Even the Wealthy Cannot Buy Their Way Out of Climate Chaos

Ami Chen Mills-Naim
8 min readAug 25, 2021

Perhaps if they shifted gears to focus on helping all of us, they too would stand a better chance

I hear stories from time to time, beyond the headlines which have already alerted us to the fact that Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are hoping to possibly build second, third, fourth homes —bubbles? colonies? mining operations? biospheres? — on Mars*. I hear stories about other, very wealthy people buying up vast tracts of land in Montana and Wyoming, or buying second homes on acerage in Canada, or building impenetrable bunkers in New Zealand.

What’s the earthly use of putting a man on the moon when we cannot live together on Earth? — Anthony De Mello

I understand the impulse. When Donald Trump was still the US President, and we were not sure which way the 2020 election would tilt, or if Trump would stage a coup, or — finally — whether or not that coup would be successful (F***s sake!), I wanted to move my whole family to Canada. We were even looking at properties there. This, for me, was more about not wanting to live under an openly white supremacist, neo-fascist or authoritarian regime. But the climate crisis factored into this impulse too. Being further north, I figured, Canada might be cooler. The government and population seemed more “together” compared to us at the time, and perhaps better prepared to share and distribute resources in a sane, logical and compassionate way — resources that would dwindle dramatically as we began to see social collapse.

I have considered moving to Hawai’i and even Montana. In Canada, we like British Columbia. I used to live there, as a young teenager, on a quiet and green Gulf Island. I loved it. But as a former investigative journalist, I have done a fair bit of research now on climate change. And I am here to tell you that, actually, there is nowhere to run to, Baby. Nowhere to hide.

… I am here to tell you that, actually, there is nowhere to run to, Baby. Nowhere to hide.

In fact, the small town of Lytton in British Columbia saw the hottest Canadian temperatures on record (121 degrees F) just before it burst into flames. Even the “Big Island” of Hawai’i is now grappling with wildfires and drought. Some climate modeling predicts trade winds…

Ami Chen Mills-Naim

Global teacher, mother, author, journalist: SF Chronicle and Examiner, Inc. Mag, Metro, 3 CNPA First Place awards. See “Heart of America” on YouTube