Have you ever lived in a place that’s often the punchline of a joke? I have, for most of my life. It never bothered me or my friends much, though we sometimes would chat about unlikely scenarios that would transform Buffalo into a glamorous place to live. Like turning it into the Venice of the North by getting rid of our seldom-used metro line down Main Street, making it into a canal. That was just silly. But it turns out that the waterways we already have, combined with climate change, could, down the line, make Buffalo one of the most desirable places to live in the US, without us having to do anything.
According to Harvard scientists, areas near fresh water—but away from regions prone to heatwaves, hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods—will be attractive bastions of livability if the worst happens, as every study (even those done by a science-denying White House) says it will. The “worst” is defined as an (approx) 7 degree rise in global temperatures by 2100—by the way, studies also say a 2.7 degree rise by 2030, which will be bad enough—causing smothering heat and covering parts of the country with water. Corresponding disaster will ensue worldwide. In the US, the idea is to head north of the 42nd parallel. Most of the coastline is dicey, thanks to rising sea levels (six feet by the end of the century), and unbearable heat rules out the Southeast and the Southwest. Even if municipalities take drastic measures to protect their regions from nature, the enormous cost of that becomes another factor of unlivability. Better to be in a place where such measures are unnecessary.
Yes, instead of being regarded as a blizzard-ridden, chicken-wing-eating, football-game-losing wasteland, Buffalo may turn out to be the promised land in some kind of horrific dystopian scenario that should exist only in sci-fi movies, but, thanks to our criminal abuse of the natural environment—abuse endorsed and encouraged by our government—is now reality. That is, until the hordes escaping less fortunate regions invade and destroy us, as they surely will.
What got me pondering all this is the fact that my bulb suppliers have decided to believe the new zone map and I won’t be getting my tulips for another week or so. So, I’m sitting here with nothing to do in perfect weather for bulb planting. I need my 900plus bulbs, if only to stop me from thinking.