December 5, 2005


Holland goes beyond holding back the tide: Nation endeavors to be climate-proof (Colin Nickerson, December 5, 2005, Boston Globe)

The government has begun acquiring thousands of acres of agricultural land and industrial strips along major waterways, which would be used as flood plains in periods of high water.

Dikes along these stretches of river will be lowered, repositioned, or, in some cases, removed.

In dry times, the flats could be used for agriculture, or even for envisioned ''floatable" factories and housing.

But when the rivers swell from winter rains, the land would serve as a natural buffer zone, thus softening the fury of the water by allowing it to spread, and, thus, lowering the risk of a disastrous breaching of the dikes.

On other fronts, Dutch contractors are building and selling ''amphibious" homes that rest on land for most of the time, but that can rise and float on flood waters.

Dutch architects and engineers are working on even more ambitious plans to construct floating farms, industrial plants, greenhouses, and apartment buildings -- including a proposed 12,000-house community, which would be able to bob above floods, near Schiphol International Airport, outside Amsterdam.

After centuries of protecting itself from sea storms and river floods, solely with ''hard" barriers, such as dikes and dams, the Netherlands is now endeavoring to make itself ''climate-proof."

What's the Dutch for Ozymandian?

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 5, 2005 8:43 AM

With floating building technologies, when Europe goes downhill they'll be able to leave. Just tie these structures together and add a motor, they can go to tropical latitudes for a two-generation vacation.

Posted by: pj at December 5, 2005 9:09 AM

The Eiffel Tower can be the anchor.

Posted by: Matt Cohen at December 5, 2005 9:33 AM

... bob above floods ... Excellent!

Posted by: erp at December 5, 2005 11:51 AM


Posted by: Guy T. at December 5, 2005 12:31 PM

God made the earth, but the Dutch made the Netherlands. If they don't keep up the work, they can move somewhere else. If the Dutch leave because the Muslims took over, it would be humorous to see how fast the Muslims could wind up living underwater.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at December 5, 2005 12:33 PM

Great line Robert.

Posted by: jdkelly at December 5, 2005 1:41 PM