Floating Islands to Combat Climate Change

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A model of Seastanding Institute’s artificial floating island project.

Climate models have predicted a six-foot rise in sea level by 2100, and a California nonprofit organization called the Seasteading Institute has raised 2.5 million dollars to build a city of floating islands (equipped with solar power and wind farms) for areas threatened by sea level rise. The French Polynesian government is considering the project, and work may start within a year. It is estimated that the first city would cost between $10 and $50 million, and the residents would probably be middle-class citizens from developed areas. Potential setbacks include installing waste-management systems and finding people to buy and test out the property. The building of these artificial islands is quite controversial as some feel the money used to build the city could be put to better use through investing in education, health care, or relocating people in slums. At the same time, some smaller-scale “floating projects” have already been successful (like a floating school in Bangladesh designed by Koen Olthuis), so supporters of the floating islands remain hopeful.

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You can watch this short video to learn more about the project.

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