Panama’s first floating island.
April the 1st special report.
By our raving reporter
Awakened this morning by the sound of tug boats, residents of Paitilla were alarmed to see a one mile wide floating island entering the bay. This innovative bio diverse island may at first appear to be just a large floating landfill, but appearances can be deceptive. The floating island, named BASURAMA, by its creator, Chiriqui entremanure Rocky Sludge, may well be the solution to many of the urban problems facing us. As Mr. Sludge pointed out the island is composed entirely of marine waste collected from the north Pacific Trash Vortex. National Geographic’s website has information on this ecological blight. Apparently, an area exists that is twice the size of Texas in the north Pacific where domestic and marine waste is in an endless floating swirl. The domestic waste is everything from plastic soda bottles, refrigerator insulation foam to shoes and flip flops. The marine waste includes hundreds of miles of discarded fishing nets, floats and sadly thousands of dead sea mammals and birds.
In a surprising and highly speculative venture Mr. Sludge used the discarded fishing nets to circle and then lasso the floating waste into a huge floating island one mile in diameter. He then towed the island to his home country of Panama and today April the first he triumphantly anchored it off Casco Viejo.
Mr. Sludge points out that this is only temporary as he plans to tow the island out beyond the three mile limit into international waters. There it will become the sovereign nation of BASURAMA. Immediate grants of citizenship and passports go to any persons who buy one of the $500 oceanfront lots. The only taxes will be a flat 5%. Smokers can enjoy themselves in any bar, restaurant or hotel as there will be no restrictions anywhere on lighting up.
Any assets deposited in the National Bank of Basurama will be totally anonymous. The government pledges never to disclose your name or financial details to any international authority.
To many this is at last “off-shore” and “floating” asset protection at its finest. But there were still problems to be solved as I discovered when I interviewed Rocky Sludge this morning. “Mr. Sludge I have to say that although the environmental aspect of Basurama is exciting the look and smell of the island is not.” Mr. Sludge did realize that he had to change the look of Basurama at once and to that end he had landed some 150 pigs on the island. I asked Rocky had he thought about the smell problem that would create. Rocky dismissed this with a short. “The pigs will just have to get used to it.”
He explained the pig droppings where an important part of the island ecosystem as they would degrade into top soil and then grass and flowers would soon follow. He said that in his small palappa restaurant people might notice that with every ham sandwich there was an added pork chop and free side order of bacon. “The pigs have got to go,” said Rocky in a mood of exasperation. “As you know pigs eat anything and so far they have consumed over an acre of island.”
Mr. Sludge said Panama’s medical community was solidly behind his plan and that same morning a barge had unloaded 15 tons of medical waste onto the south end of the island. He did warn me to be careful of any needles that might be sticking out of the ground. Another question I asked was about the infrastructure – how did he plan to support life on the island? He said solar power was the obvious answer to electricity. Water would at first have to come by boat but trash collection- he laughed as he added. “Not a problem, just throw it out the window.”
There have been Internet blogs suggesting that Rocky Sludge might be a candidate for sainthood or the Nobel Prize for recycling. As a reporter who has seen his operation firsthand I believe his entire Basurama Island idea is just one big pile of garbage.