I Don’t Want to Be A Climate Refugee

It’s Earth Day today

Mindy Morgan Avitia
3 min readApr 22, 2024
Photo by Hugh Whyte on Unsplash

My mom wants me to move to Florida. It’s wetter and prettier than Austin. The politics are similarly awful, and the schools are dismally comparable. But Central Texas, unlike Florida, will still be here when my kids are old.

How can I settle my family in a place like Florida? So unstable—so vulnerable to climate change’s furor?

I can’t.

While I’m sure I can find my blue bubble, just like I did here in Austin, in Florida—I can’t change our warming climate. I can’t change the storm surges that will rip up our coastlines, leaving only a pulp of broken buildings and waterlogged memories. My Meatless Mondays and refusal of single-use plastic is a drop, no less, a piece of dust in the middle of a raging sea. It won’t do anything.

And so I’m staying put here in Austin.

We’re not immune from climate change’s effects. Last summer was our hottest on record. I was 8 months pregnant and couldn’t leave my house between 3–8 pm, the heat was too much. It stifled me in place, I’d lay on my bed, draped in ice packs, praying for the day when I wouldn’t see sun and triple digits in the forecast.

No, we’re not immune. The wildfires come every year now. They didn’t when I first moved here a decade ago. My daughters…



Mindy Morgan Avitia

Figuring out how to be a creative, a mom, and a good person at the same time.