Libertarian Plan for Tahitian Climate Proof Floating Cities

Seastead. By JackDayton at en.wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia) [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Worried about rising sea levels? According to the Seasteading Institute and Blue Frontiers, the solution is a self governing libertarian network of floating cities loosely attached to French Polynesia.

A floating Pacific island is in the works with its own government, cryptocurrency and 300 houses

Camille Bianchi

Published 5:01 AM ET Fri, 18 May 2018

Mezza-Garcia spoke with CNBC’s Matthew Taylor about what she sees as the trouble with governments, and why she believes tech startups should head to Tahiti.

This seavangelesse is a researcher for the Blue Frontiers and Seasteading Institute’s highly-anticipated Floating Island Project.

The project is a pilot program in partnership with the government of French Polynesia, which will see 300 homes built on an island that runs under its own governance, using a cryptocurrency called Varyon.

“Once we can see how this first island works, we will have a proof of concept to plan for islands to house climate refugees,” she said.

“There is significance to this project being trialed in the Polynesian Islands. This is the region where land is resting on coral and will disappear with rising sea levels,” Mezza-Garcia said.

“If you don’t want to live under a particular government,” she said, “people will be able to just take their house and float away to another island.”

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/18/floating-island-is-planned-with-government-cryptocurrency-and-houses.html

The idea of regime shopping, moving to different countries to avoid mis-governance, has sound historical precedent. The USA was settled by people who were fed up with the old world. My favourite history book, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers suggests the fractured politics of Renaissance Europe, and the ease with which talented individuals could relocate, forced European governments to compete for business. The restraint the risk of losing tax paying merchants and craftsmen imposed on the tyrannies of the day led to the rise of the modern world.

But I can’t help thinking the seasteading utopians haven’t fully thought through all the issues.

Polynesia is subject to some truly horrendous storms. The last place you want to be when a cyclone or hurricane hits is floating on the water.

Cyclone hits French Polynesia

updated 2/4/2010 4:25:02 PM ET

PAPEETE, Tahiti — Cyclone Oli buffeted French Polynesia on Thursday, forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents and tourists to churches, schools and temples.

The archipelago that includes Tahiti was under red alert until the cyclone passes, and all roads were closed. Towering waves were buffeting buoys off the coast of Tahiti’s capital, Papeete. French television showed a naval ship pitching in the storm.

Around 3,500 people in Tahiti and Moorea who risked being swept away or inundated by lashing waves were evacuated, officials said, and about 50 homes were destroyed in Moorea.

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/35235653/ns/weather/t/french-polynesia-shuts-down-cyclone-hits/#.Wwdl5S-Q2L8

If climate alarmists are right, those superstorms will get worse. Bad news for floating structures.

I suspect the seasteaders will go forward despite any unresolved issues. The urge to homestead, to get some elbow room, relocate away from people who you cannot stand, is as old as humanity.

Despite the odds, and their whacky ideas about climate change, I hope the Seasteaders succeed. The risk of high value entrepreneurs relocating to seastead communities might place increased pressure on traditional governments to lower taxes and cut red tape.

Update (EW): Added a video from the Seasteading Institute website. The image at the top of this post is not necessarily one of the constructions planned by the seasteading pioneers, it is a copyleft image of a seastead. Sorry for not making this clear.

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Tom Halla

What was that about people on coral islands being inundated? Coral can grow more than 1.8mm a year, so that is a bit unlikely unless one has a full Hansen on sea level rise.

AndyE

You are just not with it : the islands will be rising along with the floating cities, of course – at the rate of 1,8 mm a year. Abra – cadabra!

rogerthesurf

They should be a lot of fun during a hurricane/typhoon 🙂
Roger
http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

Wouldn’t a floating city be able to move out of the path of an oncoming typhoon?

kaliforniakook

Roger – especially since Climate Science predicts more hurricanes/typhoons – and of the “super” variety!
Of course, Climate Science also predicts (I suspect) fewer hurricanes/typhoons, mostly category 1. All bases covered, no way to falsify.

Javert Chip

Jeff
Don’t think so.
Say you get 5 days notification of a credible typhoon strike, and your “city” sails at 3mph (sounds pretty fast for a city…). that’s 72 miles a day x 5 days = 360 miles (AND WAIT UNTIL YOU GET THE FUEL BILL)!!! Then you get to pay again for sailing back home.

The real problem is you are doing 3 or 4 knots while the typhoon is doing 7 to 10 AND can suddenly change direction toward you. Now add in 100 foot waves 100 or 200 miles away from the eye wall (look up rogue waves). The result? How about “bent aircraft carrier”? Adm. Halsey W.W.IIcomment image

NavarreAggie

And some corals grow quite a bit faster than 1.8 mm/year.

WXcycles

Scoffers need to understand that Tahitian topograpy is a mere 9,000 feet above sea level, so this is already pretty dicey.
What to do?comment image

beng135

The map shows it might, just might, be easier to move uphill, away from the coast a bit.

WXcycles

Oops, max elevation is 7,700 feet, it’s far worse than we thought.

markl

Perfect “solution” to the effects of man made climate change. What possibly could go wrong? Amazon will deliver everything they need to exist…. fresh food, energy, clothing, toilet paper.

Shoshin

Yes, but no returns to Amazon please, or get cut off. But what about Starbucks? Can they still host their new chain of homeless shelters? So may questions with disruptive technology.

Tom Gelsthorpe

And fruitcake on the house 24/7/365.

Ray Boorman

Make that multiple fruitcakes, Tom. Many of the seasteaders will likely suffer from severe cabin fever after a few months of paradise.

Warren Blair

“The risk of high value entrepreneurs relocating to seastead communities might place increased pressure on traditional governments to lower taxes and cut red tape”.
How good would that be for Mr Average; however, the ‘elites’ won’t go for it.
Less control . . . no it’ll be quietly shelved over time and Mezza-Garcia will go ‘missing’.

BoyfromTottenham

Sounds like a high tech, 21st century version of the famous ‘South Sea bubble’. Here, have I got a deal for you Gullibles (sorry, rich climate refugees) with more money than sense, and don’t you worry about the details. Just hand over your wads of real cash and I’ll give you back some of my newly invented Varyons as pocket money to pay for your fully imported food, booze, clothes, fuel, etc. There really must be ‘one born every minute’ if this gets past even a ‘trial’.

Warren Blair

Not to mention they’ll be the pirates’ plunder dream come true.
Tax . . . it wouldn’t be long before they’d be ‘made an offer they can’t refuse’; a wee monthly fee!

Nigel S

Yes, my thoughts too. On the other hand, global warming is linked to the decline in the number of pirates so perhaps they’ll be OK.

Aye BoyfromTottenham!
More urban planner dreamscapes.
And what looks like communist Russian cheap dwelling architecture.

“The idea of regime shopping, moving to different countries to avoid mis-governance, has sound historical precedent.”

Considering that real estate neighborhood organizations tend to be run by neighborhood majority tyranny agreements, any plan to “just change government locations” is a sure way to accomplish unhappiness and lawsuits.
Which leaves the question about which legal system is operative.
Then, there are the other normal urban problems; sewage, water supply, water treatment, trash disposal, food stores, equipment supply, police forces, etc. etc.
Nah! Their plan must be to parasitize off of local jurisdictions.
Regardless, all “islands” greatly increase the costs for all supplies and services. Meaning, of course, that these are exclusive islands are akin to Dubai’s artificial islands, and meant for the wealthy.
Just imagine the shrieks and yells when one of these “floating islands” develops leaks, cracks, whatever in the future and start to sink.

oeman50

You got it Theo. The Home Owners Association covenants will be a bear!

Paul Penrose

I’m sure they will have laws in place to make it difficult, if not impossible, for individuals to take their little piece of floating paradise and join a different commune, er, city.

Craig from Oz

A utopian city? A city where the artist would not fear the censor; where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality; where the great would not be constrained by the small?
So… basically this is BioShock?

Tom Schaefer

I follow their efforts through the forums at SeaSteading.org . I too, wish them luck, but the example of the Pitcairn Islands doesn’t offer much hope from a social stability standpoint.

interzonkomizar

@Tom Schaefer- in my prologue above I mention my she said we’ll house 5000 residents and 1,000 visitors. 5000 is the minimum viable population to repopulate the planet in case everybody else dies.
Sandy, Minister of Futur

interzonkomizar

Oops- she said = seastead, heh. Google speech to text in noisy environ.
Sandy

interzonkomizar

Oops again- this large one handles 15,000 rez and 5,000 guests. I was thinking of a smaller one i’ve been considering.
Sandy

Tom Schaefer

Hey Sandy, I’ve researched the Urban Planning schools in US Universities. They are all focused on dealing with the next 100K residents, nothing on bottoms-up new communities. Please seek an academic home for seasteading at one of the coastal ocean-focused universities in the USA. BTW: There are 2 in China already.

TS: James Mitchner’s first best seller was an account of his experience as a Military historian in WWII described in Tales of the South Pacific, 1947. He was assigned as team member to survey Pitcairn Island for an airstrip. He met the inhabitants of the Island including descendants of Christian Fletcher. It’s still in print.

TonyL

I like the picture, very illustrating.
We see clearly that the lower level is a parking garage, very well thought out.
Every space has it’s own garage door facing out to the ocean, and well above the water level. No doubt this is so nobody accidentally tries to put a boat into a garage space.
I like it.

And engineer made the base of the thing and messed it up, yep.

rocketscientist

The engineer in me see this as interesting. This appears to be a floating system which uses submerged buoyancy chambers to support the platform above the majority of the wave action. These sorts of structures are not uncommon and are the only type which will work in deep waters where structural anchoring just isn’t possible (no, I haven’t only designed rockets it just pays better). There still is some column that must span between the platform and the submerged chambers and it will be subject to the seas wrath and forces. Then there is the question of stability in sustained high winds. The exposed structures will experience the drag forces and will impart a tipping moment. Like a sail boat heeling over in the wind. Big structures will have very low frequencies, and many methods can be employed to reduce the rocking, but distributing the buoyancy chambers will induce bending forces within the platform itself.
There are so many subsystems which will have to be scaled up to make a viable city, that i must ask, “how many personnel do the authors think are housed on an off-shore platform?” And then realize that existing platforms house about only 50 of which many of these are solely for keeping the physical plant operational. For a floating city a good portion of the people living there would be merely keeping the ship afloat and running.
Then there is the issue of maneuverability, and power generation/storage, and…
Lots of fascinating engineering issues which can be overcome, but will result in creating a rather complex piece of moving machinery which will require far more maintenance than any highway. Which brings me back to reality: Who will be responsible for keeping these things working. If John Galt is building these floating cities he had better bring along more than industrialist thinkers.

TonyL

The general concept can be taken and optimized for living space, number of people, comfort, along with good seaworthiness and mobility.
The resulting optimized design is often referred to as a cruise ship .
Any one of the current designs could be re-optimized to reduce support staff (people have to make their own beds, gasp!) and increase at-sea duration.

rocketscientist

@TonyL +1
…but for long term stand-alone support and maintenance of city sized floating structures picture Dennis Hopper’s EXXON VALDIZ from “Water World”.
Most cities haven’t the obvious demonstrated ability to maintain land based infrastructure.
If they can t do “easy” what makes them think they can do “hard”?

Patrick MJD

“rocketscientist May 24, 2018 at 8:59 pm”
Best bit about that, largely rubbish, movie was the scene of the flare dropping down in to the hull of the ship with the old man in a rowboat floating on oil saying “Thank God!”, or something like that. Then BOOM!

Nigel S

P MJD, Agreed, that was the best bit, a weltanschauung we can all relate to at times, there was Jeanne Tripplehorn too of course …

Assuming untoward sea level rise, wouldn’t it be cheaper to barge in rocks to raise current small islands?

Greg Cavanagh

Where’s the fun in that?
Besides, the CEO of Seasteading has this fantastic idea and there are heaps of investors lining his pock- I mean lining up to be part of this exciting new era in self governing islands. Utopia was never been so bright and shiny.

Ray Boorman

What, & sink the ever-shrinking landmass even deeper into the blue poo? Chances are your crazy idea would be knocked out in the courts on bio-security grounds, or because the rocks might crush a few shellfish.

Most large semisubmersible rigs have 100 to 120 person quarters. I believe I can sketch a concrete semi with enough area to house 100 apartments, plus a few shops, restaurants, storage warehouses, utilities, etc. it can be anchored with a catenary system in 200 meters water depth, but the whole idea doesn’t make sense.

Erny72

Rather than sketching out a design for a scaled up Semi-sub, it’d be slightly less non-sensical to scheme out this floating city comprising a number of large floatels based on existing hull designs (whether they are steel or concrete semisubmersibles, spar platforms or ships) joined by bridges – since we’re talking about housing gullible wamring reffos, I assume evil cars are to be prohibited so one only needs walkway bridges which are common enough (search for a picture of Veslefrikk for the idea).
To ride out high sea state without the entire population producing a lot of burley, a semi-sub or spar ought to be moored by tension legs. The moonbats at Sea-steading will find my consultancy services come at a quite modest price as long as there are enough fools ready to parted from their money…
A couple of queries I would have if being courted to help pay for this boondoggle:
I guess to reduce the carbon footprint inherent in importing all their food by sea or air, everyone who signs up to this will be happy to eat locally farmed seafood and seaweed in perpetuity? Or does the victim classification ‘climate refugees’ refer to unwilling guinea pigs who aren’t going to be given a choice?
I assume that, to avoid misunderstandings that maybe the owners are actually hypocrits when it comes to action taken on gullible warming, all their city’s energy demand will be met by windmills (which hopefully don’t tip the floating platforms over), solar cells or wave-energy bouys? If all this utopia is based on a self governing bureaucracy paid for with monopoly money, how are they planning to pay to maintain any of their unreliables? (he asked expecting the answer ‘UN climate funding’)
When the inevitable cyclone turns utopia into distopia, who is responsible for the disaster relief? Are organic search and rescue, evacuation and rebuilding capabilities all going to be paid for with monopoly money? Are the wee pretendy governments going to offer their ‘citizens’ the promise of this capability or they going to expect/demand that their neighbours in real countries do the dirty work for them (and presumably pick up the tab) by dropping the pretence of being self-governing tax havens and instead appeal to international maritime rescue agreements by redefining themselves as vessels in distress in International waters. …Having presumably accepted precisely fcuk all responsibility for helping vessels in distress in their own little exclusion zones.
What happens when the floating cities reach the end of their design life and/or become unseaworthy? If the inhabitants are free to pack up their bat and ball and sod-off to another floating city, who’s going to pay for the decommissioning of the life-expired city? Or is the plan to simply weigh anchors and run it aground on one of these atols that refused to be submerged by the Pacific Ocean, you know, to help build up their sea defences?
Still, if a bunch of loud mouthed gullible warming cheer squad want to go and live on a big houseboat and butt-out of the real world I inhabit, I’m happy to cheer them on their way – as long as I’m not expected to help pay for it.

Erny, I believe a concrete hull can be made to last 100 years with proper maintenance. The best spot appears to be Nauru, which has a very agreeable government and would love to host a rich folk tax heaven, so anchoring is no big deal. I also offer an alternative for several large concrete hulls joined by cable cars like the ones used to go to sugar loaf mountain. We can sell condo units ahead of time for $10000 deposits, the same way Elon Musk sells tickets to Mars.

rocketscientist

@fernandoleanme
Have you ever seen a ship to ship cargo transfer in even moderate seas? It has been done with cable transfer, but due to wave action the ride in mid-span would be unpleasant at best.

Bloke down the pub

I’ve seen a design for re-purposing a concrete former North sea oil platform into the hub for a floating city. If it can stand up to all that the North sea can throw at it then it should be good to go.

J Mac

John Galt was a independent minded, pragmatic capitalist character. He would not invest in anything as inefficient, unsustainable, and uneconomic as this engineering nightmare. His capitalist enclave ‘Galt’s Gulch’ was established in a Colorado canyon.

I recall that one of two giant floting harbours used at normady follong d day, the 6.6.44 was wreaked by a storm, & tgat was a giant sized strutcher
with sunken blocck ships to protect it
The seas can have some really big storms.
Mje

rocketscientist

ROFL LMAO.
I just looked at their concept in their web site. These people are conceptual architects.
They will be nothing more than a conglomeration of houseboats that must be sheltered within a protected lagoon. I can only assume they will rely on shore based connections for water, sewage, power, etc.
How underwhelming. This has been going on for decades in Sausalito, and China, and pretty much any every southeast Asian river or port city.

TonyL

people will be able to just take their house and float away to another island.

I believe the concept has already been patented.
It is called a “boat”. Specifically, a “live aboard”.

Greg Cavanagh

We call them house boats around here. They get pretty ugly as they age too. They were all the rage in the 80’s for some reason.

Jeff

Interesting idea but totally impractical and expensive.
You would still be very dependant on the country where you are moored.
I doubt these structures could ever move across the ocean.
It would much easier to live on land and if you don’t like it, emigrate.
Or buy a yacht and sail to whatever country you wanted.

GREY LENSMAN

What happened to the hotel suites on stilts in the sea? Any pictures?

interzonkomizar

I still think they need more rugged structures. Eg- The Draupner wave or New Year’s wave was the first rogue wave to be detected by a measuring instrument, occurring at the Draupner platform in the  North Sea off the coast of Norway  on 1 January 1995. In an area with significant wave height of approximately 12 metres (39 ft), a freak wave with a maximum wave height of 25.6 metres (84 ft) occurred (peak elevation above still water level was 18.5 metres (61 ft)).
My plan was for 6 V shape segments to be built resulting in a floating island 1 km across and 50 meters high. At the time my cost estimate was six hundred million dollars.
It seems like they’re starting to move a little faster and maybe have something to see or rent by 2022. I got involved with them shortly after they founded in 2008. I even signed up for their newsletter. But they cut my subscription and stopped answering my email when I said they’re shallow water close to Shore seasteads were not the real thing. They needed to be more rugged and ocean going to be totally free of land influence politics and commerce. Oops, just saw a headline where Tahiti government cancel the agreement in March of this year. So something is not matching up. Stay tuned.
Sandy, Minister of Future

Peter Morris

Oh just like Bioshock! Thankfully everything worked out well in those games.

GREY LENSMAN

Here is the existing floating residences
http://aboardtheworld.com/residences/
Already done

RAH

What would all of these floating cities economies be based on? Internet sales and services?

Karlos51

fishing?

Urederra

Well, in the video they say they are “sustainable”
I wonder who gave them the seal of sustainability.

Javert Chip

The same as astronauts: the government will pay for them…

joelobryan

Merchant ships use generally use 3 types of fuels . Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) , Low Sulfur Fuel Oil (LSFO) and diesel oil. Different countries have different rules for burning fuel when the ship is at that place.
I’m guessing this thing isn’t running on virtue signalling. It would sink pretty fast once the bilge pump batteries were depleted after a few cloudy days of no sun and no wind.

Having been in a cyclone, fortunately on land, and having spent a good chunk of my life over, under and on the ocean, I find this proposal dangerously ludicrous …
The force of winds goes up roughly as the cube of the wind speed. A 40-knot (45 mph, 18 mps) wind is a good hard blow. But hurricanes often blow over 160 knots (190 mph, 72 mps) sustained … and that has about sixty times the force of a 40-knot blow.
You don’t want to be on any dangalang floating city at that point … nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide …
w.

We can make a deal with Nauru, where the wind never reaches hurricane force. Anchor a large concrete floating structure in 200 meters water depth, and declare independence. The new country can have several banks, insurance companies, provide legal and tax engineering services, and mail boxes for multinational subsidiaries and rich folk.

tty

If they stay within 5 degrees from the equator they can avoid hurricanes. Not ordinary storms though.
I would suggest the area around Galapagos, a pleasant climate, no hurricanes and good fishing waters.

Galapagos belongs to Ecuador, and it’s critical to stay away from Latinamerica because they elect left wing regimes like Venezuela elected Chávez. Nauru has a much better legal regime and if necessary we take it over with 20 mercenaries.

Lance of BC

AHHhahahaha! Maybe a city under the ocean or the moon or MARS!!
Climate science makes smart people whacky!!!!

dodgy geezer

Mars is obviously the answer. We could build huge spaceships called ‘Arks’ to send people there/
Here is an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogcQ7Z4bh5w

Jeff

Underground cities ?
There are ancient examples and modern advocates.
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/9a3qv5/the-urban-planner-who-turned-montreal-into-a-subterranean-hot-spot
I have always been interested in them. but not saying they will ever happen.

Tom in Florida

Yes, Caves of Steel.

Urederra

Or a floating city on Venus.

interzonkomizar

If you start thinking outside the box you can come up with some ways for a seasted to make money. They can sell climate and ocean data to governments. They can host health and Rejuvenation procedures that are not allowed on land or have too many regulations. They can host small manufacturing operations like for pistols. A company ships in the parts and the workers assemble them and ship them back out. There would also be an opportunity for big casinos. They would be run under a Min Arky government so a lot of things would be possible.
Sandy minister of future

interzonkomizar

I discredited the seastead Institutes shallow water designs because I served on a destroyer from 1965 to 67. We experienced many storms including those in the North Sea. You might think a destroyer is a very large vessel until you’re having a smoke at night on the signal bridge and a wave comes over the bow and puts out your cigarette. Also a destroyer has a length to width ratio of about 7 which is not good if you’re not headed into the waves. Coming back into Charleston after a hurricane we listed 44° and almost rolled over. Three destroyers rolled over and sunk at the end of World War II in Western Pacific.
Sandy, Minister of Future

TA

“You might think a destroyer is a very large vessel until you’re having a smoke at night on the signal bridge and a wave comes over the bow and puts out your cigarette.”
I remember the first time I ever saw a U.S. destroyer in real life in a harbor in Vietnam in 1968. I was surprised at how small they looked.

interzonkomizar

@TA- that’s kind of funny. I always thought it was huge until we pulled up alongside the aircraft carrier Roosevelt, heh. Actually abt 290 ft x 39 ft. Can do 30 kts for 3 days heading home from 9 mo. Med tour, heh.
Sandy, Minister of Future

TA

A high-speed trip home. Yes, sir!
I guess what I found surprising was how low the stern of the destroyer sat. Right down on the water.
I’ve always been a fan of the Navy and destroyers and destroyer escorts in particular. Reading about their exploits in the Pacific in World War II was very inspiring to me. How these little tin cans could put up such a fierce fight against superior enemy forces. And change the course of history in the process.
I almost joined the Navy, but they required a minimum of four years service, so I joined the Army which required three years.
I had a friend of mine who joined the Navy and he was sent to a joint Navy/Marine training facility, and he said the Navy and Marines were seperated by a tall chainlink fence and on Sundays, their day off, the Navy guys would sit around drinking Cokes and relaxing and would watch the Marines run. The Marines didn’t get a day off.
I had a chance to join the Marines in a special “recon” program they had where you enlisted for two years, went to basic training, and then to Vietnam for 13 months, and then you were out. But by the time I got around to enlisting they had changed the enlistment period to four years, so I went Army.

interzonkomizar

@TA- I joined the naval Reserve because my father had been in the Navy. Also I heard join the Navy and see the world which was true. Also you could make rate very fast. Usually time-in-grade + 1 correspondence course and you advance. In 4 years I went from E3 to E6. I mustered out as ETN-1. During our Med Cruise I visited Turkey Greece Spain and Italy and France. After we came back to Charleston and went back on patrol we visited Germany and St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands and Key West Florida.
Sandy, Minister of Future

John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia

Another scam. At least the French Government are wise enough not to tip any money in.

Javert Chip

Ha ha, tee hee. The French government is wise? This is the crowd guys offering French taxpayer money to USA (and presumably other) climate scientists as a result of the USA getting out of Paris (so to speak).
France has a long way to go before they bumping anything “wise”.

John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia

These grandiose Green Schemes generally end up in disaster with the company directors and initial investors running off with the money and leaving everyone with empty pockets and nobody responsible for cleaning up the mess.
Take this wave machine in NSW, Australia (no pun intended).
https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/2193950/photos-port-wave-generator-removal-in-doubt/

Patrick MJD

Too funny the image of the “wave power generator” right next to a massive coal terminal.

Coeur de Lion

There are those who have bought permanent accommodation on cruise ships — simpler, cheaper? Safer?

Javert Chip

Yea – if you want to live in a 9×12 cabin with a postage-size shower.
I enjoy cruising, but I sure as hell enjoy coming home to my house, which is about 20 times larger.

“The force of winds goes up roughly as the cube of the wind speed.”
Try the SQUARE of the wind speed, Willis. The POWER from a windmill goes up as the cube. So a 160 knot breeze has 16 times the force of a 40 knot breeze. Ask any aero person.
IIRC Western Australian SF author Greg Egan wrote a novel about something like this proposal. Artificial coral was the construction material, I think.

Mike Borgelt May 24, 2018 at 11:45 pm

“The force of winds goes up roughly as the cube of the wind speed.”

Try the SQUARE of the wind speed, Willis. The POWER from a windmill goes up as the cube.

True, my bad, writing too fast and thinking of windmills. I was referring to the power in the wind.
Regarding “Ask any aero person”, I wrote the Peace Corps Training Manual for Windmill Construction … does that qualify me?
w.

interzonkomizar

@MikeB- I started a novel on my floating island and got up to chapter 6 with 20000 words. Then I got sidetracked writing about the coming little ice age. Here is my prologue …
~ Prologue ~
When the elite Dukes of Davos held their annual 2018 meeting to solve the World’s problems, many turned out to be wicked predicaments, with no solutions. So in private they decided that there were too many people on the Earth and not enough resources to support them. This was highlighted in the book Limits to Growth in 1973. It was slammed by Elite influenced academics and sidelined at the time. So they decided when resource conflicts over water, oil, and farmland, or plagues, or starvation set in, they would just allow it to run its course. This would save a lot of money and combined with a slightly increased natural death rate and slightly lowered fertility rate should bring the global population down to 1 billion by 2100. The stench of 6 billion rotting corpes they could handle, and bought stock in Glade air freshener.
Thus it was not too surprising when several Tech billionaires decided they didn’t want to live in an underground bunker in the coming hard times as many of their cohorts had decided to do. Citizens with torches and pitchforks could easily find the front door and the back door. Several of them had heard about the concept of seasteading. However, the initial idea was to be in a sheltered bay by a large city, easy to attack. So they set up a private foundation to develop ocean-going seasteads that would pay for themselves by hosting genetic research, cloning, transgenic body parts, young blood therapy, stem cell research, and other advanced medical procedures for anti-aging and longevity enhancement.
After the design was finalized in 2021, they set up production in several Chinese shipyards simultaneously. Three of them would build the main hulls and two others would build the cabin modules. (see sketches in appendix) Finished modules cost $800 million and 6 were required for a floating city one kilometer in diameter that would become a free-trade Zone much like Hong Kong had been.
Arkon One launched in 2023 and took up station in mid pacific, about 15 degrees north of the equator. It supported 15,000 residents and 5,000 guests. So our story begins …
Sandy, Minister of Future

South Korean yards are better. I lean towards a floating concrete semisubmersible to reduce maintenance costs.

I think the cyclone objections can be overcome by making the thing large and massive enough.
However to get away from it all, Gerry O’Neill’s space colonies take some beating. Few weather issues too.

Mike, have you ever actually been in a hurricane? Making it large and massive won’t help. The ocean has taken down the largest ships ever built. There’s no safety in size … all that does is give more surface area for the wind to grab on to. Plus with something that massive, how will you anchor it? It will rip out the largest anchors and chains.
w.

interzonkomizar

@Willis- they would not have to Anchor. The typical ocean currents are 4 to 7 kilometers per hour. So each module having a large electric thruster could maintain station with little power consumed. On my paper plan anyway, heh.
Sandy, Minister of Future

Patrick MJD

“interzonkomizar May 25, 2018 at 12:39 am”
We already have floating vessels that have electrically powered station keeping/maneuvering thrusters that are extremely powerful and require plenty of power delivered by huge diesel engines. Something the size of a city would need some serious power.

We can use massive anchors.

interzonkomizar

@Fernando – the problem is not a big enough anchor. The problem is a long strong cable cannot support its own weight.
Sandy, Minister of Future

interzonkomizar

@Fernando- the avg Pacific ocean depth is 4,000 m.
Sandy

Ve2

interzonkomizar:
You just need a really long anchor rope.

Interzonkomizar, it doesn’t have to be anchored that deep, and we can use a Kevlar rope spread. It would probably be a bit sturdier than say the Thunder Horse anchor system. Possibly like anchoring the floating LNG plant Shell is installing offshore Australia.

Patrick MJD

““If you don’t want to live under a particular government,” she said, “people will be able to just take their house and float away to another island.”
This woman sounds crazy. While “floating away”, you have no steerage, no directional control so would be at the mercy of currents and wind. How well would this handle in a 20 meter swell? Not good I would imagine.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia

Apart from the many technical and supply issues commented on above, just consider this idea of “self-governing” floating communities. I don’t think many would be mini republics with virtuous regard to democracy and respect for human rights whatever the stated intentions. Very quickly you would end up with all manner of quirky and downright nasty groups imposing thuggish rule over the weak. Some would end as rogue or criminal places no one with any sense would want to be anywhere near.
And what exactly would be the legal status of these waterworld enterprises. What about accountability if some collection of floating nut jobs decide to start developing chemical or biological weapons? Or providing a safe heaven for terrorists or other unsavoury enterprises or individuals.

interzonkomizar

@Moderately Cross- you are probably right that some islands might be Rogue, harboring criminal elements up to no good. As expensive as these are, they would probably be funded by a major Mainland government to carry out their own thuggish Deeds from.
The MinArky i envision would have few rules and would be run by the citizens. Every law that they voted on would have a sunset Limited. For instance if a law receive 51 to 55% it would have a lifetime of 18 months. It received 56 to 65% it would have a lifetime of three years. Of course it would be illegal to murder Steel or damaged property not your own. Most citizens would be armed which would prevent a lot of problems.
International law governing such structures is somewhat vague. However if you were in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and not making trouble for another major power you might be able to claim sovereignty. The main thing about claiming sovereignty is being able to enforce it, heh.
Sandy, Minister of Future

Moderately Cross of East Anglia

Sandy,Minister of Future (you make me smile with that great title)
You seriously propose letting the inhabitants carry guns! Bad enough they might shoot one another but even worse if their aim is as bad as most people. Loud bangs in the night followed by the entire comunity having to turn out in a desperate search for the holes and plug the leaks. Was it three shots or four? I also suspect it won’t be long before rich billionaires own these new floating condos – I don’t want to live on Elon Musk Atlantis thanks.
Best wishes.

You don’t know what you’ll get. Another North Korea or New Zealand floating on the ocean. You made a good argument about the United States in 1776. We’ve done a good job deciding who gets to be a country a so far.

Nigel S

Won’t all the floating cities raise sea levels even faster? Perhaps they’ll use sea dredged aggregates to offset that.

Frederic

“There is significance to this project being trialed in the Polynesian Islands. This is the region where land is resting on coral and will disappear with rising sea levels,” Mezza-Garcia said.
————————-
I hope it’s just the standard talking point of the climatism scam. Otherwise, if she really believes such globull warming nonsense, she is a gullible ignorant fool! And anyone willing to invest in a project with such fool deserves to lose his money.

Ed Zuiderwijk

Haha. That chestnut again. In the 1970 there was a Dutch civil servant with a similar idea for kilometer sized cities floating in the Schelt estuary. He claimed to have gotten the idea from aliens he had met during night-time sailing on those waters. Has he moved to Tahiti I wonder?

Ve2

Who, the civil servant or the aliens?

Ve2

They have floating cities, they are called ships.

paqyfelyc

The flaw of the concept is that people rich enough to afford this tax-avoidance scheme already have plenty of other means to do that.
And you need someone in the protection business to fend off pirates and felons anyway. This comes at a price
Would certainly be cheaper and more convenient to colonize a small state, like, say, Maine, Belize, Monte Carlo… Plenty of options already

I have the United States government to fend of felons and pirates. All kinds things. And I think they do an outstanding job.

There are quite a lot of these floating homes dotted along the banks of our canal system here in the U.K. and I suspect elsewhere.
Love boats and water; but they are expensive things and can be very dangerous. Both escalating exponentially with size.

paqyfelyc

definition “boat: a hole in the water you pour money into”. You may add “according to size”

commieBob

The USA was settled by people who were fed up with the old world.

My own ‘German’ ancestors were driven off their land by French invaders. Similarly, the Irish Potato Famine drove about 1.5 million people to America. Saying they were ‘fed up’ doesn’t quite cover the situation.

… the ease with which talented individuals could relocate, forced European governments to compete for business. The restraint the risk of losing tax paying merchants and craftsmen imposed on the tyrannies of the day led to the rise of the modern world.

Wherever and whenever you look in history, you see the law of supply and demand. link
If the whole point is to avoid sea level rise, there is plenty of land. Flying across America, you see vast tracts of sparsely settled land. Even China has lots of unoccupied land. We’re a long way from needing floating cities.

Gamecock

‘its own government’
An HOA with guns.

We shouldn’t have HOAs or even allow them. People are too stupid and there’s too many bad people who we have to protect people from.

Greg Woods

I guess the Global Warming bit is a marketing ploy. As a long-time libertarian I know of no libertarian (except Ron Bailey, of Reason magazine) who believes in AGW. Such projects have been around for a long time. Some are land-based and others, like this one are sea-based.

Curious George

The word Libertarian does not appear at the home pages of Blue Frontiers or of the Seasteading Institute. It looks like a Belarussian scam, not a Nigerian scam.

Charleston, SC, solved the liveaboard lifestyle mess late in the previous Century as once public moorings were incorporated into the taxbase right up to the federal channel waterway.
A similar logic will be used against moorings on the high seas.
So I moved to a 25 sq.mile island in 5,000+ cubic miles of fresh potable water. It’s better than any city.

bonbon

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Gibbon in 1776, the year of the Declaration of Independence, not long after the 1763 Treaty declaring the British Empire in writing, is the favorite of that Empire then as today. Gibbon’s problem was how to avoid the guaranteed collapse in the New Rome. It was this unbearable lurch for empire from the European oligarchy that fulfilled Columbus’ mission.
Seems that fossil is still at work, and Brexit along with Trump, now Italy and Spain is reacting, without pacific rafts….

DC Cowboy

Gibbon was wrong on several counts

A few thoughts.
I see no effective space for an airport, so helicopters are mandatory. (And very limited, very expensive, require cross-water training and evacuation procedures and practices (see oil field worker training and precautions), and are VERY, VERY difficult to re-supply a “city” with the essentials of daily life. Helicopters also require cross-shipping (unloading and reloading (by hand!) and unloading again on the “island” for every pound of freight or UPS shipment of mail delivery or Fedex/UPS/Amazom/Alibaba box.
Yes, ships can (and do!) provide bulk supplies and are “economical.” (See Hawaii for price guides of having to import everything.) But ships are also very slow. And require additional loading/unloading/storage/handling.
If the “island” is close enough to allow “inefficient” helo trans-shipment, then it is in existing 12 mile/120 mile/200 mile coastal water control and “somebody” already “own it”. If further out, more waves, more storms, more inconvenience to all but the ultra-rich as a tax shelter – which they already have on various (corrupt) islands.
Want to house the ignorant and cheap and near-slaves and poor – who are “threatened” with projected ocean rising of a few feet? This will throw them into a floating no-escape prison of contamination and poverty and crime and filth.
And, although a “concrete” floating ship may APPEAR to withstand internal and external corrosion (since it is not steel), concrete DOES crack under the continuous flexing and movement of ocean structures. The rebar in the concrete walls and decks and hulls WILL crack and rust (Unless made of stainless steel or fiberglass) and unlike steel hulls, concrete CANNOT be repaired or worked on in-place. There is a reason why there have been hundreds of thousands of steel and wooden ships built since the Phoenicians and Romans and Greeks and Chinese. And why the “new” iron and then steel ships immediately replaced their predecessors as soon as metalworking became cheaper than wood 150 years ago.
There is a reason that NO concrete ships have EVER been successful, even in the emergencies of war construction!
Drydocking requires long tows to a facility large enough for the oil platforms – equally rare. So, when something does break or have a problem, yoiu cannot “go underneath” and fix it without VERY, VERY expensive underwater repairs and equipment. (Agains, see oil platform and well repair and construciton.

interzonkomizar

RACook- I have to say my plan for my seastead, Arkon One,, has an elevated Runway of expanded mesh 50 by 800 meters, which will allow STL aircraft takeoff and Landing.
Also within five years it will be self-sufficient in vegetables chicken and pork.
Sandy, Minister of Future

Gavin Panglos

Why not tow a reasonably large piece of the West Antarctic ice sheet to a gyre in the ocean, harvest the local plastic debris to make bubble wrap insulation on site to allow minimal loss of substrate from melting and subduction loss. Cracking could be remedied with solar powered ice makers using melt water. Having a fresh water source would facilitate production of hydroponic crops which given a tropical location could be continuously harvested. No problems with causing or suffering from sea level rise. Better than moving to Mars. Architecture plans would be regular 3 demensional structures with equal sides or an equal radius.

Tom in Florida

What is that old saying….Fools and their money are soon parted.

I see lots of problems. First it will be very expensive to live there. Second, the units will, of necessity, be very tiny and cramped. therefore Third, they will not get the rich people moving in there that they need because wealthy people can just buy a place in the country somewhere where the government will more or less leave them alone anyway.
That is not counting the big problem of being very susceptible to typhoons and tidal waves.

I don’t people should live in low earth orbit. There’s a lot of problems with that.

The Seasteading idea is sounds great to anyone who never actually lived at sea — idyllic.
There are little itty-bitty problems — like “island economies”, a nation/economy must have something to trade with other nations/economies for the items they cannot produce by themselves. This is why these island countries fall back on tourism, their beautiful beaches and sunny climates are what they have to trade — and little else. Seasteads will have nothing to trade.
And, yes, then there are the storms — the weather. The closest parallels are oil drilling platforms in the North Sea and the Gulf. These are rough-and-ready “floating islands” and the majority are evacuated when big storms threaten. Where are the seasteaders going to go?
I hope the seasteaders are not prone to seasickness — these gently rocking platforms are the worst for inducing mal-de-mer.

interzonkomizar

@Kip- I guess you didn’t read my prologue. Here is the part you missed …
… ocean-going seasteads that would pay for themselves by hosting genetic research, cloning, transgenic body parts, young blood therapy, stem cell research, and other advanced medical procedures for anti-aging and longevity enhancement.
As for storms, they will have weather radar and detect them at 50 to 80 km away. They will be able to maneuver at 7 to 10 kph and avoid the Storm Center.
A 1 km dia seastead 50 km high will be very stable.
Sandy, Minister of Future

interzonkomizar ==> That is the basic plot of a science fiction novel by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes, “Saturn’s Race” published in 2000.
A decent, though not great, read.
Somehow appropriate that science fiction is being offered as a solution to a mostly science fiction problem.

interzonkomizar

@Kip- As this seastead is possible to implement with existing technology I would claim it is not science fiction.
Sandy, Minister of Future

We design wings that can withstand quite a bit. It may be flexible and modular.

TDBraun

Well, I find this a lot more attractive than those big manmade islands made from dredged sand in Dubai

Craig

The immortal words of Rep. Hank Johnson come to mind.

John Bell

I love how the video shows a house built right on the beach has waves crashing in the front porch in a high wind.

bonbon

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Gibbon, the favorite book for the British Empire of the 1763 Treaty of Paris, was an attempt revive Rome, and avoid inevitable collapse. This oligarchical lurch, by 1776 with the Declaration of Independance, was the unbearable impetus. This fossil is still at in Europe/D.C, with Brexit, and Trump, Italy, Spain, Greece all reacting very like 1776 without rafts to pacific isles.
And, by the way, could it be the “very few” are taking Thor Hayerdahl’s Kontiki to heart? He showed fleets of raft-like boats crisscrossed the Pacific despite typhoons. This “very few” might be fantasising running from multiple declarations of independance – today nowhere to hide.
This is what the fly from (Percy Shelley’s Masque of Anarchy) :
Rise, like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number!
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you:
Ye are many — they are few!”

RAH

OT: Joe Bastardi is saying this morning that the disturbance coming north out of the western Caribbean has a chance of becoming a minimal CAT I hurricane before it hits the Gulf Coast somewhere between the western Florida Pan Handle and eastern Mississippi Monday. It will NOT be the earliest on record to strike US shores. One hit that same area earlier in May in 1863. But watch out for the climate change hype if it does get classified as a hurricane.

mkelly

These already exist. The navy calls them aircraft carriers. Sleep 5000, go almost anywhere, semi-autonomous government, pretty much self contained.

ResourceGuy

Will they open Swiss-style banks to fund the operation while musing on about climate?