Peter Garrett visits Antarctica, will funding follow?

Environment Minister Peter Garrett’s visit to Wilkins, Antarctica caused me to have many questions such as why was an avowed environmentalist taking an airbus into this pristine environment. Upon investigation I discovered that this new service was to provide scientific researchers with an easy access for their research. In a letter to The Age 14/01/2008, I read that Dr. Doug Thost, a scientist with an Antarctic career of 19 years in geology and glaciology, had mixed emotions. He expressed sadness at the ending of an era, “envying the ease of it all”. He also expressed anger at “a plane full of media and politics rather than scientists on a mission”. He challenges Peter Garrett to “commit some serious funding to the science he and others champion with such vigor”. He laments that he personally knows many scientists rattling around the Antarctica community with no funds to do anything.

Let us hope that this “fact finding visit” will lead to some meaningful research funding fom the Federal Government. The final word should go to Dr. Thost who concludes that “having an airlink is one thing, doing research of significance is quite another.”

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~ by abstraktbiblos on Tuesday, 15 January, 2008.

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