However, as any adult can see the financial impact vastly supersedes the potential benefits.
Besides the obvious impact to the local seaside communities in Southern Europe, you would have to deal with unstable regimes in northern Africa and Turkey and the geopolitical side of things. Wars have been fought for much less important things than land and resources.
Moreover the ecological effects would be impossible to calculate. There are other seemingly less important issues such as immigration.
So, in all, ok - the central planning from a German scientist does get some creativity points, but we are not in Mars, trying to terraform it; we are in a heavily populated part of Earth which has civilisations at its shores for the last 4000 years.
Unsurprisingly I agree with your first sentence. But, I do disagree on your second: I, and others, can see the costs, and I am not referring solely to the financial costs:
It absolutely means risk of war in the Balkans, Greece/Turkey, N Africa.
Elimination of most of the tourist income on the Med coasts
Endangerment of the biodiversity and ecological balance of the sea
Cause for droughts/flooding seen with other dams https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aswan_Dam
Massive population dislocation in the region of tens of millions
I can go on but the point is what would the benefit need to be to consider this project as net positive?
Neither of us have any idea, and listing the first thing that comes to our head hardly gets us closer.
So, could we focus on the fact that this was designed by a man who never lived in the region he wanted to terraform? I have no business advising German people how to change their countryside and that goes the other way too.
I don't really care about a cost-benefit analysis, either. This is just an uncalled for intervention that, er, that nobody called for.
You mean, like what the people who live in the Mediterrannean actually think of this plan?
But, there is no realistic prospect to initiate this project unless those very people agree to it. So what is the point of discussing cost-benefit analyses, if that agreement is almost guaranteed to not be forthcoming?
I mean, it's not even a rights issue. If the people who live in the Mediterrannean don't want it terraformed, then it's not getting terraformed. Realistically speaking.
Furthermore, if you look at my comments, you will see that I don't actually care about the plan, and I don't have a position on whether the costs of the plan outweigh the benefits. The only point I am making is that the outcome of a cost-benefit analysis cannot be reliably guessed by appealing to one's intrinsic wisdom and listing some possible negative consequences in a grave voice.
I don't have any interest in discussing this further with you.
I think you're saying I butted in to the conversation you were having with the other poster. If so, that's very surprising, given the venue.
Anyway, yes, I understand that the discussion is "purely academic". But that doesn't change the fact that the plan is unrealistic. Why is that not of "purely academic" interest?
But I also think the costs are bigger.
The dutch I thought have done quite well with lots of land reclaimed from the sea. Why does it work for them, but not here?
The salt would not evaporate, how much would this affect the salinity of the Med? What would be the impact on wildlife?
Every costal city in the Med would no longer be a costal city. I wonder how the population would feel about that.
The dam across the Gibraltar strait would be the mother of all single points of failure and a breach, through human error, natural disaster, terrorism or war would presumably kill millions if not tens of millions. How would that risk be addressed?
This is just off the top of my head, has there been any serious analysis of these concerns? It would be interesting to read about how they would play out!
To their credit, though, if the dam failed and began flooding the many billions of dollars of infrastructure below, there would be tons of heavy construction equipment working around the clock to try to restore it. Just a betting game of how fast you think that equipment would get its job done.
There used to be a player to play it like a movie, I just found this:
Not to mention climate change. If there is to be a megaproject, it has to be an anti-climate-change one. Otherwise we're engaged in the worldwide megaproject of making earth slightly less habitable.
These days labour is expensive and the stock market needs success every quarter, so products are rushed to the market and everything is leveraged through mass production, outsourcing and automation. Our economies are not able to do megaprojects anymore.
The Soviets were really big into mega-projects (e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_river_reversal, they actual wanted to reverse the Aral Sea shrinking with that too).
Thankfully they came to their senses (and probably also ran out of money anyway).
This for example would create a lot of land but much of it would be pretty salty so wouldn't grow food very well. In addition the remaining water would slowly get saltier and saltier eventually probably dying similar to the Dead Sea, granted this would take a while but it's a definite negative, the Med is already saltier than most of the ocean because it's relatively isolated from the larger circulation of the Atlantic and Indian oceans with a large surface area where evaporation takes place.
Then there are some like the city mega-projects that require a huge amount of social infrastructure that's hard to build, take a look at some of China's mega construction where they've tried to build cities out of whole cloth but the people haven't really come so they're just empty.
This affected a lot of thinking, planning, and creativity. In the 50s-60s people dreamed of megaprojects. Now we look at a megaproject and go: "well, no. it will take too much effort and power with no tangible benefit".
My thought about this was that we ceased the rush for bigger and went looking for smarter.
Atlantropa would have helped there a lot :)
There are the various megaskyscrapers; the top ten tallest buildings in the world are all built in the 2010s, six of them are in China and only one in the West. Of the top 20 tallest buildings, all but one are built in this millennium.
Another project that probably deserves a mention is the ongoing effort to reclaim land from the sea in Singapore.
One Western example is a planned railway tunnel under the Gulf of Finland connecting Helsinki and Tallinn, the capitals of Finland and Estonia respectively. It would be the longest undersea tunnel in the world if ever built.
We're probably going to see quite a few megaprojects related to climate change in the future. Assuming we actually want to stop it and not just talk about it.
The sun evaporating all that water makes way for new water to flow through the dams turbines.
I have some faith in humanity and engineering, but not that much.
They suggest that the climate change effects would be awful - the evaporated water from the Med would raise global sea levels by ~10 metres, the Med sea floor would be uninhabitable, a salt covered death valley temperature desert. The rain fall in nearby regions like Balkans would ruin them and affect agriculture all over Europe. The coastal cities on the edge of the Med. would become cliff-top cities with their views and trade options ruined.
Plus there isn't enough concrete on the planet to build the damn to do it.
1: https://xkcd.com/1190/ and http://geekwagon.net/projects/xkcd1190/mobile/
This seems to be an outcome of "Scramble for Africa" to colonize and divide Africa to avoid intra-European wars .
1. Assuming 200m elevation difference between the two bodies of water
We saw in 9/11, though, that raw death toll really isn't the thing that matters. Having to evacuate hundreds of millions of people from the entire Mediterranean would cost trillions; even a couple million Syrians relocating has caused political upheaval.
Admittedly the nuclear weapon would have to be pretty big but the USA has thousands of the things as does Russia.
So as we speak, right now, and for the last few decades, you could say that the area already is 'the biggest soft target'.
edit: added link for  I missed initially.
EDIT: more and more kids -> a growing number of kids
Without a close political union there is no reason to be more proud to be European than is for any random Asian citizen to be proud of being part of Asia or for an African to be proud of being part of the African continent.
History shows us that this cultural pride / union is weak and pretty useless when money/business/power is involved.
Though you raise a point: I'm curious if such a thing indeed exists in Africa and Asia. Africa (and South America actually) I suspect yes, Asia I've got no idea really.
And I still think this belonging feeling is stronger in Europe due to the open borders, and the sheer number of your fellow Euro-citizen you interact with in your day to day life in some cities (but I probably have a twisted view because Dublin is crazy in that regard).
>> And I still think this belonging feeling is stronger in Europe due to the open borders
That's indeed the case and the open borders, free flow of capital, labour etc exist because we have a political union. That's why you can't really talk about transnational European pride without talking about federalisation and sovereignty .
The financial crisis, Brexit and Trump put EU in a tough spot. Greece shows us that we need a fiscal and banking union if we want to talk about financial solidarity, Brexit proves that some countries don't want to be states of a United Europe, Trump made it clear that US's protection will not last forever. Even worse, it sees a United Europe as a foe and threat to its supremacy.
Now the question about how European you feel is not just an abstract question. You can vote for closer or lesser integration or a total exit.
You have to give some national sovereignty to get transnational sovereignty.
I believed the European dream, that in time EU cohesion policies lead to a single stronger and united country but now I'm not so sure...looks more like everyone for themselves.
Eastern EU doesn't have many reasons to be optimistic: the top 5 positions on the top are taken by Westerners after recent elections (German, Belgian, Dutch / German - each for 2,5 year, Spanish, French); out of all European institutions, only one is headquartered in the east (GNSS - Galileo - in Prague). Etc, etc.
Babis even explicitly said they could find anyone to suggest for the top posts and Kaczynski's party tried to sabotage Tusk at every possible turn in the last term.
Point is, many people in their countries feel very differently to the leaders about the EU. Many work and marry abroad, there are lots of people from other EU-countries in eastern Europe etc. We are indeed growing together even if it doesn look like it on the surface.
As far as the top positions are concerned I believe it's an issue of candidates and the policy of the host country. Here is a good read about this:
I can understand that east european countries might not yet feel or experience that way. I think that might be due to the fact that right-wing nationalists are still in power and might try to benefit heavily out of the union.
As some eastern european countries are also not members of the EU for that long, structures (and power) were built or distributed around those member states, too. I hope this will change in the future and new members will also get their fair share.
That's because EU is exactly that at this time: a close cooperation of countries and a bit more(i.e the cohesion policy).
Without a fiscal union and a common army you cannot talk about a federalisation. Just look how the Greek financial crisis was handled. Greece was pretty much regarded as a stand alone country that needs to pay alone for its mistakes or leave the union.
In a federalisation the burden would be shared like it happened in the U.S. We would talk about european citizens not greek citizens.
The pros and cons of federalisation can be debated but I'm not sure if the poor states of the US would do better on their own.
It might not look like an oversight in 1930s Germany…
> Sörgel's 1938 book Die Drei Grossen A has a quote from Hitler on the flyleaf, demonstrating that the concept was not inconsistent with Nazi ideology. (from the Wikipedia article)