Inhabiting the Sea
Since time immemorial, the sea has been a source of adventure, excitement and disappointment, as depicted in both history and fiction books, where man had to pay the price for his curiosity about the unknown. Now, we know that water occupies two thirds of our planet; and instead of the mythical dragons, half-human mermaids, and other imaginary creatures portrayed with exaggeration in old literature, we know that some of sea animals had lived on land, while other land animals had lived in sea. We ourselves had gone through a fish-like phase of life before our birth. We may in the future inhabit another mostly/all-water planet, requiring us to live in water again.
Humans should benefit from the vast space seas occupy of our planet, for the near and faraway future. Eventually, with biotechnology's help, we may find ways to inhale the oxygen in water like fish do, drink sea water, etc. But for now, as already being done on a limited scale, we can do the following:
1. Occupying the seas, gradually, to solve some of our over-population problems and properly benefit from the endless resources the sea has. We should improve the capabilities we already have now for living by or in the sea, until we build fully-fledged sea floating colonies and undersea colonies.
For a start:
• Improving life quality on ships of all sizes, public or private, moving or moored (even in the middle of the sea), as well as sea roads and monitored traffic. Driving, mooring, and towing ships for very long distances can be automatically and remotely controlled.
• Improving life in submarines, with various sizes, more storage capacity for food and other necessities, self-sufficient sea-grown or ship-grown food and fuel, better recycle systems, etc.
• Drying sea water near coasts with minimal costs (as done by the Netherlands, Singapore, etc.) esp. needed by small countries but also any place needing preparations for natural shore recession caused by global warming.
• Building artificial islands at lower costs than we have now, in the middle of the sea, just as those yearly naturally made by tsunamis and volcanoes. Human-made islands may start smaller, but still they have the common benefits of living on an island: year-long mild weather, more rain and fertile soil suitable for growing diverse plant and animal life, less pollution, more privacy and beauty, and most importantly as strategic stations in the middle of sea routes for maintenance, refueling, monitoring, guiding, rescuing, etc.
• Purifying sea water by advanced desalination can solve many present and future water conflicts between countries, reclaim desert, and give life to whole barren lands.
• With advanced digging technologies, earth and sea can become one, by digging canals & lakes remapping sea routes, connecting towns and countries, making shipping and traveling easier, creating fantastic view for landlocked countries/towns, and offering more desalination opportunities for all parts on Earth, so none suffers water shortage EVER, almost closing the cycle by recycling ALL earth water, from rivers, oceans, vapor, sewage, etc.
• Occupying the poles partially by melting the snow at the very north and south of Earth, just enough to inhabit parts suitable for human life and research.
2. Growing sea plants for food and other purposes.
3. Learning from sea animals: We know many marine life forms, like sharks and dolphins, have highly-developed brains, complex social structure, human-like emotions, and amazing survival strategies, sharp senses and motor skills.
Yet, whale hunting continues, seals are on the verge of extinction, and many species are already gone, by those not respecting sea animals, that even most of us "sympathize" less with than with land animals (even some vegetarians eat fish with guilt-free pleasure). Some extract a special pleasure from watching fish die; perhaps, favoring the taste of a freshly-killed animal, which requires witnessing the dying process for evidence. Also, the acrobatic movements of a "dying" fish, running out of oxygen and trying to escape the net/hook to return to water, is funny to us. (Ironically, at the fish market, some hawk it, saying "The fish are playing!", meaning they are still alive. If you like their movements, join the "game"!) We act primitively with any race or species we don't "know." Few of us know the ABC's of animals' psychology, sociology, etc.; the similarity of their DNA to ours; and their central nervous systems that make them experience pain and other human-like feelings. Even fewer would accept facts and let go of superstitions. After all, man is the Crown of Creation; he has the biblical right to kill; or so he justifies his crime—like he will starve if he doesn't kill, or his dinner be less tasty, if he doesn't have another animal between his jaws.