Neil Young: Stop him before he embarasses himself again
This post was written by MJ on 15th Jan, 2003
My (sometimes embarassingly extensive) collection of Neil Young albums and bootlegs has been collecting dust ever since I first heard the egregiously bad “Let’s roll” warcry and the resulting album, “Are you passionate?”
Sure, we should all have realized after his love letters to Uncle Ronnie in the eighties and his “support our troops” hoo-haa in Gulf War I, that he might be a great songwriter, but he knows exactly bupkis about politics.
But now he’s gone completely over the edge.
The pride of Omeemee is one of the big-name supporters of Planktos, a project that proposes to seed the world’s oceans with iron as a bid to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide. (The level of phytoplankton in marine environments is closely tied to the level of iron; add iron, increase phytoplankton. Phytoplankton live by processing carbon dioxide; therefore, according to the project’s reasoning: More marine iron = less CO2)
The plan is underwritten by — surprise! — big American energy concerns. Better than trying to wean Americans off their SUVs, right?
The problem — beyond the obvious fact that humankind is in this jackpot because of large-scale, crude tinkering around with the base processes of atmospheric ecosystems — is that increased phytoplankton populations bring their own ecological complications. Explosive growths of phytoplankton do sometimes occur in nature. They’re called “killer blooms” as they screw up local nutrient and chemical levels, killing off fish and other higher-level members of the ecosystem. And according to Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in Cali, iron-fertilized plankton blooms emit methyl bromide — that damages the ozone layer — and isoprene, a gas that increases the greenhouse effect.
According to this article that first appeared in the UK Guardian, Planktos wants to sell its services to the US government — $10 for each tonne of carbon they remove from the atmosphere — “this would then allow America to reduce the carbon emission cutbacks that it will have to make when it signs the Kyoto agreement on global warming.”
(Yeah, as if Bush II and co are ever going to put their John Hancock’s to that one.)
According to Planktos, Neil loaned his yacht to the organization last summer (pictured) and other rock dinosaurs — come on down, David Gilmour! — have also signed on.
Anyone want to buy some Neil albums and bootlegs, going cheap?