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NeroTulip


Total Posts: 997
Joined: May 2004
 
Posted: 2016-11-25 06:31
Not sure if we can discuss this topic without getting political, but I'd like to give it a try. If it goes wrong we can always nuke the thread...

I am thinking about finding locations for land or property that may benefit from climate change. At the very least, one can avoid places with increased risk of floods (e.g. Miami), or droughts (e.g. California). More interesting would be to identify where cities and farms might relocate, and to buy land in these areas. I don't know anybody doing that kind of analysis, and I find it difficult to get a clear picture of what may happen with sea levels, desertification, extreme weather, etc... Not even sure if these are the right factors to look at.

Do you know any good sources (research reports, webpages, universities, conferences, etc) that I could use?

Another interesting angle is insurance. I suppose a lot of the risk (flooding, extreme weather) ends up with reinsurers or packaged in cat bonds. What are the big exposures and who's going to get whacked if the climate changes faster than anticipated? Possibly some forum members are involved in that area.

Lastly, I tend to believe that climate models under-estimate the risk because they do not account for several positive feedback loops, but if someone has some solid arguments that it's all a hoax, sure, I'm happy to hear that too.

"Earth: some bacteria and basic life forms, no sign of intelligent life" (Message from a type III civilization probe sent to the solar system circa 2016)

EspressoLover


Total Posts: 240
Joined: Jan 2015
 
Posted: 2016-11-25 08:26
What about geo-engineering? I'm pretty sure a desperate world would at least try stratospheric sulfate aerosols. It's cheap and simple enough to be within the capability of even a single mid-size nation acting unilaterally. Then, if you get unpredictable catastrophic side effects from global dimming, the Rochester/Miami pairs trade could runaway in the opposite direction.

Cheng


Total Posts: 2836
Joined: Feb 2005
 
Posted: 2016-11-25 08:52
A few lines of thought:

Some (today) barren areas might experience more (future) rainfall. Which might be beneficial in the medium term but in the short term you risk erosion since the soil probably cannot store enough wetness.

Climate change also means more extreme weather. I.e. expect more and stronger hurricanes for example. A trade idea would be to buy Florida property cat insurance for example.

"He's man, he's a kid / Wanna bang with you / Headbanging man" (Grave Digger, Headbanging Man)

NeroTulip


Total Posts: 997
Joined: May 2004
 
Posted: 2016-11-25 09:43
Can you buy florida property insurance without owning the property? This isn't the CDS market AFAIK.

"Earth: some bacteria and basic life forms, no sign of intelligent life" (Message from a type III civilization probe sent to the solar system circa 2016)

goldorak


Total Posts: 991
Joined: Nov 2004
 
Posted: 2016-11-25 10:24
Start an apocalyptic sectarian church. You, as grand priest, collect the monthly fees. Try to predict a final apocalypse every 5 years with some relation to carbono-centric holy cycles. Backfire effect will ensure you get stable revenues.

More seriously, if (and I should capitalize this if) politico-funding-addict academics are indeed even 20% right (do not ask me to define what being 20% right means...), civilization as we know it... is phucked. I would just spend that money while it is still mine. The great global confiscation of 2036 is nearer than you think.

More seriously, I would dig deeper in more worrying things than just the stupid "global warming" trend out there. Ocean's acidification is probably more important to humanity. Target fisheries, or at a macro level economies depending on fishing (think South Africa where government has de facto encouraged fishing as an economical activity to take people out of poverty).

And finally, just being pragmatic, your best bet will probably to sell ammos for food.



If you are not living on the edge you are taking up too much space.

Maggette


Total Posts: 964
Joined: Jun 2007
 
Posted: 2016-11-25 11:17
That is an interesting topic. I lack the science skills and the time to muddle through all the research, but the vast majority of scientists seem to agree that we have a problem.

The sceptics I guess are from 3 different camps:
1) There is no global warming (I think that is utter bullshit, I do not need atmospheric science for this. Time series analysis is enough)
2)It is getting warmer, but there always has been cycles. Humans are in large parts not responsible for it.
3) 1) and 2) are wrong, but
3a) There are more pressing issues. The money and effort is better spent elsewhere.
3b) Scientists might be right but are overconfident regarding their predictive ability. Since we can't predict the system, we can't control the system.

I would consider myself somewhere between global warming alarmist and category 3b).IMHO that is way to fuzzy to base any decisions on if you surrnder to the complexity

And I think that is the major problem. Climate itself is tough or even impossible to predict. Especially long term. The effects on the ecosystem are even harder to predict. So I have IMHO no solid model that I could use for decision making.

This problem (lack of long term predictability for long term planing) is something that bugges me a lot in the last couple of years and my current situation.

At the moment I try to keep flexibility (financially,no long term contracts) and diversify (skillsets for the job, investments,learn several languages...) and a good chunk of liquidity.

As wee all know optionality, insurrace,diversification and liquidity cost money and time and might in hindsight be sub-optimal.


Ich kam hierher und sah dich und deine Leute lächeln, und sagte mir: Maggette, scheiss auf den small talk, lass lieber deine Fäuste sprechen...

Cheng


Total Posts: 2836
Joined: Feb 2005
 
Posted: 2016-11-25 11:21
@Nero: I haven't looked at it, but afaik there is a decent amount of cat bonds linked to that risk floating around.

"He's man, he's a kid / Wanna bang with you / Headbanging man" (Grave Digger, Headbanging Man)

ronin


Total Posts: 216
Joined: May 2006
 
Posted: 2016-11-25 12:18
@nero,

This reminded me of Janus and its ETFs betting on people getting older and fatter - baskets of companies in healthcare, clothing, mobility aids etc. So I suppose a climate change ETF is just a matter of time. But these haven't exactly set the world on fire just yet. People think they like long term investments, but some things are just too long term.

For climate change, at a first stab I would go with civil engineering - a fair amount of infrastructure and housing would need rebuilding.



"People say nothing's impossible, but I do nothing every day" --Winnie The Pooh

rod


Total Posts: 375
Joined: Nov 2006
 
Posted: 2016-11-25 12:22
ronin: "... a fair amount of infrastructure and housing would need rebuilding"

And making all that cement, smelting all that iron ore, transporting raw materials around, etc requires massive amounts of energy.

I guess that burning coal, lignite and peat would suddenly become very attractive, which would only amplify the climate problem.

Cheng


Total Posts: 2836
Joined: Feb 2005
 
Posted: 2016-11-25 13:39
If you want to read up a bit check Jeremy Grantham's writings at GMO. Not 100% climate change, but topics include loss of arable land, fertilizer (potassium and phosphate mainly) and metals. The scary thing is that he backs up his claims with a bunch of facts... so rather professional (and well researched imo) doom porn.

"He's man, he's a kid / Wanna bang with you / Headbanging man" (Grave Digger, Headbanging Man)

Tradenator


Total Posts: 1583
Joined: Sep 2006
 
Posted: 2016-11-25 15:12
I have always been a skeptic on this, thinking that the anthropogenic hypothesis is a bit too arrogant and gives humans too much power to influence nature. Being weak on facts, though, I did find the following book helpful: Physics of Climate

chiral3
Founding Member

Total Posts: 5011
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2016-11-25 15:51
The pub date is 1992. Do you think it is still relevant? If in 24 years they haven't advanced one of the most nascent research topics I can't imagine that bodes well.

Nonius is Satoshi Nakamoto. 物の哀れ

granchio


Total Posts: 1530
Joined: Apr 2004
 
Posted: 2016-11-25 16:40
Nero,
you probably found it already but the Imperial College has a institute on climate change funded by Jeremy Grantham - you can get on their newletter etc.

For what it's worth: I agree with you that it looks like the risk is being underestimated by current models because of those pesky feedback loops, though obviously this is getting a lot of attention right now thanks to the current arctic temperatures.

"Deserve got nothing to do with it" - Clint

Tradenator


Total Posts: 1583
Joined: Sep 2006
 
Posted: 2016-11-25 16:41
I view it as an intro to the underlying physics. Sure, one would expect the field to grow since then. Age can be a positive, though.

ronin


Total Posts: 216
Joined: May 2006
 
Posted: 2016-11-25 19:10
@rod,

So I guess builders, engineers and miners. Climate change ends up looking a lot like a vanilla emerging markets play.




"People say nothing's impossible, but I do nothing every day" --Winnie The Pooh

rftx713


Total Posts: 95
Joined: May 2016
 
Posted: 2016-11-25 21:21
>I have always been a skeptic on this, thinking that the anthropogenic hypothesis is a bit too arrogant and gives humans too much power to influence nature.

Could you elaborate on why you think it's a bit too arrogant? To me it seems a bit arrogant to think otherwise.

ryankennedyio


Total Posts: 12
Joined: Nov 2016
 
Posted: 2016-11-25 22:28
As humans we're accustomed to thinking of things relative to ourselves -- our lifespan is only a blink in the geological timeline, and we rely far too much on anecdotal data (such as hearing people always saying "oh the weather has been crazy the past few years").

This comic really illustrates how completely inaccurate it is to think like that. Sure, we have had ice-ages, and global fauna fortunately could evolve fast enough to maintain some really interesting bio-diversity. I doubt that will happen this time around.

I watched an Attenborough docco on the great barrier reef recently. He mentioned being there in the '50s when it was pretty much untouched and interviewed a lot of older local marine scientists who had spent their lives working with the reef. It was really sad. Some interesting work happening at a local university with regard to selective breeding of coral to try and speed up the evolutionary process to deal with higher ocean acidification and temperature levels.

katastrofa


Total Posts: 361
Joined: Jul 2008
 
Posted: 2016-11-26 12:23
IMHO the only way to avoid massive extinction of species would be to drastically reduce human population. Any takers?

Edit:

I used to worry about this stuff a lot, but now I just kind of accepted the inevitable. I prefer to be happy about things I can influence, e.g. that beavers are returning to England, than to get seriously depressed about things I can't do anything about (such as the habitat of polar bears and orangutans disappearing due to climate change and deforestation).

rod


Total Posts: 375
Joined: Nov 2006
 
Posted: 2016-11-26 12:25
Wouldn't droughts, floods, wars over fresh water resources or arable land all serve as a population control mechanism?

katastrofa


Total Posts: 361
Joined: Jul 2008
 
Posted: 2016-11-26 12:26
Hopefully.

rod


Total Posts: 375
Joined: Nov 2006
 
Posted: 2016-11-26 12:45
Hopefully? Why not invest in expanding the carrying capacity, instead?

Lake Victoria has an area of approximately 69,000 square kilometers. If the top layer, 1-meter wide, were removed, that would be 69 billion cubic meters of fresh water. If a pipeline were built across Kenya, arid regions of Ethiopia and Somalia could be irrigated. Yes, I know that silt is a problem.

If the whole Sahara were greened, its biosphere would store enough water that the damage caused by the melting ice caps would be attenuated.

In the 1970s, icebergs from Alaska were towed to Los Angeles. What if nuclear-powered icebreakers towed icebergs to lower latitudes, where they could be fragmented, melted and injected into a wide water-pipeline network?

Rivers could be partly diverted to prevent freshwater from being wasted when it mixes with saltwater.

katastrofa


Total Posts: 361
Joined: Jul 2008
 
Posted: 2016-11-26 13:23
Oh dear Lord.

No, we can't build a 2nd Earth to reduce the human population density.

And the Soviet Union tried turning rivers back to make desters arable. Didn't work too well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aral_Sea

rod


Total Posts: 375
Joined: Nov 2006
 
Posted: 2016-11-26 13:28
What about the American Southwest?

Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix weren't supposed to exist.

Would the Central Valley have produced as much without water from the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers?

katastrofa


Total Posts: 361
Joined: Jul 2008
 
Posted: 2016-11-26 15:54
They made a movie about it ("Chinatown").

jslade


Total Posts: 1093
Joined: Feb 2007
 
Posted: 2016-11-28 01:23
"I am thinking about finding locations for land or property that may benefit from climate change. "

What time scale are you thinking about? People have been kvetching about this for decades now, and there really hasn't been much in the way of visible effects, to the point that some piece of land becomes more or less desirable. Assuming you live a few more decades, it's a decent bet there still won't be any more visible effects; aka stuff that makes a piece of land more or less desirable. If you're thinking very long term, teaching your kids Russian and buying them land in Siberia seems like a decent hedge.

Personally I don't think changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere is a particularly good idea if it can be avoided, but I'm a lot more worried about the ocean than the atmosphere.

I don't believe anything that gets reported about this issue in the popular press. Everything else they publish is total rubbish, usually pooked out by a PR department somewhere: why should I believe them on this?

"Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious."
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