Behavior & Culture

A Real Estate Project Designed To Create Climate Change Awareness

December 11, 2015
climate change

The COP21 conference last week in Paris made it clear that climate change is real. When it comes to global warming,  we are past the point of successfully solving it. Instead, as people, we are going to have to adapt to it and learn to live in a world has higher temperatures and drastic shifts in weather.

While many are now looking at how to solve for less drastic outcomes, there are some looking to cash in on the environmentally inevitable. Case and point, real estate group Higher Tides Realty.  Higher Tides touts that they want to “turn the tide on global warming,”  but that statement doesn’t mean “turn the tides” in the sense that it helps solve the problem. The company aims to help homeowners and buyers capitalize on regions of the country with will become desirable places to live and work with rising temperatures and drastic weather changes.

As I writer, I was shocked to find a business model based on the negative environmental issues – I sadistically also saw the genius in it as well. So I dug deeper and found that the company isn’t really what it seemed. In fact, the whole group was fake. In an interview, Nikolas Gregory of the Nikolas Gregory Studio, explained the purpose of Higher Tides Realty project. 

What did you create High Tides? How does your service work?

Higher Tides Realty is in fact complete satire in order to spark conversation and action about global warming.  The company pretends to be a realty service which uses global warming as an advantage in the real estate market.  We created Higher Tides Realty as an activist message to prompt people to realize the impending effects of climate change.  

It was launched in concert with the Paris Climate Summit. We’re a social design studio,  we strive to not only make projects that are critiques but also projects that can actively participate in our surroundings.  We design systems that not only critique our world’s problems but also aim to fix them. We spent the past year working on this project in particular.

Why message climate change through real estate?

Its message is for people to see the effects of global warming right at home and finally acknowledge the fact that this is a problem that we will all face no matter where you live.

How do you educate homebuyers to the effects of climate change? What are some of the results of this project?

We hope home buyers see Higher Tides Realty and are now considering the effects of climate change as a potential threat.  We know this was successful. Many people have contacted Higher Tides in order to have their property either looked at or sold as potential climate safe property.  Many people have also contacted us interested in purchasing real estate that is “climate change safe.”

Could a real estate selling concept like this become a real business model?

Definitely, many people contacted us for consultations and a few real estate agents even contacted us in order to apply for jobs!  This just goes to show that this was in fact an untapped market.

What steps will you take to help slow the progress of climate change?

We approve of the Paris Climate Summit.  What they are trying to accomplish is spectacular. But we feel that legislation alone cannot prevent global warming. It is people like you and me, that can really make the difference for climate change.

Does High Tides Realty have clients it’s working with? What are they like in terms of buyers?

We have no preliminary clients but many people have asked for their homes to either be reviewed or sold.  Many people have also asked for us to help them with purchasing new property that takes in account the effects of global warming.   This just shows that global warming is now on the minds of many and that people are more willing to acknowledge this problem and begin to take action in preventing global warming and its effects.

It’s clear that Gregory’s social awareness project is complete genius and has people talking. What do you think of this project? What’s more, do you think it’s ethically right for others to capitalize on global warming now and in the future as the evidence in Gregory’s experiment has shown support of?