World’s first floating city one step closer to reality in French Polynesia

January 16, 2017 by  
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San Francisco’s Seasteading Institute has signed a memorandum of understanding with the French Polynesian government that brings the world’s first floating city closer to reality. The Seasteading Institute first established in 2008 has long sought to implement their vision of self-sustaining communities that can withstand rising sea levels, partnering with DeltaSync in 2013 to build a pilot project in The Netherlands . The new agreement could see construction on a full-blown city begin in the South Pacific as early as 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDqtOPNLwMs The Seasteading Institute’s executive director Randolph Hencken told Pacific Beat the recent agreement with the French Polynesian government comprises a major turning point for their organization. The memorandum of understanding ensures all due diligence regarding the economic and environmental impact of such a project will be undertaken. Also, over the next two years, a new legal framework will be created to protect the pioneering initiative. “Mr Hencken said the detail of political autonomy needed to be negotiated and considered under the sovereignty of French Polynesia and France, of which French Polynesia is a territory,” Pacific Beat wrote. Mr Hencken said the Pacific islands appealed to the institute because of its sheltered waters. Building in the open ocean would be possible, he said, but not economically feasible. Related: 5 Pacific islands have already disappeared because of climate change “If we can be behind a reef break,” he said, “then we can design floating platforms that are sufficient for those waters at an affordable cost.” If by the end of 2018 the floating island city remains appealing to the French Polynesian government and construction proceeds in 2019, Hencken hopes eventually hundreds of thousands of people will move there. As melting ice makes seas swell, threatening a wave of climate refugees from low-lying areas, Hencken said floating cities can provide sovereignty and resilience. “So much of the world — places like Kiribati and many of the islands of French Polynesia — are threatened by rising sea levels,” Mr Hencken told the paper . “We are planning to spin off a new industry of floating islands that will allow people to stay tethered to their sovereignty as opposed to having to flee to other countries. + The Seasteading Institute Via ABC Images via The Seasteading Institute

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World’s first floating city one step closer to reality in French Polynesia

US Congress could fund geoengineering research for the first time

January 16, 2017 by  
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The United States Congress could fund geoengineering for the first time. Although the idea of large-scale climate engineering has stoked controversy in the past, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) has called on the US government to fund geoengineering research as humanity seeks new ways to deal with climate change . In a roadmap prepared for Congress, the USGCRP called for research to provide “insight into the science needed to understand potential pathways for climate intervention or geoengineering and the possible consequences of any such measures, both intended and unintended.” The USGCRP recommends research into two major geoengineering methods: capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and raising the amount of sunlight reflected by Earth. 5 geoengineering plans to fight climate change In the plan, the USGCRP said that “climate intervention cannot substitute for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the changes in climate that occur” but that “some types of deliberative climate intervention may someday be one of a portfolio of tools used in managing climate change.” That means that politicians are still on the hook for limiting emissions and taking measure to adapt to climate change. Is geoengineering really the best approach to humanity’s climate change woes? Al Gore lambasted the idea as “insane, utterly mad, and delusional in the extreme” in response to a United Nations climate panel in 2014. Over a year later, MIT scientists released a study indicating geoengineering could bring about adverse unintended consequences . Via MIT Technology Review Images via Wikimedia Commons and Max Pixel

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US Congress could fund geoengineering research for the first time

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