By John McClaughry
A friend of mine from the Burlington area recently shared with me an absolutely jaw dropping email circulated by Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale, Democrat of Chittenden Southeast, who is chair of the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs. She is also the lead sponsor of S.100, the $80 million dollar compact settlement bill I discussed last week.
Take a deep breath — Here it is:
We are looking at a need for 20 to 40,000 housing units in the next decade. The higher end of that range is specifically due to the need to address climate refugees, as we are projected to be one of the more climate stable states in the country. If you believe in climate change, then you believe in the real possibility that some of our major US cities may become at least partially uninhabitable and forced migration will take place. We will need to be prepared for that, as we are already seeing climate immigrants who are purchasing second homes and eating into our year-round housing stock.
To start with, I seriously question her idea that we are projected — by whom? — to be one of the more climate stable states in the country. Beyond that, Ram Hinsdale’s idea that we need to do something to accommodate an approaching flood of desperate climate fugitives from uninhabitable cities down country, looks like just more climate panicmongering to me.
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.