By Roz Rogoff
Make LemonadeUploaded: May 17, 2014
There's an old saying "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." So when things are not going right, take what is wrong and make it into something right.
I was thinking about this after reading a report on the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet. The article said this is beyond the point of no return, at least as far as the Antarctic glacier breaking up and melting into the sea.
What is melting ice? Water of course. One of the threats of global warming is that melting ice caps will cause the seas to rise, covering low lying ground areas. Scientists project as much as a 3-foot increase in sea-level by 2100. Since many of the low lying ground areas that could be flooded are heavily populated, that could result in loss of habitat for millions of people at great expense to relocate them.
In fact if sea levels in San Francisco Bay rose 3' by the end of this century, parts of Alameda and Oakland would be under water, including the Oakland Airport.
Can this be prevented, or at best mitigated (don't you love that word)? I believe it can to the benefit of many people and even create business opportunities. It is all a matter of how we all look at what we can do to work with what is happening instead of arguing about what is causing it.
So is there is anything that could be done to stop the increase in sea level to keep Oakland Airport functional into the next century. What could be done to keep the polar ice from melting into sea? How about moving the melting ice out of the polar regions to where water is needed.
If there is too much water one place and not enough in another place, move the water from where it shouldn't be to where it should be. Is this possible? Maybe not, but I'm proposing it as a possible solution if it could be possible.
Texas, California, and parts of Africa are in serious droughts. Crops cannot grow and there isn't enough potable water for the populations. Would it be possible for large tankers, like oil tankers to scoop up the ice sheets before they melt into the salt water, and filter and treat the resulting ice water in transit to a destination where it could be useable for irrigating crops in parched parts of the World?
Is this just my fantasy or a possibility? It would be a very expensive operation if it could be done, but it could also be very profitable and would slow the rising sea levels so low lying areas that could be susceptible to flooding would be protected.
Perhaps this is a little, or a lot, of wishful thinking, but stranger things have happened. One hundred-fifty years ago who would have believed you could string wires 3000 miles across the country and hear someone in New York say "Hello" to someone in California. Who would have believed men could fly to the moon? Harvesting an Antarctic glacier should be easy after that.