Eight Good Reasons Why
1. We are the stewards of our planet. We are morally obligated to know what is happening to the largest region of our planet, and yet it is the one we know the least about. Mankind’s effect on the environment and pollution demands nothing less than that we place our scientists in the environment full time and discover out what is going on by first hand observation. No machine, no robot and no remote camera has the intellect and capacity to judge as a single, well trained human mind watching in situ.2. Mankind’s manifest genetic destiny is, has always been and will always be dominion. He has occupied the land. He is preparing to occupy space. And he will soon occupy the oceans. Whether it is accomplished by American explorers or explorers from another nation, the oceans permanent human population will inevitably rise above zero very soon. It is ultimate genetic destiny of mankind and is not a dream owned by any given nation. If we do not step up and accept it, then someone else will, and soon.3. Science and research has an obligation to lead the way in this important and inevitable endeavor. The delicate ecosystems beneath the oceans must be evaluated with extreme vigilance as we enter this world and man’s impact must be evaluated with care as more and more interests set their sights on this new frontier. The first steps will be the most important steps and they should be accomplished with all eyes focused on the protection of the marine environment.
4. The marine environment is uniquely mobile. When located properly in a moving current, a single fixed, manned undersea station can evaluate thousands of miles of ocean annually as it flows by, literally orbiting overhead. One manned undersea station, if properly placed could monitor half a hemisphere of the world’s oceans from a single vantage point.
5. Humankind is attracted to the beautiful and exotic places of our solar system. Just as men will be attracted to one day live on the cliff sides of the Valley of the Mariner’s on Mars, mankind will be attracted to live in the beauty of the undersea regions of our own planet.
6. The undersea regions of the world will one day supply more of the world’s resources as are currently supplied by the regions ashore. How can this be? Because more than 70% of all the earth’s resources are located there – and most of them remain undiscovered. Learning to live there permanently will be a requirement not just to recover these resources, but also to protect and monitor the areas that will one day be opened up to mining and exploitation.
7. New nations and empires beneath the sea are also inevitable. It is just as likely as was the vision of new nations opening on the North American continents to the Europeans in the 15th century. As unlikely and laughable as it sounded then, the world’s political, strategic and military power ultimately shifted there. There is no reason to believe that this will not also happen when the oceans are opened and its vast resources are ultimately exploited. The questions those nations were forced to ask then are still relevant today. Do we join in this process or do we recede into historic insignificance fueled by arrogance and misplaced imaginings of superiority?
8. There are many timid reasons to shrink back from this enterprise: fear of misstep, fear of a politically–incorrect misinterpretation, fear of damaging the environment and fear of failure. All of these fears are based on past national and international experiences that have proven these are all possible consequences of poorly planned or executed actions. But in reality, these fears accompany all endeavors of any kind. And the greater the reward, the greater is the specter of failure. In the end, national and organizational courage either overcomes timidity or is ruled by it.
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