by Linda Kaidan
Loss of GDP caused by climate change predicted to be widespread across US
Yesterday’s New York Times discussed damage to our economy likely to be caused by climate change. Herkimer County NY (see above map) is likely to have GDP growth of at least 5% per year rather than GDP decline. This is indicated by the dark green color on the map. Similar advantages of climate are shared by west Alaska, adjacent Hamilton County and Maine.
Climate Change DEMOGRAPHICS will transform herkimer
The Herkimer Post’s recent review of Herkimer’s soaring home sales strongly hints that retirees who might once have moved South are relocating to Central New York, and especially to conveniently-located Herkimer. Given increasingly refined and alarming climate change figures, this migration trend’s likely to accelerate.
There’s little residential construction in Herkimer and the supply of available housing is small. Competition for existing homes will become brisk. Buyers of vacation homes may also be turning their eyes from the sandy but imperiled Atlantic and Gulf beach communities north to the Mohawk Valley and Southern Adirondacks.
A critical mass of middle and upper-middle-class home buyers inevitably transform a community. Landlords either sell out or renovate properties to appeal to affluent newcomers. Empty storefronts become shops again. The police become responsive and the streets safe as criminals move on, no longer tolerated and unable to make a living. We saw this transformation happen in Boston’s Roxbury and Charlestown, and we’re seeing it begin here in Herkimer.
Promising new technologies can reduce greenhouse gas
This map projection of the future is likely to be optimistic–climate change becomes more erratic and costly every year. Yet there are many technologies that will help combat this devastating process. As our president continues to deny climate change, some technology innovators are filling the gap left by ineffectual governance.
Bill Gates is heading a $1 billion venture fund supporting development of clean energy technology, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Co-founders include Jeff Bezos and Richard Brandon. The goal of the fund is to build companies that will provide affordable emissions-free energy. Gates is personally investing $1 billion in startups and companies starting this year.
Climeworks, a new Swiss company hopes to extract 1% of worldwide CO2 from the atmosphere by 2025. Company founders Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher invented a Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology while students at ETH Zurich. They have lowered the cost of CO2 extraction from the air to less than $600 per ton. Climeworks envisions that they can create 250,000 plants by 2025.
Reducing greenhouse gases is essential to the planet’s survival, but blocking the sun may buy some time. Today there are over 375 operational nanosatellites in space, which may help us to find and improve climate change solutions. As the earth grows ever hotter, it makes sense to consider moving to those green places on the map which are the most sustainable to live in, places like Herkimer, NY.