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13 June 2014

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Experiments after experiments after experiments, still in the name of experiments. I recall E. O. Wilson's quote; "If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos".

Science is not about making history, science is about knowing better.

I want to see the underwater mine eventuate in PNG - it's not every day that PNG gets down in a scientific history.

Oh and those Greenpeace people, I think of them as anti-technologists a little old school for my taste.

Leonard's and Michael's comments are valid, but deep sea mining is not likely to go away. Unless, perhaps, humans take effective measures to deal with their rapid world population increase. It is, after all, we humans that buy the oil and metals, and the human race that causes the pollution.

Mr Wernick's article is well-written and factual. I agree that existing seabed regulating organizations are not effective; a holistic and enforceable management is needed to curb the enthusiasm of self-centreed industrial groups until a lot more is known about the life forms on the deep sea floor.

Can such life forms migrate (or be borne on ocean currents) to survive at more distant sites? Do they offer valuable medicines or other substances that we risk losing if we ignore them? Are they smothered by the tailings discarded in the mining process? How does the mining process and its products affect life in higher levels of the overlying water column? How many pilot projects like Solwara One can be allowed before issuing more licenses?

There is time to do such assessment carefully and thoroughly; the minerals are not going to disappear in the meanwhile.

The core will always exploit us in the periphery if we cannot think and create our own design for our own good.

This is not the first time the Pacific has been used for experiments with potentially disastrous consequences.

My thinking is that the consumerism of Western culture, also spread by globalisation and the idea of free markets, continues to feed off developing nations.

Does we really need to be the "Guinea pig of seabed mining"?

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