The world has a great need to find new resources. Marine resources provide additional resources. Oil resources are being used up quite rapidly and our energy future has only coal as an alternative. The most favorable estimates for discovery of new fields and improvements in recovery suggest that demand will pass production shortly after 2000 A.D., and by then we should be adjusting for a transition to other energy sources. Through the year 2010, there is no alternative to oil and gas. Start up of nuclear plants, coal processing techniques, or oil shale extraction will take at least 10 years to develop if they were started this week. Geoscientists have not been effective in educating the public about the role of natural resources in industrial economies, nor have we really communicated the uneven distribution of resources and the problems of continued supply of dwindling resources.
Marine resources provide additional reserves to our resources. The offshore oil potential is high, but due to the low market value of oil and a surplus worldwide, little research is going into new domestic sources. The story seen in this chapter is that demand has passed production for the United States and we should be adjusting for a transition to other energy sources.
shows the gap between production and consumption for the United States.
A strong program for development of alternate sources of energy has been drastically reduced
. The demand for alternates to a rapidly depleting pool of energy resources is not being met and the problem will land directly on the next generation.
The oceans are a major resource for mankind, which are yet to be explored and exploited to their full potential. The oceans and interconnecting seas form a continuous territory that covers about three-fourths of the earth's surface. Within this realm, we have sources of minerals and energy that are largely untapped. Just the continental shelves are greater in area than the moon and they offer an almost virgin territory to explore. Between 1975 and 2000 the world population will increase by almost 4 billion, this is an increase of 20 times the population of the United States; the increase in the population of India alone is equal to the total U.S. population. This increase will place even more demand on the world's presently defined resources, and marine mining must become a reality in the next century.
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