Saturday, December 22, 2007

Effort to Colonize Antarctica

This blog is dedicated to providing information and updates about the coming effort to establish a permanent, independent and sovereign human colony in Antarctica.

As of the posting of this there are no permanent human settlements in the Antarctic. Only scientific bases and research stations exist there now. We hope to change that while abiding by the letter of the Antarctic Treaty by not polluting or being backed by any government. Our efforts shall be entirely private in nature.

Stay tuned to this blog for more information and updates about the official launch of ColonizeAntarctica.com !

9 comments:

ZeitGravity said...

Let us introduce a small population of polar bears as well. They can feed on penguins and seals.

The Arctic will be ice-free by 2050. Polar bears will become extinct else we relocate them.

Colonize Antarctica said...

While it may sound like a good idea, if history has taught us anything it's that introducing foreign species to a new environment usually isn't a good idea.

Take the Kerguelen Islands (a sub-Antarctic group of islands in the South Indian Ocean) as an example. Rabbits and cats were introduced to the islands, the rabbits have nearly destroyed the only native edible plant on the islands (a form of cabbage) and the cats have gone feral to the detriment of the bird populations. Also, cats and snakes introduced to many tropical islands have done a great deal of damage as well, in some cases wiping out entire species unique to those islands.

Also, if polar bears were introduced and could survive in Antarctica, would you really want them there? Likely the bears would cause more problems than anything by breaking into human settlements in search of food.

Polar bears won't become extinct in the Arctic. Their numbers may decline due to climate changes and human settlements, but most likely they will adapt.

If one were to introduce any new species to Antarctica, genetically engineered plants might be a good option to start with. Genetic engineering may soon give us the ability to develop new useful plants that can grow in some areas of Antarctica. Perhaps they can be engineered to produce bio-fuels or food crops in the summer months. Maybe even developing a root system that generates heat through chemical reactions and produces an insulting layer to keep the soil thawed. In theory one might be able to use such plants to transform certain areas of Antarctica into a more habitable greener region at least during the summer. However, something like that is pure theory at the moment, but who knows what the future holds.

Omegadiversity said...

While this comment has some merits, it should be noted that the introductions of cats, snakes, and rabbits have in every case been a side-effect of human settlement.
If you have forgotten, we humans are "foreign species" to Antarctica. What is to say that inhabitants of a future colony won't bring all of the destructive creatures mentioned in your reply, not to mention rats, etc, etc.
On the other hand, you may be right-polar bears will adapt, but most likely by shedding their white-colored fur. Will they still be "polar bears" if they are brown?
The bottom line is that if we are talking about introducing our own species to Antarctica, how can we say that others should not be introduced as well?

dan said...

this is cool. have you heard about my polar cities website

http://pcillu101.blogspot.com

danny bloom in taiwan email me at
danbloom GMAIL

some of my polar cities will be in a much warmer Antartica in year 2500 or so. stay tuned

danny

dan said...

One vision of a “polar city” in an overheated world. (Illustration by Deng Cheng-hong)

http://pcillu101.blogspot.com

Danny Bloom, a freelance writer, translator and editor living in Taiwan, is on a one-man campaign to get people to seriously consider a worst-case prediction of the British chemist and inventor James Lovelock: life in “polar cities” arrayed far iland from the shores of an ice-free Arctic Ocean AND ANTARCTICA in a greenhouse-warmed world.

Dr. Lovelock, who in 1972 conceived of Earth’s crust, climate and veneer of life as a unified self-sustaining entity, Gaia, foresees humanity in full pole-bound retreat within a century as areas around the tropics roast — a scenario far outside even the worst-case projections of climate scientists.
After reading a newspaper column in which Dr. Lovelock predicted disastrous warming, Mr. Bloom teamed up with Deng Cheng-hong, a Taiwanese artist, and set up Web sites showing designs for self-sufficient Arctic and ANTARTICA communities.

Mr. Bloom told the NYTimes his intent was to conduct a thought experiment that might prod people out of their comfort zone on climate — which remains, for many, a someday, somewhere issue.

I interviewed Dr. Lovelock two years ago on his dire climate forecast and prescriptions — and also his ultimately optimistic view that humans will muddle through, albeit with a greatly reduced population. There’s a video of my chat with Dr. Lovelock here.
“At six going on eight billion people,” Dr. Lovelock told me, “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, he insists, will be toward the poles.
It’s a dubious scenario, particularly on time scales shorter than centuries. But — as we’ve written extensively in recent years — 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 summers.
Sensing the shift, the Coast Guard has 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 made the pages of Foreign Affairs magazine, in an article by one of my longtime sources on this issue, 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.
So even if humanity isn’t driven to Arctic shores by climate calamity at lower latitudes, it’s a sure bet that the far north will be an ever busier place. Urban planners, get out your mukluks.
In the meantime, scientists, marathon runners, and others are already making the SOUTH Pole a busy place.

neil craig said...

If you are going to colonise Antarctica you are going to have to produce an economic reason to do so - probably mining though that does mean voiding the treaty.

I devised a somewhat different use for it - to store H2O if sea levels start to rise. This may bot be quite what you were thinking of but doing it would certainly require people there doing it.

http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2008/12/big-engineering-26-ending-sea-level.html

TN Nursury said...

We are state certified tree nursery specializing in native plants and trees, shrubs, fern, and perennials as well as pond plants and wetland mitigation species.

eagledove9 said...

I'd like to do this using a cheap, low-tech, less-is-more approach. I've been reading about the Inuit in the Arctic. We could model our subsistence hunting culture on the Inuit's way of life. We would wear fur skins from hunted animals, such as the seals, and we would eat a very large amount of meat. A completely meat-based diet is nutritious enough that vegetables are not needed, but small amounts of vegetables could be imported. The Inuit eat their meat raw, which is actually more nutritious than eating the meat cooked. (I need to do more research to find out why they don't get parasites from eating raw meat.)

We could also do small-scale subsistence whale hunting in boats.

We wouldn't need expensive, high-tech buildings made of special materials. The Inuit were able to live in small igloos made of dirt, rocks, snow, and driftwood. Snow provides excellent insulation. They also collected driftwood which washed onto the shores.

The goal could be to be as self-reliant and low-tech as possible. A primitive settlement modeled after the old traditional Inuit lifestyle (before the cultural genocide that forced them to start living in modern houses and adopting other modern ways of life) might be cheap and surprisingly effective.

Joey said...

I am the King of the Kingdom of Farrell and I rule over Marie Byrd Land of Antarctica. We are planning to colonize Marie Byrd Land if you would like to join us and make the move please go to our website at http://kingdomoffarrell.org/

Thank you.