For decades, ever since the availability of air conditioners, Americans have been moving south.

One hundred years ago, only one of America’s ten biggest cities was in the Sun Belt. Today, seven of them are down there.

There are many pull factors that bring people down to those states. The weather is great and you don’t need to shovel snow, the economy is booming and jobs are plentiful, the land is cheap and you can get a nice house if you’re not in California.

The problem of high temperatures was reduced thanks to the previously mentioned air conditioning. Water in the Southwest became accessible thanks to dams and wells.

The problem with the Sun Belt is that its growth is unsustainable.

As millions flood the Sun Belt, it puts further strain on the resources that are available. We are already beginning to see early signs of the problems as water shortages become more common.

Dams are at record lows and wells are pulling more and more water. California, Arizona and Nevada are already feeling the impacts of their unsustainable growth.

Additionally, the suburban sprawl taking place in the growing metropolitan areas is further harming the living conditions of the area, making the air warmer and more polluted.

A similar issue is going to be hurting the Sun Belt as a whole if temperatures rise and get even more inhospitable.

Temperatures over one hundred degrees will become more common which will have numerous impacts on the livability of the region. It will be harder to grow crops, even worse to step outside, decrease work productivity, and increase energy prices.

On the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico, rising sea levels will hurt any major metropolitan area along the coast, of which there are many.

Miami, New York City and New Orleans are among the many major cities that will need to invest heavily into infrastructure to combat flooding or risk sinking into the sea.

The matter is further complicated by the possibility that extreme weather phenomena may become more frequent.

States on the Atlantic may begin to see more frequent and more destructive hurricanes that can further damage the region beyond repair.

The situation won’t be much better in the American West either.

Wildfires may become more frequent as the high temperatures dry the area and ignite the forests. We’ve already begun to see the catastrophic fires and the smoke that could even reach the East Coast.

California, Oregon and Washington have had it the worst, and it will continue to get worse as time goes on.

The West Coast states and Utah experience some of the worst air quality in the nation thanks to these wildfires and increased vehicle usage from the population boom.

Not much is going on in the Great Plains, but all that farmland may be in trouble too. The Ogallala Aquifer which stretches across most of the region is beginning to dry up.

When the aquifer that supports one-sixth of the worlds grain production dries up, it will devastate the economies of those states.

The best place in the U.S. long-term is the Rust Belt.

The Great Lakes are a great boon for the region which can supply it with all the water it needs.

The region will not only be able to tolerate higher temperatures, but will benefit from it with longer crop seasons and less brutal winters.

It is at minimal risk of heatwaves and droughts and does not have to worry about hurricanes the same way the East Coast needs to.

While the economy has lagged for some time now as jobs left, it can only go up from here. And as more people realize the truth about the region, they will come and bring jobs with them.

With proper governance as the Rust Belt trends red, states like my home state of Michigan may begin to see the economic growth it deserves and reverse the trend of decline.