To my fellow Americans, Happy 4th of July.
Holidays here in the US are certainly a bit funny when you consider the passage of time. Independence of our country, sure, perhaps timeless. Here in Rhode Island we still celebrate ‘VJ Day’, or ‘Victory over Japan’ circa WWII. Time to get with the times on that one. As time ticks by, I’m sure we can expect official or pseudo-official holidays for the recent gay rights legislation, or perhaps even a ‘Happy Legalized Marijuana Day’. No matter what we decide warrants a day off from work and some social time with family, friends, and neighbors, it’s important to find some appreciation in how that holiday came to be.
Every movement – be it towards independence, social justice issues, religious freedoms, and so on – involves people putting their money where there mouth is is taking bold strides towards what they believe in and what is right. Those types of efforts are getting increasingly complicated to maneuver given just how big our population is, but technology has seemed to help keep pace with helping people to connect and make change.
This 4th of July, I am encouraging all to think about a next wave of independence. While we are certainly free from the reigns of the British, in many ways we remain enslaved by the very civilization that was created to preserve our independence and security. We have a political system that moves at a snail’s pace, and an economy that can’t effectively nurture innovation at the ground level – all of this equates to being visibly risk adverse, which means ‘progress’ is stalled. Yet, progress is what it’s all about, and why we are able to celebrate the 4th of July today.
The above video and article (link to article) crossed my desk very recently which showcases an effort to grow terrestrial crops in underwater habitats. The work is being done in Italy. The basic premise is well stated in the article, being that the temperature is constant, the humidity provides for plenty of water, and the photosynthesis that goes on within the closed bubble seems to keep the plants pretty happy. Highly logical, and it makes good sense to place efforts on this aquatic agriculture (not aquaculture per se) considering that our future survival may depend on these steps below the sea, to space, or beyond. Consider this a Noah’s ark of the modern era.
I reference this, as one should note that as of this writing, no such work is going on here in the United States. While the masses sit back and take their 4th of July burgers and beer, their power just seeming to be there to run the A/C, and have an unlimited supply of clean water coming out of the tap all for granted; the few innovative efforts out there that may really stand to change the world and afford us independence from the grid just continue to limp along. I guess its only a matter of time until the markets run out of food, fossil fuels burn out, and the tap runs dry – and when they do it will be revolt and revolution. Perhaps only then our dependence on the grid will take a turn towards pressing us towards true independence. My thought is that being a little proactive will help preserve our sanity when it’s time.
In my future ideal independent state, we can take giant strides away from the shore and realize the aquatic assimilation that Cousteau forecast over a half century ago. While this evolution is slow going, it is quite likely nature’s way of saying that until we are take our role here on Earth seriously and manage terra firma properly, we can’t be afforded the responsibility that comes with the independence of life in the sea.
When the day comes, thanks to our friends in Italy, we will at the least have strawberries to eat.
Imagine an Aquatic America this 4th of July.