Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Actions speak louder than calls to action

The much discussed climate change documentary An Inconvenient Truth came out in 2006, and with it, the image of NYC underwater due to climate change made its way into the global warming discussion.

That was almost seven years ago, and in this era of property market depression, NYC property prices have still at least managed some ebbs and flows (as opposed to just a straight drop).

One might ask: If people truly believed that NYC was due to be underwater in the near term, wouldn't you expect them to rent, or to perhaps buy in less flood-likely areas like Westchester or White Plains?

The US did not sign onto programs like the Kyoto Protocol, so there has been a perception that the rest of the world is working on climate change while Americans continue to plunge their heads in the sand. Strange then that there continue to be so many foreign (presumably climate change aware) buyers of NYC real estate.

And these sales are not due to crazy bargain prices. NYC real estate remains among the highest priced real estate in the country. If we assume everyone really believes in a potentially waterlogged Manhattan in the near future, why haven't property prices fallen like a broken elevator?

Perhaps the public's level of belief in the consequences of climate change aren't as deep as the headlines would have us think. Actions speak louder than calls to action. What you do is what you believe.



 

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