Sunday, January 22, 2012
THE SEASTEADING INSTITUTE AND THE BLUE REVOLUTION
The notion of a blue revolution initially came to me in 1979 when I was asked by U.S. Senator Matsunaga (left) to work with the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, chaired by Scoop Jackson (right), to draft the landmark legislation on ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC). Lockheed had just succeeded in attaining, for the first time, net positive with the closed cycle Mini-OTEC (above). The bill passed within a year. Details can be found in chapter 4 of SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Planet Earth, but you can also click on a short story on OTEC.
Paul Yuen and I in the early 80's invented the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research, where the showcase project was a successful open cycle OTEC facility at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority. It was during this period that discussions began on the Blue Revolution, where the first public presentation was a co-authored featured presentation in 1991 with State Senator Richard Matsuura. This ultimately led to formation of Blue Revolution Hawaii (BRH).
More recently in 2008, Patri Friedman (left) and Peter Thiel (right) founded and funded, respectively, the Seasteading Institute (SI). Picture "home" steading in the "sea." Like PICHTR (research should not have been used, for the role of this organization is technology transfer), SI should have been called an Enterprise, or something similar, for Institute conjures education and research. SI's mandate is to immediately commercialize in the open ocean.
I enjoyed a San Francisco lunch a couple months ago with Michael Keenan (below, left), president of SI, and Senior Director Randy Hencken (below, right). It turns out that a partnership between SI and BRH makes sense, for they are into profit-making and we are focused on establishing the marine equivalent to the International Space Station: the Pacific International Ocean Station.
Yes, I'm not having anything resembling seafood.
SI last month was featured in The Economist:
SI's initial commercial venture is Blueseed:
Should you wish to learn more about what SI is doing, participate in their next official gathering:
to be held at the Le Meridien Hotel from May 31 to June 2. If you are a Starwood member, Le Meridien is part of their family. See you there.