Nothing is going to disrupt the real estate industry in the years ahead as much as the onslaught of climate change
OPINION BY TERESA BOARDMAN
There isn’t any kind of lawsuit or technology that is going to disrupt the real estate industry as much as global warming.
It isn’t having the same effect on everyone. An elderly couple died in Arizona during a heat wave after their air conditioner stopped working. Take this as a reminder to check on elderly relatives and neighbors during heat waves.
Others have experienced flight delays and have had to change travel plans due to extreme heat at their destination. Maybe you missed a wedding or an event because of a flood, fire, hurricane or some other extreme weather event.
Global warming is now ‘global boiling’
July 2023 was the hottest July on record and some have started calling global warming “global boiling.” I suppose a cup-half-full kind of person could recognize July 2023 as the coolest July for the next 10 to 100 years or, worst-case scenario, one of the last Julys.
Global warming is being caused by burning fossil fuels. Yes, humans are responsible for global warming. We love to burn fossil fuels. What would the 4th of July be without boats, trailers, road trips, and various toys that can be used on water or on land and that burn fossil fuel?
The price of gasoline seems to be on everyone’s radar and people are trying to decide between an electric car and one that burns gasoline. Neither are good for the environment but very few people are willing to walk or take public transportation instead. Many prefer to live in areas that are not walkable and where there isn’t any public transportation.
Can technology save us?
Sometimes I get excited about technology like AI. I start imagining how it could be used to clean up the air, which might cool down the planet and would prevent some deaths. I have read a few articles on the subject, but if there are 100 articles about AI, 99 of them are about how to leverage it to make more money.
In Minnesota, we have been experiencing a serious drought for a few years now. Summers here used to be lush and green with blue skies. The last few summers have been brown and dry with skies that are filled with smoke from distant fires. Sometimes in the early morning, sunshine leaves sepia-colored shadows on the grass.
Our grass died last June. On the plus side, it has only been mowed twice this year, and I don’t waste time watering it. Did you know that water is finite? Yes, it is true even in the land of 10,000 lakes — sometimes water use has to be restricted.
A few of my neighbors have emerald green lawns and the grass gets long enough to mow. They must water at night; I never see or hear sprinklers during the day.
It is hard to smell the fires and feel the heat and to have any glimmer of hope that mankind will stop burning fossil fuels and start cleaning up the air and water. Yet we know that humans are very good at adapting. (Read Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.)
When you see the word “disruption,” think of rising sea levels, storms that occur more often and that are more severe. Think of mass extinction, climate refugees and water shortages. Rising sea levels and massive fires.
It is probably too late to reverse global warming, but it’s never too late to stop making it worse
Some insurance companies will no longer provide homeowners insurance in areas where there are a lot of floods or fires. The availability of homeowners insurance and the cost have a direct impact on the cost of housing.