Climate Craziness of the Week: Amusment park or Ecopolis?

I can see where something like this might work as a resort. But 250 million “climate refugees”? Really? From job-maldives.com where they are “celebrating three years of service”:

LILYPAD, A FLOATING ECOPOLIS FOR CLIMATICAL REFUGEES 2100, a large crowd of ecological refugees

Further to the anthropogenic activity, the climate warms up and the ocean level increases. According to the principle of Archimedes and contrary to preconceived notions, the melting of the arctic ice-floe will not change the rising of the water exactly as an ice cube melting in a glass of water does not make its level rise. However, there are two huge ice reservoirs that are not on the water and whose melting will transfer their volume towards the oceans, leading to their rising. It deals with the ice caps of Antarctic and Greenland on the one hand, and the continental glaciers on the other hand. Another reason of the ocean rising, that does not have anything to do with the ice melting is the water dilatation under the effect of the temperature.

According to the less alarming forecasts of the GIEC (Intergovernmental group on the evolution of the climate), the ocean level should rise from 20 to 90 cm during the 21st Century with a status quo by 50 cm (versus 10 cm in the 20th Century). The international scientific scene assets that a temperature elevation of 1°C will lead to a water rising of 1 meter. This increase of 1 m would bring ground losses emerged of approximately 0.05% in Uruguay, 1% in Egypt, 6% in the Netherlands, 17.5% in Bangladesh and up to 80% approximately in the atoll Majuro in Oceania (Marshall and Kiribati islands and step by step the Maldives islands).

If the first meter is not very funny with more than 50 million of people affected in the developing countries, the situation is worse with the second one. Countries like Vietnam, Egypt, Bangladesh, Guyana or Bahamas will see their most inhabited places swamped at each flood and their most fertile fields devastated by the invasion of salt water damaging the local ecosystems. New York, Bombay, Calcutta, Hô Chi Minh City, Shanghai, Miami, Lagos, Abidjan, Djakarta, Alexandria… not les that 250 million of climatic refugees and 9% of the GDP threatened if we not build protections related to such a threat. It is the demonstration inflicted to reluctant spirits by a climatological study of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) and that challenges our imagination of eco-conception!

Yeah, OK, thanks for sharing. Here’s the rest

H/t to Paul Ostergaard.

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73 thoughts on “Climate Craziness of the Week: Amusment park or Ecopolis?

  1. Based on doomsday predictions over the past half century, shouldn’t we be seeing a measurable quantity of doom and gloom coming to pass rather than being delayed?

  2. “If the first meter is not very funny with more than 50 million of people affected”
    40 million people a year move in the United States. 50 million people Globally needing to move to in the next 100 years doesn’t appear to be a problem to me. I’m sure the worlds moving companies will be able to cope.

  3. Something that large will have a big displacement and raise the sea level.
    Rule #1: You can’t do just one thing.

  4. I read it and thought, this sounds typically french. And indeed:
    Vincent Callebaut Architectures
    119, rue Manin (bâtiment D)
    75019 Paris
    France

  5. “The international scientific scene assets that a temperature elevation of 1°C will lead to a water rising of 1 meter.”
    Go scene. My mononational unscientific scene calls BS on that absolute correlation. Go me.

  6. Don’t these people see that Antartic ice is actually growing?
    No need to build that thing, just sent them to Antarctica.

  7. A floating city is not a bad idea, but notice how it can’t be expanded? Dumb design.
    And a few more questions:
    What about bad weather? How robust is this thing?
    How do you build and launch it?
    Is it self-sufficient?
    What is the power source?
    Where would fresh water come from?
    How about food?
    How many people can this thing support?
    How do you keep it from washing up on the rocks somewhere?
    Ideas that might make sense in a small application don’t necessarily scale up very well. I hope they build it. It would be very interesting to see how things works out.

  8. Surely the key point is that the change (if it occurs at all) will be gradual and predictable and will take place over four or five generations.
    If 250 million ‘climate refugees’ were suddenly to need housing and food and all the other amenities of life overnight tomorrow, then there would indeed be a catastrophe and the world’s support systems would find it difficult to cope. Real refugees often lose all their possessions and have to start completely anew.
    But even the worst case scenario does not speak to this sort of problem. Maybe, year by year, some parts of the tidal littoral become that little bit less inhabitable than they were ten or twenty years before. And maybe the young folks decide that their long term future lies elsewhere and the village or town or even city migrates a few miles inland. Or slowly dies away completely. Which might be sad from a sociological viewpoint and for the few remaiing inhabitants, but would not lead to the global crisis of so many scare stories.
    In the more developed world, its quite possibel to build sea walls a few feet bigger…the existing ones probably date back a hundred years or more and may already need a refit. In London, where I work. the recent trend of the City eastwards towards the sea might need to be reversed.
    But cities ave grown and changed shape and centres of population have changed throughout history. Sealevel rise would be another influencing factor. But not an insurmountable one, nor one to get too concerned about. A hundred years is a long time.

  9. I find it hard to believe there’s anyone dumb enough to spend time writing that garbage. Only insanity can explain it.

  10. Now there was I, all this time, believing that the local sea-level at the Maldives is actually going down – or the Maldives are rising just as any islands built from coral erosion.
    Silly Me
    Andy

  11. Interesting idea to relieve some wealthy people of their hard-earned money. I assume the domiciles would be extremely expensive, probably only the elite (those with money) need apply. Is this government subsidized? Sponsored? It looks like it has the potential to make some people quite a bit of money by capitalizing on their fantasies, just like any good amusement park.

  12. Did anybody else think, at first blush, that the photo was of one of those plastic devices that hold the “sanitizer” block in a urinal?

  13. Arcosanti meets Waterworld. After all, what could go wrong? I think they did this plot line in StarGate Atlantis.

  14. The Cancun shuffle.
    Now appearing at http://ourmaninsichuan.wordpress.com/
    There is the translation of the low carbon plot from China by Locusts.
    There is also the Norfolk Island personal carbon credit card scheme story by Blackswan.
    With more Cancun related fun added daily!
    Will the Cancun climate conference just be a holiday in the sun?
    Or is there a sinister reason for the shroud of silence?
    NoIdea

  15. I say this qualifies for climate craziness of the year! Lets see, 250 million refugees @ 50,000 per pad = 5,000 lily pads “moving from the equator to the poles” with flora and fauna magically adapted to all regions. If we just consider surface area for solar based food production (not including their solar panels), and each inhabitant used a mere 20m x 20m (66ft) each pad would be 20 square kilometres. Drop my estimate by half and this thing still has a diameter of over 2 miles! Sounds great, send me a postcard from the NW passage.

  16. I went to the beach last week. It was still there, where I recall it being for the past several decades.
    also:
    RayG says: November 15, 2010 at 11:27 am
    Did anybody else think, at first blush, that the photo was of one of those plastic devices that hold the “sanitizer” block in a urinal?
    —————————————————–
    It looked to me like somebody stomped on a window fan.

  17. This article does bring up a good point. A lot of the ice in the world is displacing water (as we all know 90% of a glacier is unde

  18. This article does bring up a good point. A lot of the world’s ice displaces water (as we all know 90% of a glacier is underwater, etc., etc.). Ice becomes denser as it melts, thus freeing up space and lowering sea levels. Even if ice that is above sea-level melts would cause the ice that it is sitting on to get lighter and to rise. This may or may not raise sea levels depending on how much denser the ice gets and how much the remaining ice rises. I don’t like to claim anything without empirical evidence, but this may sea levels rising a lot less than previously thought (assuming warming is real of coarse).

  19. Sorry if I interrupt your day dreaming activities, but, why to worry about the Maldives being flooded while YOU are going to be interred UNDER ICE the next winter, and that’s not a hundred years from now!

  20. If instead of pushing the pods as a refuge for climate refugees, they declared them as free market sanctuaries for refugee entrepreneurs they might be able to put together a decent business model.

  21. #
    Janice says:
    November 15, 2010 at 11:30 am
    “Arcosanti meets Waterworld. After all, what could go wrong?”
    That was what I was thinking. For thous who have not had a chance to see Arcosanti first hand, it looks like something built by drugged out hippies. One hit from a Cat 5 and this thing would become an eco-disaster.

  22. The best Hurricane prediction by Michael Mann:
    “ESSC director Dr. Michael Mann and graduate student Michael Kozar have recently released their prediction for the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from 1 June to 30 November. Mann and Kozar predict an extremely active season due to warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and projections of near-neutral or slightly cool ENSO conditions.”
    Trust at your own peril…

  23. DesertYote says:
    November 15, 2010 at 12:55 pm
    it looks like something built by drugged out hippies
    You got it buddy!, that’s what all Post Normal Science is all about: The consequences of a “stoned” generation. Hope the scarcities and poverty of today’s reality will produce a healthier generation.

  24. This is just another of those Soleri type arcologies. Not exactly a new concept (even if they hadn’t seen Waterworld) but quite popular sci-fi fodder (Bladerunner too). At first glance I thought we were talking Lando Calrisian stuff). The sort of utopian doodle a French architect will do while eating his lunchtime sandwiches.

  25. It is a rather elegant design. Isn’t it ironic that we can come up with solutions to save people who haven’t been born yet from problems that probably won’t materialize; yet living, breathing humans who face actual urgent problems (like earthquake victims in Haiti), get surplus tents and an early grave?

  26. I think this was A.C. Clarke’s or Larry Niven’s idea, although they may have borrowed it from someone.

  27. Can we get someone with geology 101 to do a post on what happens to river deltas and atolls with sea level rise, or are we going to have to take our lessons from French architects and WWF “experts”. Do most readers believe that the Mississippi and Ganges deltas were once sticking up out of the sea 150m before the last ice age melt? Do they also believe that the atolls were once rings with 150m cliff faces? Isn’t it fortunate then that the ice melted 12,000 years ago so the inhabitants could get down to the sea safely. I have posted on this topic several times – I haven’t time to do a post and I, though I know the principles involved, am not an expert on this particular topic. Please can we have a professor of quaternary geology do a post – it is interesting in itself as well as instructive what will happen if sea level rises (or falls). While we are waiting, ask yourself why every delta and atoll in the world is essentially at or near sealevel. Is this just coincidence or is something dynamic and self mitigating happening?

  28. Absolutly crazyness, 6% in the Netherlands, The Netherlands all already for a large part ‘under’ water. I live 2,5 metres below sea level. A country like The Netherlands is probaly beter prepared, because we already are capable.

  29. Oh my, another titanic pipe dream. This guys has never been close to saltwater for any length of time or he would know better.

  30. This is all about forecasted sea level rises.
    A typical example of an article on sea level rises is in last weekend’s International Herald Tribune.
    It is a full page spread, based seemingly centred upon the Helheim Glacier in South Eastern Greenland, which apparently if melting at an accelerating rate until a sea level rise of maybe 2 metres is reached.
    Have you, Anthony done any work on this one?

  31. RichieP
    November 15, 2010 at 1:35 pm
    ” … but quite popular sci-fi fodder …”
    Well maybe popular with socialist hack wannabe SF writers who are more interested in their sick political agenda then the science that is the S in SF. No serious SF writer would touch arcologies even with a remote controlled robot. They are a stupid idea that have almost no reasonable application.
    On the other hand, I does look like the lunchtime doodle of a French architect.

  32. “40 million people a year move in the United States.”
    Not true. There are about 37 million legal immigrants here with about 1 million new people each year. An estimated additional 500,000 per year from illegal immigration.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_the_United_States
    We only have about 300 million people total, so if 40 million more were coming each year, immigration would be a lot bigger issue than it already is.

  33. Funny:
    When the moon is in the Seventh House
    And Jupiter aligns with Mars
    Then peace will guide the planets
    And love will steer the stars
    This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
    The age of Aquarius
    Aquarius!
    Aquarius!….

    Lots of water to everybody!!

  34. Common Sense says:
    November 15, 2010 at 2:17 pm
    “40 million people a year move in the United States.”
    It says move “in” not move “to”.

  35. It looks like a fancy car wheel trim that has been run over a couple of times.
    SF writer Greg Egan did a story about a floating island from an Australian perspective.

  36. “”””” so supposably we have warmed 0.6 deg C in considerably less than the last 100 years; so the sea level must already have gone up 60 cm or two feet; totally wonderful, that that happened and I didn’t even notice. Or are they saying it goes up logarithmically with temperature or maybe it is exponential; well take your pick.

  37. Common Sense says:
    November 15, 2010 at 2:17 pm
    “40 million people a year move in the United States.”
    40 million people who already live in the United States move every year.
    I.E. People retire and move into a retirement community, people grow up and move away from Mom and Dad etc etc etc. People get a job and a house, lose their job and lose their house. In 2008 2.8 million households got foreclosure notices, that like what 10 million people who had to move for ‘financial reasons’.
    Point being, why are we worried about a few million people that may have to move in 100 years because of ‘high water’ when we have millions that have to move today due to ‘lack of economic opportunity’.

  38. Science fiction author Damon Knight’s CV:
    Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
    Publisher: Tor Books (March 1986)
    “CV is the story of one cruise on a very large ship, the Sea Venture (usually called CV, hence the title). This is a structure designed as a self-sustaining city, basically, but to make ends meet in this prototype stage it is also a cruise ship. This novel concerns a particularly dramatic cruise. The story…”

  39. Climate catastrophe or not wouldn’t you love to see that extrordinary thing floating around the oceans. I’m prepared to go alarmist if it’ll get one or two built.

  40. Anyone remember that fraud in the desert in Arizona a few years ago! Called Earth 1 or Eco 1 or something. Supposed to be a self-contained sealed habitat but it failed and they had to draw air and save the project but had to keep it hidden. They got caught.

  41. Anyone who believes the investment these things would take would be worth it either do not understand money (and there’s too many people like that), or they are the rich who also would pay $5000.00 a plate to sit at Al Gore’s table after his presentations.
    I think these pictures will help some people who believe in “manmade global warming” to come to their senses.

  42. When one considers the cost and difficulty of building and maintaining a floating city, the cost of building in near coastal desert and providing desalinization for a water supply pales by comparison.
    The floating cities are of a “Popular Science” article, a high school term paper (like the one I wrote about Gerald O’Neil space colonization and SPSS ideas — http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/06/the-lost-space/ ), or a Discovery Channel “Cities of the Future” special, but that about the extent of it.
    Civilization survives only aboard floating cities after a worldwide cataclysm… how novel. Oh wait, um 2012 or Roddenberry could use it as setting for Genesis II, erm, Planet Earth, erm, Strange New World, erm, Andromeda.
    Nothing to see here folk move along…

  43. Looks like Vincent (from the batiment D) takes too much spliff…
    [Think of your sentence and then spell check 8<) Robt]

  44. I wouldn’t ride though a storm in that thing,I nearly got swamped crewing a 72 foot sloop rig on the Columbia River bar-once, and never again. Do not volunteer to crew unless you check out the Captain’s/owner’s/crew’s credentials….
    Been out to sea after that, but knew who I was with and their ability…
    Sometimes you are safer in a small commercial troller/crabber in rough seas
    than is something that is big, hard to maneuver and incompetently run.
    This Lily Pad does not inspire confidence….

  45. Yeah, we’re going to be so short of land, that we’ll all have to live on big boat cities. Because, all those vast areas of the US, for instance, that have hardly anyone living in them… those will presumably all be under water will they?
    Utterly moronic.

  46. In the 1960-ties there was a somewhat off-balance high ranking civil servant in Holland who wrote a book detailing his encounters with the beings from outerspace (Wht him was never explained) during his sailing trips in the estuaries in the South of the country. According to his detailed reporting on what he claimed was their way of life on a home planet ravaged by devastating earthquakes was their solution: floating cities of a hundred thousand inhabitants each.
    He didn’t comment on how they solved the sewege problem.
    It seems to me that this idea is in the same category.

  47. Eric Dailey said on November 15, 2010 at 6:12 pm:

    Anyone remember that fraud in the desert in Arizona a few years ago! Called Earth 1 or Eco 1 or something. Supposed to be a self-contained sealed habitat but it failed and they had to draw air and save the project but had to keep it hidden. They got caught.

    Biosphere 2, with Earth being “Biosphere 1.” It wasn’t exactly as you said. According to a PBS show I saw about it quite a few years ago (Nova?), during the first mission the oxygen levels had dropped precipitously low, leading to the necessity of an air exchange using a structure/device referred to as the “lungs” of Biosphere 2 (bellows-like operation).
    The show said the problem was exposed concrete surfaces absorbing the oxygen. The Wikipedia article is interesting. It says the real issue was the concrete absorbing carbon dioxide and forming calcium carbonate. Does this mean mankind’s many concrete structures are actively sequestering carbon, and the Greens still don’t like them? The massive CO2 swings, from day to night and also seasonal, are intriguing. Levels of 4000 to 4500 ppm in winter?
    For such a “self-sustaining” habitat, the generated energy requirements sound quite impressive. From the Biosphere 2 site, Fast Facts section:

    The Energy Center
    The building with the five arched segments and three towers is the Energy Center complex. The Biosphere 2 laboratory requires continuous power to maintain proper conditions for the living organisms inside and for ongoing experiments.
    Temperature rise following power failure on a sunny summer day could within 20 minutes irreparably damage the plants in the Biosphere biomes. The Energy Center responds within minutes to maintain power and to control the environments in the biomes during the frequent power outages due to summer monsoons.
    Within the five arches are two large generators. The primary generator uses natural gas for fuel and a back-up generator uses diesel fuel. In addition to the large generators inside this building, there are also boilers to heat water and chillers to cool water. The large towers are used to cool air by drawing it across a column of water.

    I wonder how many solar panels and/or wind turbines it’ll take to replace those generators and any incoming off-site generated electricity. Sustainability in all things is the goal to pursue and achieve, right?
    According to the Wikipedia write-up, there were numerous disputes, since its beginning the facility has changed owners and management a few times, currently ending at what I find to be quite fitting. Emphasis added:

    On June 26, 2007, the University of Arizona announced that it took over management of Biosphere 2, using the site as a laboratory to study climate change, among other things.

    Studying greenhouse gases and the greenhouse effect inside a real greenhouse? Just the sort of high-grade “climate change science” we’ve come to expect.

  48. Build the habitat on an iceberg.
    I’ve seen that idea floated online. It requires lots of energy, for the cooling to keep the iceberg from melting. We currently lack fusion-based power, but fission-based will suffice, and we know there’s a virtually unlimited supply of dissolved uranium in the oceans, and other suitable radioactive elements as well as other usable substances. On top of the iceberg goes insulation, then the habitat structures, there can also be structures extending into the iceberg. Maintaining a good temperature in the structures won’t be a problem. You can grow crops on top of the insulating layer, just add dirt or go hydroponic, you could raise some livestock as well. Around the iceberg you can have aquatic farming (saltwater-tolerant crops grown in the ocean), farming on barges, fishing, etc.
    For Greens whose heads are exploding because “It’s NUCLEAR!”, an iceberg is a good place for a nuclear plant. Placed deep within the ice, you have built-in automatic emergency cooling plus good radiation shielding to protect the residents. For something going really bad, move the residents and anything possible to another iceberg habitat, let the iceberg melt away, and the nuclear plant becomes very effectively “buried” at the bottom of the ocean, with the normal seabed silt and debris accumulation burying it ever deeper over time. Any “irradiated ice” becomes water and is dispersed into the “background noise” of the vast oceans, unnoticeable.
    You could use an existing iceberg, or grow an artificial one around the cooling tubes. Another benefit, expansion is easy, increase the cooling and grow some more ice.
    Heck, forget global warming, someone should do this “just because.” It’ll be cool.

  49. They should have talked to the folks over at the Living Universe Foundation. Their proposed floating colony, Aquarius, is designed to scale up from a small near-shore settlement to a full-blown city. And, IMO, Aquarius is more fully conceptualized than Lilypad in all areas (energy, food, economy, etc.), plus it just looks cooler 🙂

  50. RE: Joseph Day: (November 15, 2010 at 11:12 am)
    “A floating city is not a bad idea, but notice how it can’t be expanded? Dumb design.”
    I suspect that this is an ‘Artistic Expression’ rather than any serious design. I would expect that if ever anyone ever decided to build a marine city of ‘Pacifica’ that it would be constructed of a series of linked modules or large pontoon-barges and it would be sited at null current point equivalent to the Sargasso Sea.

  51. It’s already been done — Stargate Atlantis!
    All it needs are Naquada fueled generators for power and a hyperspace star-drive located on the underside.

  52. “No serious SF writer would touch arcologies even with a remote controlled robot. They are a stupid idea that have almost no reasonable application.”
    Colonies on almost habitable worlds? (E.g., the domed cities of Komarr.)
    Granted, we need to learn a lot more about life-support. But these “lily-pad cities” won’t need atmospheric recycling. As long as some one wants to build one with their own money, I have no objection. I expect it will be a learning experience.

  53. RE: LarryD : (November 16, 2010 at 10:05 am )
    “As long as some one wants to build one with their own money, I have no objection. I expect it will be a learning experience.”
    I expect that we all will be the poorer if a lot of money is spent on such a project and it never pays off. I do not think this would be a practical answer to rising sea levels.
    I believe there would have to be the potential of some real paying advantage, such as superior access to a local resource, before we would go through all the trouble and expense of constructing and supporting a floating city on the sea.

  54. Let’s see … a new bed wetter home world (S Pacific or Mars – don’t care) where they can stay out of our business. I hereby pledge a hefty percent of my tax payments so long as it is a one way trip.

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