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Colonizing Antartica
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Colonizing Antartica:

 151 De Marquis, Thu, 8th Dec '11 5:43:45 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
If you mean a mining tunnel, the best option, as I mentioned, is to avoid the ice sheet altogether and do your mining in the mountains. If you have to mine beneath the ice, then all it requires is that you re-dig the tunnel every year. This will result in a strangely elongated tunnel, as last years open space moves several inches "downstream". The easiest configuration is to dig your tunnel slanting down toward the coast, since that simply means that you have to re-dig the floor every year. The tunnel will eventually get higher and higher, yet also narrow as time passes by, so that after a couple of years what you have will resemble the ceiling of a Cathedral. Cool, huh?
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
We shouldn't even touch those freshwater lakes anyway: They might have all sorts of life thought extinct, and it'd be a shame to finish'em off.
You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 153 Colonial1. 1, Thu, 8th Dec '11 5:46:53 PM from The Marvelous River City
Crazed Lawrencian
Indeed. What's in the mountains, by the way?

As for the lakes, they deserve study. Carefully, of course. All equipment must be sterile.
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What's the point of being grown up if you can't act childish?
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
Ore, I guess.
You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 155 Colonial1. 1, Thu, 8th Dec '11 5:50:02 PM from The Marvelous River City
Crazed Lawrencian
Of what sorts?
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What's the point of being grown up if you can't act childish?
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You can't really tell without a geological survey, and I guess it's not been done extensively.

If it's comparable to other continents, it probably has a whole goddamn lot of mineral resources, since it's 100% untapped by people.

edited 8th Dec '11 5:51:03 PM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 157 USAF713, Thu, 8th Dec '11 5:53:49 PM from the United States
 158 Colonial1. 1, Thu, 8th Dec '11 5:54:51 PM from The Marvelous River City
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That is true, Yeeeess.

That means another section will have to be devoted to mineral survey.
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What's the point of being grown up if you can't act childish?
 159 De Marquis, Thu, 8th Dec '11 5:57:10 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
"...It is also known that rock layers such as those in Antarctica commonly contain large amounts of cobalt, chromium, nickel, vanadium, copper, iron and platinum group minerals."

From here

Here's a map. Scroll down to "known deposits"

It is difficult to commercially exploit mineral deposits in Antarctica, but that's for foreign based companies planning to export. As I explained to my friend all those years ago, it will be a lot easier and cheaper for people who actually live there.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 160 USAF713, Thu, 8th Dec '11 5:59:04 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
~sigh~

Of course, nobody considers that we shouldn't even be there much at all. It's not "oh, we'll only ruin a small bit, " it's "this place is untouched, and it should damn well stay that way."

There's a whole galaxy out there to tear down and exploit. Leave the last part of this planet we haven't ruined in the necessary—if horrifically destructive—path to progress alone.
I am now known as Flyboy.
 161 Colonial1. 1, Thu, 8th Dec '11 6:04:50 PM from The Marvelous River City
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Yeeeeess, platinum, cobalt, and steel-making minerals...

How large would a mining complex have to be? Would it be built into the mountainside?
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What's the point of being grown up if you can't act childish?
 162 De Marquis, Thu, 8th Dec '11 6:05:52 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
In reality, the adult me has many more reservations about this idea than the teenaged me ever did. Not so much because it's pristine, but because Antarctica essentially regulates global climate, and messing with the ice cap could make our current catastrophe even worse.

That said, mining is less likely to be profitable than the fish-farming, if my idea actually worked. Fish stocks world-wide have collapsed, and any process that created consumable fish at a cost-effective price would kill.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 163 Joesolo, Thu, 8th Dec '11 6:13:54 PM Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Antarctica is one of the last refuges for Fish. Its almost like a Hidden Elf Village for them. It NEEDS to be left alone, except for small-scale science. (I'm looking at you Japan!)
"Why do you need guns that big?"

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 164 Colonial1. 1, Thu, 8th Dec '11 6:15:31 PM from The Marvelous River City
Crazed Lawrencian
Well when you put it That way...

In all seriousness, though, besides fishing, would the water from the ice and sea require extensive purification?
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 165 De Marquis, Thu, 8th Dec '11 6:20:43 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
The ice is freshwater, the sea is salt. There is almost no pollution.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 166 Joesolo, Thu, 8th Dec '11 6:20:46 PM Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Sea? Yes, you'd need desalineisation plants and stuff. Ice, not as much but you'd need to filter it. Theres all sorts of dust and stuff stuck in it.
"Why do you need guns that big?"

"Hitler had a very small penis. "

Le Garcon and Geek Code Red on a German artillery gun
 167 Gabrael, Thu, 8th Dec '11 7:38:00 PM from bouncy house of squishy Relationship Status: Gay for Big Boss
A Polar Bear Named Gabrael
It's not like any of us are going to go out tomorrow and charter and expedition.

Seriously people either lighten up or walk away. This is supposed to be enjoyable.

Would subterranean housing really work or would it just be spending more resources to heat us that way then above ground?

I'm no engineer by any means so I'm fascinated by how that would work.
"War does not determine who is right - only who is left." Bertrand Russell
 168 Colonial1. 1, Thu, 8th Dec '11 7:53:15 PM from The Marvelous River City
Crazed Lawrencian
I'm curious as to how large we can make this complex, theoretically.

Habitation, hydroponics, warehouse, defence bunker, command & control, fishery, water purification/storage mineral survey... And that's not getting into the laboratory sections, one of which -must- be for studying what's in those lakes.
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What's the point of being grown up if you can't act childish?
 169 Aceof Spades, Thu, 8th Dec '11 9:11:30 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: I wanna know about these strangers like me
First off, I'd look at what they've done for things like the ISS, which I mentioned before. Provided that the current climate stays relatively close to what it is now, you'd need almost entirely closed in habitats for people to live there, much like on a space station. For the sake of cost, the place would probably be rather cramped, except perhaps for recreational areas. I can't imagine that living like that for a lifetime would be particularly comfortable.

Also, for all the arguing over politics; the OP did specifically mention his politics as motivation for a hypothetical scenario. So yes, politics and sociological ideologies are rather appropriate for this particular topic.
 170 Colonial1. 1, Thu, 8th Dec '11 9:20:33 PM from The Marvelous River City
Crazed Lawrencian
So every section would have to be linked via tunnel?

Politics: The OP's politics are... thorny. And not very fun to talk about for long without fires breaking out.

Something tells me a place like this would have to be run almost like a military base. I might be wrong, of course.
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 171 Aceof Spades, Thu, 8th Dec '11 9:25:41 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: I wanna know about these strangers like me
Not necessarily, I think. There was a topic about Russia's government wanting to just this (building a city, I mean) in some of their far northern territory in order to drill for oil. The stated goal was to have it be a wholely functioning city, while being closed off from the harsh environment. I figure, at least nominally, they'd have a mayor or whatever. (Though Russia's case would probably be a company town.)

I dunno about tunnels; that depends on how far apart these places are. Russia's proposed model just had it be all one domed enclosure with different levels. The actual town/living part was on top.
 172 Greenmantle, Fri, 9th Dec '11 8:05:40 AM from Thornycroft-land Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Grey Bird
Anyone read the Antarctic Treaties?

Articles of the Antarctic Treaty

  • Article 1 – The area to be used for peaceful purposes only; military activity, such as weapons testing, is prohibited but military personnel and equipment may be used for scientific research or any other peaceful purpose;
  • Article 2 – Freedom of scientific investigations and cooperation shall continue;
  • Article 3 – Free exchange of information and personnel in cooperation with the United Nations and other international agencies;
  • Article 4 – The treaty does not recognize, dispute, nor establish territorial sovereignty claims; no new claims shall be asserted while the treaty is in force;
  • Article 5 – The treaty prohibits nuclear explosions or disposal of radioactive wastes;
  • Article 6 – Includes under the treaty all land and ice shelves but not the surrounding waters south of 60 degrees 00 minutes south;
  • Article 7 – Treaty-state observers have free access, including aerial observation, to any area and may inspect all stations, installations, and equipment; advance notice of all activities and of the introduction of military personnel must be given;
  • Article 8 – Allows for jurisdiction over observers and scientists by their own states;
  • Article 9 – Frequent consultative meetings take place among member nations;
  • Article 10 – All treaty states will discourage activities by any country in Antarctica that are contrary to the treaty;
  • Article 11 – All disputes to be settled peacefully by the parties concerned or, ultimately, by the International Court of Justice;
  • Articles 12, 13, 14 – Deal with upholding, interpreting, and amending the treaty among involved nations.

The main objective of the ATS is to ensure in the interests of all humankind that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord. The treaty forbids any measures of a military nature, but not the presence of military personnel.

In addition, mining is prohibited under Article 7 of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty Protocol.

Oh yes, look at this [italics mine]:

United States

The law of the United States, including certain criminal offenses by or against U.S. nationals, such as murder, may apply to areas not under jurisdiction of other countries. To this end, the United States now stations special deputy U.S. Marshals in Antarctica to provide a law enforcement presence.

Some U.S. laws directly apply to Antarctica. For example, the Antarctic Conservation Act, Public Law 95-541, 16 U.S.C. § 2401 et seq., provides civil and criminal penalties for the following activities, unless authorized by regulation or statute:

  • the taking of native Antarctic mammals or birds
  • the introduction into Antarctica of non-indigenous plants and animals
  • entry into specially protected or scientific areas
  • the discharge or disposal of pollutants into Antarctica or Antarctic waters
  • the importation into the U.S. of certain items from Antarctica

Violation of the Antarctic Conservation Act carries penalties of up to US$10, 000 in fines and one year in prison. The Departments of the Treasury, Commerce, Transportation, and the Interior share enforcement responsibilities. The Act requires expeditions from the U.S. to Antarctica to notify, in advance, the Office of Oceans and Polar Affairs of the State Department, which reports such plans to other nations as required by the Antarctic Treaty. Further information is provided by the Office of Polar Programs of the National Science Foundation.

So there is Law Enforcement on Antartica, it appears. And I'm sure if you turned up, Savage, there would be a few more members of Law Enforcement, watching your every move...

edited 9th Dec '11 8:07:20 AM by Greenmantle

"To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield" — Alfred, Lord Tennyson
 173 Colonial1. 1, Fri, 9th Dec '11 8:38:55 AM from The Marvelous River City
Crazed Lawrencian
Maaaan. Ah well. Ice, fish, and research are more profitable anyway.

edited 9th Dec '11 8:39:07 AM by Colonial1.1

Proud member of the IAA

What's the point of being grown up if you can't act childish?
 174 De Marquis, Fri, 9th Dec '11 9:15:41 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Re US Marshall's in Antarctica: You'all got to check this out

Re Treaties against mining- any independent colony would not be party to the treaty, and legally needn't be bound by it. The question would then be how much mining one could get away with.

Re Shelters: I was thinking more in terms of my independent small complexes, rather than one large one, except for the population center on Deception. There is no ice sheet on Deception, so that would require entirely above ground shelters, but since the weather that far north is a little more tolerable, and the geo-thermal is so easy to exploit, that may be ok. (they actually have year-round hot springs there).

As for the rest of the continent- If you are using my trench design, then your talking about one network of fishing/farming/hydronics villages along the coast, supporting another network of small mining villages in the mountains. Establishing reliable transportation between villages is challenging, but not impossible.

Space stations are the wrong model, as are undersea habitats. The problem in Antarctica isn't atmospheric pressure, it's cold, and achieving a sustainable economy.

This may be more relevant. Imagine "Bio-sphere III's under the ice, providing year-round sustainable living. Not possible right away, of course, but a goal to work toward.

More realistically, at least in the early stages, each village would be more or less dedicated to a single special purpose. Each would be around 100 families or so, with Deception accommodating up to ten times as many. Each population center will have to provide it's own electrical power, as maintaining a functioning electrical grid across the continent may not be practical. Each center will have to provide it's own drinkable water, deliver it's own medical care, store the necessities for survival, and provide for it's own governance.

If it ends up becoming a country, it will be a very decentralized one. It's political culture will probably resemble Switzerland, or maybe Scandanavia. Direct democracy might be a realistic possibility. Semi-anarchist, but with a strong center to support the outlying villages.

"Would subterranean housing really work or would it just be spending more resources to heat us that way then above ground?"

If your digging into ice, a la the "covered trench" idea I mentioned earlier, then it would work quite well. Ice and snow are, somewhat counter-intuitively, excellent insulators. That's why igloos work.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 175 pvtnum 11, Fri, 9th Dec '11 9:40:02 AM from Kerbin low orbit Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
linkup
...all the more reasons to pick some small drab bit of island and go at it. Less cold to deal with. But if you much have cold weather, maybe you can convince Alaska to give up one of the Aleutian islands for your colonization experiment. Lots of snow, so there's a freshwater supply...
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Total posts: 175
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