The point is clearest in his discussion of how climate change may impact the price of Russian real estate:
This is a classic statement of linear reasoning about the impact of climate change: Russia's problem is that it's too cold; ergo, in a hotter world, Russia becomes a nicer place. It's also a dramatically wrong conclusion.
Russia! For generations poets have bemoaned this realm as cursed by enormous, foreboding, harsh Siberia. What if the region in question were instead enormous, temperate, inviting Siberia? Climate change could place Russia in possession of the largest new region of pristine, exploitable land since the sailing ships of Europe first spied the shores of what would be called North America. The snows of Siberia cover soils that have never been depleted by controlled agriculture. What’s more, beneath Siberia’s snow may lie geologic formations that hold vast deposits of fossil fuels, as well as mineral resources. When considering ratification of the Kyoto Protocol to regulate greenhouse gases, the Moscow government dragged its feet, though the treaty was worded to offer the Russians extensive favors. Why might this have happened? Perhaps because Russia might be much better off in a warming world: Warming’s benefits to Russia could exceed those to all other nations combined.
The main determinant of the price of real estate is whether the property is located in a place that is nice to live, to vacation, to extract resources, or to farm. A huge determining factor for that "niceness" is whether the place has effective and reliable vital systems -- e.g., energy generation and distribution; telecommunications; water supply; food production and distribution; public health; transportation systems (fuel supply, railway network, airports); and security services (police, military). All of these vital systems are liable to be put under severe stress by climate change. To determine which places are likely to win or lose as the climate changes, you need to start by figuring out the places that have the most resilient vital systems.
Although Russian elites may find it convenient, given their grand strategy of wielding influence by controlling global hydrocarbon supply, to tell themselves that a warmer Russia is a better Russia, the sad truth is that climate change is likely to be disastrous for the country, given the awful state of many of its vital systems. Food production and distribution is tenuous, public security is awful, and the health care system has already cratered. Do you really think a place like that is likely to be the site of a great property boom? Is a Siberian steppe which is again a malarial swamp going to be a good place to buy real estate? Is a place where the rich can't walk down the street without a bodyguard really going to replace St.Tropez as a destination of choice? Is a place where the aquifers have been destroyed likely to be the world's next great breadbasket?