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Welcome to Waterworld

October 28, 2010

As Seas Rise, Future Floats – NYTimes.com.

Remember the movie Waterworld, starring Kevin Costner?  Presumably due to global warming, the Earth’s oceans rose so high as to cover all the land (yep, Everest included) and somehow also caused people like Costner’s character to develop gills and webbed fingers, weird.

Anyhoo, thanks to some brilliant architects, at least the Dutch will be protected from the Earth’s oceans rising 30,000 feet, or even 7.8 inches.  Yes, that’s what the oceans rose over the last century, scary huh, that’s like almost a little over half a foot.  To quote the article:

Sea levels rose as much as 20 centimeters, or 7.8 inches, over the course of the 20th century

As much?  Does that mean it rose differently in different parts of the world?  How does that work?  Or are they admitting that some studies show it didn’t rise that much and they just chose to pick the largest number?  Ahh, who cares, the science is settled.

Lets talk about these cool floating houses.  I will allow the article to describe their construction”

To ensure that the pavilion remained lightweight and thus unsinkable, it was constructed using five layers of expanded polystyrene sheets, the thinnest layer measuring 20 centimeters and the thickest 75 centimeters, and made buoyant by tiny air-permeated cells. The thickest layer contained a grid of concrete beams and was fastened to prefabricated concrete slabs, forming the hard shell of the island and acting as a protection against waves. The subsequent addition of a 20-centimeter-thick concrete floor made the island’s total thickness 2.25 meters and rendered the floating island a rigid unit.

Concrete good, plastic bad.  Anyone want to live in a floating plastic house?  On the freaking North Sea?  For those who don’t know, the North Sea is some of the most inhospitable ocean in the world.  That’s why you don’t hear people saying, “we are going to go sail the North Sea”, its bitingly cold, they have horrible storms; it just sucks.  The article speaks of the risk of these “floating pavilions” by saying:

Floating pavilions are also a less risky option, as dikes may be in danger of eroding, shifting or even eventually tearing open, unleashing floodwaters of devastating destruction.

The tearing open I am guessing is a nod to New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina.  Sorry, I would rather have a house on dry land than a floating plastic house if I knew Hurricane Katrina was coming, brings new meaning to “riding out the storm”.

The goal of all this is presumably to prepare us for the coming inundation of Gaia as we kill the arctic shelf which is inexplicably growing, weird huh?  But there is a conservation goal in mind as well, these cities plan on being self-sufficient by using solar power and reclaiming their own water.  They don’t want to be part of the problem.  But this next part of the article kind of kills that goal:

The planned area of development is one of the lowest areas of the Netherlands, between The Hague, the North Sea beach and Rotterdam, on land reclaimed from the sea. It once housed greenhouses, but these have now been cleared to make way for the project.

Wait a second, are you trying to trick us?  We can reclaim land from the sea?  And use it for greenhouses?  Which we will tear down to build floating cities on land?  Ok, color me confused.

It isn’t just the crazy Europeans planning on this America.  They are in a fact-finding stage for such projects with New York City.

Hey if crazy enviro-wackos want to live in floating cities made of plastic, more power to you.  I just have one request, can we declare them FEMA-free zones?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2010 8:28 pm

    ha! guess they’ll be all ready for the day before the day after tomorrow.

    • October 28, 2010 8:40 pm

      Should be interesting. I envision a future news week showcasing the daring rescue of 100’s of dutch from their half-sunken living rooms following a storm that un-anchored their homes.

      We will be treated to the unflappable human spirit as Europeans everywhere cheer on the rescue of people brave enough to face Gaia in their easy chairs and plaid pants while smoking a doobie. No mention how freaking stupid they were to live on a floating house in the North Sea.

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