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The Seattle TBG Team was well represented at the Seattle Reverse Trade Show this last Wednesday. Senior Resource Economist Amy and Senior Data Scientist Brandon (seen below) had some great conversations regarding resilience with local representatives from Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Office of Economic Development, WSDOT, Seattle DOT Equity & Economic Inclusion, and the Port of Seattle, among others. Even Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell was in attendance!
This week's edition of the Economic Perspective features articles on climate change's effect on insurance rates, revenues after tax and air taxis in Florida, and the benefits of ending Daylight Savings, all topped off with a data visualization of the most recent Antarctic ozone hole. Hope you enjoy the read and let us know what you think! Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be interested. If you'd like to view previous editions please click here, or to subscribe please click here!
Have a great weekend!
United Nations Environment Program Selects Seattle as "Role Model City"
The City of Seattle has been selected as one of 19 cities (and only U.S. City) to join the UNEP Generation Restoration Project, with the goal of restoring nature’s rightful place in urban areas. As a “role model city,” Seattle will join 18 other cities across the globe to discuss best practices to advance urban habitat, including sharing urban forest restoration efforts such as the Green Seattle Partnership, who Balmoral Group volunteered with this last summer. Seattle’s “Emerald City” status is world renowned, with its parks and recreation system encompassing 500 parks and 6,000 acres. Ecosystem restoration is key to avoiding global climate catastrophe, with these efforts supporting vast co-benefits such as climate mitigation, food security, health, and biodiversity. Read more here.
Climate Change is Driving Insurance rates Up, Forcing Developers to Add Weather-Proofing
With increased risk of natural disasters, mainly flooding, developers are already changing construction methods to make buildings weather-proof for the future. A 2018 study by FM Global found that every dollar spent on hurricane protection, a building will lower its loss exposure by $105. Climate insurance is also on the rise as it is no longer a luxury but a necessity for many areas. Construction methods can help reduce insurance premiums as an Urban Land Institute study showed that Floridians saved themselves $500,000 in annual insurance premiums from integrated hurricane-proof windows. Read More.
First Ever Florida Air Taxi Flight to Be Held in Tampa
Tampa International Airport is set to host the first-ever "air taxi" flight in Florida, in collaboration with Volocopter. The test, taking place this Thursday, marks a milestone in urban air mobility (UAM), offering efficient and sustainable short to medium-range flights within cities. The certified eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft aims to reduce congestion and lower the aviation industry's carbon footprint. The test flight is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Sheltair Aviation TPA on Jim Walter Boulevard, with the presence of local officials, including the mayors of St. Petersburg and Tampa. Read more about it here.
Florida Tax Collections Top Expectations
In the September monthly revenue report, the Legislature’s Office of Economic & Demographic Research indicated that net general revenue was $3.98 billion (5.7% higher than they forecasted the prior month). The gains came mostly from three sources: higher sales taxes, corporate income taxes and earnings on investments. However, the report showed that the personal saving rate continues being low. In September it was 3.4% (below the expected 4%) and it was the lowest in eight months. Florida Trend
Farmers Find Bright Side as Daylight Savings Ends
A recent study by Venture Smart highlights that while the end of Daylight Saving Time (DST) presents challenges for farmers due to decreased daylight, agriculture is one of the job sectors that benefit most from this change. The study ranks agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting as the sixth highest industry among 12 sectors benefiting from the end of DST. The analysis is based on the proportion of night shift workers in agriculture, which is 2.9%, who receive an extra hour's pay. However, the effects of DST on agriculture are mixed, as it disrupts farm workers' routines and has a historical lack of popularity among farmers. Efforts to make DST permanent have faced political obstacles for many years. Read the full article here.
Data Visualization of the Week
NOAA and NASA Researchers Rank 2023 Ozone Hole as 12th Largest on Record
A study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently found that the 2023 Antarctic ozone hole reached a size of 10 million square miles, which ranks as the 12th largest since 1979. Ozone depletion occurs when ozone-depleting chemicals rise into the stratosphere and destroy ozone molecules. NASA researchers deemed it a very modest ozone hole and reported that ozone levels had improved slightly this year. NOAA and NASA researchers constantly monitor the ozone layer over the South Pole and globally using various instruments aboard several different satellites. Annual maximums have been tracked since 1979. Read more here.