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Dubai Islands Still Above Water

2:14 PM, Nov 30, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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Dubai's royal family has spent billions of dollars trying to develop an economic model for the emirate that will survive after the oil runs out -- or after the industrialized world finds an alternative to the fossil fuels that by some unfortunate coincidence aren't concentrated in that part of the world. Dubai sought to become the financial capital of the Arab world, it sought to become a hub for commerce and transportation, and it also sought to become a tourism mecca. As part of that plan, Dubai built islands -- lots of them -- and no one seems to have told them that this was a bad investment. It seems clear that the people behind Dubai's economic plans may have made a lot of bad investments, but building islands requires a lot of insurance companies to get on board with the proposal, it requires a lot of investors signing off, it requires a lot of engineers to approve the designs, and it requires that sea levels don't rise by several feet over the next 50 to 100 years as the scientific "consensus" dictates they will.

With Dubai in the news, it's worth asking: why didn't anyone tell the people of Dubai that global warming would make their little man-made islands disappear in just a few decades, that they were flushing their easily-earned petro-dollars down the toilet? Maybe because the business community -- the banks, the engineers, the insurance firms, etc. -- doesn't really believe any of the hype about global warming?