For Profit: The New Climate Safe Villages

The rich and upper-middle classes will grab them — the poor will die.

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A collage of advertisements for climate-safe villages. Own artwork.

Two incidents come to mind. The first was a Florida community that withstood the hurricane hell of Rhonda, and the second was one house standing in the midst of the recent Maui fire. In both instances, the homes were built in a way to withstand the coming climate disasters.

The community is located 30 miles inland to avoid coastal storm surges. Power lines to homes are all run underground, where they are shielded from high winds. Giant retaining ponds surround the development to protect houses from flooding. As a backup, streets are designed to absorb floodwaters and spare the houses. Source

“I think it’s a combination of a commercial-grade corrugated metal roof, the stone [area] around the house, the palms around the house that absorb the heat — and a lot of divine intervention,” he said. “We removed five layers of asphalt that were on the roof,” Millikin said. When the new metal roof was installed, he added, it included an air pocket to allow heat to dissipate. At the ground level, they removed all vegetation along the house’s dripline and added a stone buffer — a step taken to thwart not fires, but termites. Source

Climate-safe villages

As weather and climate disasters become more frequent, builders, contractors, and investors will see increasing opportunities to provide ‘safe’ villages for those wishing to survive the worst of climate change. These villages will be designed in the following way.

  • They will be built away from any sort of river, lake, or sea/ocean as a prevention against flooding.
  • The homes will be surrounded by cobble stones or terra cotta brick to ensure that water sinks into the ground and fire cannot take hold.
  • Roofs are constructed with tin or some other metal. This means that embers falling onto the roof will not catch alight.
  • Fire resistant trees that are away from the home, but which provide enough greenery so that the community does not look barren. Of course, fire resistant greenery does eventually burn, but it is a sufficient barrier to slow down fire.
  • Water sprinklers are installed throughout the property, so that if fire threatens, they can be activated.
  • There is no grass in the community. Instead, vertical gardens with berries and other vegetables are mounted on walls that are purposely built for that purpose. These walls also provide shades and barriers against flood water.
  • The community is built at a slight slant so that water always runs down. At the bottom, a small distance from the estate/village, an empty, large pit is constructed around the village. This serves as both a fire prevention tactic and as a reservoir for rain water.
  • Power lines are underground to prevent them blowing down during hurricanes and/or causing fires.
  • Communities are supplied with both wind turbines and solar panels are sources of electricity.
  • There is a large community center which has an electric generator in case all else fails. It also acts as an entertainment area with a library, computer systems, a gym, and a kitchen. School children can spend entertaining hours in the hobby and craft section. There is also a swimming pool for use by the community.
  • In order to enable smaller homes which conserve energy, areas are designed to provide laundry facilities and ‘for hire’ items like vacuum cleaners, power tools, 3D printers, and more. In other words, rather than each home duplicating items which are not in constant use, the community shares.
  • The village has a small market where fruit and vegetables from the vertical gardens are sold. In addition, there is a small farmyard area where chickens are kept for eggs and goats are kept for milk. Rather than grass, there is natural ground cover, compatible and indigenous to the area. As the climate changes, indigenous plants might not be suitable anymore.
  • Bicycle lanes interweave throughout the village/estate, but ultimately lead to the road which connects to towns or cities.
  • A private bus system runs in the morning, at lunch time, and late afternoon/early evening for those who do not have vehicles.

The rich and the upper-middle will make them fashionable and expensive

The media will focus on these climate safe estates and make them highly desirable. Common statements during dinner parties will be akin to:

  • I see John and Mary bought at Danes. Very nice community. All the right families, and they’re quite close to a good school for their kids.
  • Did you hear that Rockingford is investing in building a new safe village outside Boston? Build time is five years and the waiting list is already quite long. I’m thinking of putting my name down.
  • The Rarified Estate has a bottom-dollar two bed going for a mere $1.5 million. One has to make room for those that cannot afford the price of a safe house, of course. Peter Humblepie is such a good man. I hear that he cut the profit on those homes to a mere 20%.

The emptying of coastal properties

Increasingly, coastal properties will not sell. The rich will leave them, unable to find buyers, and many will, over time, be destroyed by hurricanes and downpours in areas where those events are atypical.

Never having had the opportunity to find cheap shelter, the homeless and the forgotten will move in but have the intelligence to move out when there are warnings about storms. There will be many court cases demanding that squatters leave, but while the elite might win in principle, in practice, the police will be too busy in other areas to pay attention to the whims of the rich.

Prices of property will being to drop in high risk areas. Some areas will empty out to the extent that they are ghost towns. Of course, there are always entrepreneurs, and sooner or later, someone will come along where homes are one foot under water, present them as island homes, build a second story, and provide a small boat for inhabitants to get around.

My point is simply that there will be much new adjustment, and what the rich leave behind, the rest will reinvent. Necessity is the mother of invention.

Needless to say, the early adopters are already partaking of climate-safe village communities.

Amid the dynamic landscape of our changing climate, absolute safety cannot be guaranteed. Nevertheless, the ClimateSafe Villages initiative promises a beacon of hope. Its purpose is to equip individuals and families with significant resilience, fostering a sustainable living environment that can be scaled up to communities throughout the world. As we navigate the trials of the climate crisis, this initiative is our collective pledge towards a cohesive and more sustainable future. By prioritizing self-sufficiency, adopting green technologies, and fostering a supportive community culture, we help develop the resources and skills necessary to prepare for and adapt to change and move ahead in the spirit of progress. Source

In Indonesia, government is looking at building climate-safe villages. Source

For the rest of us!

As I have written previously, we all need to prepare for what is coming. Our best bet is to get together with others who share the same view, combine resources and skills, and find a place where we can rebuild and prepare.

This might mean simply moving to a new neighborhood (some places will be safer than others) and making preparation for the kind of weather events that will become common everywhere, but which were never part of that particular climate zone before.

In other words, savvy people will take a peep at how climate-safe villages are built, and then they will begin to apply those principles in the areas they are either living in or are relocating to.

It isn’t too soon to start.

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