More than once I’ve flattened the gas pedal on long country roads: trees whoosh by, road lines blur, and for those few moments of abandonment, I had not a care in the world.
But after a minute of throbbing adrenalin, my brain sent a warning signal: I’m driving one of the world’s most potent weapons and could easily lose control. So I slow down. Call it a strong desire to survive my thirties.
Our yearning for speed is akin to our desire to own fancy cars and big homes, to travel to every continent, and eat mangoes in the dead of winter. It’s human, it’s fun, but it’s not smart. We don’t want our kids to be boring old dullards, but we also can’t teach them that speeding through our natural resources is sustainable. Which is why Abu Dhabi’s latest “engineering feat” is no more than another triumph of really bad judgment.
The UAE’s global-warming park is embarrassing enough, though one reader argued that at least people who are withering under escalating heat can cool off. How does Ferrari World Abu Dhabi contribute to the wellness of one of the driest places on earth?
Is it the volume of concrete used to create Hoover Dam that can fit inside its 86,000 square meter facility?
Or perhaps it is the 200,000 square meters of aluminum roofing – that is 200,000 square meters of a metal that comes from the earth used to create the world’s largest Ferrari logo.
The theme park on Yas Island, designed by Benoy, almost redeems itself with 40,000 hand planted mini trees, and 663 jelly palms, each of which produces four pounds of fruit.
But then they boast having to plant four times as much grass as is required by one football field (39,000 square meters in total) in order to pad the areas surrounding the rollercoasters.
Keep in mind that the Emirate has an “arid/hyper arid climate with less than 100mm/yr rainfall, a low groundwater recharge rate (c.4% of total annual water used) and no reliable, perennial surface water resources and yet, currently, [has] one of the highest per capita water consumptions in the world,” according to the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi.
For those who will never go to the “world’s largest themepark” and ride the world’s fastest roller-coaster, even if it does have the same G force as an F1 car, or enjoy the food produced by four Michelin star chefs under one roof, is this turbo-charged irresponsibility really worth the while?
More on water scarce Abu Dhabi:
top image via world architecture news