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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

FLOATING FARMS

I was today contacted by CNN about a feature they are planning on Floating Farms.  (Whoops, when the person who e-mailed and talked to me  mentioned doing research for Ali Velshi, I immediately thought, ah, CNN.  Turns out he moved to Al Jazeera America.)  I referred them to my Huffington Post articles on:

  

and the  Blue Revolution Hawaii  website.  In particular, I cited a recent article written by Jesse Hirsh in Modern Farmer on Floating Farms.  Hirsch spent a week in Hawaii researching this effort.

He begins with a gathering of visionary dreamers, board members of Blue Revolution Hawaii, and equates our proposed Pacific International Ocean Station (PIOS) with the $172 million film, Waterworld, but in a positive way.:


Quoted is Bill Spencer of Hawaii Ocean Technology (their fish cages to the left):

It’s a shame that we always seem to wait for a tipping point, for things to get truly awful, before people take action.

Well, we are doing what we can, and Bill is part of of our advisory group, to act now.  Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is the source of energy and resources to drive the Blue Revolution, and provided is a historic OTEC timeline:

  • 1870 Sci-fi writer Jules Verne envisions OTEC in his 1870 classic “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”
  • 1930 French scientist Georges Claude builds the first successful OTEC power plant in Cuba, later destroyed in a storm.
  • 1935 Off the coast of Brazil, Claude moors a 10,000-ton cargo vessel, which is built to be powered by OTEC. The boat is destroyed by waves before it can be tested.
  • 1956 Before an OTEC plant can be completed in Côte d’Ivoire, large reserves of petroleum are discovered and plans are abandoned.
  • 1967 American father-and-son scientists patent “closed- cycle” OTEC: a continual, self-generating power source.
  • 1979 After the Carter administration pumps $260 million into OTEC research, a barge called Mini-OTEC (right) is floated off Hawaii’s coast.
  • 2002 India builds a floating OTEC plant. It fails due to pipe problems.
  • 2013 Lockheed Martin signs a contract with resort developers Reignwood Group on the largest OTEC project ever, a 10-MW plant off the coast of China.

Missing on that list is the success attained by the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii with a 210 kW open cycle OTEC facility (left).

Here and there various mini-projects appear to be stepping into the ocean:

Farm Island Atlas

  • Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia: at a project called Freedom cove (right), 14 floating greenhouses and a two-story house are tethered together on old fish farm floats, producing an array of fruits and veggies.
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands: architect Damian O’sullivan is work- ing on a project called boatanic, converting a fleet of old tourist boats into floating greenhouses on Amsterdam’s canals.
  • Bangkok, Thailand: After flooding, Bangkok has initiated plans to build homes and a 300-bed hospital on stilts over the water.
  • Ningde City, China: Off the coast of ningde city, 7,000 members of the tanka ethnic group have lived on floating wooden homes for centuries, farming fish.  New York, New York, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Design firm Balmori Associates is testing various plants on man-made floating islands (left) in the Hudson and Delaware rivers.
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Plans to build floating communities (right) off the coast of Dubai have suffered from a lack of investment, after some of the prototype “islands” started sinking.
  • Rotterdam, Netherlands: The first floating homes have already been built as part of Rotterdam’s initiative to colonize its coastal waters and canals.
  • The Valley, Anguilla: Libertarian self-starter vince cate has prototyped “ball stead homes,” semi-submerged inhabitable spheres that can easily be mass-produced.

The Seasteading Institute, founded by Patri Friedman, was mentioned as the most serious U.S. player in ocean colonization. They have been funded by Peter Thiel, and talked about PIOS at their latest gathering in the Bay Area.  Photo of Friedman on the left and Thiel.

I am quoted at the end of the article:
But despite some internal doubts, Blue Revolution’s meeting ends upbeat, with toasts to the ocean and general good cheer. Takahashi wraps things up with an emotional speech, saying this will be the legacy project of each man in the room. For theirs is an endeavor built of wonder, of pushing the bounds of mankind’s capabilities. In a hundred years, Takahashi says, people will be very thankful for the work they’ve done.  “There is no future but the ocean around us,” he says, glass raised high.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on making CNN. Your accomplishments are amazing!

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