Abu Dhabi announced plans for a $15bn state investment in clean energy technologies, including the world’s largest hydrogen plant and a new sustainable city. All this while I was dumping my closets on the floor yesterday in a search for sustainability. It’s thrilling that the capital of the UAE, whose fantastic wealth is based squarely on oil and natural gas deposits, is the one taking this huge, important, exciting step. After all, they have the money to burn- but their government also understands that dependency on oil is not a desirable political or economic strategy.

In a moment of dramatic irony, Bush visited the sustainable city last week and thought it was just great. Maybe if the UAE doesn’t need all that oil now, they’ll sell it to us cheap! Maureen Dowd put it well:

You know you’re in trouble when your Middle East oil pump is greener than you are.

1 Response to “Meanwhile”

  1. 1 virescent January 22, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Foster and Partners are doing the master plan for the sustainable city, Masdar- you can see a few sketches and read a summary of it at (their website can be very unhelpful, but you can find it at Projects-By Location-Asia-UAE). Also, on February 11th from 6:30 to 8:00 at the National Building Museum, UAE officials and some other experts will hang out and talk about Masdar and its role in future world development. It’s free for students, and $20 for the general public, so enroll somewhere fast and go see: I’ll actually be being a student in a class at the time (learning how to build my own sustainable cities, or at least how to operate helpful software), or we could go together. Drat.

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