Article in Latin Trade
Dome, Sweet Dome
For science fiction fans, it’s the opportunity of the millennium—a shot at a
real-life utopia. For skeptics, it’s a wacky plan to create a floating city
outside the sovereignty of any recognized nation. On the map, someday, it could
be etched as Celestopea.
Celestopeans, are an international group
of idealists planning to colonize Earth’s oceans. Critics may write them off as
madcap dreamers—or dismiss their mission as an exercise for a philosophy
class—but the Celestopeans vow to secure their place among the world’s
“Most people have a difficult time seeing
things too big and too far into the future,” says U.S. citizen Jesse Love, who
will help engineer the plans from which this floating city will be built. “And
what we’re doing is very big, and off a bit into the future. We’re not naïve
enough to think this will be easy. We’re just taking it one step at a time.”
Celestopea, according to the plan, will be
a series of 22 self-sufficient, semi-autonomous floating cities set up over the
next 100 years. The first is slated for the balmy waters off the Pacific coast
of Costa Rica, nearly 200 miles west of the sleepy beach town of Nosara, on the
Floating beyond Costa Rica’s 12-mile
territorial limit, Love explains, the island will be legally independent. But it
will retain economic ties to the mainland because its sea mount—the underwater
mountain chain to which the city will be anchored—falls within the 200-mile
economic jurisdiction of Costa Rica. Later cities, regardless of where they are
located, are expected to be situated beyond the 200-mile limit.
Although only 50 people make up the
project’s core, some 600 have expressed interest in this futuristic Shangri-La,
say the future waterborne colonists. “We don’t want fanatics. We want people who
show good judgment, common sense and compassion,” insists Love. “In many of your
cloistered communities, the common denominator is a doomsday belief. Ours is the
opposite. It’s abundance, abundance for ourselves and the rest of our fellow
citizens on planet Earth.”
Revenues will be generated from community
businesses once there is a community of at least 500 living on the first
Celestopean city, which is slated to open in 2011.
The first US$275 million city will float
on the ocean and will accommodate between 5,000 and 10,000 residents. At the
center of the complex will be an island; clustered around the island will be
floating sea domes where residents will live. By 2004, Celestopeans plan to
start manufacturing and selling the Seadome homes—which can double as
houseboats, throughout the world—to bankroll money for the project.
Another source of income will be
Celestopea Wave Breakers, a breakwater technology invented by Love. He says a
factory will be set up to begin manufacturing the environmentally friendly
breakwaters, needed to protect Seadomes at anchor, around the time that the
Seadomes go into production.
But the real profits for citizens are
expected to come from Celestopea’s energy source, an Ocean Thermal Energy
Converter (OTEC)—a new technology that uses the temperature variation between
ocean surfaces and ocean depths to create a pollution-free source of energy. A
single 100 megawatt converter costs $175 million but, once Celestopeans have it
operating, they say they will make money by selling their surplus energy,
mineral and mariculture byproducts and desalinated water.
“Technologically, it’s feasible,” says
Eduardo Céspedes, a Costa Rican Celestopean. Céspedes says wanting to help
better mankind is a universal desire, noting that there are now future
Celestopeans in 36 countries, including South Africa, Argentina and Indonesia.
Asked his opinion, architect Alvaro Rojas, founder of the private University of
Design in the eastern San Jose district of San Pedro, says he admires
visionaries because they challenge society to improve.
Author: Julie Dulude •