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Zane Selvans

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I'm a geoscientist and co-op nerd in Boulder, CO. I work on creating affordable housing cooperatives and supplying them with food through a local bulk food buying cooperative. My day job is shutting down coal plants with data using Python as part of a worker co-op.

Also I love bikes and dense, walkable cities.

I'm part of these orgs:

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like how does _that_ sales pitch go, exactly?

"yeah, listen, we've added a new feature - we're gonna do you a one shot ad post on a fringe social network full of gay space communists, people who identify strongly with cartoon animals, and programmers who are weirdly intense about ideological shit that we're not entirely sure is even real. oh yeah, and did i mention the sex professionals? that's been big lately."

cc: @yourgreenpal21

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We've been so busy that we totally haven't celebrated our 300,000 post!! :D

Many older environmental groups were created to *stop* things from getting built. The big question facing Sierra Club & others today is “What do you do when building something produces an environmental good?”

If the state & local Clubs won't fight for building dense, livable economically accessible, low-carbon, mixed-use cities, they become at best irrelevant & at worst an enemy of climate action, engaged in predatory delay alongside Shell & the Kochs.

Unsurprisingly, it seems like whether this is worthwhile will depend on our discount rates and risk tolerance. As with climate mitigation, a low discount rate & risk tolerance will encourage/enable climate adaptation investments.

Which reminds me of this thing I wrote a while ago.

Knowing when & how much sea level rise is going to happen seems important in the valuation of these coastal urban places. Can you trickle money into retrofitting an amphibious city? Or does it have to happen up front? Do we have appropriate financing mechanisms?

Thinking about the value of land/location vs. improvements in the context of sea level rise & sunk costs/stranded assets. Negative locational value may not wipe out a city, if the residual value of the improvements is high enough. If so, what happens?

And across all the papers Alden owns, is there a correlation between how liberal/conservative the voice paper is, and how hard it gets squeezed? Are there any other interesting variables that correlate obviously?

It's like they realized anyone who still had a subscription to the paper was probably going to stay subscribed no matter what, and with one paper in town that gave them monopoly pricing power. So they were like, hey let's squeeze what we can out of this while it's still around.

Are there any reader/journalist owned multi-stakeholder cooperatives out there? Anywhere on Earth? It seems like a thing that should exist by now.

The vulture equity firm that owns the @DailyCamera@Twitter.Com refused to run this editorial criticizing the excessive extraction of profits from the newspaper, leading to its hollowing out. The editorial page editor of the paper posted it here instead:

Finally finished The Water Will Come, and wrote up some thoughts... It feels like the start of a difficult conversation about our situation, which is great.

The conversation that is, not our situation.

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co-op inter-disciplinarian, consultant, enthusiast. i'm a part of collective seeds consulting co-op, manage the MSU student housing co-op, and serve on too many boards. i'm interested in the relationships between ownership, control, and community (particularly housing).

Complicating all of this, thanks to an overly entitled wealthy coastal enclave in Florida, a judicial precedent has now been set that makes governments liable for *not* maintaining vulnerable infrastructure which should never have been built, or which ought to be abandoned based on what we know now. (PDF)

And that’s how we end up with the gray-market real estate of the Intertidal. Nobody owns it, and it’s technically worthless, but the crumbling infrastructure has residual value to folks with few other options. Like the little old ladies living in the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

And if the public were going to buy out threatened properties to reduce overall risks, and the need to expend public money protecting those properties… what’s the right price? In the long run, those property values are going to zero.

And then on top of all that, there’s the fact that you can’t own property that’s below the mean high tide line. What happens when it moves?

But if they *require* appropriate levels of insurance from the private market (above the subsidized cap) then those premiums get capitalized into the property value, driving it down, *also* eroding the value of the collateral.

The value just isn’t there.

Meanwhile, property tax revenues — a major source of funding to help with mitigation of & adaptation to sea level rise — will get wiped out by declining property values.

Banks are starting to notice that flood insurance doesn’t cover the whole value of the properties they’re using as collateral. When they stop offering 30yr fixed mortgages on under-insured properties, property values will crater.

More at-risk, low-lying locations will lose value, or appreciate more slowly. The affordability will attract or concentrate lower income, vulnerable populations with the least financial capacity to deal with the coming loss.

Subsidized government flood insurance is wildly underpriced. Pricing it appropriately would capitalize future losses into present day property values, popping the bubble. It’s political suicide to make the predictable future losses visible in the present.

I've been reading's book The Water Will Come and Kim Stanley Robinson's New York 2140 at the same time, and it's a trip. It's almost like they collaborated on the two books. (Also: lots of co-ops in NY 2140)

The deep entanglement of sea level rise & land value appreciation as a primary means of economic "growth" is going to get messy, and fast.