Thursday, October 16, 2008

Soil scientists can save the world!

Soil scientists are my heroes...

It is the largest deployment of scientists in the history of humanity: Climate Change has unlocked billions for science. But not for soil carbon science, until recently.
Soil science has been on a downhill trajectory for many years, they tell us. There used to be soil science departments in most universities. Alas most have closed. Student numbers plummeted.
But that could be behind us because it is an exciting time to be alive in soil science.
Soil science is an inspiring field to work in. It is the final frontier. Any senior scientist will tell you there is so much yet to be discovered. We need the schools of soil science reopened at all universities. We need more places funded, more teachers, more equipment, more resources thrown at soil science. Because scientists can save the world from starvation and despair.
We believe a percentage from each soil carbon trade be dedicated to research. We believe in soil science.

Trouble ahead for 'marriages"?

Since Penny Wong is sloshing millions around, the words "soil carbon" appearing on countless research proposals. We should rejoice: Soil C finally gets some research attention. Unfortunately the two recent rounds of funding may have built into them a wild card that could cause many projects to produce suboptimal outcomes. The requirement that large numbers of partnerships be formed has set the scene for conflict between parties in these marriages of convenience. Nice idea. A bold experiment. Does it reflect the sense of urgency required to meet the Climate Change challenge? Maybe.

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