Climate Change

I had the opportunity recently to interview a number of folks who are interested in housing issues. I asked some of them whether they expected climate change to impact housing trends. Most went to the topic of home energy efficiency. A couple mentioned access to transportation. No one mentioned the possibility that policy changes could make rural living much more expensive and/or could drive down the value of rural property and single family homes. When combined with an aging population and shrinking family sizes, energy cost increases could dramatically shift the housing industry. I believe the whole needs to be taken into account. Shifting away from fossil fuels is doable, but it needs to be done within the existing and likely future social context. From this frame of view, the Rural Resilience and Adaptation and Just Transitions subcommittees which are established by the Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act are, in my opinion, the most critical components of the legislation that will hopefully be passed by both chambers and sent on to the Governor.

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