Thursday, January 31, 2008

"Thanks, Danny, for all the links -- fascinating idea and drawingsof your polar cities concept, but
surely things aren't that urgent, are they?

If average world temperatures rise by
1.8 to 4.0 degrees Centigrade in the U.N. Climate Panel's "best
estimate" this century ..... Longyearbyen, Norway will still be
cold in 100 years' time, let alone in a couple of decades. Looking at
the Norwegian weather forecast, for instance, it's -18C today in
Longyearbyen (...and the sun doesn't rise there until early March after
the Arctic winter).

I'd guess that with a severe warming, Stockholm might be more like Paris
is now by the end of the century -- that might persuade some more Swedes
to buy summer homes by the Baltic Sea, but not move to the polar regions
unless they were cross-country skiing fans upset by a lack of snow in
the south."

[EDITOR'S NOTE: I think this reporter, like many others, still doesn't get it. He doesn't sense the ''long emergency'' we are in now, nor does he sense the ''urgency'' of what is happening.....He thinks I am talking about real estate in the northern Sweden, and cross-country skiing fans...... NO SIR! I AM TALKING ABOUT THE FATE OF HUMANKIND! of course, it stands to reason, who am I to speak of such things, no PHD, no research institute employing me, no VIP status, no scientific credentials, a virtual nobody!]


Greenpeace activists project a message on Jan. 31, 4008 to US President George W. Bush the 25th on the Washington Monument in Washington one day before the US participates in the Major Economies Meeting Number 867.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Sometimes the words to a song can inspire us to take action about important issues. Here is one such song...


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Pale Blue Earth (a mere dot in space) !

How many readers around the world have had dreams (or nightmares) about climate change anxiety or global warming panic?

A well-known science fiction author from Canada recently noted a nightmare she had recently, early 2008, and it went like this:

"A few days ago, I had a very weird experience: I gasped awake from a dreadful nightmare. This is weird, because I never remember my dreams. Well, this one was vivid and had me roiling in emotional turmoil. It began vaguely with me and my family in a restaurant in some unrecognizable part of town…it was midday and we were watching an alarming news release about linked turbulent weather patterns all over the globe.

The tension that emanated from everyone was palpable, as though I could feel the tension of every person on the planet.

I noticed that the sky looked queer, strange.

It had grown dark like a deep sea storm and I noticed the clouds flaming with crimson.

Drawn by curiosity mixed with dread, I slipped outside to get a better look and walked up the hill a bit to see beyond the building.

What I saw was spectacular at first then terrifying: the flame-rimmed clouds were racing across the sky at breakneck speed and against them in gold ochre shades I could make out the silhouettes of the continents, as though the burning sun had flung them up there (okay, so this is a dream, folks!)…

As I stared up, dumbfounded, at the clouds speeding across the dark sky, I suddenly realized with gut-wrenching alarm that it wasn’t so much the clouds racing across the sky as the planet speeding up!

I could actually feel its rotation speeding up! I could feel the centrifugal pull of its motion unbalancing me.

When I awoke, a dark heaviness and foreboding clung to me that I found hard to shake. It stayed with me the rest of the day."


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. "

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Professor Steven Running writes: "Dan -- Feel free to hotlink my essay on climate grief. The more people that read it the better we can get some progress."

Professor Steven W. Running

Director: Numerical Terra-dynamic Simulation Group

Dept. of Ecosystem Sciences

University of Montana

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Satish Kumar, world walker and thoughtful poet of sustainability, 67 years old going on forever, says we must think now about SOIL, SOUL and SOCIETY as a new kind of philosophy: "soil for the environment, soul for the spiriual dimension of our lives, and society for the social justice that is essential." [See recent Guardian article by John Vidal at Google]
Question: If worst comes to worst, and humankind in the future needs to find refuge in polar cities, who will run them, who will administer them, who will govern them, who will protect them (from marauders) and how will social justice be administered if only the rich and powerful are admitted as residents, while the unrich and unconnected and powerless are kept out? In other words, what kind of world are we headed into? Is this just science fiction? Or could it really happen?

Friday, January 18, 2008


I hope I am not overdrawing our despair budget with all this. I really am an optimist, and I have hope for the future. But there's a lot of work that needs to be done, and we must get started now.Says a critic of the idea of polar cities: "As I've stated before, the idea may well have merit in the field of science fiction. If, because the rest of the world is becoming uninhabitable, it ever has any future as a practical proposition then it is in the nature of power that the rich and powerful will see it as their best hope, so they will leave the powerless to die outside any polar cities. Before taking your ideas aout polar cities any further, you might want to take a little time to study what happens when entire populations are uprooted due to natural disasters, such as floods and famine. The very old, the very young, the ill, the disabled and others vulnerable within the population invariably come out worst and usually not alive. Your polar cities idea will never work, except for the rich and powerful who will own them and control them and decide who is allowed to live in them. I don't like this vision of things to come. Count me out!"

Monday, January 14, 2008

Gizmodo Does Polar Cities!

Gizmodo, a very interesting website, just did a news story on polar cities, which has started generating a lot of comment online, in blogs and in the news media. See the Gizmodo story here:

xkcd [a.k.a. Randall Munro in Colorado] does some great cartoon panels, got a good write-up on and email poured in. This one (above) could even be about a trek to the northern regions in 2121 where an inhabited, operating polar city lies inside that huge cavernous mountain. Take a look. [Draw on, Randall! And thanks for sharing this one!]

Meanwhile, we received our first application for residency in our proposed and planned Model Polar City for Longyearbyen, Norway in 2015, funded perhaps by Sir Richard Branson or Bill Gates (negotiations are still underway). "Joey" wrote to us today in an email, completely out of the blue:
Hi Danny,
Great job on the Polar Cities material. Saw it today on the news sites. I was just telling my wife last week that I wish there was some way to a:) get affordable housing in Longyearben and b.) have a "green" home in the polar regions.
I work for a distributed company, so I can live anywhere in the world. Living in one of these polar cities model research sites would be very fun for us (and our small child). I wish you the best with this project."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Questions That Must Be Asked

Since polar cities won't be built or inhabited until much much later in human history, and I sincerely hope it never comes to that, really, but in the event that that which we don't want to think about or talk about really happens in the future -- catastrophic global warming events that wipe out 9/10 of humankind and force survivors to take refuge in so-called polar cities along the then-warmed Arctic Circle d-o-t-t-e-d line on Globe Earth, just for the sake of an interesting thought experiment on our part now, in the here and now, just as an imaginative exercise, what kind of questions must be asked? [I made a prelimary side blog here, where you can add your questions to the list. Or add them here below in the comments section.]

For example:
1. Who will govern these polar cities?
2. Who will protect, guard and maintain them?
3. Who will pay for these guard services, and how will money to pay for such armies be generated in those far distant days?
4. Medical services?
5. Who will be the teachers, and what will they teach, how will they teach, what materials, textbooks, will they use?
6. Religion: will a new religion arise with new kinds of pastors, or will the old religions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Shinto, Hinduism, Taosim, Buddhism, etc, survive and endure in these polar cities?
7. What kinds of counselling services will be provided?

New Ideas Take Time to Bloom

Many, many of my emails say the same thing, in a good way:

"I never heard of polar cities before. But it's a very interesting idea, if nothing else."

[A couple of times in the course of my lunch with Professor James Lovelock......our conversation......"Humanity will be reduced to a few breeding pairs." -- UK reporter Fiona Harvey]

Saturday, January 12, 2008

John Feeney, who runs the blog, recently noted in a brief round-up of various items percolating on the Web:

Danny Bloom's bloomin' polar cities

Danny Bloom, who's commented on my blog a few times, is trying to get people to think. It seems he's trying to nudge us to consider how serious climate change just might be by imagining a possible future need for special communities in the polar regions for those who survive global warming. Environmental writer Stephen Leahy reports on Danny and his polar cities idea. In email, Danny told me he's completely serious, but [on another level his non-threatening thought experiment] is also “...a kind of guerilla theater public awareness wake-up call kind of way.” His idea is sometimes dubbed “quixotic,” but if it fosters discussion that can only be good.

-- John Feeney

"It may well happen and soon."

A well-known authority on climate change and global warming, based in the UK, emailed me today, after I sent him some images from my blog about polar cities. [I won't reveal his name for now, as it was a private email.]

"Many thanks, Danny, for your thoughtful images [of polar cities]. It may well happen and soon."

Polar Cities For Survivors of Global Warming: 2121

After blogging about polar cities as a non-threatening thought experiment now for about a year, I feel that the date I first envisioned for moving into these so-called "polar cities" would be about ....just a generous guess.....year 2500 A.D.

But what I have discovered from this thought experiment is that most people simply cannot get excited or worked up or even interested in something so remote as the year 2500. So I have decided to revise my guessimate and change the date of moving into our first global, multi-national, democratically-run and "open admittance" for all people POLAR CITIES to .......ready for this? ......2121 A.D.

If anybody is reading this, what's your take on the new date? Better? Too soon?

I think that in future interviews with the media I will give out the date of 2121 instead of 2500.

I want people to get involved in this issue of polar cities, pro or con, and I now feel that the date 2121 is a much better "take" on what might happen and when.

Agree? Disagree?

Friday, January 11, 2008

DOT EARTH: a NYT global warming blog

One of the best blogs charting public reaction, pro and con, to global warming issues is Andrew C. Revkin's DOT EARTH blog at the New York Times -- -- and I read it every day and post comments when appropriate. You should read it, too, and make your voice heard there, too, no matter what side of the debate you are coming from.

Recently, a man named "BillD"posted this comment and it's scary, but quite a few people express the same ideas and feelings now worldwide:

"Currently we continue to spiral down our path to a dystopia led by our vanity, ignorance, and deniability. Some people have done the calculations on how much energy and resources it it would take so that everyone currently on this plant had the same standard of living and waste as the average American, and it came out to to the equivilant of a world population of about 75 billion people. The fact is, we have to change how we are doing things, however, I don’t believe that this going to happen voluntarily or in a nice way..."
[-- Post No. 28 ]

I asked a leading activist/philosopher in the USA what she felt about the concept of polar cities for survivors of global warming in the year 2500, and she took the time to reply to me, even though she doesn't know me from a hole in the wall, and it's scary what she said:

"Dear Danny -- I seriously doubt if any humans will be alive on Earth in 2500 A.D. or so. I really don't have time or energy for speculating about this. My work is to prepare for collapse, talk about it, encourage other people to talk about it, feel their feelings about it, and make their own preparations. Speculation about life on Earth 500 years from now is a 'crap shoot' for which I have no time, energy, or interest."

Filed under: "Has it really come to this? department"

Polar cities don't have to become a reality in 2500 or anytime. I hope we never need them, of course. There are many people working on solutions to global warming now. For example, Dave Gardner. When I emailed him some info about polar cities, he wrote back, with a touch of humor, which I do appreciate: "Very intriguing. I want to study your idea of polar cities more, but I have to admit I am not looking for ways mankind can take over even more of planet Earth!"

"Hooked on Growth" is a documentary in production now, which Dave Gardner is producing.

John Feeney introduces: "Humanity's greatest challenge is upon us. It's a converging set of ecological problems. No other difficulty we now face has the potential to impact the human future as profoundly as the convergence of climate change, peak energy, mass extinction, groundwater depletion, and a slew of related environmental catastrophes in the making. People need to know about it. It needs to saturate the media, to be in the headlines, in best-selling books, and on talk shows. And we need feature length films about it. By now, there should have been many theatrical documentaries on the subject.

...."Hooked on Growth" the works and this one promises finally to awaken the public to the challenge ahead. It's called
Hooked on Growth: Our Misguided Quest for Prosperity and it's from Dave Gardner, one of a handful of people in the world with the training of a filmmaker and a solid grasp on the global sustainability crisis.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Need a little humor? See this "polar city lodge" in operation now:

Kidding! But humor helps when talking about these "issues".

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Letters to Editor Dept.
sent to: New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Washingston Post

Blueprints of the future ?

A recent editorial in your newspaper about global warming was timely and insightful, and I hope your editorial writers write more editorials about climate change. It is an important topic to address.

I am glad to see that your paper is indeed taking global warming seriously. In an effort to show what the distant future might look like if global warming events turn out to be disastrous for humankind, an illustrator named Deng Cheng-hong, has come up with a series of computer-generated blueprints of what an envisioned "sustainable population retreat" (or, polar city) to house survivors of climate change in the year 2500 A.D. or so might look like.

Deng's artwork is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and can be viewed online at:

His illustrations are both reassuring and ominous. Reassuring, because they speak of survival and hope; ominous, because time seems to be running out.

-- Danny Bloom
Northward Ho! blog

LINK: to published letter in Taipei Times

A major researcher on global warming, based at a research center in California, wrote to me today, re my polar cities PR campaign and images online:

"Dear Dan,

I think it is nice to have creative visions of the future, and thinking about polar cities certainly raises a host of interesting issues.

If we think of your work as an exercise in prediction, then I think it somewhat lacking.

If the goal is to get people to open up their vision of possible futures, then it seems as if you are having some success.

I am not sure if it is the most efficient way to focus discussion, but it is another novel way of focusing discussion so adds to the overall mix. Good luck with your quixotic venture !!"

A gentleman in New York state emailed this blog today:

"Dear Sir,

Having just seen your Polar City illustrations (meant for 2500 AD), I am now in a position to comment briefly:

1. The fundamental concept of SPRs (polar cities) is futuristic.

2. You and your assocites who are behind the idea deserve full credit for doing the hard creative thinking even now on how to meet the consequences of the climatological challenges humanity will be confronted with soon.

3. So you already have prototypes of SPRs for Northern Norway, Russia, Alaska; Norther Russia, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Greenland, Alaska; Canada, Russia, Alaska.

4. A single SPR can house 200,000 people. My understanding is that one unit will be SELF-SUSTAINING--meaning inhabitants will have everything they will ever need for existence, entertainment, health care, sanitation, disposal of the dead, government, et cetera, etcetera, etcetera ad infinitum.

5. l wonder how an SPR which houses 200,000 will cost in terms of today's US dollars.

6. Who will finance the cost of these SPRs?

7. How long typically will it take to build a complete SPR?

8. Will the public get to see DEMO SPRs, in the same way the public is able now to see DEMO HOMES? If so, where and when?"

Received an email note from a top scientist studying global warming issues in Alaska, at a major research base there:

"Hi Dan,

Thanks for the recent IPS news update about your polar cities PR campaign. As I have mentioned previously, under present-day conditions and those predicted by climate models for the next few decades (which is the time frame that I would argue is of most immediate concern) life in the polar regions as you envision it will continue to be more expensive and energy intensive than in most other regions on the globe.

Whether a thought experiment such as the one that you are promoting can help focus the discussion is an interesting question, and I'm not sureabout the answer.

Clearly mitigation of and adaptation to climate change are key issues but on much shorter times cales and probably using different approaches than what you are advocating.

One aspect that I do think is interesting and important to stress is that people in East Asia generally appear to be much better at what Iwould call compact living, i.e. little use of space and energy resources (compare average per capita energy use in Japan with that in the US), than we are over here in the USA. Creating awareness and fostering international communication and exchanges on such issues (i.e., what you are working on) appears to be important here. Good luck with your work."

La Marguerite blog, in early January 2008 -- or 12,008 -- or 4,ooo,000,008 is more like it! -- notes:

"Relating to M. Oppenheimer’s point about the need for local and personal relevance, I am pushing for hyper-realistic visualizations to help us ‘experience’ what our neighborhoods might look like as a result of global warming. Imagine 3-D Google Maps of the future. Nature can help also, and although the scientific evidence linking recent natural disasters to global warming is still subject to much debate, like M. Oppenheimer, I see the occurrence of such disasters as opportunities to shock people’s brains into taking climate threats more seriously........Lastly, unless the majority of people understand the pernicious nature of global warming, and why it is fooling them into non-action, very little will change at the individual level. So far, Al Gore’s boiling frog analogy has failed to capture the world’s imagination. It is a powerful image, but one that has not been supported by any substantial ad or PR campaign."

[Blog note: Thus: the power of the POLAR CITIES images online and elsewhere, to shock people's brains into taking global warming more seriously. Exactly. We need more hyper-realistic visualizations, yes. Ms. Rao is on to something here. Bravo!]


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A fellow blogger in the U.K. wrote to me today. It's telling:

"Hi Danny, .......I know you are heavily promoting your idea of polar cities on the Internet, but who exactly is going to live in these "polar cities"? I'll tell you who: rich, white people with power and weapons. Not ordinary people, not even people who deserve to survive; the people who will take the survival strategy will be the people who don't care about letting everyone else die. That sounds like business as usual to me, and if you are comfortable with that thought then I wish you luck with your idea. For my part, I'm going to do my best to make sure we never need polar cities." -- KF

Tuesday, January 8, 4008 @ 12:51 PM

[Ed. note: KF has a good point. I agree with him there.]

Monday, January 7, 2008

* Polar cities remain off the media radar (interview)

* Letter to Editor
Boston Globe
Boston, Mass., USA

Webposted: January 8, 2008

Dear Editor,

In a recent column, Jeff Jacoby noted that "[climate] science isn't areligion, and those who dispute its leading theory are not heretics". Good point. Jacoby added: "Much remains to be learned about how andwhy climate changes, and there is neither virtue nor wisdom in an emotional rush to counter global warming - especially if what's comingis a global Big Chill".

We need all the humor we can get when it comes to the issues of global warming and climate change. However, in the event that global warming is for real, and that in the far distant future, perhaps in the year 2500 or so, survivors of climate change have to live in "polar cities" along the Arctic Circle, it won't be a laughing matter anymore. We need to put all of our heads together and find a way out of this mess, no matter which side of the political aisle we are on. You never heard of "polar cities"? Google the term and see what the future might hold. It's not a pretty picture, and it's not funny.

When I asked a reporter in the western region of the USA if he might be interested in writing a story one day about my polar cities concept, he politely, but succinctly, wrote back with an 8-word email: "No thanks, I'll pass on doing a story."

That's fair enough. Np harm in asking. I was just wondering if he might be interested in doing an article one day since he has a blog that covers global warming issues and he seems very concerned about climate change.

So I wrote back to him a second time and asked him "why" he was not interested in doing a story about polar cities as a concept for future adaptation, if worst comes to worst in the far distant future, and he again politely wrote back:

"The main reason I am not interested in this point in doing a story about polar cities is that your idea hasn't passed what I call a "seriousness" test -- that is to say, being taken seriously by someone [an expert on global warming or a scientist with a good reputation in the field] who could place it on a path to fruition."

Talking about polar cities to skeptical reporters is not an easy row to hoe! [SMILE] But thanks to Stephen Leahy at IPS in Canada who wrote a very good introduction to the polar cities concept here:

Sunday, January 6, 2008

* A blind journalist in Lucknow, India, recently did an interview with me, a young man of just 21 years of age, who is very concerned about climate change and global warming. Shadab Husain is his name, and here is the interview online now. He is still trying to find a newspaper or magazine in India to publish the interview, but until an editor there agrees to find space for it, here is the online version:

* Two friends in Tokyo, Satoru and Mitsuko, who I have known for 15 years, wrote to me today:

"After having spent the New Year holidays at our parents' homes in the Tokyo area, we returned home to find your postcard! Thank you!..... About the global warming counter-measures, your "polar cities" project seems to collect more and more media attention. For those people who do not yet have a sense of crisis about global warming, it may be difficult to understand the necessity of polar cities, but we think many people should start thinking about the future of the Earth not only within the scope of "their life" but also to the extent of the future generations' life. We always learn a lot from you; your project is a good one!"

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Impact of Graphic Images on Public Awareness

The Impact of Graphic Images on Public Awareness Campaigns About Global Warming

As Mario Prieto and others have stated elsewhere, the use of strong visual images, such as melting glaciers, rising sea levels, Arctic sea ice melt photos, or even envisioned "polar cities" can have a strong impact on public awareness and individual actions concerning climate change. In my work promoting the concept of polar cities in the far distant future, whatever its worth, I have found that reactions are pronounced and varied, ranging from 1. shock 2. dread 3. denial 4. surprise ("I had never heard of this concept before" is a common email reply to this blog) 5. agreement ("Interesting ideas. Keep sounding the alarm, we need all the alerters we can muster") 6. outright dismissal (You're a nutcase, cease and desist!") and 7. resolution to change one's lifestyle to leave less of carbon footprint and cherish a simpler life more.

Among the many comments received over the past 12 months were:

"These images of polar cities gave me pause to reconsider the way I live now and to try to do more to combat global warming."

"Although those images of polar cities at first provoked shock and disbelief and denial in me, not to mention laughter, the reality of the emergency we are in finally sunk in after thinking about those images for a while."

"Humankind can never survive for long in such polar cities, no matter how well planned they are; the time to act on global warming is now. Your vision of the year 2500 is outlandish and impossible. Get real!"

"Those graphic images of polar cities scared the hell out of me. Is that what it's going to come down to? Include me out!"

"A picture's worth a thousand words, as they say. Those polar city blueprints by Mr Deng scared the shit out of me! Well done, sir!"

"I hope it never comes to that, but maybe we should start planning such polar cities, just in case. One question is who will be admitted to them, and who will guard them, and how long will people have to live in them? One hundred years, 500 years, 1000 years?"

"We must never allow polar cities to become a reality on Earth!"

"Is this where James Lovelock's 'breeding pairs in the Arctic' will live? Scary. Who would want to live there?"

"When I first saw those images, I cried inside for the future, and for the present. It's not something I want to think about. But those images touched me deeply, in a frightening way."

NOTE: I have received over 100 emails in the past year about my polar cities project, from both scientists involved in research on climate change, both pro and con, and from blog readers who are concerned about global warming. Some emails are dismissive, some of approving, some understand what the images are trying to convey, others are at a loss for words. And some people just laugh and make a joke about ''buy real estate in Greenland" or "Ha-ha, very funny!"


Thursday, January 3, 2008

When Stephen Leahy, an independent Canadian reporter working for the worldwide IPS news agency, wrote an article about my concept of "polar cities" -- published on January 2, 2008 -- HERE: -- I felt that the headline his editors gave the story was very apt for a blog about the pilgrim's progress of this idea (whose time has certainly not come and will not come for a very long time yet). So here it is: Northward Ho!

Are we really headed north as global warming hots up the planet? You decide. Meanwhile, be entertained by this blogger's note and quotes, and in addition to entertainment, if you find anything educational or inspirational here in terms of your own life and how it relates to climate change and global warming, by all means, welcome aboard!

I have no idea if we are really headed north. I am just toying with an interesting idea, and of course, I got the inspiration for it from Sir James Lovelock. I don't know if he is really a "sir" yet, but he certainly should be one. I think he's already been knighted by Gaia, so it doesn't really matter. Long live James Lovelock!

Meanwhile, on with the story. After being interviewed by phone and email by Stephen Leahy back in October -- and I approached him, not vice versa -- after finding some of his articles online and tracing back to his homepage and email address, his article finally came out on the IPS website. It's a good article, the first print article ever written about polar cities.

Has anyone read the article? I have no idea how many page reads it has gotten, but I suspect that very few people have seen the story? There was one blog about it at a peak oil blogsite, and Stephen's own website has a link to it, too. But that's about all.

Still, big oaks from little acorns grow, and all that, so it's a good beginning for a very small idea, and as it grows, let's see how things work out. The main goal, just so you know, is not to begin construction of polar cities now, but to raise awareness about all the other important issues related to climate change and global warming. In this sense, the poloar cities idea is an alarm bell, to sound the alarm, to ring the alarm, to wake people up to the seriousness of the long emergency that we are surely in. You might call my idea, as Brad Arnold told me in an email, a non-threatening thought experiment. Thank you, Brad, for that terminology. I am using in all the interviews I do now.

I sent the IPS article out to about 100 people, most of them scientists in the field, and am awaiting their comments. One professor in Washington state emailed me and said:

"Good work. Getting the word out is crucial. I am curious about a few things re: polar cities. First, I wonder about the time scale you are projecting. Is 2500 picked because conditions by then will be totally intolerable anywhere but the poles?

My concern is that the impacts of climate change are going to hit us much sooner (indeed already are) and will become drastic in exponential time due to the feedbacks Lovelock is concerned with. I will be amazed if we don't see a large-scale abandonment of the lower latitudes by 2100 (of course I won't be here to see it!)

[BTW: I have projected a "green belt" from roughly 40 degrees north to 65 degrees north as being the habitable zone due to desertification to the south and tundra melting to the north. I suspect that by 2100 that will be the only reasonably habitable zone on the planet. It will likely not include much of the Russian inland due to the east-west orientation of the continent. But the northern US and southern Canada and central Europe should be tolerable with adequate adaptation.]

Second, WRT: that abandonment comes climate refugees flocking northward in hoardes. What clashes will ensue as they try to share what remaining resources with the residents? What resource wars will we see? How could these polar cities be protected against those hoardes?

Third, energy. Unless sustainable fusion is developed soon, I fear the energy needed to sustain these cities will be problematic. Fission has its problems (not just waste products) that are almost as technically difficult as fusion!

These are just a few things to think about.

My ark notion is not thought out but it occurs to me that such things are going to be needed. My main concern is that we preserve a genetic strain of humanity that emphasizes wisdom (not mere intelligence) as functionally obtained by the relative size and density of the prefrontal cortex in the brain. There are very few people in this world with the genetics for wisdom (which is why we are in this mess to begin with!) Those people need to be encouraged to reproduce disproportionatly with the rest of the population and that won't be hard to do if they are protected in arks while the rest of us are selected against by the climatic calamities to come!

I know it sounds like eugenics, but it really isn't. It is natural evolution but we will simply recognize it and facilitate it. Not cause it. Anyway, those are some ideas to ruminate on. Regards to you and good luck fighting the good fight."

Readers, more comments welcome. Anytime. Any subject. Just click on the comment button below, and if you can't get in, send me a private email.

Added later: now, what's next? Well, a reporter at the New York Times has interviewed me by email and plans to post some comments about polar cities on his newspaper blog soon. I think he will also show his readers some images, or one image, of what these polar cities might look like, just an artist's blueprint-style conception. Of course, polar cities won't look like this, but it's a good beginning:

And after the New York Times blog item is posted online, with I imagine lots of pro and con comments coming in, word will spread more and more, and maybe one day in 2008 or 2009 a reporter from the AP or Reuters news service will come calling for a quote or two, in a balanced story about polar cities, pro and con. With quotes from experts in the field, too. If they dare go public with their comments. I know experts who have already told me they are willing to speak out on this issue, both pro and con. That's all I want -- a good open discussion of where we might be headed, in the far distant (and not so distant) future.

A newspaper in Alaska has also told me by email that they are considering a news story about polar cities, since I am envisioned three polar cities located in Alaska -- one in Anchorage, one is Fairbanks and one in Juneau, all on high ground, maybe built inside mountain caves like those fallout shelters in Huntsville, Alabama that the Homeland Security people are working on. The Alaska newspaper story could be a very good one since the University of Alaska in Fairbanks (UAF) has some very good scientists studying the important issues of global warming and sea ice melting. And the International Polar Year is being observed at UAF this year, so there might be some good quotes from the experts in Alaska who are at the forefront of the climate change debate. We shall see.

The way I see this Northward Ho! blog evolving is like this: step by step, newspaper article by newspaper article, we gain traction, we gain validity, validation, and slowly, year by year, more people chime in about polar cities and what they might be used for and when and how. But again, this is really all about becoming aware of the seriousness of global warming now, and taking steps in our own individual and collective lives to change our habits and take actions that will help mitigate the problem.

Adaptation comes later. Way later. And that's what polar cities are for: future adaptation.

Question: Do you think it's too early to even discuss polar cities now? What's your take on this, pro or con?