Trump’s proposed NOAA cuts would disarm our coasts in the face of rising seas, scientists say
And there's more
The U.S. is about to lose a trillion dollars in coastal property values
As I’ve written for years, values will will start dropping before we hit a few feet of sea level rise. They will crash when a large fraction of the financial community — mortgage bankers and opinion-makers, along with a smaller but substantial fraction of the public — realize that it is too late for us to stop catastrophic sea level rise.
Sean Becketti, the chief economist for mortgage giant Freddie Mac, warned nearly a year ago this scenario is coming faster than expected. “Some residents will cash out early and suffer minimal losses. Others will not be so lucky,” Becketti said.
The country is facing a trillion-dollar bubble in coastal property values, a time bomb which has been inflated by U.S. taxpayers in the form of the National Flood Insurance Program. A 2014 Reuters analysis of this “slow-motion disaster” explained that there is nearly $1.25 trillion in coastal property being covered at below-market rates..
So if you own or invest in coastal property, or insure coastal property, or write 30-year mortgages for such property, it seems pretty clear that the bursting of the coastal property bubble is closer than you might have thought.
South Miami mayor Philip Stoddard has warned that “coastal mortgages are growing into as big a bubble as the housing market of 2007.” He points out that when this bubble crashes it will never recover, but prices will continue to drop as sea levels and storm surges get higher and higher.
All signs suggest the administration is going to let the bubble burst — or even facilitate it. A leaked, draft White House budget document for NOAA zeroes out the $73-million Sea Grant program, which funds university-based research and “has been an outsized leader in coastal adaptation,” one scientist told Climate Central.