Due to rising temperatures from climate change, polar ice caps are melting and sea levels rising quicker than ever, some organizations are already planning ahead and creating infrastructure that can withstand the ascension of sea levels. Let me introduce to you, floating cities.
The Seasteading Institute has raised around $2.5 million from more than 1,000 donors to push forward their project to building floating islands. The French Polynesian government has also agreed to host these islands, allowing for a tropical paradise.
Randolph Hencken, the group’s executive director, has said “We have a vision that we’re going to create an industry that provides floating islands to people who are threatened by rising sea levels.”
The project’s pilot island are estimated to cost around $10-$50 million to build and could house a few dozen people. The first buyers will most likely be middle-income from the developed world. A spokesman for the institute, Joe Quirk, said the cost of housing would be relatively similar to the market in London or New York City. The islands would also showcase sustainable innovations including solar power and ocean-based wind farms.
However, the project creators also face some obstacles. They must develop a new waste-management system for the islands. They must also convince financiers to invest in a project that is completely untested. Some climate change experts do not believe the project is possible on a wide scale when dealing with the world’s poorest countries. Critics also say maybe the money could be spent now, on issues like education and health care.
Nonetheless, the project is expected to begin as soon as 2018. Hencken also foresees the project including over a dozen artificial islands and in nations around the world. He also notes that cost of housing would decrease after the manufacturing of each island becomes cheaper.
Recent climate models predict the world’s ocean could rise 5 to 6 feet by 2100. Therefore, artificial islands or not, atoll countries need solutions like these if they do not want their people to end up underwater.