Here’s the Line on “The Line”…

Johnny-on-the-Spot…by John Foster…

Have you heard about “The Line?”

It’s a 105 mile long, 200 yard wide “sustainable city” planned for the northwest part of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is slated to be the home for this tall, narrow city which will snake more than 100 miles from the Red Sea east across the desert to a mountain range.

The recently unveiled design shows a “futuristic” walled city that will be no wider than about 200 yards.

Two hundred yards…about two American football fields.

I thought it might be the first par 7 hole on the LIV golf circuit.

“The Line” will have no roads or cars and run entirely on renewable energy.

Saudi officials claim people living there will be able to run errands with a 5 minute walk.

High-speed trains will be able to transport residents from one end of “The Line” to the other in 20 minutes.

Construction is already underway on this “city” which will have 1.5 million people living in it by 2030.

Saudi officials say this will be a “tall, walled city”

I’m guessing it’s going to have to be pretty tall to accommodate 1.5 million residents since there’s only going to be about 352 million square feet available which figures out to about 222 square feet per person.

There will need to be more than a few “high rises” in “The Line”.

What I find interesting is that Saudi Arabia sits atop vast amounts of oil and natural gas and they are designing this “sustainable” city to run on renewable energy.

The cost has to be incredible.

But when you’re Saudi Arabia awash in cash thanks to high costs for petroleum, my guess is they can afford it.

The fact that “The Line” is only going to be about 200 yards wide makes me think of the time my wife and I lived in a trailer in the USAF while waiting on traditional base housing.

When we used an ironing board in that trailer, you couldn’t get around it.

We also noticed in “shook” during a severe thunderstorm that blew through one night.

We were happy to secure that two bedroom brick house after just a few weeks of trailer living.

At least it was attached securely to Mother Earth.

Back to “The Line”.

I’m wondering how self-sustaining” the wall will be.

High-speed trains will take up a little space and it might require a little AC to cool inhabitants of this futuristic berg.

Those things will cut into available living space as will the facilities to supply food and water to those living inside the “walled city”.

This “community” will be run entirely on “renewable energy” which is energy from a source that is not depleted when used.

Wind or solar power are the two most cited but there’s also geothermal, hydropower and biomass from plants.

Wind is the most abundant renewable energy source since it’s “abundant, inexhaustable and affordable”.

Now , just for sake of discussion, couldn’t petroleum and natural gas be a “biomass” energy source?

Biomass energy is generated or produced by living or once-living organisms.

I’ll bet there was a time when we humans thought that was an energy source that would be available forever and a day. Today, corn and soybeans are the most common form of biomass energy sources from plants.

So here’s Saudi Arabia sitting atop a lot of petroleum (not as much as the U.S has, mind you) and they’re working on “The Line”.

Makes the cynical me wonder, what’s wrong with this picture?

The biggest argument against using our oil and coal is air pollution but until we get the Chinese and Indians, to name a few, to “clean up their act”, to blame us (US) for the world’s pollution woes is just a bit off target in my opinion.

Here in the states, we can ban our plastic straws but when other countries are dumping mounds of plastic into the oceans, the phrase, “tinkling in the ocean” comes to mind when it comes to figuring out how much good are we really doing.

I’ll be interested in watching “The Line” be constructed but I have concerns/questions about the one and one-half million Saudis living in a space providing them but 222 square feet each.

Sure, they’ll be able to travel from one end of “The Line” to the other in 20 minutes on a high-speed train but how many times can you do that before you’re bored out of your gourd?

Granted, that may be a typical response from an American who values his “elbow room”.

As a youngster, I once thought it would be great to live at Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, OH.

It wasn’t walled but I eventually figured out you couldn’t live for ever on Friar Tuck’s French fries.

Besides, it’s called “The Line” and I’ve stood in more than my share of them in my lifetime.

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