Polar Cities Home And Hideout After Climate Change


Real Estate prices in Canada are expected to rise as the effects of global warming set in. Warming temperatures there are expected to make its otherwise frosty winters, a perfect place to live. But we all know that if the predictions are right, our world's demographic shift to a severe change in weather patterns is probably going to be a lot more complicated than relocating to the higher latitudes.

Some scientists predict that if humanity doesn't stop dumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, we have about 5 — 8 years (100 months) until life as we know it on this planet changes. What will happen after that time is anyone's guess. But some like journalist/translator/blogger Dan Bloom who is now living in Taiwan, believes that we can safeguard humanity by building Polar cities, today.

He points TreeHugger to his Wiki entry that describes the solution, first concocted by James Lovelock, a chemist and inventor in the 70s. Polar cities, according to Lovelock, are to be designed to be retreats that humans in the future can turn to when the central and middle portions of the Earth turn into hostile uninhabitable regions for an indefinite period of time (his prediction).

"At six going on eight billion people," Dr. Lovelock told a NYTimes blogger, "the idea of any further development is almost obscene. We've got to learn how to retreat from the world that we're in. Planning a good retreat is always a good measure of generalship."

These high population-density cities, says Bloom who's taking Lovelock's idea further, could be built near the Arctic Rim -- and in Antarctica, New Zealand, Tasmania, and Patagonia. They should include sustainable energy and transportation infrastructure as well: "Boreal soils are largely poor in key nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus, but nitrogen-fixing plants (such as the various alders) with the proper symbiotic microbes and mycorrhizal fungi can likely remedy such poverty without the need for petroleum-derived fertilizers," he writes.

Polar cities are a worst-case scenario obviously, and Bloom proposes we conduct a non-threatening thought experiment that might prod people out of their comfort zone on climate change. Not yet built, Bloom believes this to be a drastic step humanity will need to take to safeguard our future. Maybe instead of investing in the summer cottage, or in a time-share in a northern ski resort, set your sights and extra savings on investing in a flat in a futuristic Polar city. Check out the debate in TH forums.

More Polar City and Global Warming on TH

The TH Interview: Sam Branson, Environmental Activist
The 4 Stages of Global Warming Denial
100 months to save the world from climate change

::NYTimes blog