Climate change and Real Estate?

4 minute read

Does climate change really matter to the real estate industry? With an ever increasing focus now on global warming both from a hesitant federal government and now the media, it is maybe time to have a look at global warming and its effect on not only our planet but the real estate industry.

I want to state here that I believe that this is a real and present threat and that I make no bones about coming from this viewpoint.

So what is global warming?
There is a now famous saying that ‘it is difficult to get man to understand something when his salary depends upon him not understanding it” and with global warming this has never been more poignant!

Global warming is not about it just getting hotter. It is about the thin layer of atmosphere that protects us from the suns harmful rays and how the carbon dioxide that gets trapped there keeps the heat in our atmosphere, the more Co2 the more heat trapped…

The amount of C02 (Carbon Dioxide) in our atmosphere is at record levels. This comes from over 600,000 years of scientific tests done from ice cores from the Arctic. Scientists have also found a direct correlation between the amount of Co2 in the atmosphere and global temperatures as the oxygen trapped in the ice samples tells many tales about the weather and concentration of chemicals in the atmosphere at the time.

If any of you have seen the movie Inconvenient Truth you will understand what I mean. If you haven’t you should.

But its effect on real estate?
Real estate booms and busts too have a direct correlation to the economy, the more disposable income consumers have, the higher property prices go.

Certainly, even if at the low end of the scientific predictions of rising sea levels, many low lying areas will be effected and therefore property prices in those areas will plummet.

But it is the short term that I am interested in examining here. If the government here is to act, and as voters are becoming more aware of the issues and what is at stake, you will see the government act – it will have to make some very unpopular decisions that will effect us all…

History has shown that government’s rarely act on something that is going to effect us and them 10,20,30 years from the present, because at that stage it will be someone else’s problem and this government is no different. However the media and now consumers are becoming more aware of what is at stake and it is at this time (considering an election coming up) you will see that governments act.

New Taxes
I have no doubt there will be new taxes, more than likely to companies and consumers that emit the most of these types of gases, energy companies, transports companies, air conditioning, large commercial and residential complexes and many more industries and if history tells us anything, the consumers end up footing the end bill.

And this is where the immediate near term effect of this will be on our industry, it will effect me, it will effect you. If consumers pay more for many items, inflation rises and they have less money in their pockets!
So what do you think? Do you think my assertions are correct, is there more to it? Am I missing something (again), if so let me know!
It is no use trying to delay the inevitable and it is no use trying to pretend it will not have an effect, but I believe acting now will stop the harm caused later.

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