A floating airport in the Pacific?

Just learned today of an initiative to expand the San Diego airport by building an international airport in the Southern California Bight.  The proposed semi-submerged moored structure would support two runways (400m long and 300m wide), a terminal, and supporting facilities (including fuel storage in the support pontoons).  A lawyer with experience in maritime legal issues, Adam Englund appears to be the main (and mostly solo?) proponent of the vision.

If Adam and his supporters pull this off, it will be a fascinating experiment in building large structures at sea.  The sustainability implications of the development — its potential impacts and benefits — are fascinating.  Among other things, desalination, mariculture, and wave/current power could be supported on the site.  Adam was even asking about turning kelp into jet fuel.

One might at first be skeptical (I was!), but the testimonials from a naval architects, as well as oceanographic greats like Walter Munk and Fred Speiss are quick to straighten out the initial knee-jerk reactions…  Perhaps the water world is coming sooner than we thought?

Floating landing strips, as proposed here, are not the only offshore structures under consideration. Liquid natural gas, or LNG, terminals are now being designed for locations offshore from Ensenada and the Coronado Islands. Future tankers with 100-foot draft are too deep for existing harbors and will have to be berthed offshore. A rising global sea level will call for reconstructions for many of the world’s harbors. We end this letter with a challenge. In the pioneering spirit of Charles Lindbergh, would it not be wonderful if San Diego would take a leadership role in meeting these global changes?

Mantras and manifestos

After a camping trip with Dave and Russ, just learned about Future in Review and it’s mantra from Mark Anderson.  They have a mantra that should be inspirational to all Americans and members of over-consuming societies on the planet:

“It isn’t about problems; it’s about solutions.

It isn’t about tomorrow; it’s about today.

It isn’t about them; it’s about us.”

So, now I am ready to read and think and talk about solutions.  Why is it so hard to find cogent discourse about them?  Is it all happening at conferences like Future in Review, or within the Board rooms of for-profit companies?

Mark mentions Silicon Valley,  Elon Musk, and Vinod Khosla as actively working to derive solutions.  I’ve read their bios and am excited to learn more about them.  In general, the FiRe participants seem like an interesting group and a potential source of truth and optimism…

For the last few years as I’ve mulled over oceanic solutions to global warming and food shortages, I’ve been yearning for an established mechanism for discussing/deriving the solutions that would automatically ensure the embedded intellectual property would be licensed in an open-source spirit.  Perhaps it’s as simple as filing for a patent from within a non-profit organization.  Is there an extant mechanism for individual inventors and innovators?  What shall be the home of our maricultural manifesto?

Perhaps an answer will come as I delve more deeply into this realm of affluent innovators, largely spawned from and empowered by the start-up technology sector.