The report is the culmination of a collaborative project…looking at the future for: commercial shipping — without which world trade would cease; for navies — so vital for security; and the health of the oceans — addressing the challenges of pollution, climate change and exploitation of resources…
Leading the ‘Ocean Space’ section…experts from the University’s Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute report that since the start of the Industrial Revolution, there has been a 30 per cent increase in ocean acidity and that 25 per cent of atmospheric CO2 is absorbed by the oceans. In addition, some 16 per cent of global protein intake comes from fish with an increasing amount of the world’s medicines, materials and energy also derived from the oceans.
By the year 2030, the experts forecast that twice as many offshore structures will exist including 100 times more wind turbines than at present, and that 50 per cent of the world’s oil will be produced offshore. They also predict that within the next 15 years, 50 per cent of the global population will live in coastal regions.
To mitigate against these effects and to develop opportunities for the future, they’ve identified a number of key transformational Ocean Space technologies that will make the biggest impact now and in the future. These include:
• Advanced materials — rise in the use of ultra-strong materials for ocean structures using embedded sensors to enable remote sensing and support the ability of materials and structure systems to self-repair when damage occurs;
• Big data analytics — extracting and using complex data from activities such as resource extraction, exploration and environmental protection to influence the way humankind perceives and interacts with the oceans;
• Sustainable energy generation — offshore energy-generation platforms and algae stations will reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, mitigate pollution and have a minimal carbon footprint, so their impact on the environment will be relatively small. The combined use of these technologies, say experts from the SMMI, will help the world address the effects of climate change, the higher expected frequency and severity of extreme weather, the further reduction of land-based resources and the increasing coastal populations.
We need grownups in charge of our government, our economy, to respond to world-class analyses of questions facing our future on Earth. Traditional national leaders are in scarce supply. Governments formed of the same conservatives who promulgated the context leading to the Great Recession are hardly likely to have any answers. Any answers, that is, beyond platitudes – and lies.
They can rely to some extent, of course, in the ignorant folk who put them in office. If you’re not bright enough, well-enough informed to choose between the evil of two lessers – much less build or participate in a grassroots movement for qualitative change – you waste a constitutional right.
I don’t mind folks getting what they deserve. When they ask for stupid – they usually get stupid. But, condemning the rest of the world to what follows naturally upon their ignorance is barbarous and backwards.