Lilypad: A Floating Island for Climate Change Refugees

It has pretty much become universally accepted that global warming is having an effect on global ocean levels. The effects of sea level rise are potentially devastating with millions of coastal and island inhabitants at risk of being displaced. For example, it is predicted that within 60 years the island nation of Kiribati, home to 90,000 people will be completely submerged beneath the sea.

In response to this potential devestation, engineers and scientists are attempting to come up with ways to support a growing population on less land. One of the more interesting proposals is known as “Lilypad.” Lilypad is a floating Ecopolis for climate change refugees.

Designed to house up to 50,000 people Lilypad travels the ocean currents from the equator to the poles following marine streams. Lilypad is a prototype of an auto-sufficient amphibious city. The city will feature green technologies such as solar, wind, tidal and biomass energy production. The double skin exterior of the city will be constructed of polyester fibres covered by a layer of titanium dioxide which reacts with UV rays to enable the absorbtion of atmospheric pollution.

No word on whether or if this type of floating city will ever be developed, but its sad that we have to consider developing these projects in order to preserve human survival.

For more information visit Vincent Callebaut Architects


The Kiribati Islands

Part of the British Colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, the Gilberts adopted the name Kiribati at independence in 1979. The state comprises 33 islands in the mid-Pacific ocean.
Kiribati consists of three groups of tiny very low-lying coral atolls scattered across 1,930,000 sq miles of ocean. Most of the islands have central lagoons.
Central islands have a maritime equatorial climate. Those to north and south are tropical, with constant high temperatures. There is little rainfall.
People & Society:
Local people still refer to themselves as Gilbertese. Apart from the inhabitants of the island of Banaba, who employed anthropologists to establish their racial distinction, almost all people are Micronesian. Most are poor subsistence farmers. The islands are effectively ruled by traditional chiefs, though there is a party system based on the British model.
The Economy:
Until 1980 when deposits tun out, phosphate from Banaba provided 80% of exports. Since then, coconuts, copra, and fish, have become the main exports, but they islands are still dependent on foreign aid.
***Insight:In 1981, the UK paid A$10 million to Banabans for the destruction of their island by mining.
Official name: Republic of Kiribati
Date of formation:1979
Capital: Bairiki (Tarawa Atoll)
Population: 91,985
Total Area: 274sq miles (710 sq km)
Density: 336 people per sq mile
Languages: English, Kiribati, Other
Religions:Catholic 53%, Kiribati Protestant 39%, other 8%
Ethni Mix: Micronesian 98%, Other 2%
Government: Non-party Democracy
Currency: Australian $ = 100 cents

Source: Atlas, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Nauru emergency extended until October

Nauru’s caretaker government has extended a state of emergency for another 21 days until early October. The country has been stuck in a political stalemate for months, ruled for the past three months by a caretaker government using emergency powers.
This came after Parliament failed to elect a new President following two general elections. Nauru’s caretaker president Marcus Stephen has said the opposition should take any challenge it has to the Supreme Court over its claim that the state of emergency is illegal.
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Posted at 23:22 on 15 September, 2010 UTC