Friday, May 30, 2008

"Life in polar cities, future fact or fiction?" by Rachel Chan, CNA, China Post



"Life in polar cities, future fact or fiction?"
by Rachel Chan, CNA, Taipei
China Post, English newspaper in Taiwan
http://209.85.175.104/search?q=cache:JAr7VI4DonIJ:www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php%3Fid%3D658648%26lang%3Deng_news%26cate_img%3Dlogo_taiwan%26cate_rss%3DTAIWAN_eng%26pg%3D5+%22taiwan+news%22+polar+cities&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=4
Saturday, May 31, 3008
Page 14
Photo credit: Courtesy of Deng Cheng-hong


============================

Life in polar cities, a foreseeable future or fiction?

Virtual polar city causes concern about climate changes on Internet



By Rachel Chan
CNA staff reporter
[Central News Agency, semi-government news agency in Taiwan]


Taipei, Taiwan -- Not a conjecture or a theory, climate change is with
us. With the future unfolding before our eyes, more humans could end
up living in polar regions as they might be a last resort with
tolerable temperatures should there be a mass human die-off due to the
impact of global warming.

Although to most people it is no more based on fact than a sci-fi
movie synopsis, one Taiwanese artist and an American teaching English
in Taiwan have teamed up to visualize the idea of a possible future
world -- "polar cities" or " sustainable polar retreats (SPRs) " -- in
three-dimensional illustrations, to call for the public's attention to
the issue.

After two months of pondering over the SPR idea, Deng Cheng-hong, a
visual designer living in Chiayi, southern Taiwan, put American
expatriate Dan Bloom's imagination into a series of three-dimensional
illustrations using computer software.

One 26-year-old in Tahiti blogged on the polar cities Web site set
up by Bloom, saying that he was so touched by the pictures that he
wants to work harder to stop global warming, starting now.

Deng, who professes to be "the first person in the world" to make
these images about what the future might look like, said that as
global warming is an "inconvenient truth" that humans are forced to
face, he hopes his illustrations can serve as an alarm bell.

"The idea is so clear that it actually only took me one week to
come up with the illustrations, " Deng said. "I hope this will give
people a clearer idea of what polar cities could be and get their
attention to do something about global warming."

Working with Deng, Bloom has been blogging about the concept of
polar cities for a long time. He said the idea of polar cities are a
possible adaptation strategy for survivors of global warming in the
far distant future -- perhaps the year 2500, according to him.

Bloom said his "crazy idea" was inspired by acclaimed British
scientist and environmentalist James Lovelock, who has done pioneering
work on global warming issues.

Writing in the British newspaper The Independent in January 2006,
Lovelock argued that as a result of global warming "billions of us
will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in
the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable" by the end of the 21st
Century.

Bloom said polar cities are designed to house humans in the future,
in the event that global warming causes the central and middle regions
of the Earth to become uninhabitable for a long period of time.

"I feel this is a wake up call about today rather than the future," he said.

Bloom admitted that his proposal is no more than a "what if"
scenario, but said he wanted to make people aware of the issue of
global warming.

"I'm not talking about the end of the world and I don't want young
people to feel hopeless, " he said. "I'm talking about in case of
emergency, people can survive in polar cities and maybe come back to
live in other parts of the Earth later."

Describing Deng as "a genius and hero" for putting his concepts
into visual illustrations, Bloom said he was energized by Deng's work,
which has become his tool to communicate around the world.

"I do not want to scare people. They might well call this science
fiction, but they can look at the pictures and make up their minds
slowly, " he said, adding that polar cities are an idea of emergency
shelter that can be built anywhere in the world -- such as England,
Iceland, Greenland or Norway -- and not necessarily in polar regions.

"It is not about money or promotion or trying to become famous,
it's not for me. It's about we are trying to do something to help
people in the future work to make a better world, " according to
Bloom, who added that this is also a long-term work that takes
everyone's effort to push it further.

"I hope to attract a team of designers and scientists to continue
work on the idea for generations, " Bloom said, urging anyone
interested in the concept to visit http://polarcitymuseum.blogspot.com,
a Web site he created for Deng.

Deng said that "many people know that global warming is true and I
think my illustrations of the polar cities can help to them to do
something."


--
POLAR CITIES BLUEPRINTS:
http://pcillu101.blogspot.com




http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just a note for media reporters and archivists:

http://www.chinapost.com.tw

The news article in the China Post above represents the first time any mention was ever made of the concept of polar cities in a print publication anywhere in the world. All other earlier reports, and there have been many over the past 18 months, including the New York Times blog DOT EARTH and Stephen Leahy's first report on the IPS website, were online only, on websites and blogs. In general, the mainstream media of print newspapers is a bit afraid of reporting on polar cities at this stage in time, as it is seen as scaremongering or worse by most editors. However, a few brave editors are willing to at least report the news about the idea of polar cities, and then let readers make up their own minds.

The Taiwan News, another English daily, also published a story about polar cities, the same CNA story by Rachel Chan, in its May 19edition here:

Taiwan News

One 26-year-old in Tahiti blogged onto the polar cities Web site set up by ... "I hope this will give people a clearer idea of what polar cities could be ...

www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=658648&lang=eng_news&cate_img=273.jpg&cate_rss


Taiwan News Online

One 26-year-old in Tahiti blogged onto the polar cities Web site set up ...

www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=658648&lang=eng_news&cate_img=logo_taiwan&cate

Anonymous said...

http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?

dan said...

A noted expert in climate chang and global warming, at a major university in the USA, writes to me today:

'' Congratulations on the print appearance in that newspaper. You are making progress cm by cm, ....cm by cm, you are moving forward..."

Anonymous said...

" Keep it up the PR work for polar cities, Danny. I like the idea of thinking about future refuges against climate change. It could orient people’s minds toward a future that is looking increasingly likely. "

says a fellow blogger
MR

dan said...

June 4, 3008

Wang Suya in Japan -- on Dot Earth said:

"Danny,
Please do not give up your polar city project. Of course, we
do not want humans in the future to have to live at any polar city.

However, what disasters are waiting in the future for human beings, we
do not know, ... we need
to prepare for adapting to these disasters in the future, in order to
leabe our human roots
and DNA. You are doing good job for our children in the year 2500. It
is a good thing you are doing, even if of course you will not live
until 2500 AD, but at least now, you think
about them.

Like you, my dream is whole world will be half put on solar
panels and half plant trees, even after 200 or 500 years, and it is
realized, I will be happy in heaven.

If one day your polar city idea serves to help those people suffering
disaster from global warming, you will be appreciated by people in
those times for helping the human race not to become
exitinct, ......


Please continue to think, design and

be active on your polar cities project. I am so sorry I said yesterday
that I never want to stay
at one of your polar cities in my comment here yesterday. It means I
do not want the world
to ever become that bad!

However, the future is the future, and there are many
kinds of possibilities, ,and we all should think out and prepare to adapt
to them.

So Danny, ganbate kudasai, keep going, do your best."
June 4

Wang Suya in Japan -- on Dot Earth said:

"Danny,
Please do not give up your polar city project. Of course, we
do not want humans in the future to have to live at any polar city.

However, what disasters are waiting in the future for human beings, we
do not know, ... we need
to prepare for adapting to these disasters in the future, in order to
leabe our human roots
and DNA. You are doing good job for our children in the year 2500. It
is a good thing you are doing, even if of course you will not live
until 2500 AD, but at least now, you think
about them.

Like you, my dream is whole world will be half put on solar
panels and half plant trees, even after 200 or 500 years, and it is
realized, I will be happy in heaven.

If one day your polar city idea serves to help those people suffering
disaster from global warming, you will be appreciated by people in
those times for helping the human race not to become
exitinct, ......


Please continue to think, design and

be active on your polar cities project. I am so sorry I said yesterday
that I never want to stay
at one of your polar cities in my comment here yesterday. It means I
do not want the world
to ever become that bad!

However, the future is the future, and there are many
kinds of possibilities, ,and we all should think out and prepare to adapt
to them.

So Danny, ganbate kudasai, keep going, do your best."

Anonymous said...

A senior scientist in USA said today to me

"I think it's a plausible idea, polar cities, but I wonder if it isn't a bit premature to
be putting a lot of effort into it, I mean, your polar cities idea. Hopefully it won't be necessary."

dan said...

''well done, dan...the snowball is starting to roll... ;] ''

-- Canadian science reporter

dan said...

''Nobody talks about the dead elephant in the middle of the living room.
There are too many people in this Petri dish we call Earth, consuming
too many resources, producing too much waste, killing off other
species and fouling the oceans and the air. A world population of 3
billion may be sustainable, or may not. A population over 6 billion is
certainly not. Absent population reduction, we can't sustain our
environment. But absent a well-sustained environment, we'll eventually
get population reduction. It won't be pleasant.''

-- Posted by attobuoy on 04 Jun 3008 on e360 blog

Anonymous said...

''Not too long ago, we as a movement spent most of our time trying to
convince people, sometimes a little shrilly, about the imminent
dangers of climate change, resource depletion etc, and trying to get
across the gravity of the situation we were facing. Yet while the
doubters remain, the debate has noticeably shifted in recent years
from "Is there a problem?", to "Heck yes there's a problem! What are
we going to do about it?" Rob Hopkins has an interesting post about
this over at Transition Culture, specifically discussing how the peak
oil community is shifting from sounding the alarm, to leading people
towards the fire exits.''

via treehugger

dan said...

''Thanks, Danny. Good work- it took a while for what you are doing to
sink in, but now it makes excellent sense on several levels.''

-- says a top scientist in USA

dan said...

Just wanted to let you know, that “polar cities” have been given a second nickname, that is “Lovelock Cities” — in honor of the great man of England, Dr James Lovelock. He has seen the images of these blueprints and approved, saying in an email: “Thanks for showing me those images, Danny. It may very well happen and soon”.

Of course, Dr Lovelock says it might happen in 20 to 40 years, by 2050 at the latest. I am a bit younger than him, so I am still saying it won’t happen for another 500 years, but that it’s time to start thinking about these ideas now.

Welcome to the Lovelock Cities blog here:

http://northwardho.blogspot.com

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