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More than two hundred years ago Haiti led the way in fighting slavery and gained its independence from France as a result of the rebellion of former African slaves, the only successful slave rebellion in world history. Today, with the imminent implementation of the SANSAQUA project utilizing integrated deep ocean water (DOW) systems with an OTEC power-producing component, Haiti will clearly be in a unique position to establish itself in the Caribbean as the leader in renewable energy production and distribution, while being conscious, echoing Machiavelli's words in The Prince, that: "There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in introduction of a new order of things, because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new". Indeed, at a time when fossil fuel prices are very high and proven reserves (which are expected to last only about 40 years) are dwindling in the face of increasing demand, it would be economically and environmentally advantageous for Haiti to begin to make the transition from a petroleum-based or fossil fuel economy to a non-fossil fuel or OTEC economy that could eventually lead to a hydrogen economy. In other words, Haiti ought to take a green turn. In developing countries like Haiti sustainable clean energy is the key to reducing and even ending poverty. Indeed, the salvation of the world will come from the sun (a quasi-inextinguishable resource) and that of Haiti from the tropical ocean which is the world's largest collector of solar energy, i.e., from "Sea Solar Power". Echoing Thomas Edison's words in 1931, "We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature's inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide... I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait 'til oil and coal run out before we tackle that".

The integrated DOW systems are seeds of education, industry, commerce and self-sufficiency. Each system will create an environment in which productive enterprises can be established, in which commerce can flourish, in which goods and services can be traded, in which new kinds of international trade can be initiated, in which ecotourism can be reliably supported, in which the very strong indigenous culture of the society can be preserved,  and in which people and ideas can circulate in the society free of intimidation. The DOW systems can be regarded as “fountains of paradise” that will help kick Haiti into the 21st century, make it benefit from all the gifts of the sea to humanity and become in Milton’s words a “paradise regained” where much of its coastline will be transformed into oases of prosperity and plenty, so that there will only remain to build heaven on the summit of its mountains.


A 1986 holy picture of the patron saint of Haiti


The SANSAQUA project can be a most important step in Haiti’s development of a Haitian system of management of the nation’s resources and the establishment of the independence of Haiti in the determination of its own destiny. The implementation of this project, which is a cross between industrial park and public utility, would require that a public-private partnership agreement be reached between Energinat and the Haitian government, international development organizations and the national and international private sector. It would also necessitate that, in order to ensure the establishment of a secure and politically stable climate, Haitians pick up the chains of slavery which they broke more than two centuries ago, hold hands to form a continuous chain around the country (which would be reminiscent of the submarine fiber optic necklace we intend to install along the coast of the country), bow their heads and pray the patron saint of Haiti, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, for the salvation of the country without vengeance. Indeed, the work of many hands and many points or rays of light are required to prevent Haiti's ship from drifting into troubled waters and to bring it safely to port. Also, for Haiti the time has come for a happy marriage of religion and spirituality and of politics and science, in particular marine science and technology. As stated by Albert Einstein: "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." In our opinion the sustainable socioeconomic development of Haiti can only take place in a harmonious, secure and politically stable environment and will not happen unless Haitians exploit their deep ocean water resource – the nation’s most valuable natural energy resource and its inexhaustible marine gold mine. THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE. THERE IS NONE.

 

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