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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

OUR NEXT FRONTIER: THE OCEAN--The Pacific International Ocean Station

This is Part 6, and the final posting, on the ocean as our next economic frontier: 

How valuable are our oceans?  Well, we can transport stuff, including people, over the seas, suck up offshore oil, lament a declining fishing industry and appreciate the view, with attendant benefits of tourism and sports.  For the next century, this 70% blue of Planet Earth, now largely being ignored, could well be the only new opportunity for Humanity.
In an oceanic 40 degree band around (20 above and below) the equator, there are 4 degree Celsius nutrient rich waters that can be tapped to generate electricity and freshwater (using ocean thermal energy conversion, OTEC), where the effluents can be utilized to produce a range of marine bioproducts, all the while, perhaps, remediating global warming and preventing the formation of hurricanes (typhoons, cyclones).   According to Gary Noland (of Lockheed Martin, the economics of OTEC compare well with carbon capture coal electricity--that is the LM design to the left).  For more on OTEC, also click on Doug Carlson's blog site.   The Blue Revolution is the system development of the full range of sustainable products. 
For reasons more of ignorance than anything else, only rarely are the riches of the seas considered in the economic development of a country.  Even Japan, after Fukushima, seems wedded to just installing more solar photovoltaic cells and wind machines on land.  Yes, the environmental and other dissuading forces mostly want to protect our oceans, but understanding can be attained through education and closer interaction.

For a long time to come, we can discard space as the priority for future economic development.  The ocean is thus the only opportunity available as our next frontier.  We have, to a good degree, screwed up our lands and atmosphere, so let us this time proceed with some (but not too much) caution and a lot of intelligence.

While the International Space Station (ISS), a $150 billion dollar adventure, failed to produce anything of particular value to our society, proposed is a program for one-tenth the cost, to develop sustainable resources while enhancing the environment.  Blue Revolution Hawaii, an organization formed to educate the public, has advanced the Pacific International Ocean Station (PIOS) as the ocean equivalent of the ISS.

While the concept of the Blue Revolution has been around for more than two decades, since before the late Hawaii Senator Richard Matsuura and I co-authored a presentation to the "First International Workshop on Very Large Floating Structures" in 1991 with this title, and U.S. Senator Dan Inouye penned an article for SEA TECHNOLOGY entitled "The American Blue Revolution" in 1992, let us re-initiate this crusade and call Day One of the Blue Revolution as 21September2011, when Blue Revolution Hawaii hosts a group of potential international partners for PIOS.  This invited ceremony for the signing of Memoranda of Agreements will occur immediately after the luau scheduled for Oceans' 11, a conference to be held at the Waikoloa Hilton that week.  Details can be obtained by e-mailing:

GuyToyama                                                                      Leighton Chong 
guy@energyfuturehawaii.org                              lkmchong@aol.com













Other members of the BRH Board include Fujio Matsuda (left) and John Farias (right).

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The Dow Jones Industrials started poorly, at one point being 167 down for the day, but somehow recovered to post a gain of 30 to 11,896.  Gold reached another all-time high, up $8/toz to $1662, with oil prices dipping, the NYMEX at $92/barrel and the Brent Spot at $113, indicating an anticipated drop in demand as the economy, perhaps, worsens.

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There are now five ocean storms, with Emily in the Caribbean to provide some winds and rain to various islands, then skirting up the Florida Atlantic coastline and the Eastern Seaboard from Saturday as a tropical storm.  Huricane Eugene in the east Pacific has strengthened to a Category 4 storm at 140 MPH, and is heading for Hawaii, but will reach cooler waters and dissipate before it gets there.  A small disturbance has formed behind Eugene.

However, in the west Pacific, Typhoon Muifa is now beginning to clobber Okinawa as a Category 3 storm, with the eye just south of Naha, and could further strengthen before heading straight for Zhoushan and Shanghai.  Only yesterday, the hurricane people were predicting that Muifa would turn north away from this region.  NOW, PACKING WINDS OF AT LEAST 110 MPH, MUIFA IS EXPECTED TO CAUSE DAMAGE THROUGH ZHEJIANG PROVINCE.  East of Muifa and Japan is Tropical Storm Merbok, expected to attain hurricane force status in a day to two, but will remain far east of Japan as it heads north.

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