wherever you are. That much finally seems clear.
Moving somewhere where extreme weather is a less imminent threat seems like the logical solution if you forget to ask where exactly everyone should go — or whether they really want to leave.
Close to 50% of people who planned to move over the next year cited natural disasters as a deciding factor, says The Atlantic, but also finds that many homeowners along the Louisiana bayou recently ravaged by Hurricane Ida are planning to rebuild and stay. As they did after Hurricane Katrina and plan to do after any in the future.
The same thing is true across the country and up the scale. The WSJ reports that the real estate market is booming in Napa Valley, which was devastated by fires in 2020 and on even higher alert this year. Since 2019, median home prices are up 23% in Napa, and 17% in neighboring Sonoma.
Extreme weather can destroy anything, apparently, except the human connection to home, and capacity for wishful thinking. But what seems like illogical thinking on behalf of homeowners is often driven by another clear and present threat: the housing crisis, which happens to be most pronounced where fire danger is the highest.