Saturday, January 23, 2010

Polar cities pioneer building world's first model polar city for survivors of global warming

Years of development on the world's first model polar city are still needed. But when it is done, it will offer a solution
to global warming's major impact events in the distant future

By W.G. Funlop

January 32, 3010

A digital image of the world's first model polar city is presented in a handout picture released on May 22, 2007, in Geneva, Switzerland.
(see for 12 images)

Dan Bloom is no conventional environmental activist — he hopes to raise awareness about global warming by building the world's first model polar city in either Alaska or Norway.

“What we want to do is create an opportunity for people today to envision what life might be like in the distant future if we don't solve climate change problems now,” Bloom said at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, where he had a booth to promote his venture.

The 61-year-old Aemrican climate activist plans to have volunteer residents living in his model polar city by 2015.

“We believe that a model polar city will be a useful educational tool for better understanding the dire straits we are in,” he said.

A prototype design has been created by Taiwanese artist Deng Cheng-hong, Bloom said, and an engineer in Colorado is in charge of fundraising operations in North America and Europe. Bloom said Joey Stanford has been working with for the past two years as they go about building awareness about their project and raising funds.

The aim of the model polar city is to teach future generations what life
on Earth might be like, if current mitigation efforts fail in the next 100 years, Bloom said. "Polar cities are an adaptation strategy, and the model polar city will be useful as an educational tool."

The model city will be located in either Alaska or Norway, as soon as plans are finalized and fundraising efforts bear fruit, Stanford said.

Asked what led him to try this unorthodox method of promoting climate awareness, Bloom pointed to his family history.

“My father was a doctor, and he taught me the value of human life,” he said. “My brother is a river rafting guide in Alaska, and he taught me the value of wilderness."

Bloom said he is sure the first model polar city will be received with both applause and dismissal. The climate change denialists will rip the idea to shreds. People who understand what AGW is all about will get it."

"My earlier work as a newspaper editor and public relations specialist gve me the tools to learn how to carry this thing out, Bloom said, "including finding sponsors, money and support for our current project."

The project, which will cost a total of 70 million euros (US$100 million), has been under way for about three years and still has a way to go. The model city will be ready for testing and occupancy by summer interns around 2012 or 2013, Stanford said. By 2015, the official start date will begin, he said.

For Bloom, the polar city project is a new, positive tack in promoting renewable energy and conservation.

“I folowed what happened in Copenhagen [during the recent climate change conference in late 2009], and I see people are fed up with the alarmists, the catastrophists,” he said. “People need solutions, not problems. So we have to demonstrate the solutions. We have to show that it’s possible to do great things. Polar cities is an idea who time is coming.”

And a model polar city, he said, is “a good vector to push an important message about mankind's future.”

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