The Poseidon Adventure: Humanity`s Experiment and Love Affair



The Poseidon Adventure: Humanity`s Experiment and Love Affair
The Poseidon Adventure:
Humanity’s Experiment and Love
Affair with the Oceanic World
Scott Donnelly
Department of Chemistry
Earth at Night, 2006
Source: NASA Earth Observatory System,
Silk Trade Route
When the Ottoman Empire gained strategic control of the lucrative overland
Silk Trade Route, powerful European merchantile city-states immediately
sought an maritime route to central Asia to regain access to the highly
profitable and exotic spices, textiles, and other highly sought-after resources
not found in medieval Europe.
Vasco da Gama
Delectable & Exotic
Asian Spices
Year = 1497
Portuguese Vasco da Gama
successfully found an oceanic trade
route to the lucrative lands of spice,
thus giving birth to powerful
European merchantile states that
ultimately controlled the economic
landscape of western Europe.
A Portuguese sailing for Portugal's archrival Spain, Ferdinand
Magellan sought a western route to the fabled Spice Islands of
Indonesia since Portugal fiercely controlled the eastern route.
Circumnavigation of the world became a reality. Spain's venture
into the New World with its rich natural resources had begun.
Today's Maritime Global Trade Routes
*Remember this region*
Conclusion: Somebody has something
that someone else wants or needs.
What does a fish have to do with
the American Revolution?
"British Gold"
Article 3:
It is agreed that the people of the United States shall continue
to enjoy unmolested the right to take fish of every kind on the
Grand Bank and on all the other banks of Newfoundland, also
in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and at all other places in the sea,
where the inhabitants of both countries used at any time
heretofore to fish. And also that the inhabitants of the United
States shall have liberty to take fish of every kind on such part
of the coast of Newfoundland as British fishermen shall use,
(but not to dry or cure the same on that island) and also on
the coasts, bays and creeks of all other of his Brittanic
Majesty's dominions in America; and that the American
fishermen shall have liberty to dry and cure fish in any of the
unsettled bays, harbors, and creeks of Nova Scotia, Magdalen
Islands, and Labrador, so long as the same shall remain
unsettled, but so soon as the same or either of them shall be
settled, it shall not be lawful for the said fishermen to dry or
cure fish at such settlement without a previous agreement for
that purpose with the inhabitants, proprietors, or possessors
of the ground.
Signature page Treaty of Paris
Image source:
Article 3:
It is agreed that the people of the
United States shall continue to
enjoy unmolested the right to
take fish of every kind on the
Grand Bank....
Worldwide Cod Fishing Stock
Geography is destiny.
Attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte
The Modern Brave New World:
The Arctic?
The Long Sought Northwest
Passage Fulfilled?
Russian Icebreaker
As the Arctic sea ice pack continues to thin and recede each year,
nations with geographical claims to the region are jockeying to stake
their claim for the unproven, untapped resources located at the
ocean floor of the relatively shallow Arctic Ocean. Based on the rate
of ice thinning, mining and extraction of natural resources may begin
within five years.
The following five nations have
legitimate geographical claims to
the Arctic- USA, Canada, Russia,
(Spitsbergen), and tiny Denmark
via Greenland, a self-governing
Danish territory.
natural gas, crude petroleum
(oil), minerals, metal ores, and
fishing stocks. Will neighbors at
peace (e.g., USA and Canada)
turn against one another over
potentially volatile border and
territorial disputes that originate
from control over hundreds of
billions of dollars of resource
Shortcut Across the Top of the World
Proposed Route
Current Route
Black Sea
Nile River
Bolinus brandaris
Byzantine Emperor Justinian I
clad in Tyrian purple, 6thcentury mosaic at Basilica of
San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy
What’s One Example of the
Modern Equivalent of the
Ancient Tyrian Purple
Bioprospecting Marine Life for Medicines
Coral Reefs
What’s the connection between a
favorite edible terrestrial plant and an
oceanic saltwater fish?
Winter flounder
No, it’s not the creation of a
fishmato or a tomfish.
What’s to become of Earth’s
seemingly infinite oceans?
Portland, Maine
What’s for sure is that for the next twenty years
humanity will continue to exert more pressure on the
oceans in order to feed its growing population, satisfy
its insatiable appetite for finite resources such as
petroleum, natural gas, and fish stock, and serve as the
transportation conduit to keep the world’s immense
consumer economies afloat (no pun intended).