Saturday, January 26, 2008

Gerbil City? Polar City?

Could it really come to this? (Humor department)
"Dan Bloom thinks the world is screwed. Who is Dan Bloom you ask? Some scientist or expert on global warming? No, he's a writer who doesn't own a computer and lives in Taiwan teaching English. Proving it doesn't take a scientist to believe Mother Earth is packing up her bags and calling it quits. Dan is also the one that came up with the idea for these awesome Polar Cities. Basically he thinks that in no longer than 500 years (and possible way sooner) the world's population will be decimated and only a few hundred million people will survive in these specially-designed cities in the Arctic. "


Anonymous said...

After the End We Will Live Like Gerbils16 Jan 2008 by the Stormin Mormon
For more information on "polar cities", readers are sent to (This blog is cool because it also contains a link to a global warming protest song.) There's some really insightful information here: ...

Anonymous said...

Said a blogger:

''I find the scenario to be highly unlikely. While the points presented may be valid in the event of the sudden disappearance of humans from the planet, a more interesting approach would have been to examine the effects of a more gradual decline in the human population which is a very real possibility, given the fact that we are already in the process of destroying our environment. As this process accelerates, world catastrophes will become more numerous and competition for shrinking available resources will intensify. If we survive as a species at all, I believe we will sink into another period similar to the "Dark Ages". And it could be that polar cities will be places where we must reside until the Dark Ages are over...."

Anonymous said...

Lila, in New Zealand, wrote:

"....And yes, Dan, I have great respect for your Polar City project; at least someone, somewhere, is facing reality."


A top scientist in Alaska wrote to me:

"Dear Danny,

My operative assumption is that enough uncertainties remain regarding
timing and rate of warming, possible implementation of greenhouse emission
controls, and specific effects of warming in particular regions, as to
make the plan to move cities beyond the list subjects that I believe I
could usefully contribute to.

Thank you, though, for showing me these images. Interesting."

January 29, 4008 4:45 PM

Anonymous said...

"We Are Now On the Hairy Edge..."

Kit Stolz blogs:

For a modest man, Dr. James Hansen, the Cassandra of global warming, has become quiet fiery.

To wit (from his most recent letter to Angela Merkel, prime minister of Germany, on why she must not allow coal plant construction):

...we must have a prompt moratorium on the construction of coal-fired power plants that do not capture CO2, and we must phase-out existing coal-fired power plants over the next two decades. It is foolish to build new plants with the knowledge that they will have to be bull-dozed in the near future.

Given the fossil fuel facts summarized in the letter, the alternative to elimination of CO2 emissions from coal use would be to place a contraption on the back of each of our automobiles to capture the CO2. Remember that the mass of the CO2 is more than three times larger than the mass of the fuel in the tank. Can you imagine the price of this contraption? And where are you going to take and stow the CO2 after you capture it?

One of my next posts will be a paper that I hope makes the story clearer. We are now on the hairy edge. We are, in fact, going somewhat beyond the safe level of atmospheric CO2, but there is enough potential for storage of CO2 in soils and the biosphere that we can take care of the excess via improved agricultural and forestry practices, improvements that make sense for other reasons – provided that we phase out coal use except where CO2 is captured and sequestered.

Old geezers living on high ground may not be concerned about ice sheet stability and future sea level rise, or the out-of-control mess that we threaten to leave for coming generations. However, when one looks at species loss and its relation to climate change, simple calculation shows that each new coal-fired power plant will be a dagger in the heart of at least several irreplaceable species, even though we cannot identify specific species with a specific power plant.