The Hawaii Natural Energy Institute’s emeritus director covered all that territory by basing his talk on his two books – Simple Solutions for Planet Earth and Simple Solutions for Humanity. We won’t summarize most of his comments and will leave it to our visitors' Internet search skills to learn more.
Takahashi did dwell at some length on OTEC, a personal passion that’s central to his concept of an ocean-based Blue Revolution. He noted that 71 percent of the planet is wet and that although we land-dwellers operate essentially in two dimensions, the average depth of the ocean is 13,124 feet. “Ocean space is a lot more voluminous than land space,” he said, and therefore offers great potential for energy extraction and fishery management using open-ocean floating OTEC platforms.
Talk of Doomsday
When asked whether oil prices above $120/barrel have created a sense of urgency among the public to find energy solutions, Takahashi said he didn’t think so. “Until the average person on the street is totally inconvenienced, there is no crisis,” he said.
Takahashi himself feels the high cost of oil and jet fuel will change the whole nature of tourism for Hawaii, because “only the very rich will be able to afford to come here.” (It’s the bad-news scenario we wrote about on May 13.) He continued:
But that would be too gloomy an assessment, he said. Society survived two energy crises in the 1970s and will survive the next one. “I don’t know how, but we’ll survive.” (Read more of Takahashi's views at the brand new "Green" section of Huffington Post.)