Saturday, December 8, 2012



Cape Coral, Florida resident Stephan Malone has written a nonfiction book titled "Polar City Dreaming: How Climate Change Might Usher In The Age Of Polar Cities."

The book was published as an ebook and paperback by Sunbury Press in Pennsylvania and is available for purchase online via most Internet book sites. Mr. Malone has written a book that, if you read it carefully, will change your life and the way you look at the future.

It will also change the way Florida's urban planners and climate scientists look at the future, too.

Read it in that spirit, and remember that life in so-called “polar cities” arrayed around the shores of an ice-free Arctic Ocean in a greenhouse-warmed world is coming down the road in the distant future. What will become of Florida in that distant future?

It's a good question and Malone has some answers.

When will this happen? A hundred years? Three hundred years? Five hundred years?

Stephan Malone's book is serious. Read it and weep for humankind.

But also read it as a guide to taking action so that this nightmare scenario never has to happen. The book is a ''thought experiment'' that might prod people out of their comfort zones on climate -- which remains, for many, even today, a someday, somewhere issue. "At six going on eight billion people,” UK scientist James Lovelock told the New York Times in an interview in 2006, “the idea of any further development is almost obscene. We’ve got to learn how to retreat from the world that we’re in. Planning a good retreat is always a good measure of generalship.” The retreat, Lovelock insisted, even then, would be toward the poles. Enter the concept of "polar cities" for survivors of global warming and climate chaos in some far distant future, at least 30 generations from now, if not more. Of course, it sounds like a dubious scenario, especially for people living in Florida in the 21st century, but there is already an intensifying push to develop Arctic resources and test shipping routes that could soon become practical should the floating sea ice in the Arctic routinely vanish in future summers. Sensing this shift, the U.S. Coast Guard has already proposed establishing its first permanent Arctic presence, a helicopter station in Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost town in the United States. It’s not a stretch to think of Barrow as a hub for expanding commercial fishing and trade through the Bering Strait. The strategic significance of an ''opening Arctic'' recently was described in an article by Scott Borgerson, a former Coast Guard officer who is now a scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations. "It is no longer a matter of if, but when, the Arctic Ocean will open to regular marine transportation and exploration of its lucrative natural-resource deposits," he wrote. While he didn't mention polar cities per se, it's not a stretch to imagine where they will first be situated. Mr. Malone's book is paving the way humans will see the future -- and polar life. As humans are driven to Arctic shores by climate calamity at lower latitudes over the next thousand years -- perhaps sooner! -- it’s a sure bet that the far north will be an ever busier place. Urban planners, get out your mukluks. Readers, use this far-seeing book as a home resource to help you to envision what life might very well be like for our ancestors, far far down "the road." Will Florida's coastline be under water in the distant future as described in Malone's book? Nobody can see the future, but this is a question worth asking.

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