Keelan: Get that home mortgage now, before climate change mandates kick in

Anyone who’s endured the myriad of issues that come with closing on a home mortgage might want to get ready for the next wave of complexity and cost. And once again, climate change is the driver.

For starters, some of the world’s central banks are having their member banks look into the possible impact to existing loans if the forecasted climate change disastrous scenarios come to fruition: seashores underwater, fossil fuel over-dependency, adverse temperature changes, unacceptable levels of greenhouse gas emissions, and others.

Inevitably, the banking and mortgage finance industry will pass down to the homeowner its requirements for meeting new loan standards intended to mitigate the impact of climate change.

Don Keelan

Presently, a homeowner looking to obtain mortgage financing is required to provide numerous documentation items to secure and close a mortgage loan.

It is not unusual to produce a title insurance policy, survey, an inspection of the mortgaged property’s utilities, evidence of adherence to local zoning and other municipal ordinances, credit report (score), income and assets verification, appraisal, termite-free inspection (not an issue in Vermont), and proof of identification.

And here are the possible new requirements with which the homeowner will eventually have to contend: first, has the proposed mortgage property been fully weatherized? And if so, empirical evidence will need to be provided from a licensed weatherization expert.

If the house has not been weatherized, then a hold-back of a portion of the mortgage dollars will be necessary for the weatherization work to be done. Assuming, of course, that the mortgage closing is to take place.

The second criteria that will be mandated for a mortgage commitment is for a Level 2 electric charging station (this has already been mandated for new home construction) to be installed. This requirement, which could cost approximately $700, must happen before closing occurs, or funds will be held back until the installation is accomplished.

The third, and the most expensive and complex of the possible new requirements, will be replacing all fossil fuel heating, cooking, and clothes drying apparatus. The cost of this change might be mitigated if bio-fuels are adequate to replace No. 2 heating oil or natural and propane gas. If not, mortgage lenders will be pressured to insist that any mortgage loan have a provision to fund the replacement of existing fossil fuel equipment.

What is unique is that the change mandates will not come from the government, at least not for now, but from the banking industry. It is not unlike how large corporations are mandated to bring more diversity to their entities’ governance. The pressure is coming from influential investors and the NASDAQ stock exchange.

Nike, McDonald’s, and Starbucks, to name a few, now have their top echelon officers’ compensation tied to how well they perform in bringing diversity and inclusion to their executive leadership. Periodic reporting of such must be provided to the companies’ boards and shareholders.

And the influence of advocating for change is not solely outside of government. Here in Vermont, a member of the Vermont Climate Council’s subcommittee on Just Transitions noted the following in a May 29, 2021 Rutland Herald column, “As Vermont takes steps to adopt a clean energy economy, we need to ensure people aren’t losing their jobs in fossil fuels, but rather transitioning into different jobs — ideally union jobs.”

The author Danielle Bombardier goes on to say, “The state should pass card check legislation streamlining the process for employees to unionize their workplace. The state should also stipulate that any contractors performing work on green energy projects over 500kw are compensating their workers with the Vermont prevailing wage.”

Ms. Bombardier, in addition to being a VCC sub-committee member, is also secretary/treasurer of the Vermont AFL-CIO. Service on a state committee with a conflict of interest is no longer an issue in Vermont.

Now is the time to re-finance your existing mortgage or obtain a new one. Mandates will be coming not only from the government but from other sources.

Don Keelan writes a bi-weekly column and lives in Arlington, Vermont.

8 thoughts on “Keelan: Get that home mortgage now, before climate change mandates kick in

  1. When the time comes that you have to spend thousands to get a house ready to see, I suspect a lot of them will choose to burn down instead.

  2. Unfortunately, Don is right. The past performance of the legislature and “Boards” they create (to legislate) show us that the GWSA “Council” will enact some very non-sensical rules to be enforced by privately employed “inspectors”, with banks and mortgage companies as the enforcer.
    Whether you worship “climate change” or not, the actions of the legislature thru their enforcers create a mandate one must follow- even to escape from the People’s Republic of Vermont.

  3. Government may put itself into the position of pricing itself out of existence which would leave a vacuum.

  4. Catastrophic climate change is 100% pseudoscience, but it’ll be necessary to implement a great reset of all of society and all of economics in order for the planet to stay safe, according to the WEF and many other organizations. The fear of a planetary emergency will be used to install a global system of monitoring and managing everything, including people. We should never forget that according to many people in positions of power, Covid-19 was supposed to segue into a permanent reset wherein we’ll never go back to normal. Perhaps in Britain this is still the plan. (When Neil Young did a music video at the beginning of the pandemic about how great it was for the planet when we shut everything down, I’d sure like to know who paid him to do that.)

    As was mentioned in a comment here, Steve Koonin has argued against this and has a new book out, ‘Unsettled,’ which explains why. Koonin was the chairman of a working group at the American Physical Society to assess the state of the science of global warming, since the APS had issued warnings on global warming that many members objected to (it was far too alarmist.) So the APS got together three alarmist scientists and three skeptic scientists in a room with other physicists and they argued their points. One of the scientists there was skeptic John Christy, who presented a graph that showed model predictions along with observational data from three satellites and four weather balloon datasets. This graph demonstrated that the climate predictions didn’t match the real-world observations, since according to the atmospheric physics of catastrophic CO2 warming, we should see a “hot spot” at about 300 hPa (roughly nine miles up) in the tropical troposphere. It isn’t there, and the real-world data show what’s essentially a ‘normal’ atmosphere. Chiefly because of this graph– whose data is readily available and indisputable– Koonin went from believing that climate change was real to becoming skeptical of the science.

    The follow-up to this story is that scientists were quick to defend the hotspot so they wrote papers deriving it from such things as atmospheric wind speed. This is just hand-waving, since if the hotspot isn’t in the most direct data, why should it then be derivable from wind speed?

    The IPCC noted Christy’s data– sort of. It was buried in an appendix and the graphs were distorted so badly as to be unreadable, whereas Christy’s graph was crystal clear. Is this “science”? Or is this Lysenkoism?

    This is the science that makes the Great Reset necessary: the entire justification for the reset rests on the notion that if we don’t do it, the planet is doomed. But it’s not real science, and the reset isn’t necessary. If we don’t stop this pseudoscience it’ll be used to bludgeon us into submission.

  5. Tucker Carlson just had an expert on Fox Nation today, Steven Koonlin who explains for one hour that no one really knows where we are at scientifically with climate change and the majority of scientists are not admitting this reality for a variety of reasons, none of them good and most of them shocking. He claims it is a very complicated issue and weather events are not a result of anything mankind is doing. That is a complete fabrication. He assured that Biden and the administration, John Kerry etc. have never read the science on climate change for anyone who has and understands the science would not be pushing for the green new deal.

  6. “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, …”

    • We have only those rights which we are willing to assert, practice and defend.

      The current socialist trend in Vermont has so reduced the numbers of those so willing that the influence of soap box and ballot box may soon be replaced by the cartridge box, pine pitch, and feathers.

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