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Best Of: The coming climate exodus


Vox senior reporter Rebecca Leber (@rbleber) joins The Weeds to explain the problem of migration caused by climate change, such as that due to wildfires, rising seas, and crop failures. She explains how a warming planet is forcing people to move both in the US and internationally, and how policymakers are and aren’t adapting. Vox reporters Dylan Matthews and Jerusalem Demsas continue the conversation with ProPublica’s Dara Lind, discussing a new white paper arguing that social mobility in America rose in the 20th century.



Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), senior correspondent, Vox

Jerusalem Demsas (@jerusalemdemsas), policy reporter, Vox

Dara Lind (@DLind), immigration reporter, ProPublica


Sofi LaLonde, producer & engineer

Libby Nelson, editorial adviser

Amber Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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hello and welcome to another episode of the weeds, I'm Dylan Matthews, and today we are talking about climate change, specifically how climate change has cause people to move, but globally, and within the U S and before- We shall do our regular panel discussion. We really wanted to set the scene for you, so we decided to bring in our colleague, Rebecca Weber, who covers climate issues for box, to help explain the current landscape of climate refugees us over I wasn't did show its greater beyond so climate refugees been a term. That's been around for a long time. What do climate experts, like yourself, mean when they talk about climate refugees? How does that
look differently when you're talking about within a country verses across countries. But are we talking about here? We know climate change will mean a lot of stress that human civilisation has really been equipped to handle and not ten, lead and flooding in sea level, rise in drought and an extreme temperatures and wildfires, and we're seeing this play out in the? U S and around the world. The term climate refugee itself is a bit to untangle just start with, because the term refugee is illegal term, applied to asylum seekers, but we're talking about migration that has lots of different causes, and the world has an even come to terms with grappling with how you define a climate refugee or how you
define a climate migrant. I think we're just at the start of figuring this out, and we also see that play out within the U S when people have to relocate after disasters we ve had some experience with, with her occasion after disasters and Hurricane Katrina was was one of the first serve times when alive We saw that on mass with people we ve New Orleans, how widespread, this now our are when something like the big wildfires in California happen: are you seen serve hot community
in her as a huge chunk of the population moving to get away from the disaster or our peoples are pretty rooted to these communities even with Wissanotti stresses yeah out, there are a few pretty terrifying stacks of what the next few decades will look like an at least eighty five percent of the world's population is already affected in some way by climate change, and we are seeing the climate warm a little bit over one degrees celsius. That's just the start because we can expect if the world doesn't change its path to hit that one point five and then two degree mark within the next few decades from there. Migration grows exponentially. There is a variety of models. Looking at what that translates into world population, but I've seen anywhere from to hunt.
million by twenty, fifty being forced to migrate or be displaced from their homes to actually upwards of one billion. People who are displaced because of climate disasters, and other stress where's within the? U S, the Times did really fastening investigation about a year ago that looked at how near One in two Americans will likely experience some decline in the quality of their environment and some kind of stress because of climate change. So this really touches every one. It's it's hard imagine between fire and sea levels encroaching extreme precipitation events. it's hard to imagine who isn't affected the issue, as we just have even started to grapple with that our policies are still really baked into this stable climate that we no longer find ourselves. Then we're still building to the past instead of the few
you're. So when people are temporarily displaced because of a wild fire or because of a hurricane and we're seeing builders and construction industry just come back and build again in places like Miami and fire prone parts of the west, and were not really seen grappling with what the future really looks like, why do people go back and rebuild like wire, are deserve coastal areas that thicket hit by hurricanes. Why do people go back in and just build houses up again, so There is obviously some psychological reasons for that. People feel very attached to them obviously bit, but tell me a bit about serve the policies that they contribute to, that white buys in it like prohibitively expensive to just be Building these homes again and again, this may not come as a surprise. To many people by a big problem is our politics, so it doesn't help that we have had a climate denier as president and policies that would push us too
a better model. We be keep kind of taking a step forward and two steps back some specific programmes that are problematic, odd, there's the national flooding Germans programme- that is a famous Lee Flawed, because it doesn't consider maps that are changed because of climate change. It looks a pass projections four hundred year, floods when we are actually in a very changed climate are wild fire suppression budget is based on a ten year rolling average. So- and we're looking at past averages to dictate the future when we know that future will look different, you can kind of pick your area. It's it's based on past projections is based on historic data,
One thing that we know climate change will mean is that we have a greater chance of those extremes happening, we're not going to be run by averages, and I think that's a distinction when it comes to climate change were trying to forestall the worst possible effects, the most extreme effects, not the average, acts, because if we don't prepare for that extreme wildfire or that hundred year flight, that is happening much more often than we are not protecting. And not helping the millions of people who lie in harm's way. So our federal policies need an update this trickled down to the local level. cities and sent devising building on shore line, when they should not be here and on Biden, has promised to upgrade kind of the agency,
approach to this. He has an executive order. That said, agencies have to look at how they update all their policies and in a world that change by climate change, but this is a slow moving process. This is going to take years to see play out, and hopefully we would not have those policies just reversed in a future administration, I think it's important that thing about sir. The distributional impact here cause. Sometimes people think about long term coastal houses and you think of like Taylor, Swift, mansion and and Rhode Island that I dont really worry about her leprosy I ve, there's serve communities means of color, disadvantaged communities that are gonna, be really affected by this. How does out is bad and serve environmental racism play into to this problem. This is a really important point, because the rich are going to be fine there. They can easily move, they have other options and we
see that playing out. We will see this more n and white experts are really worried about. Is these kinds of economic tipping points where the market does catch up to realising that we cannot build in these areas because it's too risky, but then the people who, can't afford to leave because they can't sell their home or their home has sunk in value or they just can't leave. For other reasons for work or monetary reasons that they become stuff, in these areas, especially without the types of housing programmes, the type of federal policies that would help to relocate them. So this is a really big issue and one we're talking about the people affected. I'm not thinking of Taylor, Swift, Thinking of people who are already vulnerable, who will see just even more stress and more conflict and end, of course, there's the international meant. We see this play out in terms of global conflict in air,
he is of the global south. And this is not just a- U S- issue by we'd- we do see this microcosm within the. U S at the singing economic equality exacerbated because of climate impacts we use this term climate refugee, but you're making a point when we were talking earlier that the refugees is a pretty specific legal term and and serve the stresses of climate change, fit kind of uneasily with that sort of duty. Is there even a category for someone? Who's deserve fuels, Forrester, strongly pressure to move because of environmental pressures like this. So what? What is our immigration system? I have to say about people in that situation, I think we're just starting to see the task of the current system. There has been a lot of pressure on the EU and, for example, to designate a category for climate refugees besides, thickly right now. There is still
all the historic channels of asylum seekers and, of course, we know how that that system also is I'm the times and broken to address the needs of global migration, but with climate change, I think you see, play out in really complicated ways, because climate change can layer on other problem. firms that are already existing, so it can exacerbate conflict over water resources. It can mean that someone who has spent their lives and their entire communities livelihood is in farming. They are hit by repeat droughts and extreme. He. That means crop failures, and these are the kinds of I guess- problems that that we haven't really considered in applying we are in and in the court system, when we're looking at how to how to accommodate the people who will literally be forced from their homes because of
he's impacts, Z. You talk a lot to do with climate, after western experts were trying to figure out tens or proposals to to address these kinds of problems. What are some of the ideas that you ve heard you will put out, therefore, for both serve, supporting people internationally aware that searching our immigration system, but also serve aiding with flooded your answer or other programmes that might make our adaptation to this and and and make it easier for people to get into safer living situation, sir of wage, really catastrophic situations. The most coordinate thing to start with. Is we need to address climate change itself? This will become a bigger problem, the worst climate change God, and we are still not on a path fur,
the same ability and oh path where we have stabilized global carbon emissions. So one is. This will be much worse once we hit that two degree mark and beyond, because the world is on track for much worse. Warming, then that highly stuff, two degree mark. So that's that's the most important one by there is, of course, more we can be doing to help people theirs updating our domestic programme. So we aren't just rebuilding and hazardous areas that we are actually building for the future and building to adapt to this world. That's changed there. Is also more social support and and spending federal spending and programmes that help people relocate so there are not the ones bearing the cost of that location. Where, again, we see the Taylor Swift, able to move, but not lower income people. There
also like TAT, the court system and our immigration system needs to dead, and this is again kind of it boils down to this. This debate were having again again about national. wisdom, verses, accepting that people need to relocate and this is a very live issue where we just flip from a presidency that that both denied climate change and tried to close. U S, borders to pee. well who need help. So I think this is climate change touches every thing: it's an economic, it's an immigration the you it's a national security issue. It is about the very future of traverse location. So I think when we are talking about those solutions, unfortunately its very complicated, we have to look at how climate affects each part of the system The last thing you might ask about is how this can next her too in the agenda. You mentioned yet an executive order about time
migration. Obviously, there trying to do something in the reconciliation bill to address climate change, broadly in of which this is this is the part wet, but should people interested in this be looking out for as as that bill goes word in us as theirs were watching what the binding the ministries and is doing yeah great question. Climate spending is incredibly important in this bill. The reconciliation bill specifically, which has more to help do you ass both adapt to climate change, but also mitigated and do something about rising pollution that please into the international context, because we have another internet no climate gathering happening next month and what the? U S does will matter a lot in terms of global ambition on this because spite and has to come to the table, basically proving his promises that the? U S can actually sustain this path where it does
about climate change that isn't just reversed by a republican president, so he s actually bring something to the table so that all plays a big factor, in negotiations for other kinds of bilateral deals. Multilateral deals where the world starts to address climate impacts and grapple with this issue of climate refugees, in the end. This all is intermingled in highly dependent on Congress, stepping up and actually the. U S will take responsibility for its role as the world's historic biggest polluter thanks so much for walking through all this eyes which fund beyond. Rebecca Labour is a senior reporter current climate issues at box, it's time for a quick break, but when we come back, will to our panel discussion on climate migration, with Jerusalem, dances and Darlin
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to the weeds I'm doing Matthews in for a penal. Today, I'm joined by Jerusalem, Dempsey, suppose, policy reporter fox hello and die Oh end, an immigration reporter from proper Booker high tourism, I'm a little curious. How much this has come up for you report on housing, and so much of this is the housing story, both with sea level rise and fires, and just so much of this is about are like fifty physical, houses the people of Britain in threats to them like how how does it serve come up on your beat? yeah. I mean it's, it's becoming a big deal, so red funded this Paul earlier this year in April, where they'll, tucked up to now U S, residence and forty nine percent of Americans who planned to move the next year said that natural disasters were a factor age distribution matters a lot for whether how seriously you take it younger folks are taken more seriously than older people for no various reasons both for the political distribution of course, but also if your younger ischemia bigger rest for you for a longer period of your life.
but it is something people are thinking about, an even people, don't explicitly categorize. It is climate resk right like just normally you think of. Do I enjoy the climate of a place I'm moving to, like is the weather nice, like that's the thing that people care about, regardless of whether or not they ve coated it as climate change or not, and I mean this kind of migration- is something that the Bin egg story for a while? I mean people moving to place. like Phoenix Arizona or to Austin Texas or to Miami Florida like these are placed before moving, because they are nice temperature the boat? We ve, I don't think the annexes nice temperature. I do think it's near California, but I think that having them The interesting thing here, though, is that people are moving to places they want to feel that they they they temperature of, but the problem is it you're in just a baking in the kind of problems that are going to lead to increasing comforters as well. So, for instance, you know we saw
much higher increase in construction of new single family homes existing over the last year as demands are surging. People are is more in their buildings, informing on simple them out and just sprawl in the Phoenix suburbs, in the absence of herbs etc. And you know it's a problem for us The change, but also like a problem specifically for those individual people right because homeownership is not just like you know, you're buying a place to live. It's like a financial bet, you're making about be neighbourhood and the region that you're living in and the financial bet of living. In a place, I Phoenix where temperatures are exceedingly a hundred and ten, Greece sometimes and some are like that's kind of a risky bet to be making and all the costs are. The risk is real. born often by the homeowner, and I think to be theirs is kind of broader attention here. That, I think, is becoming more and more you concerning, but We need the desire to increase homeownership and also the desire to address climate change, because there's recent story from NPR that they looked into
homes that had was selling in order to increase the homeownership shipwreck. I've been offloading a bunch of properties and they're trying to target those folks not traditionally had access to homeownership, and so you know that one desire to make sure your increasing homeownership and then what this m envy is my mpr found. Is that that these are places that are in flood prone area. So by doing that, you were also actually walking in a bunch of lower income Americans into a financial future, where they're going to be affected not only physically by the fact that floods or or other kinds of weather events can affect their home, but social financial rest of them feel, like you, think that you're providing a certain financial service by giving them a home, but really you happy damning them at the same time by putting this into their future, and so I think the problem is- often are adding to the near Becker, really talk about in the last. I'm segment is at our our policies an integrated across different spaces, to address the same problem because There are a lot of things that push people and homeownership beyond personal preference. It stuff, like you, know the fact that renting just absolute
so terrible their Sophie tenant productions. The majority of the country is the fact that there is a massive tax breaks. It you get if you like, wealthy and own a home, and things like that. This is not like an economic policy, neutral stance that people are taken by choosing to buy home. It's it's amazing, incentivize about federal government and if we think that's the appropriate way to build wealth. We also address the fact that you know The way that were building homes is exacerbating the very problems are and make people financially insecure right. And I think one way to think about this is which costs are being socialized and which costs are not re. Late Jerusalem, you're talking about you know this homeownership benefit programme is something that's really going to shift costs on to individual consumers. Who are lake supposed to be the benefits that lake are. Ready built into the tax code and a bunch of other programmes where, like you know, one of the army it's for bringing people into homeownership is that we already have a system that socialize as the costs of whom ownership in many other ways better same time. You know
the other side of the failures far too kind of revamp policy to be more forward. Looking to think about future climate risk is that there are costs that are being socialized vit. You know you could that incentivize in people staying in or or more, in two places that are going to be more vulnerable in future, which is where the flood insurance programme comes in, for example, that part and has not been solvent. Since twenty four- and you know there are two problems to kind of macro problems that have developed that have become apparent, one is that FEMA is paying out a bunch of money to people who are totally uninsured under the flood insurance programme, which, in theory is supposed to be mandatory for people who live in federally designated flood area, although the fun fat There is actually no way that the government can measure compliance with these things, because there are so many agencies involved bet after a natural disaster
They end up having to pay out a bunch of money after emergency declarations are made, that kind of to people who were paying into the programme to begin with the other problem is that, until a very very recently the premiums, the people paid work based on the cost of replacing their homes, which made it kind of aggressive regressive, because it meant that somebody with a million dollar whom wasn't paying any more into the system and somebody with a four hundred thousand dollar Home World Nunez. Seventy five thousand dollar home and weren't, taking into account either the few serve risk of you know natural disaster, destruction due to climate change or even the type of flooding that would be most likely to occur. whether that was because you were close to a river bed because you were living in an area is prone to extreme rainfall, etc. So you know this sort of power. Graham, which in theory, is supposed to be socializing costs in a way that you know me,
The whole community more resilient but also those kind of try to factor into the cost of the home, hi. It's insurance premiums are going to be, has ended. Up really did acting the two of those so that people who an objectively very flood prone places are paying in much in premiums. As you know, they were would be in a more forward thinking model, and so the cost Those homes are deflated relative to what they would be. So it's a word where we ve. Really you know, either by inaction or kind of the deliberate cultural politics of it, which I think is something that we should ensure that that's worth kind of thinking about, but we ve ended. Strongly socializing the costs of staying in homes without socializing the costs of potentially relocating in order, to be resilient in future and that the
obvious solution to that would be to make the the Trans insurance premiums more accurately reflect the risk of floods in those places by serve as Jerusalem is time by earlier, like its leads to these intersections. All these other problems without really easy solution on the change any had had a great piece for vocs back in February twenty twenty about server foreclosure crisis that lead. Insurance might be because causing any start a lot about the North Brooklyn, which is close to the Atlantic Ocean. The Hudson Bay Anna, majority black neighborhood in New York City and due to feed the torrents somewhat reflecting the dangers of living there, but to the full extent, arguably should in ends pure risk terms, as as Darwish ain't plunder in spring we're skyrocketing and a lot of active in this neighborhood, like very understandably, under saw this as serving economic and social justice issue that they were being price
out of their their neighbourhood by this federal programme as they experience. Did. The government was choosing to force them out of their homes and anything that plays into narratives around gentrification and displacement. And as easy. It is for me a few times I, like you, guys, should be moving to serve inland in Brooklyn There are other dr less flood prone areas like I don't I could pick that in a way that makes sense to residents of neighbourhood yeah after the matter is that, like, please, still matters to a lot of people, and you know because of broader cultural politics. I think a lot of people are more likely to be sympathetic to like a lot of people who are sympathetic to the residents of controversy. Are less likely to be sympathetic to the people who are living on. Like that. You know like in India, quoting quote Redneck Riviere.
in the same you know like in and out in the kind of Alabama, Mississippi and flood plain that kind of thing who also don't want to leave the communities where they feel they have routes. But it's really both of those are expressing the same kind of normative feeling, which is that there are reasons to be but you know they shouldn't just be making decisions about where they live their lives based on pure economic
like need or pure utilitarian, calculus about, whereas least likely to flooding future that, like theyve, that there is that it's ok and even a good thing to remain connected to the place where you live now, and that there should be more effort to support people in that lake. The politics of, say, jade events which I know are not necessarily ended there. It's not like that's the purest or most common expression of right, populist politics, but it certainly is a very common one are really rooted in this idea of liberals want to tell you not to have an attachment to the place where you live and that's bad and they should be defeated and it really
is hard for me to imagine a policy regime that, like individualised the costs of living places that are very climate vulnerable without really galvanizing. This existing debate over who values place and like who should be bearing the costs of remaining where you are- and I mean beyond that to the problem- is not just that. I owe their people have different petitions are and how much place matters, but also just you know there is not even an avenue will if you're like a low income, homeowner living or a renter on one or living in climate risky area, it's not like theirs is all these homes available to you in climate, flag, safe arena. Is that our near good jobs? It like you know that you can make move your family's you and ended relocate you like it's like other. There this housing policy in United States has made it very difficult for people to have that as an option and taken out and one idea was buried about. Was that what then, if funds should be used for is to buy out pre flood risk.
Home value number and buy out again in property owners, and then they can go where we need to go in. The government would then return vat to just being like an actual preserve, or something like that, rather than allowing it to be open for more development that kind of process only works. If there's somewhere for people to girl like you can have a decent chunk of change. But if you go to a further in Brooklyn like we're talking about this example like there's not enough homes, for people to be able to access that kind of housing opportunity near them, and what we know from existing research is that most I meant climate migrants move very close to where they already works, or someone who gets displaced by a fire in California is likely moving like a county over. They don't like move usually across the country or things like that, but there's also research. That's like four tellingly kind of bigger friends here. Obviously, you ve seen some of this stuff as hospice get more expensive
these coastal cities where people are moving too. We talked about like Austin in Phoenix in places like that, but there is research showing that, like one in twelve Americans in the southern half, the United States are gonna move towards California, the mountain West and the northwest in the next forty five, years. That's a lot of people, and you know we can talk a lot about it. We know where they're gonna go with it. What can happen there, but I think it's also important to talk about the people that get left behind because mobility is also a function of relative privileges. Well, like, obviously, all these people are really disadvantage in various ways, but you know you're disabled. If your elderly don't have the ability to go, get a new job. If you are individual who doesn't have connections in different places or confidence that your skills, will translate to a new labour market, and what you rely on is like a local network of people that you know entrust to get you employment like. That is something that really ties you to one location and, of course,
areas. Other government policies that make it even more difficult. Occupational licensing is something that people talk a lot that restricts mobility. The idea that you have to be licences, a hairdresser differently in one state, the versus the other. I mean these are ridiculous restrictions on people's ability to move freely, and you know I think this is a very clear example of how there needs to be like more intersection on policy terms approach to I see these crises because even if you had a really good programme were and fifty dollars were being used to buy out people's homes, if they have a place to go, there have a job they can get to when they get there. They have a community can build because not enough people can move with them is going to create. Problems there too, so I wonder, ask DORA bit about answered the international dimension here. We ve been talking a lot about migration with light within the: U S, and then that's important ones can be a huge deal going forward whose gatherings industry on climate refugees, air national problem a few months ago and it just it seems,
a messy that people moving due to climate and seem to fit into any the normal categories like what If anything you have in the immigration code for that right now, the short way to describe this is that the way that the international order has conceived of refugees, which is You know this source for american and most other national laws on the issue. Didn't really come. they a pre climate change, old, now like shoe waves delayed because with the fundamental truth of the international refugee order, is that it was built in the years after. cost, and so it's rooted in this idea that what the intern National community needs to work to ensure that people have a chance to leave their country if their government is persecuting them. Because of
they are. It makes a lot of sense if you are looking at the horrors of the Holocaust and in particular you know the failures of the: U S and western european countries to accommodate Jews who are attempting to flee Hitler's regime by even then you know, even in a world where climate refugee ISM was not an increasing problem, there are still a lot of problems associated with like what happens if your life is at risk, but it's because of a transnational gang or another non state actor. What happens if you're? Not being threatened because of Lake race or religion, because of your gender or your sexuality, theirs there's a lot of stuff. This is kind of gotten clutched in because its showing up in, like in human beings who are coming in seeking accommodation under this order, but that hasn't really been grappled with it in a global way and so now we're at a point where that is you know it's it's now kind of
laughed. Reality is laughed the legal regime and You know, while Rebecca is talking about the kind of what's needed at the next round of international climate negotiations, something that I think is a really helpful comparison is like there aren't even close to the kind of international lake hard commitments on refugee staff that there is on climate emissions? It's not just that, like there's, no Paris for refugee issues, it's that there's. No Kyoto like this, International order is just not come to a place where countries are willing to accept hard, no like making hard commitments to an international body about willingness to accept refugees for like very obvious domestic political issues, and so it's real hard to imagine what such a regime would look like, because it's not just a question of lake. How do you write
It's a legal standard. Vat somehow accommodates people who are absolutely going to be like destitute and starving, because there crops have failed. You know without lake, just opening up any echoes At my you know. Anyone who wants to leave their agriculturally based lake. Style and go to it and more industrialized country, but also even Once that standard has been written, how on earth do you get? Countries too, you know commit to a world where people who are leaving climate vulnerable locations are going to have to go somewhere else. I think one of the things that really brings the difficult politics of this to bear is the fact that kind of experience- something very Samaritans before I think most folks. Here, I've heard of the dust ball, but in aid on nineteen thirties, United States, we experienced a massive climate emergency where you know millions of people during the fourth. Nineteen theories were displaced from their homes because of a climate catastrophe,
in addition, of course, to financial emergencies that we're going on at the time and coincides with the great depression, and we saw a lot of real castigating of the types of people who were leaving on these places in trying to find safe, a safe place to live. And I know Colorado tried to make it a legal fur they were called oak- he's even if they're, not often Opel places, they also include place from Texas in and from Arkansas on Missouri, but they're called Oki generally and car dried make it impossible for you to come in. You know there is an anecdote that I read when when looking this stuff up about how a police officer tried to- turn, a woman away from the California border. Saying Uni pay three dollars for California driver's license. Unless you come in here, she told him she had three dollars and fifty cents to her name and she and her children would starve. She gave him so he relented, but there are lobbies anecdotes. It show just kind of like how there is massive lack solidarity, kind of happened when it came to these kinds of emergency that even people don't usually feel like is an individual persons fall like using what we see after I'm, an ordinary citizen
pouring to support people are really sad, but then, when it comes to, like you know, ok all people not to come move to your area. There there's a turn there and, as part of my injuring project, to bring fiction to the weeds. I think that the Greeks wrath. I Steinbeck is like a really good encapsulation. What happens here and others. One quote that I think is really important here where he says Steinbeck rights. It ain't that big, the whole United States in that bag. It ain't that big in a big enough, there's not enough room for you and me for your kind in my kind for rich and poor together, all in one country for thieves and honest men, and this is a sentiment, I think, is obviously people will read as a xenophobic and many contacts, but is also something where, when you have financial emergencies, coinciding with climate emergencies, I was really clear: that's how people are going to respond if you kind of how system where the economy as well as you know, where we're seeing a lot of places not doing so hot for a lot of people and that the gains from growth are not being distributed equitably then went to climate emergency hits no one.
and feel like. Oh, I have enough here in my area in my city, whether its veto, whether wherever you are to be able to distribute out to people, we come in so a lot of the work that needs to be done in order to be able to actually address the climate refugee crisis. That's going to come is going to rest on the fact that we ve already done the work in the places that are less climate risky to make people feel accommodating of new folks, and you know I, a united. We just saw with afghan refugee crisis quite a few examples of how this this didn't work out. But obviously there is a lot of outpouring from liberal places about how we need to be letting in afghan refugees need make them available. Housing and other supports it What I M going to see department put together a list of places where afghan refugees could actually settle. They made it clear that there were a lot of progressive liberal cities that were in hospitable to refugees, because the price of the cost of living was too high, and so I think that there is a lot of things. So there's no twice already, but there's a,
here. That is about policy that doesn't seem at first glance to be about climate. That is going to be really hard to deal with. If we're also dealing with a massive refugee crisis, both either domestic or or external. Just u way make this clear the way for a report. This is the first rush of people on the inner lay on on Let's go border and people transiting up through the Eu American Landmass to get to the United States is partly from her. maybe in islands where, in you know there are plenty of lake Firstly, there is a lot going on with Haiti that has nothing to do with climate, but like not for nothing. Haiti has also been hit with a ton of hurricanes in the last decade and partly from centre America, which got hit with shoe, lay generationally big hurricanes in December. So these are really good example.
Of places, where the decision to move is not obviously based on a singular climate event. But it's not inaccurate, necessarily to say that, among other things were looking at a wave of climate refugees. But I do think that I actually Jerusalem. I was also thinking about the grace of wrath some because I was thinking that lake, it seems less imaginable now, given the current policy status quo, that there would be such a mass emigration from an area that was under a cute climate stress right that it seems it seems that instead there would be a an attempt, at least initially at a political solution that would support people being able to stay in the places where they are, and I wonder how much of it is that, like you, know the the
sport was in didn't, come on the heels of several decades of you know the unceasing agricultural plenty. It came as the worst bust in a continual agricultural boom and bust cycle from the time when there was mass settlement of the West to begin with and it's possible that you know. I wonder if, to a certain extent, the politics of this have been poisoned by mid twentieth century prosperity, where Aigner, having tasted the ability to lake be confident that the place where you live is going to be enough to provide for you and your descendants. It's much harder to. Imagine that you know we as a society, you, don't have the resources to allow you to stay there forever that lake we are in fact constrain. You know that even that even the youth,
it states, even though it's the most affluent and most powerful country on earth, may not have the resources to allow every single individual to live the precise life that they want and that its than a question of who you know who gets which resources which is going to act, evade the kind of in a xenophobic or otherwise ungenerous politics of scarcity. You were talking about. I I think I would actually just think it like often speak. in this way, they are talking about where it's like, oh, like we don't have enough wealth or prospects ready to go around and to be barred to give up. I actually think the current environment is restricting people's ability to do what they want, like is not the case at everyone suddenly has the Prague. I think that we will talk about routine Seeing are our mobility, a study in the second to see block of this episode, but you know, people. Have we ve seen declining rates of interest
mobility for a long time now thought because Americans have become less willing or less interested in moving to new places or wanting to let go somewhere differ than they already are like an increase desire to like care about the the home of eleven, because, like policies we put in place to make it impossible for build, actualized their preferences and that you know, I think, a lot People in this research shows that indicate at least a lot more people will be living in Joe cities I'll be living in like these kinds of soup and superb suburbs of places like San Francisco like LOS Angeles, like New York, like Dc Boston, allay us Seattle and they would living there. If it was easier to live there that right now, the actual tradeoff is being made to restrict movement to those places of this, I think there's like
I think there is like an overwhelming sense that this kind of massive climate event would necessitate people having to give up what they want, but I think it's actually potentially gonna be a true a trigger to push people table to actually go where a lot of them have wanted to go for a long time, and also like you know the usual cod, the odds metallic profit. There really hard like measure, even if you like an individual person like what you want is really hard to like no and like usually it's like, if you have something good that comes out of that, you're like I did want that to happen, and if it doesn't you know you're like oh, that was that was like a not a preference I had was forced on me, so I mean there's all that, and I mean I think it's so an illustrative that when on the people who did end up moving a lot of people end up moving to California, the outcomes were not great. California and supporting them is a lot of these shantytowns. There's like research showing that like two years later dust bowl towns right now, desperate hunted like lower economic growth and the dust bowl emigrants who moved play,
like California, their descendants, do a lot worse in things like income and like other rates of like you know, economic. Well being so, you know it's you would have great model for doing this well, but I do think that there is a model where there is like a growing part that everyone can take part in we're going to quit. Break and then to continue Jerusalem's groups arrest them. We're gonna talk about whether the sons of Tom Joad actually were able to do better than Tom Joad. Woe amazing! I know literature When was the last time you paused to dream: big, not not big, like getting swimsuit ready by spring, but really big truth we ve all got dreams passions. We love to pursue places. We love to explore people. We want to spend more time with your advice, smart money. Podcast is here to help you get there because while your dreams won't become reality overnight, with right dirty wisdom. They are closer than you think,
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you can stay on top of the prescriptions. I keep you healthy without getting out of your pj's visitor call us. Yesterday and get a free proscription review savings, very noddle patients eligible for savings, delivery restrictions, apply visit, CBS, dot com for details. All right we're back now time for our white paper segment, this week's white paper is intergenerational mobility in american history. A coming for race and measurement error by Zack reward this outcome out the National Bureau Economic Research. Recently there what to do about this paper bathing user. For me, the big take a ways were ward is noting that a lot of evidence on income Ogilvy, so whether children are able to do better than their parents or move ahead of serve them family station in America
based only on white families. Some of that is just due to data limitations to deserve it been difficult to talk about people's position in society during a time of slavery. Do that migration, making it harder to serve link parents, grandparents, great grandparents, too, to their descendants, so war, tries to do you. Winked sent used winked census data to ask AIDS, intergenerational mobility, including non white families and the big take of including non white families is that mobility is was way lower from eighteen. Fifty two packing. Forty, then than other estimates suggest. But He also suggest that it's been increasing and that since nineteen forty, we ve seen substantial increases in mobility for Non white Americans, especially which is notable because, say. Focusing on White Americans is seen declining mobility or suggested that that income, a building has been declining and so on,
it's worth they were to meet or suggest that that might be a very blinkered white centred view of what happened in America last insert fifty to seventy years, yeah an end. What word is doing in this paper is he's looking out. Obviously, that broader thing that we're trying to measure here is that is your parents, and in this case, in this research, is your father station determinative? How determined of us is it? I have a how how your life actually ends up so like if your dad is a a shopkeeper. Does I mean you're gonna, be a shopkeeper that a fifty percent chance. You become a shopkeeper attempts and chance and is not about like you up we're doing better or in particular, is like is it kind of unlocked, is how you do in life kind of unwinking from your your father's station at in his life, and I think that, like the way that he's trying to measure this disease, in occupations and allow the paper is kind of trying to explain the ways that it's really hard to measure how much
of your life is determined by how much your parents gave you, and so previous research I have just looks at one eggs, one point in time where someone's at what their occupation was. But what word fines is that your occupation changes quite conflicts quite frequently and also beyond doubt, which I think is even more. Concerning for research like this is that it is not coded the same in every time you are giving that information to a researcher so, for instance, someone says that there are farmer. I think that that was like it's very clear and, like you, you're able to pay. Your farmer and different sources of information are able to make clear what that is. But if you say something like you know, you are a shopkeeper it might be quoted. one thing in one sense it out at what they another which and the recent that's important is because you know that's going to increase the likelihood that people think that mobility was really high
the past, when really it's the same job? You ve had the entire time it's just being interpreted differently by the data, and that's the big thing at one. The big things you finds here is just that. We have this sense. I think, as unlike american politics, that there was this past at some point where America was really, Three people were able to have equality of opportunity that what your dad station was didn't determine your station, at least for the population of of white men Particular on this, was possible What are you saying is that we are biased data where we are now thinking that the past is actually not that much of you know we're looking at the past with rose coloured glass essentially- and I think that's really import. Here, because I think that a lot of the conversation now about declining you know increasing inequality and declining mobility, and this way I trying to return us do something, but really it's something that we use actually haven't had in a long time or ever. Actually,
there's, a lot more going on in this paper than just a methodological revolution. But I do want to give a shout to reveal that the data project you that this paper was able to take advantage of which is the census linking project pink, shout out to a permits again at our twenty twenty, because the reason that this paper is able to do this where previous papers were not, is that, instead of having to pay an army of undergraduate research assistants to go through, every single sensus and try to match every single parent to every in every single parent across censuses. To every single child processes, are every single father, every single son. They were able to take it Vantage of this, like publicly available data set that uses that it uses a much more sophisticated, not perfect, but like more sophisticated out. Algorithmic method to match the people who are likely to a certain degree to be the individual you're talking about, and so I think that you know people who are
consumers of envy our research, or at least consumers of weeds white paper segments should, beyond the without that like this is probably not the last paper we're going to see that is going to be able to take advantage of this kind of Quantum leap, for word and economic history data to challenge some of the assumptions that we ve had based on these, like in fear, You're your previously necessary methodological snapshots and can instead give us some like real longitudinal evidence on. What's persisted in what has yeah. It's it's an incredibly methodological e, interesting and an innovative paper. I feel bad for her Researchers working on this difficult, like the data, is hope. I had that have to make these kind of implications based on occupation in an region. We obviously don't have income tax data from for the: U S had an income tax, and so
you don't have that sort of administrative record of of these people's incomes, and it has a note in the paper just like tracking incomes is not always a good way of tracking class. There are people who have been years and lean years and if you you choose! The wrong averages or avenant complete sense of people's income there. I tell you S than than occupations, so so much That spare cities and in the literature on mobility seem like they might be about differences and measurements and gaps in the data. What the very oh you're, looking at is Great Clark get you see Davis is is the last of matching people by surnames, and so Sir, measuring how common serve elite surnames in Sweden are over time. and finding that that that their presence and serve elites rules does not decline, which is part of his argument that that observe social mobility is very well but, like maybe that's just
true India. We jobs than he is. Starting in that's interesting, but it's different from the proxies that these other people are using. So I I I've learned a lot from those. I think it's like a good, a good reminder that serve the kind of stagnation over the last fifty years that I think a lot of weight Americans feel like they ve experienced as a very white, and how much I hear and that that it is, it is far better to be able american and twenty twenty one, but certainly not. I don't gloss over any number of of forms of oppression, but they certainly than the nineteen sixty one, I guess, but the big one given that this leaves me with, and that you guys probably have like more thoughts than I do on is light. Was there asked anomaly in which Lake White entered international mobility was higher than its historical average or its present level like do show some some quirks even though obviously like them
an arrow shows it was lower than anticipated. It was still like a bunch bigger. Then you know then African American ability during the same period or than mobility today or are we looking at now like is, is the anomaly what we have now, where we do have greater economic mobility in the aggregate than we had in the past, because that kind of seems to me to be like. I can't figure out whether this is an optimistic or pessimistic. Finding. Unless I know whether we were that whether the situation is like well, the MID nineteen, amid twentieth century was weird for white people, but now we're back on track with historical stagnation or whether we're looking at lake. Actually, the? U S has gotten to a point where there is more economic mobility than we typically have, which maybe means that we could late hidden, new enow status plateau of economic
Maybe that is that unsatisfied is either people might be with. It is greater than humanity has generally seen yeah one one potential cork that might be going on in general is the decline of farming. This comes through a lot in the paper, but it used to be that, like a huge share like forty to fifty percent, of people in America farms. We did not have very technology. In other areas, agricultural productivity was dramatically lower and say you needed a really large, firming workforce, including even a very large enslaved farming workforce and dad decline very rapidly due to better agricultural technology, and so a lot of this poses a mess Logical challenge in the papers award often serve meant he's doing farmer or less statistics, to try to get around duds or difficulties of including farmers by this premium. Things like that should have boosted
social mobility at a period that, as serves low income, farming, was shrinking as a share of the population and foreseen sons to do something other than what their their fathers did, but those son we're going to serve higher income professions and that sort shock of bye bye. Early twentieth century there were a small minority of Americans, were working in farming, So maybe, by that point this mobility gains. Are people moving out of our culture were pretty minor of going forward and we experience. pre early on in and then that accounts for a decline in such mobility. But this is just me: the following- I don't. I don't have an mba paper yeah, I think what I thought I'd two's. It gets more negative that, for some people, like mobility, is not good like if your
Eddie Wretch, like you, dont, want mobility. You want the outcomes that your dad had view that was lay it worked out. Well for you, so I would like to see a kind of a breakdown of this that in the future, because if it is that the decline in white mobility is entirely by the lower end of the economic distribution, that's really bad, because it means that you know. Lower income folks are not able to move up where they need to go. it's been concentrated among individual you are doing really well, that's not necessarily fully a terrible story for those people in particular, but I think we want to broadly having one almost one more interesting things about this paper is I think we have this sense that high EDA. We know that high inequality countries have low mobility in general and what he finds is that during kind of, like the great Gatsby Arras, is what it's kind of turned that that is true, that you find that mobility mobility is low, but any finds that for the post, one thousand nine hundred and sixty birth cohort. She finds that during the recent rise in a quality you haven't found a fall in
of mobility, while it's the case, you still see it for White Americans, because block Americans have increasing mobility during this time. Because of you know, I think this is a gay, a good story for the soul. Welfare programmes in there. I civil rights movement as a whole for what was able to do for social mobility. During this time period you have over all at increasing mobility going on in the United States, despite an increased level of inequality on disliked interesting because it's you know it's an invite, I definitely bleed for. I don't think I feel it in my mind I before newspaper definitely fully on board with the whole inequality and and mobility are linked in this way, but if they're not making it I'd, like you know it, it's, it sits more difficult, it's more difficult story for what how you have a policy response. Well, we haven't solve social mobility today, but I think in conclusion I'm very for that I am not an Oki farmer in California, in nineteen thirty use and that I have had some mobility from any ancestors of my might have been in that situation. surely no thank you offer was
into the weeds special thanks to rob. the labour senior reporter covering climate issues that box or helping set the stage for a panel today, thinking is always two boxes. Sometimes this and for public as Darwin for joining the panel are produced So if you alone would be Nelson, is our editorial adviser amber halls? The deputy editorial director for talk podcast and I'm your host Dylan Matthews You can get even more weeds by signing up for a newsletter, go to vocs dot com, slash weeds dash newsletter, if you like the show and one other people to be listening so you can talk about it with your friends. Please rate subscribe been review in your pie, cast up one, that's apple pie casts Spotify. Wherever you, you get your broadcasts. It really helps a lot. The weeds is part of the Vocs media, podcast network
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Transcript generated on 2022-01-03.