Posted by Dabney B. on Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
Israel isn’t what most people consider the most fortunate country on Earth. The tiny country is pretty much completely surrounded by enemies, so it has to rely significantly on foreign aid and it must endure frequent terrorist attacks. For the most part, you kind of have to sympathize with Israel and acknowledge that they have to take drastic steps to secure a prosperous life.
So when Israel announced that they are thinking about building a $10 billion artificial island, one that will be devastating to the nearby environment, you should avoid jumping to any conclusions.
First, let’s take a look at all of the good that the island will do. The island will offer an external port that will enable Israel to gain access to foreign goods and facilitate exports. Additionally, the island will be a site for hotels and tourist attractions, which should give a further boost to the local economy. A three-mile bridge connecting the Island to Gaza will provide a reliable infrastructure. In short, the three square mile island will help Israel bring in some money, which should make it less dependent on foreign allies.
As much good as it might do, we have to consider the negative repercussions. Artificial islands are bad for the environment, and an island as massive as this one would be utterly devastating for local marine wildlife. Artificial islands are responsible for massive increases in erosion and they disrupt aquatic ecosystems. Not only will this have an impact on the environment immediately around the island, but will ravage the balance of the ecosystem all throughout the eastern portion of the Mediterranean Sea.
All of these factors make it difficult to assess the value of this double-edged sword. The commercial advantages offered by the island should help Israel maintain a wary peace with its Muslim neighbors, but the island will destroy local wildlife. We also have to look at this island within the context of recent events. Dubai and other countries have been experimenting with artificial islands, and it seems as though they are not a very good long-term investment. Many of the islands that compose Dubai’s The World are sinking back into the ocean.
Is this island an innovative solution for a nation struggling to earn its place in the world, or is it a disastrous idea that is as detrimental as it is flawed?