US floats plan for ocean-bound revolution
One US company wants to create world of ‘start-up’ governments, which hold sovereignty in floating cities on the ocean.
The Seasteading Institute says if people are dissatisfied with their current political arrangements, they may consider banding together and taking to the sea.
In an interview this week, Seasteading communications director Joe Quirk said floating cities could provide avenues for many new ideas.
“Basically we don't think 193 national governments represent the range of ideas that 7 billion creative people have produced,” Quirk told reporters.
“We're creating, literally, a platform for anyone to try whatever kind of nation they want.
“We think we need a sort of start-up sector for the government, a sort of Silicon Valley of the sea, where 21st century ideas for governance can be tried.
A lot of the difficult engineering work has already been done in the creation of on-water resources platforms such as oil rigs and floating gas plants.
One example - Shell's new floating LNG platform ‘Prelude’ - is bigger than most skyscrapers and will remain at sea off the coast of Western Australia for 25 years.
The Seasteading Institute says it is working on the details of its first prototype city, which will be comprised of modular platforms which can be re-shaped and re-formed to suit the inhabitants.
The group is looking for a trial site where an established terrestrial nation would want to host a floating satellite city.
“We hope that if we can set an example, provide some jobs and create some eco-cities that float in the shallow territorial waters, we'll set an example and show people that seasteads can be of benefit to the world,” Mr Quirk told the ABC.
“When you consider that nearly half the world's surface is a blank slate, unclaimed by existing governments, you see the potential in creating a thousand start-up governments in the sea.
“The world is full of people who need to leave their countries and island nations because of rising sea levels.
“We want to get a good example as quickly as possible, show that the technology is possible and hopefully attract more investors in the future to possible rescue some of these nations."