Powered by the heat below the Earth's core, nuclear reactors would cool magma in some places, while subterranean machines would heat it up elsewhere, moving continents around. The Pacific Ocean would disappear, bringing together the U.S., Russia & China.
"You have three countries that are looking at each other with a high degree of suspicion from across an ocean, that would literally be in the same place," he says. "I think that that changes things."
The new supercontinent would also bring the Global South upward. "It becomes a way in which to potentially alter the economic status quo," Keats says. "Because economics is such a crucial matter as far as how we address climate change, ... by bringing them into greater alignment, perhaps we no longer have this us versus them antagonism."A trifling investment in dimensional analysis suggests a problem with Keats philanthropic scheme, which would require firing up several new mantle plumes on a scale rivaling those that produced the flood basalts that figured in the Permian-Triassic and Cretaceous -Tertiary extinctions. Re-arranging the continents on his contemplated scale might entail melting about 10% of the Earth's crust and upper mantle - a volume of hot rock roughly 100 times that of the oceans and atmosphere combined.
Since magma is three orders of magnitude denser than air and needs to be heated by over 1000 degrees Kelvin to make it flow fast enough to carry out Mr. Keat's modest proposal in less than the evolutionary lifetime of any known vertebrate species, a lot of surplus heat from the beefed-up geotherm would end up in the oceans and atmosphere.
Dividing the ~ gigajoule per tonne heat of fusion of that much rock into the specific heat of the hydrosphere will, alas , boil the oceans dry, and then some, which Neopangaeans may regard as a feature rather than a bug, as absent the oceans, we'd all be on one continent anyway.
Economically speaking, Keats must be regarded as a true cornucopian: at present nuclear electric prices, (~ $ 50 a gigajoule) the per capita start-up cost would be ~ $350,000,000,000,000,000,000.