An offshore research and production facility in the Philippine Sea
Berry, John Harold
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In today's world, man is facing the crucial impacts of staggering population growth, increased food and energy consumption, and increasing dependence upon available natural resources. Solutions have been proposed and implemented-birth control, soil conservation, energy conservation, fuel efficiency, and oil, gas, and coal production increases are just a few. These apparent answers are the views of Western societies, though the most acute deprivations occur in the developing Eastern cultures. The recent "energy crisis" has emphasized the consequence of mass industrialization. The answer to this dilemma is not energy independence or making more and using less; it can only be seen in a comprehensive reevalution of the world's energy needs and potential energy sources. As OPEC dominates the world petroleum market, the gluttonous industrialized countries are forced to research and develop alternative energy reservoirs. To anticipate future energy directions, one must establish a clear distinction between non-renewable and renewable energy potentials. This creates an obvious failure in dependence upon fossil fuels. It is debatable whether the world will reach maximum petroleum production in 1990 or beyond 2000, but it is inevitable. Coal and natural gas are also resources in finite quantities. Present day attention is now focused upon the capitalization of the natural energy that surrounds us continuously - air movement, thermal absorption and radiation exposure. This thesis will be limited to the investigation of these constantly renewable energy sources as they exist in the marine environment. The energy production technologies to be implemented will include Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC), wave energy conversion, wind energy conversion, and the diversified aspects of solar energy. To prevent the exploitation of these resources and the delicately balanced cycles within the marine environment, one must seek a natural integral system. Integral in the sense of a unified whole, by definition "essential to completeness". To achieve this integral design there will be greater emphasis upon process than with realized form. As man extends his built environment further into the oceans, a distinct possibility is that this coexistence will be of greater benefit to the marine inhabitants than it will be to the human users. Evidence shows an increase in the biological populations due to man-made marine structures.