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Biomimicry Floating_Maldives

Published on March 7th, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer

12

The Maldives Buys a New Island – That Floats

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March 7th, 2010 by
 

Sea level rise creates new business opportunity and “green jobs” that we’ll see more of, borne from the effects of climate change, as sea levels rise. The first floating island has just been commissioned this week by the sinking island nation of the Maldives, from Dutch Docklands, whose past work includes part of  the artificial islands comprising The World off the coast of Dubai.

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Humanity is faced with possibly its worst problem in all of its history, in climate change. It takes political imagination to make the changes needed to turn around the disaster bearing down on us. Half of us have an IQ under 100, so making this change and convincing all of us that we can do it (by switching to renewable energy sources) will be very much harder than just inventing fire was (perhaps our last comparable climate change challenge).

Perhaps we can’t save ourselves, and adaptation may be our only chance. Dutch Docklands is predicated on solving one result of this failure; rising sea levels – by inventing and engineering floating islands. Like inventing imitation glaciers, it’s an example of the kind of lateral thinking that we’ll need more of.

The company specializes in solutions for places where sea levels are rising, land is sinking or where sand shortages make traditional erosion control reclamation prohibitively expensive. Underneath one of its artificial islands, marine life can adhere to the floating platform.

The floating island can be moored to land so that it is somewhat stable. In very rough seas (like when there’s cyclones) there would be some movement but most of the time it would feel like a solid island, not like being on a boat covered in sand.

The beach is completely floating and just as comfortable as a normal beach, ecologically sound and erosion free. Under the sand would be a foam and concrete platform, gradually sloping down underwater, that to some extent cups the sand in the container shape. The company tries to use methods and procedures that reduce impact on underwater life and minimize changes to coastal morphology.

Dutch Docklands claims to be able to retain the natural interconnection between tides, waves and current intact while creating miles of new beaches for permanent coastal expansion.

The CEO Paul van de Camp moved to Dubai from Holland because of the “anything is possible” spirit in Dubai, where he engineered the Australasian section of The World. The design for the floating beach design is essentially the same as for some new floating islands Dutch Docklands is building to indulge the sheik in Dubai, in the shape of a rather cryptic phrase in Arabic.

By the end of the century, quite a bit of Dubai itself will also be underwater due to rising sea levels as a result of climate change. The floating island commissioned by the Sheik should ensure the survival of a home for the 22nd century princely offspring.

But for the Maldives, replacing its land is already a matter of life or death.

Image: Dutch Docklands

Source: GreenLivingIdeas

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate, and GreenProphet. She has also been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



  • http://www.wirtland.com Lenny T

    NEWS RELEASE March 22, 2010

    Virtual state to acquire physical territory from Maldives

    Wirtland, the first sovereign cybercountry, has announced plan to legitimately acquire real land from one (or even several) world’s countries. If realized, it will be the first case of peaceful formation of a new country “from a scratch”.

    ————

    On March 15 Wirtland approached the Government of the Republic of Maldives with a formal proposal to transfer a piece of its territory to Wirtland. “Proposal for Monetization of Unused Land by cooperation between Republic of Maldives and Wirtland” is intended to utilize a small piece of Maldives’ unused terrain. According to the Proposal, “Republic of Maldives officially assigns a piece of its territory, of any quality and size, to Wirtland. Maldives will have a major stake in future sales of land from this territory, agreed in contract”. In his letter addressed to the President of the Republic of Maldives, Chancellor of Wirtland underlined his hope that “such a plan, if realized, will make a positive effect on the economy of Maldives”.

    Thereby the virtual state would take hold of official territory, which later would be offered for sale to people willing to become citizens of new country. The quality and size of territory do not matter: Wirtland will remain virtual community, as no buyer will physically move to Maldives. However, presence of defined territory is a necessary condition for diplomatic recognition of Wirtland by international community, according to Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States. According to Article 1 of Montevideo Convention, to have sovereignty, a state must have a permanent population, a defined territory, and a government. Wirtland hopes that peaceful acqusition of even a small piece of territory by virtual community will become a unique historical precedent and will open the door towards full official recognition of Wirtland, legitimization of Wirtland passports and other documents issued by virtual state.

    For a partner country such as the Republic of Maldives, the result of the barter deal is possibility to make money out of otherwise useless land. Maldives’ official reaction is not known. Wirtland reserves right to approach other governments with similar proposal.

    * * *

    Wirtland describes itself as an experiment into legitimacy and self-sustainability of a country without its own soil. Founded in 2008, Wirtland represents people from all five continents. Wirtland grants citizenships, issues ID cards, mints gold and silver money, is featured in Wikipedia, and has won considerable coverage by television and press.

    The Republic of Maldives is an island country in the Indian Ocean. It is the smallest Asian country in both population and area. Maldives were among the first nations to open official Embassy in “Second Life” (a virtual world).

  • http://www.wirtland.com Lenny T

    NEWS RELEASE March 22, 2010

    Virtual state to acquire physical territory from Maldives

    Wirtland, the first sovereign cybercountry, has announced plan to legitimately acquire real land from one (or even several) world’s countries. If realized, it will be the first case of peaceful formation of a new country “from a scratch”.

    ————

    On March 15 Wirtland approached the Government of the Republic of Maldives with a formal proposal to transfer a piece of its territory to Wirtland. “Proposal for Monetization of Unused Land by cooperation between Republic of Maldives and Wirtland” is intended to utilize a small piece of Maldives’ unused terrain. According to the Proposal, “Republic of Maldives officially assigns a piece of its territory, of any quality and size, to Wirtland. Maldives will have a major stake in future sales of land from this territory, agreed in contract”. In his letter addressed to the President of the Republic of Maldives, Chancellor of Wirtland underlined his hope that “such a plan, if realized, will make a positive effect on the economy of Maldives”.

    Thereby the virtual state would take hold of official territory, which later would be offered for sale to people willing to become citizens of new country. The quality and size of territory do not matter: Wirtland will remain virtual community, as no buyer will physically move to Maldives. However, presence of defined territory is a necessary condition for diplomatic recognition of Wirtland by international community, according to Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States. According to Article 1 of Montevideo Convention, to have sovereignty, a state must have a permanent population, a defined territory, and a government. Wirtland hopes that peaceful acqusition of even a small piece of territory by virtual community will become a unique historical precedent and will open the door towards full official recognition of Wirtland, legitimization of Wirtland passports and other documents issued by virtual state.

    For a partner country such as the Republic of Maldives, the result of the barter deal is possibility to make money out of otherwise useless land. Maldives’ official reaction is not known. Wirtland reserves right to approach other governments with similar proposal.

    * * *

    Wirtland describes itself as an experiment into legitimacy and self-sustainability of a country without its own soil. Founded in 2008, Wirtland represents people from all five continents. Wirtland grants citizenships, issues ID cards, mints gold and silver money, is featured in Wikipedia, and has won considerable coverage by television and press.

    The Republic of Maldives is an island country in the Indian Ocean. It is the smallest Asian country in both population and area. Maldives were among the first nations to open official Embassy in “Second Life” (a virtual world).

  • http://cleantechnica.com/author/susan Susan Kraemer

    True, that the stupider we are as a race, the cleverer that individual communities will have to be to survive and thrive.

    Looks like the rulers of the Maldives, having tried to convince the rest of us to act with those underwater pre-Copenhagen talks, is going ahead with a clever solution despite us. Sad, but also inspiring.

  • http://cleantechnica.com/author/susan Susan Kraemer

    True, that the stupider we are as a race, the cleverer that individual communities will have to be to survive and thrive.

    Looks like the rulers of the Maldives, having tried to convince the rest of us to act with those underwater pre-Copenhagen talks, is going ahead with a clever solution despite us. Sad, but also inspiring.

  • http://www.ecoseed.org Saar

    Countries like Maldives do not have enough to protect themselves from impending disasters like desertification, drought, floods and storm surges. See this related article where the country’s president signed a contract underwater: http://www.ecoseed.org/en/green-policies/asia-pacific/5063-Threatened-Maldives-urges-joint-action-at-climate-talks

  • http://www.ecoseed.org Saar

    Countries like Maldives do not have enough to protect themselves from impending disasters like desertification, drought, floods and storm surges. See this related article where the country’s president signed a contract underwater: http://www.ecoseed.org/en/green-policies/asia-pacific/5063-Threatened-Maldives-urges-joint-action-at-climate-talks

  • ArchimedesCircles

    Not enough room to elaborate more in previous post. By emotional enemy I mean the emotions that are typically the enemy of reason: fear, hate, greed, etc. We all know them. And I agree, as an earthbound form of life, we are absolutely doomed. No way in hell will we be able to make the changes in our behavior necessary to preserve the earth and hence humankind. Perhaps some form of life with BOTH logical AND emotional intelligence will emerge somewhere out there in the vastness, but it sure didn’t happen here.

  • ArchimedesCircles

    Not enough room to elaborate more in previous post. By emotional enemy I mean the emotions that are typically the enemy of reason: fear, hate, greed, etc. We all know them. And I agree, as an earthbound form of life, we are absolutely doomed. No way in hell will we be able to make the changes in our behavior necessary to preserve the earth and hence humankind. Perhaps some form of life with BOTH logical AND emotional intelligence will emerge somewhere out there in the vastness, but it sure didn’t happen here.

  • ArchimedesCircles

    At first I found the IQ comment incisive and funny and was shocked in a pleasant way because finally someone had the balls to say what should be abundantly obvious at this point: if you don’t “believe” that climate has been impacted by humankind, you must be a moron. But as cathartic as this may be, it is upon further reflection a bit facile: there are many people with very high IQs that are global warming doubters. What’s malfunctioning in this case is the connection btw the rational intelligent mind and its emotional enemy.

  • ArchimedesCircles

    At first I found the IQ comment incisive and funny and was shocked in a pleasant way because finally someone had the balls to say what should be abundantly obvious at this point: if you don’t “believe” that climate has been impacted by humankind, you must be a moron. But as cathartic as this may be, it is upon further reflection a bit facile: there are many people with very high IQs that are global warming doubters. What’s malfunctioning in this case is the connection btw the rational intelligent mind and its emotional enemy.

  • http://www.sunshareenergy.com Terry Mason

    Why could’nt the Dutch Docklands group build a floating island to set up a reclamation operation for the immense floating island of plastic of of Hawaii?

    I understand that there is also another similar amount of plastic floating in the Atlantic Ocean..

  • http://www.sunshareenergy.com Terry Mason

    Why could’nt the Dutch Docklands group build a floating island to set up a reclamation operation for the immense floating island of plastic of of Hawaii?

    I understand that there is also another similar amount of plastic floating in the Atlantic Ocean..

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