Sunday, December 27, 2009

What the NEW YORK TIMES said about POLAR CITIES, JAMES LOVELOCK and DAN BLOOM'S COCKAMAMIE IDEAS: Polar Cities a Haven in Warming World? Andrew C. Revkin asked in a blog post on DOT EARTH

Polar Cities a Haven in Warming World? asked ANDREW C. REVKIN, ''DOT EARTH'' BLOGGER in 2007,

One vision of a “polar city” in an overheated world [can be seen here at with art by Deng Cheng-hong]

Danny Bloom, an American editor/reporter/blogger living in Taiwan, is on a one-man campaign to get people to seriously consider a worst-case prediction of the British chemist and inventor James Lovelock: life in “polar cities” arrayed around the shores of an ice-free Arctic Ocean in a greenhouse-warmed world.

Lovelock, who in 1972 conceived of Earth’s crust, climate and veneer of life as a unified self-sustaining entity, Gaia, foresees humanity in full pole-bound retreat within a century as areas around the tropics roast — a scenario far outside even the worst-case projections of climate scientists.

After reading a newspaper column in which Lovelock predicted disastrous warming, Bloom (a frequent comment poster on Dot Earth) teamed up with Deng Cheng-hong, a Taiwanese artist, and set up Websites showing designs for self-sufficient Arctic communities.

Bloom told the New York Times that his intent was to conduct a thought experiment that might prod people out of their comfort zone on climate — which remains, for many, a someday, somewhere issue.

I interviewed Dr. Lovelock two years ago on his dire climate forecast and prescriptions — and also his ultimately optimistic view that humans will muddle through, albeit with a greatly reduced population. There’s a video of my chat with Dr. Lovelock here.

“At six going on eight billion people,” Dr. Lovelock told the Times, “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.”

The retreat, he insists, will be toward the poles. [Lovelock has seen Bloom's ideas and Deng's artwork and told them in an email a year ago: "It may very well happen and soon!"]

It’s a dubious scenario, particularly on time scales shorter than centuries. But — as the Times has written extensively in recent years — there is already an intensifying push to develop Arctic resources and test shipping routes that could soon become practical should the floating sea ice in the Arctic routinely vanish in summers....

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