Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor: The authors of the news article “Michigan shouldn’t worry about becoming a ‘climate haven’”(May 19, 2023), Jason Hayes and Jarrett Skorup, from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, basically dismissed the idea of Climate Refugees flocking to the Upper Peninsula. They did so without taking into consideration our diverse and fragile ecosystems that are and will be affected by climate change.

Yes, Michigan has “plenty of room for new residents” throughout the state. Yes, the fresh water supply seems endless since Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world. Who would have thought back in the early 1900’s that the world would be facing climate change due to the industrial revolution’s burning of fossil fuels? There was so much space and air, it didn’t matter.

According to the U.S. Census over 3 million Americans were displaced in 2022 by the natural disasters of hurricanes, wildfires, floods and tornados. Week 53 Household Pulse Survey: January 4 – January 16 (census. gov) This figure will continue to grow as climate related disasters increase.

Our leaders and ourselves should not become complacent just because we have plenty of room and a fresh water supply that seems endless. Michiganders must address sustainability and resilience issues so as not to overwhelm the infrastructure of our communities. Fresh water, the largest natural resource of this beautiful state, will be in demand not only from people living around the Great Lakes but those who have lost water due to drought. Planning, now, will ensure that current and future residents are able to join our communities without taxing our natural resources and causing damage to the ecosystems.

Joan Potter-Sommer AuTrain, MI