Head for the high ground!
The Fraser Institute is warning that Canadians may need to forsake their homes in low-lying areas of cities in response to floods induced by "naturally" occurring climate change that may also have "some human influence."
"It's pretty clear that we're not going to reverse civilization, we're not going to walk away from the greenhouse gas emissions that accompany economic growth and our quality of life," Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute's Senior Director of the Centre for Natural Resources at the Fraser Institute, told Amanda Lang on CBC's The Exchange on Monday. "What we need to be thinking about is where's the actual risk going to manifest if it warms?"
Citing sea level rise and the devastation of flood plains, Green asked: "how do we respond to those things directly by fixing the incentives that lead people to put themselves in climatically fragile areas both in developed countries and developing countries?"
Green suggested that, "just stopping the subsidization of risk from flooding, where governments rebuild people in situ in the same place they were flooded out of and having real insurance markets that capture the full value of flood risk, would go a long way toward having people migrate away from those areas slowly and as the price rose."
So, price people out of their homes? Abandon cities located on flood plains? Green was aware he was filming this segment from a studio in Calgary, right?
Following the show, clean technology investor Tom Rand (who debated Green on the show) took to Twitter, asking if mass migration was seriously Fraser Institute's solution to climate change?
University of Alberta Enbridge Professor of Energy Policy Andrew Leach also took note:
Green responded, clarifying that he wasn't necessarily arguing we abandon Calgary, but governments in general shouldn't rebuild cities after they're hit by floods:
So, don't abandon Calgary – abandon Calgary in addition to all other cities at risk of floods?
Here's the clip:
Photo: Ryan Quan. Used under a Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 licence.