Call me stupid if you like, but I believe that climate change is real.
I could be wrong of course (and Mr Trump and Mr Lawson right) but somehow I have more faith in the scientists, They are pretty unanimous about it.
But if the scientists are right, we may have already gone past the point where we can stop irreversible change and are in for big hikes in temperature.
Which in turn means sea rises. Quite big sea rises.
Which means that in about 50 years time the current housing crisis could look in retrospect like a golden age of housing plenty.
What areas are at risk?
From what I have read recently it looks as if Asia is most at risk, so you should thank your lucky stars you don’t live in Shanghai. (Although I suppose Chinese displaced by flooding will have the ghost cities to move to).
However, parts of our country are also at risk, particularly Lincolnshire. So if you followed the suggestion in my previous post to relocate to another part of the country, I would advise somewhere with a high altitude. Birmingham maybe or Cumbria.
If you want to learn the worst, here is a map which will show the areas liable to be flooded, for different sea level rises.
I live in Norwich and it looks as if we are reasonably safe for up to 20m rise but probably not much more.
The top level of rise shown by the map is 60m when most of the east coast will go, apart from the high parts of Yorkshire which will turn into an island. However, even a 5m rise will wipe out large parts of Lincolnshire and the fens.
London is also at risk, particularly the Thames valley. However, it seems that developers are still continuing to build on our flood plains – despite the obvious risks. Which is madness.
So what can we do?
Architects to the rescue
There are several firms which are specialising in floating homes. Many of you will have seen the Grant Designs program where an ‘amphibious house’ was built on an island in the Thames. The architects discuss it here. A quick look at their website shows that they have several other similar projects.
One of the problems of the fens going underwater is that they are an important farming area, and no doubt in 100 years or so (if climate change is real) vast tracts of farmland will lie under the waves.
A legal issue
One interesting point, if floating homes become common, is – will it be possible for them to be tenancies?
Bearing in mind that under the current law, boats are not capable of being rented as tenancies as they are not ‘land’ – not even if they are attached to the shore and would fall apart if moved.
Indeed, if the ‘amphibious house’ on the Thames were rented out – would that be a tenancy or not? After all, it is a floating structure supported by posts above a concrete dock. It’s not really part of the land.
If floating homes become the norm, we may need a change in the law to deal with this.
If you are considering moving, consider moving to higher ground. Avoid Lincolnshire and probably most places on the East Coast. If that is impossible, consider a getting holiday home in somewhere like the Peak district.
If you are looking to invest in a buy to let property, avoid properties on the floodplain at all costs as they may end up being uninsurable.
Keep an open mind. And if you are in a position to help the development of floating architecture, do so. It could form an important part of our future.