When will people really start thinking about climate change? When it starts to cost money in very direct and obvious ways?
The NY Times real estate section today responded to a question regarding planning for climate change (specifically sea level rise) when making real estate decisions: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/02/realestate/buying-real-estate-in-a-changing-climate.html?hp&_r=0. This is a great start. And while it's unfortunate for all those folks who are going to be selling their places along the eastern seaboard sand dunes, it's worth considering if you're contemplating a 30+ year investment. Insurance rates will likely change as the likelihood of a major flood continues to increase, for example.
I know we thought about the risks associated with natural disasters buying our new place. SE Alaska is actually rising, so sea level isn't one of them, but rising oceans are certainly a major concern on most coasts.