The Maldives is one of the most beautiful and pristine destinations on the planet. Unfortunately, as much as 80% of the Maldives might be completely underwater by 2050, according to NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey. Some believe the 2050 prediction is far too conservative and we might be decades closer to this danger.
It’s not just oceanic islands at risk. More than 44% of the world’s population lives within 150 kilometers of sea coasts. Researchers estimate that rising sea levels may put as many as 634 million people at risk of losing their living situations. This interactive map shows the cities included in the threat of floods.
Overall, rising sea levels are forcing us to get creative. For example, underwater hotels are a $3.5 Billion industry, projected to be $11.6 Billion by 2032. But the tourism industry is the least of our worries.
By far the most creative and sustainable idea is the concept of Seasteading.
Living on the Water in Seasteads
Seasteading is the concept of creating permanent dwellings at sea, called seasteads, in international waters outside the territory claimed by any government. Some of the proposed seastead structures include modified cruise ships, refitted oil platforms, and custom-built floating islands.
The Seasteading Institute is a nonprofit organization that has been championing this idea of autonomous seasteads since 2008. Founded by Patri Friedman (grandson of Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman) and Peter Thiel, its mission is to share information and champion experiments in this field.
They produced a show called The First Seasteaders to show the challenges and successes of building a seastead. Patri wrote The Seasteading Book with Joe Quirk. I was also inspired and wanted to contribute, so I produced a song about this fascinating concept which you can listen to below:
Seasteading is not just theoretical. There are many projects in development as we speak including:
- Arktide – Seastead in Tampa, Florida, and the Philippines
- SeaPod – Single-family, affordable seastead in Colón, Panama
- Atlantis Sea Colony – Underwater habitats in Mississippi
- FlexBase International – Building VLFS (Very Large Floating Structures in Singapore
- Ventive Floathouse – Permanent ocean community in San Francisco
Also, the Maldivian government is underway on building the first floating island city which they aim to accomplish by 2027 (2030 at the latest).
It’s encouraging to see many visionaries working on backup plans for humanity if we don’t get climate change under control. Whereas Elon wants to make Mars habitable and escape to space, Seasteading proponents want to create a way for us to escape into the oceans like in the movie Waterworld.
Personally, I’m leaning toward the Seastead over space.