RI Real Estate Values – Embraced by the Long Arms of China’s Carbon Emissions


It’s hard to conceptualize the local effects of large scale international troubles.  But the effect of faraway happenings oftentimes play into and directly influence our everyday lives right here in Rhode Island. Ignoring the bigger problems of the world may even be leaving you with a devalued investment property right here in Rhode Island.


Pollution: From China to your South County Vacation Home

China’s economic boom has had its adverse effects. No country currently emits more carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere than China, but while the news has recently highlighted the adverse health effects this is causing in Beijing, less attention has been directed towards the adverse effects China’s pollution is having on the United States and the rest of the world. Riding the North Pacific Jet Stream, it takes only five days for China’s emissions and dust particles to reach the West Coast. Studies have shown for years now that emissions from East Asia significantly impact the air arriving in North America, directly affecting the West Coast’s weather patterns and ground level pollution. So while emissions levels are on the decrease here and in Europe, the increasing levels coming from East Asia are still a problem. Not only is this affecting the rainwater that sustains both people on the west coast and California’s gargantuan food industry that feeds the rest of the nation, its’ adverse effects will become increasing evident throughout the nation.


How Carbon Emissions are affecting your Real Estate in Rhode Island

Climate change isn’t coming to the Ocean State, it is already here. Do you live on a Flood Plain? The recent increased levels of flooding are a testament to the changing global climate. But even more prevalent at present; did your home suffer damage during Hurricane Sandy or Nemo?

Think of carbon emissions as the “steroids” that makes storms like Sandy and Nemo greater and more powerful than they would be without the increased levels of gases. Protective dunes have been wiped out. Future storms are likely to hit even harder as the effects of climate change increase the effects of storms like Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina.

The National Flood Insurance Program has already reacted by commencing the removal of second home subsidies on homes that do not meet current policy regulations. This means that in order to hold onto flood insurance, coastal vacation home owners will be subject to full-risk rates, and keeping insurance will force many homes in southern RI to have to go up on stilts. For those homeowners who incurred damage during Sandy, keep this in mind: even if you build to minimum insurance regulation standards today, you will still be subject to significant rate increases upon remapping if your flood risk changes in the future.

The meaning here is clear – the ripple effect of air pollution affects everyone, and it could be effecting your property values right now. We can’t afford to ignore it.

By Rita Danielle Steele