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No. 53 (September 2001)


Save Millions of Lives Around Bengal

and make that region prosperously productive


by Win Wenger, Ph.D.

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The northern end of the Bay of Bengal shallows in such a way that any major storm pushes a massive storm-surge of floodwaters over the low-lying, heavily populated, adjacent areas of Bangla-Desh and India.

Every year or so, a tropical cyclone comes into the bay at just the right angle to push a surge over these areas, killing thousands of human beings. From time to time, the toll is in the millions instead.

There is no good way to prevent the millions of desperately poor and starving human beings from going right back into the flood-ravaged areas hoping to scratch some sort of living for themselves and their families. The land is fertile, their desperation is extreme, and no physical or societal infrastructure to speak of exists to give them escape mobility or to improve their desperate conditions.

O

Preventing disasters, building prosperity
This brief tells how to prevent these disasters — material and human — from happening. It also tells how to turn the greatest region of dire poverty on Earth into productive prosperity. You can help greatly with little effort, simply by talking the idea of this project over with one or two other people and so helping the idea to get into circulation where it might stand a chance of gaining consideration on its merits.

Here is what could be built across the northern third to half of the Bay of Bengal, for no more than two to four billion dollars over several years, with bulldozers, manual labor, and the Beachbuilder device described on this website.

  • A series of alternating strips of (barrier) farmland and (fish-farming) lagoon water, running mostly east-west across most of the bay.

  • The southernmost island or so to be a forested and reinforced barrier island.

  • An orderly system of bridges connecting all the strips of land for quick evacuation in the event that an approaching storm is so large as to threaten to overwhelm the main barrier island. In that event, each of the dozens of other strips of farmland would act as barrier islands intercepting the surge before it could make its way onshore.
What makes the construction of all this economical is, simply, the above-cited beachbuilder device. Just up-current of where you want the next layers of land to form, lay lines of perforated hose or pipe with an air compressor driving air through them. The resulting "bubble curtains" trip up the currents passing over them, especially during storms, forcing them to lose speed and drop their load of sediments. Between storms and at low tides, men and bulldozers can scrape up and mound up to higher levels the rich soils accumulated from those rich Bengali sediments.

Several years ago, we at Project Renaissance gave this Beachbuilder invention as a gift to the world, described in some detail for you or anyone to use freely, in the Inventions section of this website. The device is yours to use freely to protect shorelines and beaches wherever, whenever, no conditions or restrictions other than those of your own local jurisdictions.

These east-west running strips of land, acting as back-up barrier islands, will be very fertile for agriculture and, as economic conditions improve, for tourist resorts. The huge economic benefits from all this, however, will be from the lagoons between those strips of land, to be operated as fish farms. What is now the greatest major region of poverty on all the Earth will become able to meet not only its own protein needs but those of much of Asia.

A small portion of these economic benefits can, in turn, be used to reforest those deforested hills in the north which are the other major source of terrible flooding in the region.

Infinitely more important than these and other economic benefits will be the saving of millions of living human beings from the next major cyclone which comes up the Bay of Bengal.

Can we also use the other bubble-blower invention we've suggested, Hurricane Stopper, among the several inventions we've given freely to the world? ...The one that turns warm surface waters under and brings colder waters up from underneath as a means to starve hurricanes and typhoons and cyclones of their energy? I've not yet studied conditions in the southern part of the Bay of Bengal (does it have cooler waters under?) or in its approaches to see if this could work there. If it should turn out that it does, that added measure of protection would bring up to nearly 100% the security (and opportunity to build toward a meaningful future) of millions of human beings now in stark prospect.

O

How might such a project get financed and organized?
  1. The quickest and in some ways easiest way would be as an American government-led coalition project.

  2. It could be the first of a possible series of major United Nations projects which were not focused entirely on either war or emergency public health. And/or:

  3. It could be put together by a consortium of corporations, foundations, agencies, governments, and possibly popular subscription. I like the idea of such a widely popular subscription because it would visibly broaden people's stake in the well-being of other people.
Before any of these avenues can open, though, the idea of this project has to reach enough discussion and public awareness to have some chance of advancing on its merits. If the beachbuilder device makes sense to you, and/or if this project idea makes sense to you, talk it over with one or two other people.

To move toward so positive and constructive and human-supportive an endeavor would be a wonderful way to sustain hopes and aspirations toward a better human future. Please let us hear from you.

O

Comments to:
Win Wenger

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