As some of my readers know, I was a gifted child. It bothered me a little bit that I wasn’t a genius. I was cured of this niggling doubt partially when I decided that Mensa was a waste of time, and then fully when it was explained to me that although I wasn’t eligible for membership in the Triple Nine Society, I still was in the top 2%. Still, I’m far from the brainiest person I’ve ever met.
Nevertheless, there are things that seem so transparently obvious to me, I cannot believe everyone doesn’t see the implications. Having this kind of revelation constantly determined that I would be a writer. Except again, I have to engage a certain kind of patient and kind persona that is part of my writing voice, and thus a part of me as well. One of those above mentioned problems. So today’s obviousness is something that has often pass through the old skull, but never got into writing. Keywords.
Oceanography. Jacques Cousteau. Jar Jar Binks. Richard Basehart. Global warming.
Some one of those brainy persons, or perhaps merely a scholar-squirrel will point me out to the literature, recently extended by James Cameron and the producers of Waterworld, that explain how ridiculously expensive it would be to build an underwater city. I don’t care. It’s still obvious to me that it would be an order of magnitude simpler to build in littorals some massive human habitats, than to send some representatives of humanity to Mars.
Let them be expensive. So what? A reasonable space tourist should understand, if they own a yacht, that living on the sea can be much more accommodating and within easy reach of a great variety of natural resources. There are no natural resources on Mars but iron ore. Who wants to be a space miner? JPL can engineer the robots for that. But who wants to own a nuclear sub? I would, and it’s just a step away from that sort of engineering, more or less perfected over the past 5 decades, to making a habitat safe from global warming in a fresh soup of seafood.
So I want you to start thinking about Atlantis. How could we build it? What are the challenges? Why don’t we give up this old romance with spaceflight and investigate watery real estate? What we learn about engineering ocean habitats could open up huge new areas of research and commerce.
That’s just the beginning. Wouldn’t you rather live in the South Pacific than on the Moon? What could we learn from the cultures of Indonesia that could truly modernize island living? Some of you have got to know some good books on the subject. Comment away.