(Photo Credit: Alamy)
If you can’t fix it, just move into it.
The same federal government that is always warning us of the apocalyptic perils of global warming just handed over more than half a million taxpayer dollars to George Washington University to study “urban sustainability in the Arctic.” Apparently, mankind is looking to set up shop in the Great White North now that we’ve successfully thawed it out.
So on top of the millions of dollars we’ve already spent combating “climate change” and saving the glaciers, we’re also going to study how to live in the ever-slowly-defrosting polar icecaps to the sweet tune of $524,086.
Take it from the grant description itself, courtesy of the National Science Foundation:
As Arctic ice continues to melt, humans will enter the high north in growing numbers to develop local resources and expand transportation links. The result of this increased activity will be intensified urban development in extreme conditions. The purpose of this project is to promote greater urban sustainability in the Arctic so that the ultimate human impact on the larger environment will be as small as possible.
Specifically, this project will develop an Arctic Urban Sustainability Index, which will make it possible to assess the consequences of human activities in the region across a number of important dimensions. The Index will be used to measure sustainability outcomes and progress toward achieving those outcomes in a wide variety of Arctic cities. Key elements of the index will include thawing permafrost, a boom-bust economic cycle, and an influx of migrant workers with the resulting increase in social tensions. Our central hypothesis posits that: Measuring sustainability efforts across the full range of scale and mechanisms and compiling the results in the form of an index will trigger efforts to improve urban planning. The project will be multi-disciplinary in nature, incorporating the analytical tools of geography, climatology, architecture, design, sociology, and political science.
Great. So we’ve given up trying to save the polar ice caps (but didn’t Obama warn us we’d all die if we didn’t?) and are instead studying how to plant our communal flag on them without threatening any more polar bears. And with all those migrant workers that will supposedly flock to our very own Planet Hoth, perhaps we should go ahead and draft up an immigration policy that we already plan to ignore…? But I digress.
And, according to the grant, we’re not alone in our efforts:
Developing strong cooperation among the various Arctic countries, as well as other European and Asian countries with growing interests in the north, is necessary to ensure that future development in this polar region is managed effectively.
Geez. We haven’t even moved into our new digs and they’re already studying how to regulate it. But wait – there’s more!
Importantly, the Index will not be limited to use in the Arctic. It could be effective in measuring sustainability in other extreme climate conditions, such as in the new cities rising in the Persian Gulf and in places like Phoenix, Arizona.
Oh good! We hear Phoenix has been having trouble managing its melting permafrost.