Down we go!
Down we go!
Today journalist McKenzie Funk tells Fresh Air about the entrepreneurs looking to cash in on climate change. In the interview he talks about the massive gates designed to protect cities in the event of a large storm surge:
[In the Netherlands] It’s called the Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier (above) and it’s these two Eiffel Tower-sized gates. They swing closed and close the Port of Rotterdam, which is the most important port in all of Europe, it’s where most of the oil and gas come in and it’s where most of everything leaves. They have a huge computer warning system that says, ‘OK, the tides are surging. We need to close the barrier.’ And that actually happened for the second time in history late in 2013, just a few months ago.
… It basically swings closed from both sides and they meet in the middle, these two massive gates and then this piece comes up from below and it closes off the entire harbor — water can’t get in, water can’t get out.
… [The proposed gates to protect Manhattan] would go across the narrows, the area below the Verrazano Bridge. … The storm comes, warning system warns, and the gates swing closed and Manhattan is protected. … We’re talking Statue of Liberty [height] . … Prices are pretty variant at the moment, but [it’s] in the order of $10 billion.
image via MIT
Have a relaxing evening, and we’ll see you tomorrow!
Beautiful contrast of hard and soft, light and dark, open and closed in Indonesia.
Jherek Bischoff tells Terry Gross about sailing between Mexico and Hawaii:
One time, I was helping a friend sail from Mexico to Hawaii, and I was out in the middle of the ocean, and suddenly the ocean went completely still and there was no clouds in the sky — which is actually kind of rare for out in the middle of the ocean. And the wind totally stopped and the ocean was perfectly glassy and, at one point, the stars were a perfect mirror image with the sea. And all of a sudden, I completely lost my sense of direction and which way was up and which way was down, and I felt like I was floating in space because it was just stars completely surrounding me.
Image by Hengki Koentjoro
I remember as a kid going to Pearl Harbor, and they have that monument you can go to and it made such an impression on me. You sort of look down into the water. You see fishes moving around, and you have to think about what happened there and all those bodies … and all these kinds of things that have gone in that water. It’s a thought that always sticks with me when I do go into the ocean when I go swimming — all that’s happened and all that’s beneath the surface, and things coming and going. I don’t know — it gets you in a good place of thinking about things in a wider way.
Donovan Hohn talks about ‘garbage patches' in the ocean: "When I first heard the phrase ‘garbage patch,’ I imagined something dense. I initially imagined it as a floating junkyard, and you’d have to poke your way through it with a paddle if you’re in a kayak. But it’s not like that. You can’t take a picture of it because that doesn’t exist. What does exist is a whole lot of plastic out there, but it’s spread out over millions of miles of ocean. And some of it floats on the surface where you can find it. And some of it floats just below the surface. And eventually all of it will photodegrade, so much of it is so small you’re not going to be able to see it with the naked eye."