ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTERS AND ‘DARK’ TOURISM: THE MODERN-DAY GHOST TOWNS CREATED BY THE CLIMATE CRISIS

Think of “ghost towns” and images of dusty, lost-to-time towns, like those in America’s Wild West, may come to mind.

Indeed, in the second half of the 19th century, a slew of boomtown-gone-bust mining towns were deserted by residents as natural resources and economic viability dried up. Over time, some of these relics have found new life as fun and kitschy tourist attractions.

And while iterations of such abandoned settlements are found on every continent, with varying manmade and natural causes to blame, a new era of ghost towns is now emerging that, while eerie, feels far off from good touristic fun.

Climate change and ensuing environmental disasters – marked by an increasing frequency and intensity of destructive floods, droughts, storms, wildfires and extreme temperatures – are now fueling what experts say are just the first waves of places abandoned due to climate displacement.

“We are going to see a movement – it’s already happening – where people are moving away from these areas that are most impacted by storms, by rising sea levels and floods, but also by constant fire, smoke inhalation – all of that,” says Gaia Vince, author of “Nomad Century: How Climate Migration Will Reshape Our World.”

She cites recent examples like wildfires in Hawaii, California and Australia, and floods in Bangladesh, as some of the latest triggers for population displacements.

-CNN

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