May 24, 2008

Seasteads provide flexibility for climate change

There is a lot of debate and worry about climate change.  Most are worried about warming and sea level rises, which would cover coastal land and reduce usable landmass.  Others are worried about global cooling.  A significant swing in either direction would substantially change the latitudes at which human life is most comfortable.

Which is where seasteads come in.  The more of the earth’s population and economy which are on seasteads, the more robustness the world has against climate change.  Unlike traditional buildings on land, seasteads are geographically flexible.  Our main motivation for this is to empower people to create and choose societies to live in, but like any great idea, it has all sorts of accidental benefits as well.

Geographic flexibility means that we can move in response to a natural disaster like global climate change without losing everything we’ve built.  The same goes for political climate – if a superpower like the US or China becomes virulently anti-seastead, we can move towards their antipodes.  None of this gives perfect protection – superpowers can reach around the world, and climate change may have negative consequences everywhere.  But it sure beats being tied to an immovable piece of dirt.

On a lighter note, as I wrote when discussing climate change on my personal blog:

So, you guys are pretty much saying that global warming will bring on an orgy of war and famine…in such a way that only seasteads will survive and thrive?

No wonder I’m fond of it! 🙂

Personally, I believe that the great challenge with global climate change is the uncertainty – not knowing when or whether things are going to get warmer (as we’d expect from increasing CO2 levels) or cooler (as a brief glance at the historical temperature record suggests).  So I’ll let others worry about active interventions like reducing emissions – we at TSI are going to focus on building a world of unprecedented geographic flexibility, which will be robust against whatever Mother Earth ends up throwing at us.