Part of the fun of being alive right now is predicting just what form of post-apocalyptic landscape awaits us once human civilization’s collapse really gets going. Is it going to be a Mad Max-style desert situation, with Tina Turner hollering at everyone? A Numenera experience, with the survivors regarding the technological ruins as magical marvels? Or more of a Logan’s Run setup, with an old man who recites T.S. Eliot's poems about cats? (I will be that old man.)
Now it’s looking like we might have a Waterworld situation on our hands, with the Port of Seattle announcing that they’re channeling money into an aquatic innovation program called Washington Maritime Blue that fosters inventions and breakthroughs in the “blue economy.”
A few years ago, I’d have been like, “Oh, neat, like SeaQuest,” but now it’s more “I wonder what my floating platform of pirate vagabonds will be like.”
The Maritime Blue Accelerator program’s been up and running for a couple of months now, and basically provides a framework for private companies and entrepreneurs to work together on products that can improve environmental and economic activity around ports.
Some highlights of the program so far: A company called Discovery Health MD, which seeks to improve health monitoring of people who work at sea; ecoSPEARS, which removes toxins from the ocean; Net Your Problem, which recycles old nets into kayaks and bathing suits; and OneForNeptune, which makes “high-protein snack foods made from sustainable seafood products.”
That last one is particularly intriguing, as it actually looks quite tasty (honey lemon ginger jerky made from white fish? Ok, sure, I’ll bite) and also because treatments that can preserve marine food for long periods of time will be particularly vital when society collapses and we all live on a tiny outcroppings that were once the summit of the Cascades, and now are the only signs of human life poking up above a vast hot ocean.
The Washington Maritime Blue program will get $150,000 per year for the next few years, part of the Port of Seattle’s efforts to be the “greenest and most energy efficient Port in North America.”
So far, nobody’s working on a plan to replace human legs with fish tails, but there’s still time.