4th of 5 parts on climate change and real estate
A Reality-Based World
Polling reveals that Americans have begun to accept as scientific fact that human activity is dangerously affecting the climate (Rasmussen, Quinnipiac, Yale, National Wildlife Federation). Denial is heard
overnight shipping from some quarters, of course, but after each major storm, it rings more hollow. When people see New Jersey homes washed away, when lower Manhattan is under water for the second time in as many years, it’s hard to persuade them that nothing is happening. Public opinion now emerging on climate change will move politics and the economy.
Going forward, Americans will accept, actually demand, more federal regulation on environmental matters. We will participate in international treaties. We will ask the federal government not only to perform disaster relief, but swallowing hard, we’ll ask it to pay forward hundreds of billions of dollars for a modern, defensible infrastructure and a habitable climate. Sandy will not be our last reminder that price these concerns are existential, that government must take aggressive and far-reaching action.
We’ll continue to hear arguments against so-called job-killing regulation and wasteful spending, against the very notion that climate change is real. But those arguments will lose, because
science brings a compelling case against them, because storm-losses cost us more in jobs and money than regulation does, because new green industry and technology are likely generators of worthwhile employment, and
mainly because Americans premature ejaculation don’t want to write off the environment — particularly young voters who are deciding their party affiliation right now for the rest of their lives.
Greening of Real Estate
The public is becoming more concerned about a climatological crisis. Politics are changing before our eyes. Mitt Romney held a bake sale to help with Hurricane Sandy, while
Chris Christie embraced a big proactive government response. Romney lost his election decisively; Christie has become the most popular Republican in the country. Insofar as environmental matters are concerned, the era of small government is over. Real estate owners need to consider the implications.
Energy use in real estate is high — 41% of our national energy consumption in commercial and residential buildings (heating, cooling, lighting, hot water, kitchen and laundry
uses, equipment and electronics). Development choices influence gasoline consumption as well. Making buildings and neighborhoods more efficient is one of the most important goals of conservation. This is where real estate investment must either
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lead or fail.
Part 4 of 5
Part 1: HURRICANE SANDY … AND 2016
Part 2: POLITICAL CLIMATE CHANGE
Part 3: THE SMART MONEY IS ON SCIENCE
Part 5: THE MEANING OF GREENING