Monday, February 8, 2010

Nation Building - The Will Of The Wind

The view from the tallest building in the world looks down on the flats that are, at the highest, 52 feet above sea level; the building they like to call the Burj Khalifa.

The sea port within sight is called Jebel Ali, and is alleged to be the largest sea port.

So, they took the oil out of the ground and converted it into buildings with a port at sea level.

One interpretation of a Dylan song mixed in with some climate change science renders a picture the UAE probably doesn't want to see or think about:
Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.
(The Times They Are A Changin'). If Edgar Cayce or Nostradamus had written those lyrics there are some who would have said it is a vision of the future.

But Dylan would not have agreed, instead he would have grumbled something about the power of metaphor.

Be that as it may, the waters around us have grown, and in a worse case scenario could rise 30 feet.

That would change the view and the times considerably.

The disruption would start 20 years before the most serious destruction started.

The buildings and facilities nearest to the water front would flood or be impaired at only 5 feet of sea rise, about 17% of the maximum, which would cause an economic catastrophe of sorts, because the investment community would balk and walk away.

Why did the sheiks, the rulers of Dubai, for more than a hundred and fifty years now, not see it coming?

Did the oil barons from MOMCOM tell them global warming is a hoax like they did with Sarah Palin's pals?

Will all those people be angry with MOMCOM when they have to start swimming or sink like a stone?

I also wonder if the sailboat hotel they made was a form of thumbing their noses at the environmental scientists.

Scientists who said, like Dylan, that the waters around them were going to grow if they did not stop peddling the number one drug in the world?

One thing is for sure, it will look more and more like a boat as the waters rise.

They may have to change its name to the mother of all water worlds or something like that.

It may turn out to be one of the wonders of irony of the world in our life time.

In the mean time in the U.S. lots of homes, businesses, jobs, and hopes are underwater in a different sort of way.

To help "us", the U.S. government sent money to Dubai because there was a little mist in the air over there.

Professor Lessig of Harvard, meanwhile, says congress is to blame for these problems.

To the contrary, I think the problem, for Dubai and for us, is our ideology.

After all, here in the U.S. we have recently changed congress and the presidency in a major way, at least in the abstract, the theoretical.

However, if our ideology, our compass, endures through each election cycle and everyone we elect has one, we will only be putting more stewards into office who follow the compass of our unchanging ideology.

A compass which has a "W" on every point, which only leads to the failing status quo infecting our culture, is what really has to change.

Like the Simon and Garfunkle song says, "They have all gone to look for America", but the "W" direction does not go there.


  1. Looks like MOMCOM's rampin' up for some more chest thumpin' in the Middle East. Can't keep that nuclear genie in the bottle forever.

  2. disaffected,

    The comments on that thread you linked to made me wonder whether Cass's boyz had infiltrated the thread a bit.

  3. There is a modern day mini-Atlantis that just sank beneath the waves:

    Goodbye Itsy Bitsy Atlantis ...