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Want to know the dirty little secret that may cause many Republicans to believe in climate change? The secret is: there’s lots money to be made. Indeed, climate change a/k/a global warming could unleash economic opportunities on par with the Agricultural Revolution, the Industrial Revolution and the Information Revolution that kicked into high gear with the Internet. Here are some ways in which capitalists may capitalize on climate change:

Construction: Figuring out how to waterproof homes and businesses against flood damage could be a massive business breakthrough.

Real estate: Developers and home buyers may add a fourth “location” to the adage “location, location and location.” That fourth “location” is “location away from flood zones.” Demand and property values could change significantly for homes and businesses located in flood danger zones. Likewise, officials and owners will need to make strategic decisions about locating schools, hospitals, power plants and other essential facilities in such areas.

Insurance: If it’s not already the case, home insurance companies may increasingly treat homeowners in coastal areas the way health insurance companies treat would-be customers who smoke, are overweight and who have preexisting health conditions: they’ll charge such homeowners much more for insurance, and they might deny coverage altogether if permitted to do so.

Furniture and appliances: A whole new industry could explode in manufacturing waterproof home furnishings, wall coverings and appliances, so that residents hit by the next hurricane won’t have to throw away all the contents of their homes.

Landscaping: Landscape architects may spend lots of time and energy developing and marketing landscape designs for homes that are primarily geared toward drainage and other flood control rather than pure aesthetics.

Electronics: Businesses that develop methods to protect electronics in homes, businesses, subway systems and power plants, including the electrical grid itself, against freshwater and seawater flooding and corrosion could find themselves in great demand.

Portable clean energy: Hurricane Sandy showed the devastating effects of being without electricity for hot showers, heating, cooking, communications, pumping gasoline, etc. Technologies such as portable solar power are being sold right now that could provide some of those needs without relying on the electrical grid.

Disaster services: Companies that manufacture portable generators, port-a-potties, dry foods, temporary shelters and other products that are deployed on the ground during disasters may see demand for their products and services skyrocket after Hurricane Sandy and other recent natural disasters such as 2011′s Hurricane Irene. Indeed, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) doles out many contracts to private businesses involved in disaster relief.

Don’t forget politics

Note that the potential business developments listed above could be more in demand if nothing is done on climate change and we have more frequent, more severe storms as a result. Indeed, former Republican Florida Governor John E. “Jeb” Bush announced over a year ago that he was forming a for-profit disaster response company. Author Naomi Klein, in her book “The Shock Doctrine,” calls this type of mentality “disaster capitalism.” A key question, therefore, will be whether there are financial and political incentives for Republicans and conservatives to embrace the idea of climate change and to join others in a kind of liberal Shock Doctrine to try to tackle it with government involvement. Financially, there may be opportunities in computer and other technology that predicts and measures the effects of climate change, as well as the danger that providing disaster relief products and services might be impossible if the effects of unchecked climate change are too great. Politically, the prospect of millions of voters, sick and tired of more frequent and more intense storms killing their loved ones and destroying their property, demanding solutions from their politicians may provide some of these incentives.

There may be some Republicans and conservatives who, for ideological or financial reasons (i.e., they’re in the pockets of the fossil fuel companies), will deny climate change even if they and their families find themselves knee-deep in its effects. For many others, however, the combination of compelling science and money-making opportunities may forge an unusual and large coalition of people who recognize that climate change has arrived, and that only focusing on after-the-fact solutions may be insufficient.

[Originally posted at Messaging Matters]

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is the exact argument that will move thinking (3+ / 0-)

    on climate change.  There's billions to be made in this whole area, which extends from carbon credits and into conservation and resource management tools that emphasize efficiency.

    Howard Dean will always be my president.

    by 4democracy on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 05:18:31 PM PST

  •  Green tech (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, Catskill Julie

    and new solutions to old problems are always potential money makers. We have to radically change the way we do things, the businesses who come up with the ways that we can change will prosper.


    It's all out there and we need to work together to make it better.

    "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

    by high uintas on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 05:19:14 PM PST

    •  Yes, we need to change our lifestyles and no (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas

      politician will admit that, yet. We need to conserve resources and stop wasting them. We need to move away from a fossil fuel economy. Mostly we have stop consuming energy, resources, products. they way we are now doing. Stop waste.

      Can you find a business model for this? It doesn't matter because if we do not willing plan to change, change will be forced upon us by the climate and by nature.

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 05:48:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We see up close - how limited gasoline (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, high uintas, Catskill Julie

    powered generators are when 4 of NYC's boroughs - which are all on islands.  Lots of people on LI will be looking for a solar backup generator, not a gasoline one.

    In some communities out there, they are building fires in the street at night, to cook on, to have a place to be warm together.

    OccupySandy's main hub in the Rockaways started with a solar powered generator from Green Peace.

    OccupySandy - Amazon registry or St. Jacobi Church

    Direct donations are possible - you can know what every dollar you gave was spent on.

    A beautiful example of what's needed at the "front line" in Hurricane/Flood/Wild-fire relief and recovery.  

    a.    A local community center in Far Rockaway (The YANA Center) opened a week before the storm managed to bring in a solar generator truck from Green Peace.

    b.    An Occupy Sandy volunteer asked if they had space available to operate a kitchen and serve as a distribution hub for food/water and other supplies as well as to coordinate people coming out to just work on clean-up.

    c.    On Saturday, Nov 3, the National Guard dropped by, with two truckloads of food and water asking Occupy Sandy volunteers to distribute to those in need...

    Advice needed for new diarist.  Given that it’s Nov 5th, I assume my Occupy Sandy donation diary will be bumped off the list very quickly.  I’m going to plug it for a while, as a comment in every diary that mentions Sandy.  If that is against Daily Kos rules, please tell me and I’ll stop.
    •  Please do not stop posting this valuable info. (3+ / 0-)

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 05:51:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you - I hope to keep it going through (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas, Catskill Julie, Agathena

        the week.

        •  Yes, please do. And here is info I got today (0+ / 0-)

          from NY Senator Liz Krueger
          Dear Friends,

          While my district is back to relative normalcy, much of our City and region are still dealing with emergency needs and long-term rebuilding efforts.

          We will continue to send out Post Sandy Updates with the most relevant information available until there is nothing new to report. The updates below contain information on school re-openings and relocations, mass transportation updates, information for those who are still without heat, volunteer opportunities, and donation needs.

          Many schools are reopening, Con Ed has restored electrical power in Manhattan, but some buildings remain unpowered due to on-site equipment damage, and many Manhattanites are still without heat. Life is nowhere near back to normal – but eventually we’ll get there.

          Crises test us as a government, as individuals and as neighbors. The commitment and response to helping others has been resounding. But we must also recognize we have a very long checklist of improvements that need to be made in emergency preparedness, so this doesn’t happen again.

          It will take months for some residential and commercial buildings to be fully functional, and some communities need to be completely rebuilt. Please have patience with your government and with each other as things continue to go wrong, and remember tens of thousands of people in our City have lost their homes for an extended time to come.


          NYC Public Schools
          The vast majority of NYC public schools are reopening today and will be on operating normal schedule. However, students from some schools across the City will be temporarily relocated because their school buildings experienced significant flood damage, still have no power, or are still operating as emergency shelter sites. Students attending schools that will be temporarily relocated will not return to school until Wednesday, November 7th.

          While all of the schools in my Senate district are opening on Monday, November 5 a few School District 2 schools are unable to open. A full list of the schools that are being relocated, details on where impacted students are to report on Wednesday, and information on transportation for impacted students and staff is available on the Department of Education's website at

          Update on Power Restoration
          Con Edison restored power to all of Manhattan over the weekend. However many residents, primarily in the Lower East Side and along the East River, are still living without electricity because the storm flooded their buildings' basements or damaged electrical equipment. Power will not be restored to these residents until repairs are made by building owners.

          Additionally, some Manhattan residents dependent on steam still do not have heat or hot water because the steam plant which serves their area is not yet operational. As temperatures continue to drop, this is a significant concern and efforts are being made to bring in emergency generators and heaters. The City has opened daytime warming centers for residents living in impacted buildings. A full list of these centers is available at Additionally, residents living without heat are welcome at the City's emergency storm shelters. The City is running buses to take people to shelters if they need a place to stay warm overnight. The bus pickups are listed here:

          Residents still without power should report this to Con Edison via its website at or by calling 1-800-752-6633. Updates on the status of power restoration efforts throughout the region are available at:

          Transit Update
          The MTA has made substantial progress restoring subway, bus, and suburban rail service throughout the City and the region. A few subway lines are still not running, or are operating on only portions of their normal routes, due to flooded tunnels and/or signal problems. See the MTA's website for the latest information.

          A map of the subways in operation is available at

          57th Street Update

          The process to secure the tower crane has been completed, and all residents may return to their homes. However, some residents had their gas and steam cut, and may have limited service for a few days.

          The Department of Sanitation is collecting garbage. However, they are not currently collecting recycling. In addition from their normal pickups they are also removing thousands of tons of debris left by the storm.

          While the majority of parks were opened over the weekend, a few remain closed for safety reasons. Details are available at
          <!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]-->


          Bellevue Hospital and NYU Medical Center will remain closed until further notice. Families of patients can call 311 or 212-423-7272 to find out status of patients who were transferred.
          <!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]-->

          Another enormous thank-you to everyone who reached out to my office about volunteering. Your work has made a huge difference in the lives of New Yorkers during this extremely difficult time.

          There are many government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and elected officials' offices that are seeking volunteers for other relief work around the City. Please see my website or for the latest details on where volunteers and donations are needed.

          Blood Donations Still Needed
          Blood supplies were critically affected by the storm, as the same outages that affect our region also affect many donation sites. The New York Blood Center's Upper East Side location at 310 East 67th Street is open and operating, and if you can, please consider donating blood. Blood donations can be scheduled by calling 1-800-933-2566 or visiting
          <!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]-->

          Emergency Storm Shelters
          New York City is continuing to operate shelters throughout the city until evacuees can return to their homes or find short-term housing. Residents of all ages and their pets are welcome.

          The full list of shelters is available at:

          In Manhattan, the storm shelter located at John Jay College (445 West 59th Street) is operating as a special medical shelter with medical personnel and equipment.

          Food, Water & Blanket Distribution Sites

          New York City currently has 12 distribution sites set up in the hardest-hit areas of the city. Food, water, blankets, baby formula, diapers, batteries, and other supplies are available at all sites. No one who shows up for food and water will be turned away. The details of these sites, including the exact locations and hours of operation, can be found here:

          Disaster Assistance Resources

          New York State has established an Emergency Assistance Hotline: 1-855-NYS-SANDY (1-855-697-7263).

          The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released a statement listing the type of federal aid available for New Yorkers. The full list of federal aid is available at You can start the disaster assistance application process by either registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

          The Small Business Administration has comprehensive disaster recovery services, available in some cases for business owners and non-owners alike. Renters and homeowners, a group that includes most sole proprietors, can borrow up to $40,000 for repairs and to replace things like appliances, furniture, automobiles, and clothing. People who own homes can apply for as much as $200,000 for repairs to their primary residences. Business owners, whether private or not-for-profit, whose organizations are damaged in a designated disaster area, can apply for loans up to $2 million for real property, machinery and other equipment, fixtures, and leasehold improvements. The loans can be used for both uninsured and underinsured damages. You can also apply for a disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration at or in person at any Disaster Recovery Center. Call 800-659-2955 or email to find your nearest location.

          The New York City Department of Small Business Services and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) are coordinating a set of services to assist small businesses in recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Details are available at

          The EDC is also working to connect impacted businesses with those offering free goods and services. Information is available at:

          Disaster Unemployment Assistance
          Federal disaster unemployment assistance is now available to all New Yorkers who lost their jobs as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Anyone unemployed due to Hurricane Sandy is immediately eligible and can submit a claim to the New York State Department of Labor. The criterion for collecting disaster assistance is broader than for collecting regular unemployment benefits. Please visit for details.

          To apply for unemployment benefits or disaster unemployment assistance, residents can all the NYS Department of Labor’s Telephone Claims Center at 888-209-8124, or 877-358-5306 if they live out of state. Applicants should answer the questions to indicate they lost their job due to Hurricane Sandy. In order to receive benefits you must apply by December 3, 2012.

          Additional Benefits for Food Stamp Recipients
          New York State has received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to replace food lost by recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, commonly known as “food stamps”, in areas hardest hit by the storm. Food stamp recipients will automatically be issued a 50 percent bonus of their monthly benefits to replace food lost starting this week. Recipients in these areas also will be able to purchase hot and prepared foods with their benefits.

          The City of New York helped identify 77 eligible zip codes for the State’s waiver request. Beginning this week, recipients of SNAP benefits in those 77 zip codes and in Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan and Westchester counties, will automatically have 50 percent of their October monthly SNAP benefit amount deposited in their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) accounts. A complete list of zip codes in New York City that are included can be found at Additional zip codes in New York City that experienced extended power loss may be added as more details about the number of households affected becomes available.

          Other current SNAP recipient households that have lost food purchased with SNAP benefits due to Hurricane Sandy are also entitled to replacement benefits. The loss must be reported by Wednesday, November 28, 2012, and the household must return a signed and completed form, found at, by close of business on Monday, December 10, 2012. The form is also available at local department of social services offices. To find your local department of social services, visit, or call 800-342-3009.

          Legal Assistance for Residents Impacted by the Storm

          The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) has launched a new Storm Relief Effort to help New York City residents. They are placing their staff at disaster relief centers, community-based organizations, and hospitals. Their attorneys and volunteers will be onsite to provide legal advice to victims dealing with issues including FEMA claims, housing disputes, consumer matters and emergency public benefits. Those seeking immediate assistance with legal issues can call their new hotline at 212-584-3365 or email at For more info you can also visit:

          NYLAG is looking for attorneys to help them secure the legal rights of the storm victims. To volunteer to provide pro bono legal assistance, please email

          The which is a collaboration of the American Bar Association, the Legal Services Corporation, and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, has a comprehensive list of the legal and financial benefits available to residents impacted by the storm.

          Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

          by Catskill Julie on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 06:26:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Please don't post general Sandy info here (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            As valuable as that info is, this post is specifically about money-making opportunities likely to bring more people into the climate change fold. General info about help with the effects of Sandy is off-topic and thus thread hijacking. I hope you'll post the info. elsewhere and you may feel free to let us know where, since again, it is valuable.

            •  Sorry about thread-jacking your post : ( (0+ / 0-)
            •  Money-making opportunities were in that post (0+ / 0-)
              The Small Business Administration has comprehensive disaster recovery services, available in some cases for business owners and non-owners alike. Renters and homeowners, a group that includes most sole proprietors, can borrow up to $40,000 for repairs and to replace things like appliances, furniture, automobiles, and clothing. People who own homes can apply for as much as $200,000 for repairs to their primary residences. Business owners, whether private or not-for-profit, whose organizations are damaged in a designated disaster area, can apply for loans up to $2 million for real property, machinery and other equipment, fixtures, and leasehold improvements. The loans can be used for both uninsured and underinsured damages. You can also apply for a disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration at or in person at any Disaster Recovery Center. Call 800-659-2955 or email to find your nearest location.
              It's not off-topic in the real world.

              ❧To thine ownself be true

              by Agathena on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 09:51:59 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Pls consider reposting your comment as a diary (0+ / 0-)
  •  There was one report of a gallery in Chelsea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, high uintas

    that used a low tech option as their last idea as they left before the storm.

    Electrical tape around the window and door.  There was only 1 foot of water inside the gallery and the outside water mark was at 4 feet.

    Now that was a storm surge that receded fairly rapidly, but that low tech idea is an example of new materials and products that could be simple and cheap, and have wide-spread applications.

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