Oceans of Opportunity

why to live underwater – 72 days and beyond

'A New Life in the Sea' by Michael LombardiThe recent press announcement about the Roane State faculty members planning a 72 day stay underwater is certainly eye catching, and frankly, we need it.

This type of underwater demonstration is long overdue. Consider that the Jules Undersea Lodge, where the expedition will take place, has been in place for decades, and while it certainly goes used, I am also confident that its use has not been put to the true test – steps towards undersea permanence.

72 days underwater is a bold, visionary step, and along the lines of the vision that pushed the series of life in the sea programs in the 1960’s and 1970’s, which provided an experimental analog for our interests in manned space travel and habitation.

Today, our motives bring us back home.

The world I see and experience each and every day is very much a dark place – stress, traffic, disaster, excess, waste – very, very dark, and not leaving much room for optimism. However, that is the world that we created. We certainly should not run away from these problems, and that is not the reason to live underwater, though it does offer some nice respite. The reality is that demonstrating a degree of sustainable living practices within  closed spaces, and with low impact within a pristine environment, may speak to our [human] abilities to clean up our act.

Further, as we continue to experience immense coastal pressures, largely due to increasing population and the need for coastal infrastructure to support that population and related commerce, it would seem logical that we extend our footprint out on, and within, the ocean. As I’ve pointed out many times here on ‘a New Life’, to claim that we are the dominant species here on the Blue Planet implies that we’ve found a means to assimilate with the majority stage of our environment – that is something we have not yet done, though these better days are indeed coming.

To the Roane state faculty embarking on the mission – well done, best of luck, and I will lend any personal support necessary.

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