By Rich Wilson, Skipper, Great American III

Each boat in the Vendée Globe is an example of resource management and depletion. We bring food, fuel, spare sails, spare electronics, extra epoxy and fiberglass, spare rope, etc. Gradually, over the course of the race, these resources are consumed. Food levels decrease; repairs use up epoxy; electronics fail; ropes fray from chafing; and solar panels yellow and produce less
electricity. Every skipper has to carefully manage his or her resources to last.

Planet earth has depletion issues, too, and we must carefully manage our resources. The fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) are being used up, and fuel emissions are depleting our fresh air and increasing global warming. Many fresh water lakes and rivers have
been polluted, thus depleting their availability. Forests have been depleted either to provide wood for building, or in some cases, the land is cleared to provide space for building. In the oceans, fisheries have been over-fished, and only rarely are there adequate resource management programs put in place to allow replenishment.

All of these circumstances boil down to the same thing: we’ve over-used many of our resources, and now we need to change our way of living. Ultimately, this will be a good thing, as it will push us toward more renewable living. That will be good for
future generations, and it’s our moral duty to think of those generations and not just our own.