CD 1966076 E&MP33.003
War in Europe can be thrust into the limbo of indefinitely postponed events by binding the now mutually suspicious nations together with a gigantic super-power net, to obtain fullest possible economic use of water and fuel power.
Such is the thesis of a Munich engineer, Herman Soergel, set forth in a newly published book, "Atlantropa." The name is of Herr Soergel's own coining, to fit a new division of the continental land areas of the earth, in which Europe and Africa would be handled as one of the three great geographic and economic units. The others would be Asia and America.
Africa would integrate naturally with Europe into the new super-continent of "Atlantropa," Herr Soergel believes, because power from several great artificial lakes which his scheme would create in central Africa could be transmitted most easily to Europe over three routes.
One of these would cross the western end of the Mediterranean at Gibraltar. A second would skirt the eastern end of the sea through Egypt, Palestine, and Syria, to enter Europe via the Black Sea and the Danube valley, receiving additional power from steam plants in the great oil fields around the Black Sea. The third power line would go by submarine cable under the sea from North Africa to Italy, via Sicily.
Herr Soergel contrasts two maps of Europe: one of the present state of affairs on the continent, with every country walled up behind tariff barriers and military frontiers; the other of the Europe of his dream, with power lines crossing every boundary, tying the nations together. Once such a power net is established, he suggests, no nation will yield very easily to the temptation to war, because that would immediately mean a suicidal severing of the power arteries through which flows the bloodstream of its industries.
The German engineer looks toward a far future, for he contemplates a time when coal and oil supplies shall be much diminished, and when something over half of the world's power shall come from the "white coal" of falling water, instead of the mere 7 per cent. which represents waterpower's share of the work today.
Herr Soergel has been invited to present his project in the form of an exhibit at the New York World's Fair next year.
Original Caption by Science Service