Saturday, August 13, 2011


"A blue jade dragon would be an extremely rare find!", a Chinese jade expert in Shanghai confided to us. "Blue jade seldom occurs in quantity", he said, "and it would be rarer still to carve it into a dragon, a symbol of power and success". Well, that is just the symbol that Pat Takahashi, Hawaii's longtime renewable energy expert, and Leighton Chong, attorney in intellectual property and international law, were looking for as a logo for their new undertaking, Blue Revolution Hawaii. Along with Fujio Matsuda, former State Transportation Director and President of the University of Hawaii, John Farias, Jr., former State Agriculture Director and Chair of Hawaii County EDB, and Guy Toyama, Executive Director of Friends of NELHA, Blue Revolution Hawaii was formed to advocate Hawaii's taking a leading role in tapping the vast resources of our oceans to generate virtually limitless energy, food and water for needy populations of the world.

Hawaii Can Lead the Blue Revolution
Hawaii today is 90% dependent on imported fossil fuels and 85% on shipped-in foods. Rather than being dependent on imported oil and at risk in food security, we can tap our vast ocean resources to supply our basic needs (energy, food, water) in a sustainable manner and in harmony with the marine environment. In 1979 Hawaii became renown in the scientific community for its Mini-OTEC success in producing a net electrical output from pumping cold water from the ocean depths into heat exchange with warm surface waters to produce electricity. Cold deep ocean water is also used today by new technology companies at NELHA Tech Park in aquaculture to grow shrimp, abalone, and tilapia, planned for use in building air conditioning in Honolulu, and used as a resource for production of bottled ocean water, nutrients for microalgae growing, as well as for drip irrigation of plants. We can leverage our unique assets in ocean and OTEC research, commercial fisheries, traditional and scientific knowledge in aquaculture, and state and federal government support to take a leading role in bringing the Blue Revolution to fruition.

The Blue Revolution: Sustainable Ocean Resources Development
71% of our Earth’s surface is water, and three-quarters of the heat of the Sun shining daily on Earth is stored as thermal energy in the oceans. By pumping or upwelling cold deep waters to warm surface waters for ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) into electricity, the thermal energy potential of the oceans would in theory be equal to 10,000 times the total energy currently used by mankind, indefinitely, at all times of the day and year.  Just a fraction of the energy potential of OTEC conversion could be used to desalinate potable water to supply the needs of human populations of the world.

Deep ocean waters also store vast concentrations of dissolved minerals that if brought to the surface could act as natural fertilizer for growing 3.5 billion dry tons of new marine biomass annually from just 1% of the ocean’s surface. This would be equal to 3 times the total terrestrial biomass that can be collected annually on land in the U.S. It would also represent about 1 billion tons of carbon sequestration annually. Each ton of marine biomass could be cleanly processed into 400 gallons of clean fuels such as methanol, green diesel, ammonia or hydrogen, and the biomass residue can be further processed into organic fertilizers, protein-rich animal and fish feeds, bioactive pharmaceuticals and other high-value marine bioproducts.

Pumping or upwelling cold ocean water to the surface in volumes sufficient for OTEC energy production could improve the world’s environment through cooling surface water temperatures to prevent the formation of typhoons and hurricanes, and absorbing large volumes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to reduce global warming. It could also have a beneficial effect of nutrient enrichment in euphotic zones of ocean waters to stimulate marine life growth and enhance marine food chains to revitalize the world’s wild fish stocks.

PIOS: Launching the Blue Revolution
The next frontier for Humanity is not Space, but the Ocean!

The first step to launching the Blue Revolution is to conduct the necessary research to provide best answers to the most optimal, sustainable, and environmentally protective ways to develop our ocean resources. We advocate the building of a PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL OCEAN STATION (PIOS) as a living/working laboratory for international cooperative research on sustainable ocean resources development. Architectural engineering firms in Japan, Australia, Netherlands, and Sweden have already begun exploring design concepts for constructing artificial islands in the ocean as integrated "green" living and working environments. Like the International Space Station, but at less than 1/10 the cost, PIOS can be deployed as the world's first artificial island in the ocean hosting important research activities of ocean universities, institutions, and agencies in international partnership under an international cooperative research agreement. Blue Revolution Hawaii is working to organize an international consortium of research and support partners to advocate for the building of PIOS in Hawaii's ocean waters. PIOS would also be the world's first floating island facility for testing in-ocean operational conditions and learning best practices for eventual widespread deployment of integrated ocean production "sea ranches" or "plantships" throughout the oceans of the world.

Our Invitation to APEC Delegates
We invite interested delegates of the 21 nations attending the Asia Pacific Economic Council (APEC) Summit in Hawaii to learn about the significant ocean resources of our State and its ideal location for hosting international cooperative research on ocean resources development through the building of the PIOS living/working in-ocean laboratory platform. Please visit our blogsite for further information and updates on our coming hospitality events to introduce the Blue Revolution Hawaii vision to visitors from around the world.

Dr. Patrick Takahashi, Leighton Chong, Guy Toyama, John Farias, Jr., Dr. Fujio Matsuda

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