Seasteading for Climate Refugees


Seriously, I’m deeply upset that there are thousands of people and many countries which NEED seasteading simply to Survive. And yet because the Seasteading Institute is so stuck up about “San Francisco this and billionaires that”, that they couldn’t give a damn about actually helping anyone!

There are drowning nations! And it would be SOO easy to simply build self-healing concrete break-walls to keep out the water or at least make their islands amenable to seasteads for adapting to the new higher water levels.

There is this absolute disconnect of SI from the rest of the world, which I just find appalling, it is one of the reasons why I left this group. And I hope things have changed, I HOPE that MAYBE someone will pull their head out of San Francisco capital of hubris, and perhaps help out Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, where a bunch of first nations have been cajoled into leaving their lands for the mainland, simply because of rising tide!

Obviously there are also many Pacific and Indian ocean nations, but that’s WAY too far from San Fransico to matter, so I’m not even gonna bother. Maybe just Maybe Louisiana, being in the same country at least, will mean someone from Seasteading will talk to these people, about how they can stay and thrive on Isle de Jean Charles?

If you SI people do well with them, then other nations, in the pacific, and indian oceans will like your track record, and will want to do further business with you. Otherwise as you are now, not much more than some silicon valley hype.

Anyways, if anyone at Seasteading Institute is actually doing (not writing about) doing some good for the world along these lines, I’m completely open to re-wording this post given new evidence.


As far as I know, the only on-going construction is KatOnTri’s project, in Alabama. Next runner-up would be me, with a concept being negotiated for 3D pland and simulation testing, prior to a model for tank testing, then several years of construction.

One new member IS trying to work up something for the Lower 9th Ward, of New Orleans.

TSI, on the other hand, seems to have their sights on a 50m X 50m ferrocement barge/floating condo, possibly in the UAE.

The 2 preliminary projects are solo/small-family scale, and not really expandable, once built. Mine IS, however, intended as a test-bed toward a larger version, with self-sufficiency potential for a larger family, but still not intended for an enclosed community.

I am in the process of finding a property, for my own build and as a potential incubator site.

Jeff Frusha

For that matter, the people that used to live most of their lives at sea have been grounded, since the Tsunami, and can’t even afford to buy the right to cut trees down, to make their floating homes…

The Moken are stuck at the bottom of the 3rd-world, and unable to build their traditional Kabangs.


(Wilfried Ellmer) #3

@elspru nice to have you here saying something…There have been a couple of interesting hypothesis in your post.

• because i am upset TSI is doing something wrong .
• TSI has a San Francisco focus.
• TSI has a billionaire focus.
• Helping and building for climate victims should be a focus.
• Doing instead of writing should be the central focus.

In the answer post there where other 3 hypotesis :

• Kat in Alabama is the real center of the seasteading world.
• Frusha is doing the real important things in the seasteading world.
• The Moken are doing the important things in the seasteading world.

If anybody who listens to these threads thinks any of those points should be discussed - go ahead !

For a short follow up what actually IS the TSI focus see Randy at Porcfest.

context: seasteading and climate change : | The new age of sail | prepper solutions |

context: Seasteading and the end of sustainability | read more here |


You are welcome to your jealousy. That is YOUR problem, not mine. Regardless of your personal tragedy, I wish you well in your endeavors. I look forward to the day your 2nd sub can be launched, trialed and sold.

  1. Kathy and I are DOING, not BEGGING for money
  2. The Moken have been people of the sea for thousands of years… THEY are refugees of a disaster, made prisoners to the land…

Please feel free to continue discussing those people that ARE making even small strides toward LIVING offshore.

PS- @ellmer You are personally invited to end the hate-fest.
Jeff Frusha


Yes, there are lots of climate refugees for whom seasteading could work. Now tell me, where will the funding come from? Isn’t it better to fight climate change and prevent the nations from drowning? TSI is actually quite connected to the world, you can’t get things built without funding. If they spend all their effort building a floating island for people who’s homes are disappearing, good for them. You’ve helped 10 families out. Build one in a high profile place, get people to see it, turn it into a movement; well now you have the ability to help out a lot more people. TSI isn’t big enough or important enough to go around building floating nations for people.

Furthermore, you’d think that these nations would have thought of that, and perhaps looked out to find people that work on making things float? I’m not saying TSI are a bunch of good people, I’m just saying that they don’t have the means to go out and save the world with tons of floating real estate. I think your “And it would be SOO easy” is a load of bullshit. If it was “SOO easy”, why hasn’t anybody done it yet?


Which is the purpose of Kathy’s 'stead… A floating residence and shop, capable of making more, given the materials to work with.


(Wilfried Ellmer) #7

Looks like a key point to me… funds are the real driver - not “fierce and agressive should do discussion”… that should be obvious by now - isn’t it ? The rest is “unfunded talks” - literally.

I think Randy and Team is doing a great job in “spreading the word” - and that (seems to be) the only thing that is “on the table” for TSI as current focus - due to funds. The Porcfest keynote speak is a “highly efficient and economic” way to spread the word among people who matter. ( because they potentally can provide funds ) so i would applaude rather than “fiercly criticize” TSI and its way of doing things.
I am off topic yet ? (Climate Refugees) is thread title…became “beat up TSI” somehow…

Context : Make seasteading interesting for investors | read more here

Floating solutions for the poor | poor man’s float USD 20 per squaremeter |

Minimum starting points for floating ventures ( tooling a small raft together grassroot approach ) | read more here


There is 0% chance of “fighting climate change”, those who fought climate change died, as you can see by billions of years of evolutionary history, only those that adapt survive. Sure now there is human-led elements, but C02 emissions aren’t going to stop, we are headed for greenhouse earth, and that may be a good thing.

Rising sea levels is nothing but a BOON for Seasteading! If anything we should be celebrating, at all the new opportunities this is bringing about. Land reclamation projects included.

Adapting to climate change is the only solution. Rising sea levels can be adapted to with break walls and seasteads. Rising sea levels will affect all non-land-locked nations. Even San Francisco, where only the hills will be above the waterline.

10 families? We’re talking nations not apartment buildings.
Netherlands does it all the time, most of their nation is under ocean level,
they’ve also been doing it for centuries, so it is not all that new.

Also there are plenty of wannabe seasteaders that have attempted to build islands using rebar and mesh, however saving islands is actually much easier, since they are much closer to the waterline, and the waterline increases only gradually, so it’s mostly a matter of maintenance and extension.

Have thought of that? Many of these nations don’t even speak English, and very few of their English speaking neighbours have anything to gain by their continued existence. For instance America has nothing to gain by having an semi-independant island nation on Isle de Jean Charles, they’ve been trying to take away native lands since they first got here, now nature is helping them, qui bono?

Also in terms of funding, it is mostly the cost of rebar, mesh and some anodes, maybe some wind or wave power generators to speed things along, relatively cheap and easy to transport by boat. The people interested in actually living there would be paying for it, not TSI. TSI would simply be offering consultation services and helping with design.

People are willing to spend huge sums of money for building and maintaining their own homes, and many banks are willing to give them vast mortgages for doing so. So really real-estate can be a big money maker for Seasteading.

(Matias Volco) #9

some good points raised here

re refugees . coastal displaced peoples drop in an ocean of overpopulation and impromptu urbanization

technology is not class specific
when elevators made high rise living possible it was subsequently used as the most efficient subsidized housing around the world (Monoblok to “projects”) and for luxury condos just as well. Context is in the eye if the beholder; technology isn’t.

Thiel Vertical extropy in alternating pulses with horizontal globalization. It makes perfect sense for TSI to have main embassy in Bay Area and to aim at Brooklyn affordability. This is developing the Developed World.

TSI Friedman legacy of the moving city as the least conflictive vehicle for unrestricted-poverty-saving free market.

Oceanic Business Allliance as technology for floating habitats whose infrastructure and finishings can be adapted from low cost emergency shelters (Magdalena ref) to dream treasure islands - and most interestingly all human activity in betweeen.


0% chance of fighting climate change? More like 0% chance of fighting man made climate change. Going by NATURAL cycles of climate change, Earth should be getting cooler at the moment. Given that current climate change is man-made, it is therefore reasonable to assume that if we get our heads out of our sphincters, we might actually be able to stop our total screw up. Notice that this is OUR screw up, not the Earth’s natural climate cycles.

Rising sea levels are a boon to seasteading? How so, forcing it to become the only viable option for survival? Getting rid of much of Earth’s land area that is rich in natural resources a seastead would need to survive? Causing larger and more intense storms that make the seas more dangerous? Or perhaps the influx of cold meltwater from the poles screwing up the oceanic currents and changing a decent chunk of our fundamental knowledge about the oceans? How about the increasing ocean acidification which will negatively impact many marine species, and screw over coral reefs that happen to be the areas with the richest biodiversity in the ocean?

As for the “land reclamation projects included”, that is completely absurd. Why the hell would we celebrate the need to reclaim land, as opposed to not flooding the land in the first place? Just a waste of resources and time.

Yes, we are talking about nations. Now tell me, with climate change screwing over most of the world, why will nations worry about building floating real estate for other nations, as opposed to themselves? Yes, the Netherlands have been doing it for years. For themselves. And they’re a developed nation with a small population. Entirely different from trying to build seasteads for a couple billion people.

If building seawalls around islands and extending them up is the way to go, why does that in any way involve the Seasteading Institute? They’re focused on floating stuff, not sea walls. It’s not their business.

Yes, so you’re telling me that you’ll have the refugees pay for floating real estate? In refugee migration, the ones with means get out and find themselves a new place to live, in this case that would be somewhere on land. Thus, we have the poorest ones who you are now suggestion will pay for the construction of seasteads to live on?

(Matias Volco) #11

taking advantage from the seas’

  • cheapest movement of material
    ’- freest regulatory environment
  • Free surface


Meanwhile, very few people have any concept of sanitation, so, their idea is the defecate , flush and let the sea take care of it. This is what all the ships do. Get into international waters and flush, flush again just before leaving international waters.

Smaller vessels try to contain it and offload it as someone else’ problem, into a sewer system.

Coastal waters are infested with bacteria due to sewage run-off. Algae blooms feed off the suspended organic materials, killing the habitat.

Seasteading needs a new approach, not the failed methods most people consider ‘normal’.

Some may make fun of it as ‘poo-ponics’, but my suggested method requires no human contact from rear-end, to harvest-able food, partially solving 3 problems: sanitation, fertilizer for crops, and food production, in a flush-it-and-forget-it way that nobody else has managed to suggest any major improvement upon, so far.


(Matias Volco) #13

an innovative way of building real estate for middle income libertarian Americans can translate to innovative ways of construction in general. From an essential engineering point of view a high rise social housing project is the same as a luxury hotel and casino.


It’s already an old thread, or several, in here. I don’t have anything to add to it. Maybe by this time next year, I’ll have my demo greenhouse up and running, for my exact method, but it’s all public knowledge, if folks just use the search engines.



The “Pooponics” concept’s thread is basically this: City sewage and food supplies as a combined topic


yes, 0% chance of fighting climate change;
“Even if emissions stop, carbon dioxide could warm Earth for centuries.”

Also completely stopping emissions is shortsighted. Currently we still live in “ice house earth”, a state of earth where huge swaths of the planets are mostly unihabitable due to permanent ice cover. For much of earths history however it has been in “green house earth” where there were no ice-caps, and fairly moderate temperature all around – due to cross equatorial jet streams we are already starting to see come back.

So even if all the ice caps melt, and the sea level rises by ~60-70 meters, we’ll likely still have more arable land, due to the emergence of northern Asia and North America as agriculturally productive, instead of being tundra/taiga. Also with the addition of Antarctica.

Land reclamaition is simply a foot in the door. The idea is to combine land-reclamation to make good future anchorages. And to change it so that any future homes which are built in the area are seaworthy. People spend hundreds of thousands on building houses, they can easily spend as much on building seasteads, floating homes, which are forwards-compatible with the rising waters.

Right now, no nation within a few meters of the waterline will be habitable in a few centuries, almost regardless of how much land reclamation goes into it, because the water level is going to rise tens of meters. Though land reclamation is a great first step of people taking fate into their own hands and adapting to the situation, rather than simply fleeing from it.

We have many seasteaders which would love to simply have a shallow anchorage, and many of these islands, and island nations are going to be just that soon enough.

I just think it makes more sense to approach them now, while they are still there, and they still have at least some money and people. As it is likely the main path with which they can continue to live there in the future, when those islands become mostly anchorages.

As you may know, many of these atolls used to be underwater before the last ice age froze enough water to make them rise to the surface. So it is really their natural state to be underwater.

(Larry G) #17

Most of the Pacific Islands experiencing subsidence are actually sinking, not being covered by rising seawater while staying at the same eleveation. Because they are on the oceanic plate (denser and thicker) which is being pushed down where it meets the continental plate (lighter and thinner, therefore not on the bottom.)

In fact, many atolls are growing larger:

(Alexander Barber) #18

The question that raises to me is; Which of those two phenomenon are occurring at a faster rate? I’d suspect that the ice caps are melting faster than plate tectonics are raising land in the Pacific, although I don’t have any data to back it up yet, so I’d be interested to see some.

Personally my instinct would be to begin applying Seasteading technology to mitigate existing refugee crisis such as are currently straining the EU, or those fleeing violence in Central America.

This would be beneficial in several ways for both refugees and nations currently hosting crowded camps for them. International aid groups could likely be enticed to fund a Seasteading project directed at these problems, which would take some of the strain off of countries currently hosting asylum seekers. The urgent nature of these refugee crisis would likely result in funding being available sooner than later, allowing an accelerated development of necessary technologies and a more rapid decrease in per-unit manufacturing costs.

Lessons learned and technology/manufacturing capacity developed in providing refugees with housing and living conditions far better than is presently available in crowded camps and detention centers could easily be applied to the benefit of existing experimental and non-humanitarian Seasteading projects, which would in turn continue to improve the technology resulting in further improvements to Seasteading as a whole, benefiting both future humanitarian uses (most likely climate change refugees in low-lying nations like Bangladesh and big cities in the American Southeast) and private projects with even lower manufacturing costs and improved, more efficient technologies.



Continental Ice in Antarctica is collecting faster than ice melt. That rate has begun slowing, but it is still getting more ice collected as snow, than the melt and unless there is a negative, where the ice total melt exceeds collection, then there is no rise.

As for the Arctic ice melting, and refreezing, it is mostly floating, anyway, meaning a total melt would still take the same space as what is ice.

Take a container and partially fill it with ice, then add water until it all is floating mark the water-level and just let the ice melt… no change it water level. Tuh Dah, no rise in sea level.

Places like Louisiana are losing land by erosion, not these deadly sea-level increases predicted, but not happening.

That said, yes man-made climate change is real, but it is not causing sea-level to rise. Places that are subsiding are merely subsiding. HOWEVER, the heat-island effect changes weather patterns, as does deforestation. Deforestation is displacing people far faster than any other phenomena but war.


there is sea level rise, and it is projected to be as much as a meter by 2100