My good friend from Norway, Lars Golmen, commented on my previous posting about Kon-Tiki (Thor Hyerdahl is also from Norway), and suggested I write about TROPOS, a nearly $20 million European partnership to explore the potential of offshore multi-use platforms. It was nearly two decades ago when I presented "Colonization of the Open Ocean" at an international oceanographic conference held in Lisbon, Portugal. I said:
European countries more than half a millennium ago conquered the world for their needs, and there were terrible human implications. However, in the open ocean today is the final global frontier for economic development. No one really owns these waters and no existing populations will be impacted. In fact, there might even be opportunities to enhance the environment, as global climate change can be remediated and hurricane formation can be prevented.
Already, more than half of the world population is within 200 kilometers from the sea, and these coastal areas will double by 2025. The European Union is thus seeking an integrated approach regarding the use of the oceans. The first three projects will be these ocean platforms. They have further added two more projects:
- H2Ocean: Development of a wind-wave power system for the production of hydrogen.
- Mermaid: An innovative multi-purpose platform to make the best use ocean space.
The TROPOS foci are transport, energy, aquaculture and leisure. Jose Joaquin Hernandez Brito of Las Palmas, Canary Islands, is the Managing Director. (This gives me a second reason for visiting this island, for my Chapter 5 of SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Planet Earth features Las Palmas).
If you participated in Oceans 2013 in Bergen, you would have learned the full scope of the plans. For now, just click on all the above links to gain a sense of how the European Union is progressing on the Blue Revolution. An excellent PowerPoint presentation can be found by clicking on The TROPOS Project. (IN CASE IT WASN'T OBVIOUS, THOSE COLORED ENTRIES ARE GENERALLY LINKS.) The EU is far ahead of Japan, China and USA in advancing this final Planet Earth frontier for economic opportunity.