A destroyed house in the Bahamas, September 2019 
Loren Elliott / Reuters

Extreme wildfires savaged Northern California in 2018, leaving the homeless to camp out in a Home Depot parking lot in Oakland, not far from the billionaire hub of Silicon Valley. Hurricane Irma displaced more than 1,500 inhabitants of Barbuda in 2017: their government made plans to sell their communally held land to celebrity investors while survivors recovered in shelters. Melting permafrost and rising seas threaten the town of Shishmaref, on a barrier island off the northwest coast of Alaska—to which the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has responded by gutting federal support for relocating homes to safer ground.

Such events

Finish reading this article for free.

Enter your email and we'll send a paywall-free link directly to your inbox.

In addition to your unlocked article, you will receive our flagship weekly newsletter Foreign Affairs This Week, as well as occasional updates and offers from Foreign Affairs. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, visit our user agreement and privacy policy.

Get unlimited access to all Foreign Affairs. Subscribe now.

Are you already a subscriber? Sign in.