IFLScience has the story of Atlantropa, a colossal 1920s plan by German architect Herman SÃ¶rgel to dam the Mediterranean and create an African-European supercontinent.
Dams across the Strait of Gibraltar, the Dardanelles, and eventually between Sicily and Tunisia, each containing gigantic hydroelectric power plants, would form the basis for the new supercontinent. In its final state the Mediterranean would be converted into two basins, with the western part lowered by 100 meters and the eastern part by 200 meters and a total of 660,200 km2 of new land reclaimed from the sea â€“ an area larger than France.
Later plans for Atlantropa also included two dams across the Congo River and the creation of a Chad and Congo Sea, which SÃ¶rgel hoped would have a moderating influence on the African climate making it more pleasant for European settlers. In line with the colonial and racist attitudes of the times, SÃ¶rgel envisaged Africa with its resources and its land to be entirely at the disposal of Europe, a continent with plenty of space to accommodate Europeâ€™s huddled masses.
While SÃ¶rgelâ€™s proposal may sound absurd to our ears, it was taken seriously by architects, engineers, politicians and journalists at the time. The extensive Atlantropa archive in the Deutsche Museum in Munich abounds with architectural drawings for new cities, the dams and bridges of the future continent as well as letters of support and hundreds of articles about the project, which appeared in the German and international popular press as well as in specialised engineering and geographical magazines.
What made Atlantropa so attractive was its vision of world peace achieved not through politics and diplomacy, but with a simple technological solution. Atlantropa would be held together by a vast energy net, which would extend from the gigantic hydroelectric plant in the Gibraltar dam and provide the entirety of Europe and Africa with electricity. The power plant would be overseen by an independent body who would have the power to switch off the energy supply to any individual country that posed a threat to peace. Moreover SÃ¶rgel calculated that the construction of the supercontinent would require each country to invest so much money and people power that none would have sufficient resources to finance a war.
Either the West turns them away or it ceases to exist. Itâ€™s that simple. The EU and the U.S. had the chance to fight on foreign soil or accept an invasion of their own lands, and chose poorly. Their choice now is to refuse social welfare benefits, scratch multiculturalism, and require assimilation instead of kowtowing to demands for disparate treatment, or die.
This result is not one unforeseen. Over four decades ago, this development was foreseen among others by Jean Raspail, a French author, of The Camp of the Saints, a novel of Europe being overrun by refugees from the Third World. The leftâ€™s favorite hate group designator, the Southern Poverty Law Center, attacked the author, the book, and its publishers. â€œThe book is a racist fantasy about an invasion of France and the white Western world by a fleet of starving, dark-skinned refugees, “a haunting and prophetic vision,”SPLC says, “of Western Civilization overrun by a burgeoning Third World population.”
More than 300,000 people have crossed into Europe by sea — most of them from Libya to Italy or from Turkey to Greece — and 2,600 have died in the attempt. Thirty to 40 drowned Friday after a boat carrying more than 120 Somalis, Sudanese and Nigerians deflated off the coast of Libya.
The migrants who manage to get to Greece must then begin a difficult trek across Macedonia and Serbia before sneaking into Hungary in hopes of getting, eventually, to preferred destinations like Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands, which are prosperous, offer the chance for jobs and have been more welcoming than other nation.
The pictures show the immigrants are almost entirely men and young boys and once theyâ€™ve been granted asylum, there surely will be a call to admit their wives and children and parents and other family members, most of whom will require substantial social welfare services. If history is a guide, most will be inassimilable and reside in self-contained ghettoes, demanding ever more concessions for benefits and special treatment.
The National Post has a story describing some interesting possibilities for residents of Italy and the rest of Southern Europe.
Islamic State of Iraq & Al-Sham jihadists are planning to take over Libya as a â€œgatewayâ€ to wage war across southern Europe, according to letters written by supporters of the terrorist group.
They hope to flood the North African state with militiamen from Syria and Iraq, who will sail across the Mediterranean posing as migrants on human-trafficking ships, according to plans seen by Quilliam, the British anti-extremist group.
The fighters would then run amok in southern European cities and also try to attack shipping.
The document is written by a propagandist for ISIS, who uses the alias Abu Arhim al-Libim. He is believed to be an important online recruiter for the terror group in Libya, where security has collapsed after the revolution that unseated Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.
The group has already established Libyan-based cells, who on Sunday released a video showing a mass beheading of 21 Egyptian Christian guest workers.
Thomas Babbington Macauley: “[The Roman Catholic Church] saw the commencement of all the governments and of all the ecclesiastical establishments that now exist in the world; and we feel no assurance that she is not destined to see the end of them all. She was great and respected before the Saxon had set foot on Britain, before the Frank had passed the Rhine, when Grecian eloquence still flourished at Antioch, when idols were still worshipped in the temple of Mecca. And she may still exist in undiminished vigour when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul’s.”
Oscar Halecki, The Limits and Divisions of European History, 1950 is ultimately optimistic.
It has been frequently stressed that, from the point of view of the historical method, ancient history is so instructive to study because it is completed;we are able to contemplate the whole process of its evolution from beginning to end. The same can be said today  of European history. That comparison with the ancient, Greco-Roman world is both suggestive and comforting, for it shows that the end of an age, and even of a whole cultural world, need not necessarily mean complete extinction like that which occurred, for instance, in the case of the pre-Columbian civilizations of America. Europe’s present decline need not lead to what Oswald Spengler calls an Untergang, although the crisis is much more acute today than it was when he wrote his sensational book. Nor need Macauley’s gloomy vision of a New Zealander meditating over the ruins of London ever come true, although this time seemed so near in 1940. …
Europe came into existence as an historical community because numerous peoples entirely different from each other, without effacing their particularities and without ever uniting politically, joined in a co-operation based upon common cultural conceptions, traditions, and principles. The individual nations which developed within that community were rather small if compared, for instance, with the peoples of India or China. Likewise small was the area in which they had their home; and compared with the length of other histories –to mention only that of Egypt– the age of their common greatness was of rather short duration.
But within these narrow limits of time we see the same variety of events in rapidly changing periods that is so striking in Europe’s physical and ethnical backgrounds. This certainly is an unusually dynamic history, whether proceeding through evolution or through revolutionary upheavals. And that is the first argument in favor of the conviction that the end of the European Age in history is not necessarily the end of Europe, or of a civilization which, though inseparable from the European heritage, has ceased to be exclusively European.
This chart shows the lexical distance â€” that is, the degree of overall vocabulary divergence â€” among the major languages of Europe.
The size of each circle represents the number of speakers for that language. Circles of the same color belong to the same language group. All the groups except for Finno-Ugric (in yellow) are in turn members of the Indo-European language family. …
The original research data for the chart comes from K. Tyshchenko (1999), Metatheory of Linguistics. (Published in Russian.)