Survival Business: Global Warming Business Ideas Edition

By Jamie McSloy / July 24, 2018

In this article, we’re going to test how many of you have been paying attention to my musings, and how many of you understand where I’m coming from when I talk about business building, using your brain and potentially taking on the task of preparing for the end of the world.

And we’re going to do it with an interactive game/thought experiment.

I’m of the opinion people should build real businesses, prepare for the future and whatever else that flies in the face of the guru stuff.

Here’s a great example to get your brain working, and we’re going to use the potential end of the world.

Global Warming Business Ideas

I saw this map on Twitter earlier:


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Various science boffins have projected that we could see a global temperature rise of 4 Degrees Celsius within 100 years… or sometime. Different scientists predict different things.

But let’s say within your working life, (So a career of 35-40 years plus some investing time minus whatever you’ve already eaten into that,) there’ll be dramatic shifts with a forecast for more.

And let’s ignore the super doom-and-gloomers that say we’re going to enter into a plankton death mass-extinction within ten years and we have no hope of surviving.

I mean, that might be true, but honestly… there’s nothing you can do about that.

Let’s assume also that global warming isn’t a tool being used by scientists and The Clinton Clan in order to discredit your favourite politician of the moment.

Let’s just assume the rules as presented by the picture above.

Four Degrees Celsius means that much of the world is uninhabitable, some of it becomes inhabitable, there’s a massive die-off inevitably and we assume Canada gets a taste of US Imperial Freedom.

In other news, the Netherlands doesn’t exist and I live slightly closer to a village by the sea.

Let’s assume that’s a general forecast for the next fifty years or so.

What do you do?

Your Livelihood And Your Survival Are Intertwined

This is why I occasionally go into wacko survivalist territory with my posts, despite being ostensibly a business blog. Also, I recommend the brain stuff for the same reason.

We live in times of peace and prosperity. There are issues which you’ll see on Twitter and everyone’s got the sky is falling down bug. And that’s not to paint a rosy picture: There are massive, real issues that the world faces now and people don’t have it easy.

But honestly, we could have had nuclear Armageddon or we could be in a state of perpetual warfare ala the World Wars or a more global version of the various land grabs following them.

So we live in our green fields and pleasant pastures for now… and because of that we can’t see that our livelihood is our survival. Our business – be that an actual business or career – has the potential to kill us or keep us alive.

And so we come to our game.

A large percentage of you will look at that and see the irredeemable fact that in the global warming scenario, vast swathes of the world are ruined and uninhabitable. And you’ll see bloodshed, destruction and extinction.

And it’s tempting to give up.

Luckily and for now, this is just a game.

But the reality is this: it’s a game you can win. Think like a sneaky fox, and you can see plenty of opportunities to come out ahead in the game.

Global Warming Business: How To Thrive In An Apocalypse

So the game is this: Look at that future forecast and name some business ideas that you could do.

To make it more fun, take these scenarios:

  • You start as you, right now, with your current skills and capital
  • You start with an unspecified amount of capital, and go full dreamer mode
  • We start with the most apocalyptic version of this scenario – you lose everything and have to survive solely on the skills you have available, starting from nowhere and having to travel to get to somewhere habitable

Now, I’ll leave it there because there are tons of permutations for you various folks that read this blog.

For instance, some of you are American, and the future in our picture isn’t looking too rosy for America itself. This is a disadvantage when you compare to our readers in the UK or Eastern Europe.

I don’t want to spoil the game by giving my ideas, but here are a few obvious ones.

Obvious Apocalypse Business Ideas

From our map, we can see the obvious and pressing things will be:

  • Safe passage to unaffected countries
  • Border patrols
  • The invasion of Canada and Siberia by everyone

But we’ll look outside of those dystopian businesses where gangsters and the military will thrive most. (I’m personally not a gangster nor in the military.)

Let’s assume you’ve made it safely to a country where you can live in relative security and the rules operate slightly similarly to the world we live in, but budget isn’t a concern for your business:

  • Water catchment
  • Renewable energy in the first world
  • Agriculture

Assuming you live in the West:

  • Manufacturing
  • Any cheap products that are necessary and currently come from China
  • Any alternatives to modern living that aren’t energy intensive (e.g. bicycles as opposed to cars)

Assuming you live in the now inhabitable North East:

  • Real estate
  • Any sort of development


  • What the map is calling “reforestation” but will actually be geoengineering to restore uninhabitable environments to the point where they can be used.
  • Possibly population density issues, but that’s a somewhat optimistic view of humanity.

So those are guidelines, and maybe the oligarchs among you have your plan sorted from the above list.

For the rest of us though, the work is a little harder: you’re probably not going to get in on Siberian real estate investment if you’re a guy from rural America with no particular skills, connections or leverage.

What are you going to do?

Final Thoughts: This Isn’t The Scenario

This is just a game, maybe.

And mostly it’s to give me an article when I could’ve just tweeted, “Hey, what will you do if this happens?”

But it’s how you think of business, your skills, your survival and your family’s survival that I want you to think about.

Because it’s easy enough to jump on the various bandwagons but there are real issues and solutions in the world.

Also, this sort of thing is fun, and you’ll find plenty of real world opportunities in taking a few minutes to play this game.

And if the global temperature does rise a couple of degrees in the next twenty years and you do the game, this is probably the most valuable article you’ll ever read.

By the way… some suggest that this temporary spike in temperature is indicative of a correction before a major ice age. So if you really love this game, play it in reverse.

Who knows… you might get a winning idea and possibly secure your family’s existence in an apocalyptic world.

P.S. In the event of 4 degree global warming, The Island meetups will probably be in Iceland, Scotland, and if we’re feeling in the exotic mood, New Zealand & Canada.

The show must go on.