Thursday, February 28, 2008

UK Environmental Minister: Ocean Fertilization Research Crucial

After my post "Kyoto Nations Should Provide Leadership on Iron Fertilization" there has been some interesting responses. Here are comments from a senior environmental minister in the UK (name kept private as always).


General comments

"The data on ocean acidification over the past year has turned heads in the upper levels. There is wide recognition that problems in the ocean are perhaps more severe than we had given credit for...ocean fertilization, because of it's enormous potential simply must (I will emphasize the word must) be explored vigorously, very likely as part of a larger programme of ocean research and damage remediation research. Other governments in Europe and Asia are of the same opinion and are moving forward with their own plans. The question is how to do this without engendering public opposition."

When asked about partnerships with other nations

"We are going to coordinate within the EU and with the Americans of course, but as you have pointed out, not everyone is on the same page. My guess is that different national groups will proceed at their own pace, using their own scientists, while the public-facing policy is debated."

Regarding concerns by scientists about environmental impacts

"Yes, those should be considered. But really, if the ocean is turning acidic because of our carbon dioxide emissions, it is hardly the time to tiptoe around. Either global climate change is an emergency, or not. Let us make up our minds."


Would this have any effect on the work of Climos or the late Planktos? Who knows.