Californian Climate Refugees are Taking Over My Hometown

And I’m really struggling with it

Not a Doctor
4 min readOct 7, 2020
Photo by Om Malik on Unsplash

Californians: Let me start off my saying, I get it. I don’t blame you for migrating in droves to my hometown of Missoula, MT.

Your state burned all summer. The sea level of your coastline is rising at an alarming rate. Death Valley clocked the highest recorded temperature on earth, in the last century, at 130 degrees last month. Your air quality meant that you smoked any number of cigarettes a day in forest fire smoke over the summer. Apart from that, we’re in the midst of an out-of-control pandemic and teetering on the brink of fascism, and the country is set to blow in a month. It’s bad. I get it.

I can imagine Missoula looks like a welcoming oasis: high in the mountains, free from rising waters, and insulated a bit from the coastal inferno. Our quality of life seems higher, and our housing is more affordable.

Let me qualify that: It’s more affordable for you. It’s become completely unaffordable for us.

In the before-times, we relied heavily on tourism dollars that cycled through our economy for about four months out of the year, and that was great — as long as everyone left at the end of tourism season.



Not a Doctor

I’m a PhD student studying neuroscience and statistics, with penchants for futurism, socialism, and Taoism. Am ruled by a tiny dictator.