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Opinion
Tyler Cowen

Use the Market to Combat Climate Change — and Hurricanes

Florida’s dysfunctional home insurance industry is making it harder for its residents to adjust and respond to more extreme weather.

The state’s home insurance market isn’t in much better shape.

The state’s home insurance market isn’t in much better shape.

Photographer:  Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg

Florida’s response to Hurricane Ian illustrates how governments are making it harder to adjust to climate change by subsidizing the insurance market.

One of the classic rejoinders to worries about climate change is the claim that people can move out of highly vulnerable areas into safer areas. Maybe the world will not be willing to accept hundreds of millions of climate-change refugees, but within the US, perhaps people can move from storm-prone Florida to the northern Midwest, or to wherever might prove appropriate, including safer parts of Florida. The US, after all, has a longstanding tradition of individual mobility. And many parts of the country have the space and infrastructure for additional residents.