My climate haven search story

Plus: time to take your head out of the sand & parenting through the pandemic

Hi folks -

Some big changes coming in my life. The first I want to tell you about is a new project I’ve been working on for a few weeks (or, you might say, years): Climate Haven Real Estate. It’s a place to help you find, buy, and invest in climate resilient property.

So far there’s not much there, but hey: I’m building in public. I’ve published two posts so far: My Story, and What is a Climate Haven? The first is an introduction to why I started looking for my New Hampshire home and what I learned in the process.

The second is my answer to a question that I have not seen answered anywhere else. Most discussion of climate havens remains very limited, amounting to pointing in the direction of some large Great Lakes cities or to particular regions or countries. I argue we need a much broader concept of a climate haven.

I hope you’ll check it out. And if you’re thinking about a climate haven property yourself, feel free to reach out. I’d love to talk.

🥶 Texas, time to take your head out of the sand

Last week when I mentioned the disaster in Texas, I totally dodged the politics of the situation, instead extolling the virtues of a good old fashioned wood stove. Thing is, I don’t really approve of dodging the politics — so I’m going to rectify that now.

Republicans blamed renewable energy (patently wrong), and Democrats pointed to Texas’ independent grid (mostly right), which couldn’t draw extra electricity from neighboring states when it really needed to. Texas’ hubristic penchant for going its own way, “Republic of Texas” style is what caused this failure… right?

Well, weather caused this failure. It’s important to remember that, and think about the implications. Our entire infrastructure, from buildings to gas lines, has been designed for the weather of the past. What we need to prepare for is the weather of the future.

Sure, Texas should probably tie itself to the grid, and Republican politicians should take their heads out of their ass and think about how they might actually use their position in government to help their own constituents (as opposed to, say, waging endless culture war). But Texas has also been a world leader in wind energy, and energy independence on its own is not that bad of an idea. I’ve personally driven through many of Texas’ endless wind farms. I think they’re gorgeous, and we need more of them.

The real problem, as I see it, is that nearly everyone (not just the GOP) has their head in the sand. For me, my “head in the sand” moment was back in 2018 — see “My Story” linked above. What amazes me is that so many people can live through natural disasters and just expect that, well, since they got through that one, everything is ok now.

No! That’s wrong!!!

What you need to do is to prepare for a future when disasters are the norm, because they are fast-becoming the norm. The disasters will keep coming, and they will be unpredictable. It’s time to take your head out of the sand, whether you live in Texas, or anywhere else, and start thinking about what you need to change to prepare for that future.

📖 Paul Millerd on The Soul of the Creator Economy

My Twitter friend and former podcast guest Paul Millerd’s latest essay on the Soul of The Creator Economy is highly recommended.

Paul is consistently thinking long and deep about what the future of work and the creator economy might look like, and this essay is an attempt to actually shape what it might look like:

For the creator economy to be something more than creating a new uber-elite of rich independent creatives, it needs to ground itself in a culture of creativity, generosity, and mentorship. It will require current creators (including myself) to contemplate important questions:

  • Are we going to reward people based on their existing social capital and connections or actively search for people creating things in interesting ways?

  • Are we going to optimize over making the most money as possible or are we going to use money to fuel a long-term creative journey?

  • Are we going to scale our own operations infinitely or hit pause along the way to bring others along with us, regardless of their background?

  • How can we gift money to other creators without expecting a “return on investment”?

Unless people start getting serious about developing a different kind of culture that goes beyond the default competitiveness and more is better ethic of the rest of the working world the creator economy risks becoming seen as a money grab for the credentialed elite.

Definitely follow Paul’s work for more on those subjects.

✈️ When will things be like they were? (Or, parenting through the pandemic, late winter edition)

This week I picked my son up from school and on the way back he asked me when things would go back to being like they were.

He didn’t ask it quite like that — it came out more in a kind of convoluted 10-year-old way. For him, the pandemic means masks and no indoor playdates. Maybe he just wanted to have sleepovers with his friends again, or maybe he, like me, was looking ahead to hoped for Summer travel plans.

Last Summer, we’d planned to take the family to Italy, where our primary activities would have been eating our way through Naples’ pizza scene and visiting Pompeii. All of us, kids and grownups, had been looking forward to it.

I told him what I feel like was the truth: COVID is always going to be with us, so we can’t really go back to like it was before. Coronavirus is going to become like the other flus, that we go get shots for every year, maybe a little more dangerous, a little more unpredictable. And we’ll probably all be wearing masks for a long time in certain situations.

But also: a better Summer is coming. I have hope we will travel, I have hope we will be able to see our friends again. The warm weather is coming, and more vaccine is coming. We’ll all be able to spend more time with our friends outside again, and it’ll get better.

That’s what I told him. It’s going to get better. Soon.