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A Desert Oasis – A Synonym For Mirage
Wrong Kind of Green Op-ed
September 9, 2016
by Forrest Palmer with Cory Morningstar
Cheetahs as accessories: no rainforest required. Cheetahs are status symbols for the ultra rich as they are expensive and illegal to obtain. (Credits: pixte.com)
“The world’s first hotel with a tropical rainforest is set to open in Dubai. The Rosemont Hotel & Residences will open in 2018, and will be managed by Hilton Worldwide.” [Source]
It was recently revealed that Dubai is in the midst of building an actual rainforest in a luxury hotel within the city. According to CNN, this stroke of genius (or more likely, insanity) will have the following amenities available to its guests as detailed by DJ Armin, principal architect and managing partner of ZAS Architects Dubai:
“Inside the rainforest, we’ve created a landscape akin to a full-scale tropical environment — complete with adventure trails, a sandless beach, a splash pool, waterfalls, streams and a rainforest cafe,” says Armin.
There will also be a “prehistoric Jurassic-inspired marsh.”
“Technological features include an advanced sensory rain system that creates a 360-degree experience, simulating the sensation of being surrounded by rainfall without actually getting wet.”
Sensors control where the rain will fall depending on where people are detected.
Water will be collected, stored from condensation and recycled to create a humid environment similar to a tropical rainforest.
The outdoor rainforest will be located on the top level of the entertainment podium that connects the hotel and residential towers.
The project is still at an early stage, but it appears the rainforest will be open to the public as well as hotel guests.
By any rational reasoning, this is a veritable waste of resources that is indicative of the momentary and dwindling spoils of war that man has decided to utilize in its short Pyrrhic victory with the environment itself . Yet, this is one of many projects that are ongoing by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the country in which the capital city of Dubai resides, to build a desert wonderland for anyone with enough money to experience a ‘genuine heaven on Earth’.
And although this dance with fantasy is beyond delusional as this incessant growth continues presently, there is an acknowledgement by the leaders in the UAE that the ongoing building of this dream world is in danger by their acknowledgement that an absolute storm is brewing in the form of catastrophic climate change. F. Scott Fitzgerald once said that “the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function”, but this missive doesn’t hold true when it comes to conflicting ideas that are manifested in the tangible aspect of everyday life which can’t exist under illogical circumstances. Hence, the UAE can’t in one hand have an entire economic system whose solvency is wholly dependent on 85% of its exports being oil and at the same time address the fact that said oil being exported is responsible for the entire region in which the country resides no longer able to maintain human life in the not too distant future.
And at a more detailed level, this dreamland built by way of the largesse available through the amount of oil produced per day in the country means that the cause of their ultimate demise will be the liquid that lies underneath the feet of its citizens and provides them the economic resources to build such opulent edifices as an artificial rainforest. The UAE is currently producing approximately 2.9 million barrels of oil a day. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a barrel of oil constitutes 0.43 metric tons of carbon emitted into the atmosphere. This means that the UAE’s oil production is responsible for daily emissions equivalent to 1.25 million metric tons of carbon and yearly emissions of 455 million metric tons. And although this is a small percentage of the total amount of oil and overall fossil fuels that are drilled, mined and consumed each day, it still illustrates how the United Arab Emirates is complicit in its inevitable demise. It is but one brick in a wall constituted of the fossil fuel industry that is built upon a global community (mainly Western nations) consuming 94 million barrels of oil a day (2014 estimates). Yet, it is still a very vital component of the oil equilibrium that allows the economy to function which is to the overall detriment of the physical world we depend on for our continued existence.
And as the rainforests are an indispensable component of our global ecosystem that sustains life on Earth and has now been relegated to the décor of a hotel for the rich and famous, we must ask ourselves what exactly the frivolity placed on such an important part of our survival is causing at the grassroots level. To ascertain the precarious situation in which the once expansive rainforest, the lungs of the Earth, are in currently, it is important to look at the destruction that has been caused and its continuing to be placed on its ever weakening back. The rainforests are a network of vegetation that is found in Asia, Africa, Central America, the Caribbean, as well as small vestiges in the Pacific Northwest, with the largest expanse being that found in South America. At one time, rainforests covered 14% of the land surface; now it is a mere 6% and dropping precipitously. This is almost entirely due to man’s insatiable need for consumer growth through extracting irreplaceable resources and minerals from these regions. At the current rate of destruction, which is about 1 acre each second, the rainforest will be wholly destroyed by the middle of the 21st century, the most optimistic of assessments. With the loss of this forestation, the diversity of species will continue to fall at apocalyptic rates and ensure that human life will dissolve with all the other species that are being designated for extinction with each passing day.
Yet, the ornamental aspects of biodiversity ensure that the removal of the rainforest from its natural habitat to a small facsimile amount will go on unabated for the foreseeable future. Consequently, the people have been indoctrinated into believing that it is now possible to visit a self contained rainforest with all the Western amenities and luxuries you can imagine at your disposal in the coziest of conditions.
Geoengineering for consumerism within a sweltering desert – branded as sustainability.
The orangutan is just one species of thousands losing their rainforest habitat to the Western whims (“sustainable” palm oil, “green” biomass, FSC-certified logging, etc.) of industrial civilization.
This is the maniacal ongoing process of removing an actual rainforest from where it can thrive and maintain itself as a living organism and instead transplanting it to an area where not only vegetation is no longer sustainable, but where life itself may be unsustainable in the not too distant future. It is beyond maddening to see this type of behavior by anyone who is aware of the consequences of our daily actions in terms of the desecration of what may be all living organisms on the planet Earth.
The folly of man is to believe that science will be the magic elixir that will sustain planetary survival outside of a natural word. Hence, all the components that make a living, breathing planet have no usage any longer as we transition from a natural world to an artificial one. As alchemy, which was at one time deemed a science, has been proven to be useless, at what juncture are we to say that science and technology is rubbish in being ascendant to nature? As science is at the basis of all advances in a technocratic society, such as the Western world, the problems caused by the resulting technology are increasing at such a rate that any honest assessment must come to the following conclusion: Even though modern technology may have solved certain woes in societies, subsequent matters have worsened globally through utilization of these technologies that are more numerous in nature and even just as bad or worse than the original troubles. Wherever the line resides between a sane and insane world, it has definitely been crossed when man actually has scaled to the mythical and illogical heights of believing it can actually displace a rainforest from its natural environment to a replication of sorts in the most unnatural of places.
“Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah will soon bear yet another pricey piece of “fruit,” with the manmade archipelago—one of three artificial islands in the UAE city—plotting to add yet another item to its long list of lodges by 2017.Sporting an estimated cost of $1.4 billion, the sweet resort—whose interiors will be dressed by London-based company GA Design—is being touted as a “foodie paradise,” with several upscale restaurants (led of course by award-winning chefs) inked into its blueprint, on top of an assortment of retail spots. One of the structure’s coolest components is undoubtedly its sky pool, set to sit 295 feet off the ground near its median.” [Source]
“This bold project belongs to Deep Ocean Technology (DOT), a company that plans to develop spectacular underwater hotels for luxe travelers. One of these hotels, called the Water Discus Hotel, will be built in Dubai, and it will look very much like an alien spaceship that landed into the coral-populated ocean.” [Source]
As there are definite undertones and intimations of a problem brewing by just the existence of these enclaves, such as the luxury hotels in Dubia, that are used as enclosures to divide the haves from the have nots, there is no glass thick enough or technology advanced enough or place removed far away enough to distance those who reside inside the domes of safety from the ramifications of the same inventions that give them their privileges in life. Even though the administrators of Dubai have been able to actually devise temporary settings that mirror the mirage of any desert dweller who has lost his mind due to the extremities of heat prostration, the tangible aspects of it are just as imaginary when it comes to the realities of longevity and sustainability.
A mirage is just a mirage – no matter how many people profess its presence is anything but.