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Posted: 01 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am

Last winter saw the term "polar vortex" become the new hash tag of the moment. When I spun off into the net zone for a minute to come up with definitions, the coolest had to be "circumpolar whirl." The theory goes that we have damaged the fragile atmosphere through such high levels of greenhouse gas emissions, and by cutting down and destroying such vast tracts of forest that the earth is now angry. This angst is being manifested in the changing of traditional weather patterns and the inevitable truth that the planet is doomed.

Of course, we are all trying to figure out earth time, much like dog years or how to count those rings on trees.

How long is left? No one knows except for Justin Beiber and he's not talking. He made a deal with the devil for fame and fortune.

However, even facing every disaster and misfortune known to man, there will always be those looking for an upside. We've heard "Mexican's talking about turning deserts into vineyards, Nepalese planning beach resorts, but the real money is in capturing the upside in the real estate markets.

So how do you do make the most with an ever -decreasing timeline? One approach could be to go maritime and invest in an ark or perhaps even an upscale luxury houseboat for when the final day of reckoning comes and the globe is immersed underwater.

Then there's the times hare and fractional ownership options, which mean you can opt for lower price points and keep your geographical options open, in which case smaller is often better. At the other end of the scale you could buy high-end and high-up, so you can look down in protected corn fort on the inevitable flood and chaos.

Since the global financial meltdown I've been religiously thumping on about Asia's rise and proclaiming the ''East as the new West". But it might soon be time to consider the North or South Pole as an investment option.

Height restrictions and gross floor areas are not even an issue there, and you will soon have land as far as the eye can see. Once we get rid of those pesky penguins, work can start on an 18-hole Ryan Seacreast designed golf course (God knows he does everything else). Perhaps put the penguins on caddy duty, they seem willing to work for tips.

In the old days, tales of swamplands being sold in Florida sounded awful, until they eventually turned to gold once South Beach became trendy. In the cycle of existence, it seems real estate, like death and taxes, remains a given in this life, and maybe even the next.

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