A company in Dubai wants to grab icebergs in Antarctica and bring them back

The proposed plan, illustrated

Just when you thought Dubai couldn’t get any crazier! A company there has hatched a scheme to drag icebergs that are currently melting in the Indian Ocean to the city for fresh water and maybe even a bit of natural air conditioning.

“The icebergs are just floating in the Indian Ocean. They are up for grabs to whoever can take them,” the leader of the group, National Advisor Bureau Limited, told AP. That’s an interesting way of thinking about the world’s resources.

Each iceberg has an estimated 20 billion gallons of fresh water, which would be helpful to the desert climate in the UAE, the group says. They would also be a tourist attraction (!) and might even create rain in the region.

Of course, there are a lot of sceptics of this plan. For one thing, environmental science experts say it is very likely the bergs would melt in transit. And bigger icebergs would probably get caught in strong currents and be destroyed. The company would also need to secure approval from Australia and other foreign governments that protect the environment of Antarctica.

Alas, as one expert put it, the real solution to fixing the climate in Dubai is much less glamorous than schlepping an iceberg across the ocean. “There’s only one way to avoid [its heat waves] – reducing emissions and keeping all fossil fuels in the ground.” Quite a burn, indeed. [NYP]