Two Smart Mayors

Are you a supporter of Anthony Weiner’s comeback in politics?   While I have mixed feelings about him, I do support Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Mayor Kristin Jacobs.  Their recent piece in the USA Today on how cities are preparing to adapt to climate change is quite good.  In a calm, logical way, they seek to de-politicize this issue by focusing on the anticipated threat angle and how we individually and collectively prepare for a known unknown.   They do seek federal subsidies for their efforts and some tax payers who don’t live in their jurisdictions will have to pay higher taxes to pay for such subsidies.   I’m not surprised that placed based politicians want federal $ for their place but I am impressed with the coherent points they make in their piece.   Cities compete for jobs and people.  Those cities that do a bad job adapting to climate change will experience a brain drain.  Such competitive forces discipline mayors to pay attention to emerging threats.

Author: Matthew E. Kahn

Professor of Economics at UCLA.

One thought on “Two Smart Mayors”

  1. Those cities that do a bad job adapting to climate change will experience a brain drain.

    The problem for mayors is that doing a good jobs as a society in adapting to climate change will mean scaling down some cities. For example, here in Virginia, the single biggest adaptation would be more people west of the fall line (Richmond and west) and fewer people east (Norfolk and Virginia Beach). No amount of engineering and money will make the coast as low-risk as just moving inland 50 miles.

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