Too bad we can’t embed the video here. So here’s a transcript of the rationale — presented by the writers of the Discovery Channel’s Mega Engineering series — for building that massive, mile-diameter geodesic dome over Houston (or at least the Downtown part):
Houston, Texas — the country’s fourth most populous city — is in peril.
Houston has always been vulnerable to killer hurricanes: From the great storm of 1900, the deadliest in U.S. history, which killed 8,000 people, to Hurricane Ike in 2008, which caused more than $10 billion in damage, and forced the city center to shut down for nearly a week.
And it’s not only hurricanes. Searing heat and humidity also oppress this great city. On nearly 100 days each year, the temperature climbs above 90 degrees, which in muggy Houston feels even hotter.
Air conditioning provides relief, but at a cost. Houstonians’ soaring electricity use has nudged the city ahead of Los Angeles in the race to become the country’s number-one producer of greenhouse gases — a dubious distinction. And the problem is only getting worse.
Forced to spend a fortune in a losing battle against nature, and with energy costs spiking unpredictably, Houston finds itself square in the path of an environmental juggernaut, which threatens to make the city unlivable.
That’s why some think that the only way to save Houston is to move it indoors.
- Saving Houston with a Dome [Mega Engineering]
- We’re All Astrodome Now: The Mile-Wide Dome Over Houston [Swamplot]
Diagram of Houston Dome: Engineering, Discovery Channel