Neil Young News
July 17, 2002
What do Neil Young, Pink Floyd, and Arthur C. Clarke have in common?
Neil Young is renowned for his passionate dedication to both music and significant social issues. His annual 'Bridge School' benefit concerts gather creative and outstanding musicians to raise awareness and money to support children with severe speech and physical disabilities. Inspired by Todd Beamers 9/11 cell phone call from the doomed flight 93, his song "Let's Roll" pays tribute to the hero's of that tragic flight and the proceeds now help many who if it's victims.
Now Neil has also directed additional passion and inspiration to problems of planetary proportions and extended generous support to the Planktos Foundation (www.planktos.com), a U.S. based non-profit working to save the world's ocean and climate from the effects of global warming.
This June Neil loaned his 100 yr old wooden schooner Ragland and crew to the Planktos Foundation. The Ragland set sail to conduct the first of what Planktos plans to be many ocean science research voyages. On the passage from Half Moon Bay to the Big Island of Hawaii Planktos scientists began a series of innovative ocean/climate experiments by adding natural iron mineral dust to a small forest sized patch of ocean.
The Ragland which inspired Young's fascination with "rust" in turn has now delivered her cargo of "rust" (the natural iron mineral dust) to help save the planet.
Natural iron mineral dust used in this experiment supplements a scarce iron nutrient in the ocean. When added to the ocean in minute quantities iron is known to stimulate growth of ocean plants, phyto-plankton.
Although Neil Young may be the first celebrity to an embrace ocean forestry approach to global warming, other noted musical celebrities are also taking the greenhouse problem to heart. New initiatives like Future Forests and Carbon Neutral that encourage people to sponsor terrestrial plantings to offset their personal CO2 emissions have attracted luminaries like Pink Floyd. The band recently funded afforestation projects in England, Mexico, and India to counterbalance the greenhouse gases generated during the production of their latest CD. (see www.canoe.ca/JamMusicPinkFloyd/home.html).
The results of this first Planktos research voyage aboard the Ragland will help us develop techniques and understanding needed to begin growing plankton forests at sea. Oceans cover over 70% of this blue planet and offer more space than we have on land where we can help plants grow and remove some of the CO2 we exhaust into the atmosphere. This experimental work is designed to mimic the natural influence and process of iron nutrients in the open ocean. The natural source of such nutrients in the North Pacific comes primarily via iron bearing dust that blows over the Pacific originating from dust storms in the Gobi Desert in China and Mongolia.
The expected results of this experiment will be to stimulate growth of a plankton bloom, an ocean forest, that over the course of a few months will remove tens of thousands of tons of CO2 as a portion of that plankton bloom sinks like falling leaves into the deep ocean. The rest of the plankton bloom will be hungrily consumed by fish and other sea life.
"Growing more plankton forests at sea is not going to be the total solution to global warming," says Planktos Foundation founder Russ George, who has been studying the concept for several years. "But it could be one very important tool to help rebalance the environment, in both the ocean and the atmosphere." - San Francisco Chronicle 'Tech Beat Story' (May 5, 2002) link to that story
The Planktos Foundation provides a way for corporations and individuals to participate in reducing the threat from global warming by investing in the "Planktos Green Tag" program. Each Green Tag represents one ton of removed atmospheric CO2. A typical household in North America produces 15 tons of CO2 per year. Thus just 15 Planktos Green Tags ($60 worth) will effectively offset the burden on Mother Earth such a household may produce.
Joining Neil Young in his support for The Planktos Foundation the first individual customer for Planktos Green Tags is the legendary author and futurist Arthur C. Clarke. He has offered to the use of his name and continuing PR help to promote the Planktos cause and advises re-reading his prophetic treatments of this issue in The Deep Range (1957) and The Challenge of the Sea (1960).
More information on the Planktos Green Tag program can be found at www.planktos.com/greentags.htm
Planktos Press Releases and links to media stories can be found at www.planktos.com/media.htm
Russ George, Director and Founder
The Planktos Foundation,
One Johnson Pier #36,
Half Moon Bay, CA., 94019
www.planktos.com Tel. 650-728-7932