People from around the United States, and the world, will be trying to move to Buffalo, New York in the near future. Does that sound crazy? Here's why it's not.

Big Changes Happening to Planet Earth

Regardless of why you think it's happening, the world is changing dramatically, and quickly. Sea levels are on the rise and eating up coastal communities due to a sharp rise in global temperature, which continues to climb. States like Florida could very well be underwater (literally) in the next few decades. We are already seeing it happen, especially in the Southern United States where rising waters are happening faster than anticipated. 

These climate changes will also affect communities in the plains, deserts, and mountains, hammering them with dangerously hot temperatures and volatile weather. Drought, tornados, hurricanes, and as we saw last summer wildfires will run rampant and get worse every year in every single spot around the United States, North America, and the world. 

There is one exception to this: Western New York and the Finger Lakes. 

WNY and the Fingerlakes Stereotypes

Western New York and the Finger Lakes Regions of New York State are usually lumped in with Upstate New York. It's understandable as the largest city in the US is New York City, and saying "New York" often triggers people to immediately think of the Big Apple. Ater that, though, it's generically "Upstate New York". 

For Buffalo and Western new York, it's mostly thought of as a dying Rust Belt city. IOt's often forgotten about and generally made fun of for various reasons. For example, an easy punch line is the Buffalo Bills losing 4 Super Bowls. For the Fingerlakes, it can be a joke about Kodak. For all of it, people usually joke about the snow and cold. Then there's the economy which, if we're being honest, hasn't exactly been stellar for decades.

More people leave Buffalo and "Upstate" than move in. While housing is historically more affordable than anywhere else, property and income taxes are high. Some don't agree with the state's politics. There are a lot of fees and regulations compared to a lot of the southern states, for better and for worse. 

So, when a lot of people read the headline here of "Why Everyone Will Be Moving to Buffalo, New York" they will laugh, roll their eyes, say it's stupid, etc. Which makes sense based on how things have gone for a long time. However, it's not all doom and gloom, and the reality is it might be our only hope.

Why Everyone Will Be Moving to Buffalo, New York

Resources and climate.

As the weather gets worse and the sea levels rise, this region of the United States, and the world, simply isn't being affected as much as everywhere else.  

While the region gets snow, and especially the unique lake effect snow that can be brutal, the changing climate has resulted in a lot less of it than usual. Even the cold weather isn't what it once was. There's also the advantage that while snow and cold aren't fun, you can shovel it away. That's not something you can do with sea levels. 

Beyond the climate are the resources. Two of the great lakes are situated in this region of the world: Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Then there are the MANY Finger Lakes, which look tiny compared to the Great Lakes but are in fact very large and extremely deep. There is an abundance of farmland, as well as elevated areas that have been used to create massive wind and solar farms. If sea levels rise and are not kept in check via river dams, those elevated areas will be very important. 

Western New York and the Finger Lakes' 2 largest cities are Buffalo and Rochester. Other cities in the area are Niagara Falls, Canandaigua, Batavia, Geneva, Olean, Jamestown, Ellicottville, Dunkirk, Watkins Glen, and Ithaca.

While costs have gone up, housing is still massively cheaper compared to mostof the United States. Public Education, overall, is excellent. Several highly rated and affordable colleges are located in this area. There are jobs in healthcare, engineering, manufacturing, and marketing along with educational institutions to complement them.

There are professional and minor league sports teams. Major concert and event venues. A well-documented modern and classic food scene that goes well beyond Wings, Beef on ‘Weck, and garbage plates. There is a renowned craft beer and wine scene with microbreweries everywhere and gorgeous vineyards.

Buffalo in particular is located on an international border and really is an international city. Its population has been growing as it welcomes refugees from across the globe who have settled in to revitalize neighborhoods and grow the economy. 

Fresh Water Is the Key Reason everyone Will Move to Buffalo, New York

This region has a lot to offer. None more valuable though than water. 

As the world changes, so will who has access to fresh water. The UN points this out:

Higher temperatures and more extreme, less predictable, weather conditions are projected to affect availability and distribution of rainfall, snowmelt, river flows and groundwater, and further deteriorate water quality. Low-income communities, who are already the most vulnerable to any threats to water supply are likely to be worst affected. - UNWater.Org

Western New York, along with the Finger Lakes which are perhaps even more important in this conversation, offer an IMMENSE amount of clean water. This will be something sought after and fought over in the years to come around the world. While that happens, this region will still be farming, will still be hydrated, and will be prospering long after others are underwater or dried out.

To be clear, this isn’t bragging or hoping for such an outcome. It’s anything but that. It’s a warning to not sleep on this region of the United States, and the Great Lakes in general. They are more important than most realize, and very well could be the key to our survival. 

Plus, there’s a reason people who come to this region from large cities often stay. Good people. Good food. Affordable living. Plenty of space.

So before you move out of New York and this area, think about the future. For those not here, think about getting in... while you can. 


Common Items that Have Doubled In Price

Gallery Credit: Nik Rivers

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