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Nov 28, 2001, 10:35:12 AM11/28/01
Archive-Name: gov/us/fed/congress/record/2001/nov/27/2001CRE2133D
[Congressional Record: November 27, 2001 (Extensions)]
[Page E2133-E2135]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]




of hawaii

in the house of representatives

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Speaker, on October 11, 2001, Mr. John P.
Craven, the President and founder of the Common Heritage Corporation,
Honolulu, Hawaii, was honored as a Doherty Lecturer in our Nation's

[[Page E2134]]

I would like to share some of his thoughts and comments about our
Nation and the sea with my colleagues by having his enclosed keynote
speech entered into the Congressional Record.

What Americans Should Know About Our Nation and the Sea

(By John P. Craven)

The days of my years are more than three score and ten and
I find myself called upon to share the experiences of a
lifetime of involvement with a diverse set of vocations and
avocations--all involving the ocean. To be chosen as the
Doherty lecturer is a particularly special invitation,
inasmuch as it is an honor to which I have aspired for longer
than I can remember. When to my surprise I received word of
my selection, I lost no time in weighing anchor and setting
The formal invitation arrived several days later and I
discovered that I was sailing under false colors. I was not
invited, as I assumed, as the flamboyant master of submarine
espionage depicted in the best selling book Blind Man's
Bluff. Instead it was clear that my invitation was based on
my role as the Past Director of the Law of the Sea Institute,
an international NGO dedicated to the creation of the United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. I was thus expected
to say, as I will say, that it is imperative that the United
States ratify this convention. It was also apparent that I
was invited as the President of the Common Heritage
Corporation, a company intimately involved in the use of
ocean resources and dedicated to the management of innovation
involved in the use of ocean resources and dedicated to the
management of innovation for the benefit of humanity. I was
thus also expected to say, as I will say, that society must
commit itself to research and development of programs leading
to the use of ocean resources and ocean space to change our
world into an environmentally sustainable habitat for its
burgeoned and burgeoning population.
I am here today, therefore, as the wearer of three
distinctly different caps: one representing my years of
involvement in national security, another designating me as a
proponent of translational law and justice and a third worn
by an innovator of futuristic technology. Yet it is my
contention that my roles are connected by more than just the
ocean. They also form an integrated view of the future--a
view that I believe society must come to accept for its
Through the anecdotes that follow, I hope to provide my
fellow Americans with insights into the lessons that I have
learned during my careers, with the hope of convincing you
about the importance--indeed the need--of sharing my hopes
and aspirations for humanity.
Those of you familiar with my own recent book, The Silent
War, may recall my description of ``The Polaris Marching and
Chowder Society.'' This Honolulu-based group initially
consisted of submariners that had a role in the development
of the Polaris Fleet Ballistic Missile system (the nation's
first undersea strategic deterrent). The Society has met for
breakfast once each month for the past two decades. I quote
from my book here: ``What prevents this breakfast from being
just another gathering of old timers is the regular
attendance of the active duty commander of the submarine
forces of the Pacific fleet and members of his staff. This is
a family breakfast and a rare opportunity for the family
elders to offer their wisdom to the young in command. I am an
adopted member of this family and, except for myself, all are
qualified to wear the dolphins of the submarine service.'' A
surprising number are also qualified to wear the master
divers pin, suggesting that they are a part of the teams of
``saturated divers'' (i.e., humans as marine mammals living
on the open ocean seabed of the world's continental shelves).
They have carried out highly classified ``special
operations'' of intelligence gathering for more than thirty
At the Society's meeting this past October 3rd, the events
of September 11th were fresh in all members' minds. I
distributed copies of The Silent War to young officers who
were first time breakfast attendees. I noted that my book was
written with the tacit encouragement of the Navy and the
Intelligence services to tell the story of these operations
as they should be told, without compromising national
security. The very existence of these special operations was
a secret until the publication of Blind Man's Bluff.
Sensitive details will not be revealed or discussed at this
or any other meeting of the Marching and Chowder Society, but
my book details the philosophy and strategy employed in
winning the Cold War without firing a shot. The relevance of
that philosophy and that strategy to the war against
terrorism was a major topic at the Society's last meeting.
I reminded the Society of an unclassified talk given by
former CIA Director Robert Gates at a reunion of the
submarine Parche--the winner of seven Presidential Unit
citations. He asserted that the CIA had four classes of
heroes: (1) Operatives in the field who intercepted vital
communications; (2) scientists and technicians who designed
equipments and units that could intercept communications; (3)
the operators of these equipments in environments where their
skills were required and where their lives were in danger;
and (4) the analysts in the intelligence agencies who
interpreted the results of these missions and transmitted
them to the President for those national policy positions and
actions which would deter war and win peace. Director Gates
then informed the men of Parche that the missions of the
United States Navy submarine service were the most important
of all the missions that had been conducted and that their
story ``had to be told.''
This morning meeting ended with the thought that now more
than ever the story had to be told for its relevance to the
new conflict. Indeed, that very morning Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld reminded the public of the long drawn out but
successful Cold War experience that we might have to endure
to resolve the current terrorism conflict. What emerged from
that meeting were insights into what I might characterize as
my first lesson of this afternoon:
We cannot ask the Federal Government to reveal how many
cruise missiles, cable tapping, undersea surveillance units
have been built and deployed. Indeed, it is possible that
nobody knows. The compartmentalization of this program within
the Navy and within other Federal agencies is such that it is
doubtful that any single individual has the knowledge of the
``need to know'' the full panoply of our undersea capability.
What then should Americans know? At the very least, we
should know and understand that the people of the United
States have occupied ``inner space,'' or the oceans of our
planet, in a manner that we have not accomplished or cannot
hope to accomplish in outer space for a decade or more.
Americans should know that we can publish and proclaim this
underwater capability in a way that will not compromise
national security but will tell those that would do us harm
that we are in full control of the undersea environment. We
should so publish; we should so proclaim.
I had to leave the Chowder Society breakfast early to
hasten to Washington to attend the forum on the international
law of terrorism organized by our host, John Norton Moore. En
route To Dulles, I was recognized by a visibly nervous flight
attendant who had seen me on The History Channel. The cause
of her concern was understandable to all of us I'm sure, but
some reflection and perspective are in order here. This woman
and a hundred or so others were hurtling through the sky at
40,000 feet and more than five hundred miles per hour--a
remarkable transportation achievement. Science and technology
had made air travel so safe that the statistical likelihood
or her demise remained an extraordinarily low probability
event--recent tragic events notwithstanding. To remind and
reassure her, I gave her a copy of The Silent War inscribed
with my most immediate poetic thoughts of the moment: ``And
the night shall be filled with music and the cares that
infest the day shall fold their tents like the nomads and as
silently steal away.''
Later that evening as with headphones on my head and brandy
in my hand I looked out the window to see the beautiful glow
of the lights of Denver below before sweet sleep possessed
me. My last thoughts were: ``Shall I be lifted to the skies
on flowery beds of ease while others seek to win the prize
and sail through stormy seas.''
The lesson of this anecdote was first taught to us by
Franklin Delano Roosevelt as we faced the prospect of World
War II: ``The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.''
Upon my arrival in Washington, I listened to a set of
provocative legal papers presented by brilliant scholars
including the Honorable Stephen Schwebel, former President
International Court of Justice, Professor Ruth Wedgwood of
the Yale Law School and Professor Malvina Halberstam of the
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. A central issue discussed
was whether in the present instance, state sponsored
assassination in defense of a terrorist would be murder or
legally justified as an act of self-defense.remarked to a
most distinguished legal colleague seated next to me that I
thought it was a matter of perspective as to whether you were
holding the trigger or peering into the barrel of a gun. My
colleague shot me down with the rejoinder that my remark was
political and not legal.
I believe Gandhi had the better view. Certainly to the
surprise of many not closely familiar with his philosophy, he
has written: ``I do believe that, where there is only a
choice between cowardice and violence, I would advice
violence.'' To be sure, Gandhi characterized violence as an
animal response to an immediate attack and non-violence,
where possible, as a civilized alternative. Violence under
attack becomes acceptable, however, when there is no
alternative--that is when a decision to take no action
emerges from fear rather than strength. This lesson is one
that is particularly timely to Americans today.
In any event, all participants including Schwebel agreed
that the definitive word of law was enunciated by the United
Nations Security Council Resolutions of September 12 and
September 28. Indeed until the Security Council spoke
unanimously, the United States was not assured of the
protection of all of the member States in its actions against
terrorist acts. Americans should finally realize that,
regardless of individual political feelings about this
international body, we have no choice but to seek its
protection when a declaration of International Law is
necessary in the face of a World crisis.
The Law of the Sea Treaty is no different. This is one of
the most comprehensive treaties ever negotiated and it has
been modified

[[Page E2135]]

to comply with all of the demands of the United States. Our
manifest inability to enforce its provisions through our
customary system of law, with the Coast Guard and internal
legislation such as the Magnussen Act, demonstrates that our
enforcement mechanism requires international cooperation.
This cooperation can be assured only if we ratify and,
parenthetically, pay our United Nations dues to support the
In contemplating the critical issues concerning national
security and transnational law that I have set forth this
afternoon, it is essential to consider the fundamental
problem from which they emerge. These issues are rooted in
the underlying reality that the resources of the world are
limited while the potential consumers of these resources
continue to grow in numbers. Thus, I now finish my Doherty
Lecture wearing the hat of the President of the Common
Heritage Corporation, or CHC.
I established CHC a decade ago in order to address the
problems of an increasing global population, now over 6
billion, and its associated migration to the coastal zone.
CHC's product is the demonstrated design of an
environmentally sustainable habitat for installation on
coastal deserts having access to deep ocean water. Our
facility on the Kona coast of Hawaii is a showroom for the
demonstration of such an installation. This showroom was
specifically designed for Haiti, although our first
installation may well occur in the Marshall Islands or in a
form suitable for the affluent developed world on the island
of Oahu.
Any of you who have visited Haiti know that it is a coastal
desert on the lee side of a trade wind island. It has a
population of six million living in desperate and deprived
conditions. The local fishing industry does not have a single
motorized fishing boat or any cooling or refrigeration. Fish
are caught off the northern coast and by the time they arrive
in the market at Port au Prince, about a third of the catch
are not edible, even by Haitian standards. Haiti's fishermen
care not that the maximum sustainable yield of the ocean was
exceeded some twenty-five years ago. They must fish or
perish. Agriculture and manufacturing are non-existent and
the government is effectively dysfunctional. Common Heritage
Corporation has a joint venture agreement with a Haitian
Company, ``Energie General,'' that would be capable of
managing the installation of one of our facilities, if the
political climate of Haiti were receptive to such an
installation. Today it cannot. We nevertheless are
proceeding, waiting for that day to come.
What technology is in use at CHC's facility? It utilizes
the sun and deep ocean water as its primary resource. Deep
Ocean water or DOW is very cold, very rich in nutrients and
very biologically pure. We convert seawater into fresh water
in a device called a microclimate tower, which operates like
nature--using the cheap cold at the top of the tower to
condense vapor from hot ocean water at the bottom. We do air
conditioning and industrial cooling utilizing deep ocean
water that passes through reclaimed automobile radiators. We
grow cold-water algae utilizing the deep ocean water
nutrients, and then use the algae as compost and as food for
humans, for abalone, for shrimps, lobsters and fish. We have
also developed a form of agriculture that utilizes deep ocean
water passing through PVC pipes in the ground, producing more
than enough condensate for irrigation and a thermodynamic
environment that can only be characterized as a super spring.
But our facility is also designed as habitat. Accordingly,
it does more than produce the basic necessities of life.
Young children who visit our facility are quick to understand
a habitat is more than life--it must also foster liberty and
the pursuit of happiness. To that end, our facility features
every kind of crop and food product, every kind of flower,
parks and gardens and athletic fields for soccer and even
Our facility has been technically successful beyond our
wildest dreams. By way of illustration, let me tell you what
we are doing with grapes. We have grape vines that grow in
the hot desert without any rain or external irrigation. Cold
ocean water pipes embedded three feet deep at the root zone
provide the irrigation water and the thermodynamic climate.
When the grapes are ripe and harvested, the cold water is
turned off. The vines are then pruned and, after a week of
dormancy, the cold water is turned on again and the vines
produce yet another crop. Three abundant crops per year are
produced, one of which is illustrated by the photograph that
has been distributed.
But returning to Haiti briefly, we confront the basic
problem that it cannot avail itself of our technology for the
simple reason that it requires a significant number of
dollars to install a system. Export crops are, of course, one
way to raise dollars, but these crops must first be produced.
In order to simulate the economic obstacles to the
installation of a CHC sustainable facility in a country like
Haiti, CHC operates as ``bare-bones'' a corporation as you
are likely to see in the developed world. CHC has not
borrowed any money from a bank. It utilizes where legal and
possible its management and student trainees for construction
and labor, much as is done by organizations such as Habitat
for Humanity. Apart from a small amount of electric power and
a very limited amount of external supplies, the entire
facility is self-sustaining.
Thus, the jar of jelly provided to each of you symbolically
and literally represents what CHC's technology can make
possible with developing world production techniques,
notwithstanding all of the economic limitations. The glass
jars and tops were manufactured in the Dominican Republic and
purchased in bulk quantities at extremely low cost. The label
was designed by a member of CHC's Board of Directors and
printed using an obsolete computer printer purchased at a
thrift shop. The cartons were assembled and loaded by my
family here in Washington--and we could not prevent my two-
year-old granddaughter from filling the boxes and applying
stickers and decorations on some of the boxes as a form of
What more can CHC do to demonstrate the viability of
environmentally sustainable habitats? We carried our
PowerPoint road show to Mexico and gave a high level
presentation the government agency responsible for economic
development for the poor. Enthralled by our presentation,
they asked how much an initial 100-acre installation would
cost. Between five and ten million dollars was CHC's reply--a
bargain. They were appalled. The agency's entire budget for
the year was only 70 million dollars--a simple result of the
devaluation of the peso. Committing up to one-seventh of
their resources to a single project was simply out of the
Americans, we and other countries must find a way to avoid
these Catch 22s and to start a development process that
promotes an environmentally sustainable world. This world
must be capable of providing all of its citizens with a
reasonable standard of life. And, we must start now.
I speak not from an abstract perspective of what a good and
just society would do. Instead, I am asserting an imperative.
The tragic incidents of the past month have revealed that we
can no longer ignore the resource limitations that confront
the world. The gap between rich and poor nations grows
greater and greater; the population of the developing world
grows at unsustainable rates, yet even the best-intentioned
citizens of developed nations have done little more than
engage in impassioned rhetoric. We have let our global
educational and research activities atrophy and decay; we
have imposed the product of our material comforts on the
impoverished and peoples of the undeveloped world. Should it
surprise us that people with literally nothing to lose might
choose to lash out against us? We have replaced reality with
a dazzling world of virtual reality, but September 11th has
taught us that there are realities that we can no longer
ignore. I speak from a lifetime of immersion in that real
world. Even so, from that experience I conclude that there is
Americans we must and we can work with the World to end
terrorism--there is no alternative; we must and we can work
with the world to defuse the threats of war--there is no
alternative; we must and we can work with the world to
establish an international regime for the wise use of the
ocean--there is no alternative, and; we must and we can start
the development process that leads to an environmentally
sustainable world habitat for humanity--there is no
alternative--there is none.


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