Reflections on the Surface

June 23, 2008

Polar Cities and Diamond Trees

News comes today, courtesy of the National Geographic, that the North Pole may well be ice-free this summer. Ice that has formed is thin, unstable and likely to disappear within several months.
But this news is not in itself unexpected.
Lets think longer term, to the year 2500 when, according to James Lovelock and others, the Earth will be almost uninhabitable, save for Polar Cities (otherwise known as Sustainable Polar Retreats). They might be Humanity’s last refuge on a devasted Earth where Civilization clings on by its fingernails…
Meanwhile, Freemon Dyson is confident that technology will come riding to the rescue in the form of genetically engineered tree-forests where trees will absorb gigaloads of carbon dioxide and shower the ground with diamonds. Humankind will be saved he declares, not so much by the coordinated efforts of Governments, but by science, pure science and more.
Picture the forest floors, glittering and glinting in the sunlight; a veritable Midas touch of silver that is no gold. It would be a beautiful sight for those who might see it.

What is interesting about all this is that Freemon Dyson’s idea has been commented on in the mainstream media, but the concept of Polar Cities has been shunned. Are editors too scared of the bleak side? Are newspaper proprietors muzzled by corporate interests so as not to scare their readers?

All of this asks questions about humanity’s capacity for long term thinking; and, as for the gaggle of climate change denialists out there such as Christopher Booker of the Daily Telegraph, Viscount Monckton, Lord Lawson and any number of complacent egg-heads you can think of, lets hope that their mouths will be stuffed with diamonds when the time comes.
So that they can rest easy in their graves.



  1. It still amazes me that there are people out there who do not think that global warming is actually happening and that we do not have an effect on the environment.

    You are right it is to bad the press is not showing the more doomsday scenrios. People will be crying 50, 100 years from now… we had no idea it was this bad…etc.

    Comment by green4u — June 23, 2008 @ 12:51 pm | Reply

  2. see this future news here: note4 date: 3008

    do not be alarmed now


    US has no plan to cope with collapse of civil society in distant future

    Climate change, global warming post serious problems, official claims

    By Staff Reporter
    WEBPOSTED: June 25, 3008

    A former senior official in the White House has dropped a proverbial
    bombshell by asserting that the U.S. and other major industrial
    countries have no coordinated plan to cope with a collapse of civil
    society in the future due to climate change and global warming and
    leading to possible mass migrations to northern regions of the globe.

    Edward Lendner, who was director of climate issues in a previous White
    House administration, wrote last week: “In what would be the single
    most important contingency that could impact civil society in the
    United States and other nations around the world, there is no agreed
    upon plan for how to deal with a collapsing world in the distant
    future if climate change and global warming get out of control and
    mass migrations northward create chaos in both wealthy and poor

    In response to an email asking: “Why was no plan drawn up when you
    were in the climate issues office in the White House?” Lendner
    replied: “There was no lack of planning on the US side. We did our
    part. There are several secret documents that have been drawn up in
    response to the collapse of civil society in North America and Europe
    — in addition to Africa, Asia and South America — but these plans
    have never been made public and most likely never will be.”

    “The main issue is that there is no agreed-upon mechanism for
    bilateral and multilateral planning (including with China and India,
    with their huge billion-plus populations), which obviously should be
    done in advance of such a contingency,” he added.

    Comment by Danny Bloom — June 24, 2008 @ 3:12 am | Reply

  3. “What is interesting about all this is that Freemon Dyson’s idea has been commented on in the mainstream media, but the concept of Polar Cities has been shunned. Are editors too scared of the bleak side? Are newspaper proprietors muzzled by corporate interests so as not to scare their readers?

    thank you very much for this good post, sir! you are so right! the mainstream media refuses to interview me or even return my emails about polar cities, only the brave New York Times blog reported on polar cities, and now Wikipedia has an entry, but not one print newspaper in the UK or USA will report on polar cities, even as just a silly idea. Nothing. Refuse to talk to me. So I also wonder, what are they afraid of? I am just proposing a merely speculative idea for the future, and I am not saying the world will end, polar cities is a positive, life affirming idea. You are one of the first bloggers anywhere to raise this importnat issue about why the media refuses to report on Polar cities. Jasper Hamill at the Sunday Herald knows about polar cities, but he refuses to report on them. Same with John Vidal at guardian and Fiona Harvey at FT. She will have lunch with Dr Lovelock, but not report on polar cities. Why is that? It’s just an idea, for crying out loud. Over 50 reporters I have contacted refuse to report on polar cities….. the MSM is dropping the ball on this, but I remain positive and optimistic that eventually the media will report on polar cities, once they see the new Wikipedia entry. I think they are looking for a hook, an angle? Any suggestions? Please do email me offline, sir at danbloom GMAIL, to chat. I like your thinking. Maybe you can help me find media reporters who will report on polar cities someday. There is still time, plenty of time. 500 years….

    Comment by Danny Bloom — June 24, 2008 @ 3:20 am | Reply

  4. CLIMATE CHANGE: U.S. Intelligence Cites Litany of Dangers
    By Jim Lobe

    WASHINGTON, Jun 25 (IPS) – While the United States is relatively well placed to cope with the likely consequences of global warming over the next 20 years, many developing countries, especially in Africa, South, Central and East Asia, and Central America, could suffer serious problems, particularly related to water scarcity and migration, according to testimony here Wednesday by a top U.S. intelligence officer.

    Those problems could “seriously affect U.S. national security interests” in a variety of ways, Thomas Fingar, the chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC), told two Congressional committees in what was billed as the key findings of a still-classified new intelligence analysis of the security impacts of climate change.

    “We assess that climate change alone is unlikely to trigger state failure in any state out to 2030, but the impacts will worsen existing problems, such as poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership, and weak institutions,” he told the lawmakers.

    “Climate change could threaten domestic stability in some states, potentially contribution to intra- or, less likely, interstate conflict, particularly over access to increasingly scarce water resources,” he said. “We judge that economic migrants will perceive additional reasons to migrate because of harsh climates, both within nations and from disadvantaged to richer countries.”

    Fingar’s testimony and the intelligence community’s latest analysis, entitled “The National Security Implications of Global Climate Change Through 2030”, come amid growing concern both in public and in Congress about the consequences of climate change and the failure of the outgoing administration of President George W. Bush to address it in any serious way over the past seven-and-a-half years.

    Indeed, both presumptive major party candidates, Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama, have assailed Bush’s passivity and, at various times, co-sponsored legislation that would require mandatory caps and eventual reductions on U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Obama has favoured stronger action than his Republican rival. Neither candidate, however, has made the implications of warming for U.S. national security a central part of his policy proposals.

    At the same time, however, various activist groups and think tanks have tried to highlight the issue. Last fall, for example, two mainstream think tanks, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Centre for a New American Security (CNAS), released a 119-page study, entitled “The Age of Consequences”, on the subject. It predicted that rising temperatures and sea levels caused by climate change are likely to set off mass migrations involving “perhaps billions of people” over the next century if some of the more severe predictions by scientists about changes in Earth’s climate were to materialise.

    Comment by Danny Bloom — June 28, 2008 @ 11:16 am | Reply

  5. CLIMATE CHANGE: U.S. Intelligence Cites Litany of Dangers and Need for Polar Cities in future…

    future headline?

    Comment by Danny Bloom — June 28, 2008 @ 11:17 am | Reply

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