Sunday, 6 May 2012

Is the world sinking?

Yes, the level of the world's oceans is rising. But that is not the topic of this post.

I periodically check in to see what is the latest outrageous, environmentally irresponsible project proposed for Dubai. This week, I found a proposal by Polish firm Deep Ocean Technology — the Water Discus Hotel, with suites twenty storeys under water, and lots more besides.

But more interestingly, the various links led me back to news from last year, when a British firm put evidence to a special property tribunal that the artificial islands of the infamous development known as The World "are gradually falling back into the sea”. According to QC Richard Wilmot-Smith, speaking on behalf of Penguin Marine, the World Islands show signs of “erosion and deterioration”. So far 70% of the world’s 300 islands have been sold, but all of the 'countries' are uninhabited save for the 'Show Island', apparently Greenland, which is owned by the ruler of Dubai.
I am no expert on marine hydrology, or any of the other exotic disciplines needed to make sense of such projects. Therefore I can't confirm the truth of either the accusations, or the inevitable denials by the project developer Naheel. But I have always had a gut feeling that such grandiose terra-forming motivated by so little real need, is an invitation to ecological and financial failure.

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