23 September 2011

Atlantropa: Connecting Africa to the Modern World

Atlantropa Video Part I of VI (German)
In order to bring more of the benefits of modern civilisation to Islam and Africa, Europe will need to provide greater access to the primitive lands and dark continent. A dam across the Gibraltar Straits and a bridge from Italy to Tunisia, would be good starting points. A tunnel from Spain to Morocco would provide further high speed rail access.
...Sicily [would be] connected to both Tunisia and the Italian mainland (allowing, among other things for a regular train service between Berlin and Cape Town). In the western half, the water would be lowered by 100 meters, in the eastern half by as much as 200 meters, combining to create 576,000 km2 new dry land, a fifth of the Mediterranean’s surface, or more than the surface of Belgium and France together. _BigThink

Strategic damming of the Congo and tributaries would provide two large inland seas, allowing for extensive development of the African interior. Continuous train service would link Capetown, South Africa, with all European destinations.
More information on Atlantropa
Wikipedia Atlantropa
Big Think Atlantropa
Greening the Sahara

The Atlantropa project was the grand scheme of Herman Sorgel, a German architect who lived through the Nazi era. He wanted to provide an alternative to Hitler's war-for-lebensraum, by creating new land and new frontiers without the need for another war in Europe. But his plans and schemes were all for naught, as Hitler ignored Sorgel's ideas, and laid waste to Europa. Instead of hope and new frontiers, Hitler brought despair and devastation.

As for how China might view a modern resurrection of the Atlantropa idea, use your imaginations. Somehow I doubt the rulers of African nations would mind too very much, as long as the payoff was considered sufficient.

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Blogger neil craig said...

Tunneling technology has improved enormously since then so we could have as many connections under the Med as we wanted.

It should also be far easier to shift the water from the Congo's upper tributary to lake Chad and ultimately to water the entire Sahara with it.

In engineering terms this would be easier than America's NAWPAPA. Politically I'm not sure which faces worse odds.

Saturday, 24 September, 2011  
Blogger Weekend Yachtsman said...

They don't need a tunnel or a bridge, they get here quite easily anyway, in far larger numbers than we can assimilate or afford to keep.

As for the benefits of modern civilisation, they could have had those for the asking fifty or sixty years ago, but preferred to remain as they were; there's no reason to imagine the response would be different now.

Saturday, 24 September, 2011  

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