We see our modern culture as a blind man wandering down a forking path with a divining rod, flipping a Ying-Yang coin with a Devil on one shoulder and an Angel on the other. The blind man never knows what to do exactly, just to keep moving forward. Deep Sea News looks forward before we step there, to examine two different paths through the ocean future.
Things are bad on the high seas. Fisheries are expanding wherever they’re not collapsing. The global appetite for seafood is growing. Polar bears and penguins are starving. Pollution is pervasive. But as a scientist, you have to consider both sides of every story, even the grim ones.
Hydrothermal vents have given us many things, including new autotrophic paradigms, new species, a new appreciation for seafloor spreading centers, and a best-ever IMAX movie . But the fact that seafloor massive sulfides can precipitate a king’s ransom in gold, silver, copper, and zinc was an unexpected boost to the cauldron-like charisma of hydrothermal vent systems. Big-time scientific weeklies Science and Nature finally caught up to DSN’s meticulous coverage of vent mining just this week, reporting on the new gold rush to the deep seafloor.