With the effects of climate change becoming more and more apparent, the question of whether to evacuate Miami is one that needs to be taken seriously. In a piece for The Nation, Daniel Aldana Cohen, a UC Berkeley sociology professor, and Samantha Schuyler, The Nation’s research director, discussed the pros and cons of evacuating the major Florida city.
In his argument in support of evacuating Miami, Cohen proposed that it would both help Floridians and “force municipalities across the United States to get serious about hosting climate migrants in egalitarian ways.” He also argued that the city’s diverse population, which includes multiracial, multinational, and multigenerational citizens, should be taken into consideration.
On the other hand, Schuyler argued against evacuating Miami, instead suggesting that coastal cities should further adapt to prepare for climate disasters. She pointed out that the United Nations estimates that over 1 billion people live in low-lying cities vulnerable to coast-specific climate hazards and that Miami has a lot of work to do in terms of resiliency.
Ultimately, the decision to evacuate Miami is a complex one and must be made carefully. It’s not just South Florida that is facing climate catastrophe; it’s Los Angeles, New York City, Mumbai, and many other places. Tremendous human effort created Miami, and if we act soon, that kind of effort can save it too—and show the world how it’s done.
Read on to find out more about the arguments made by Cohen and Schuyler, and the implications of evacuating Miami.