Scientific needs and `sheperding'

Thank you for putting on the front page the article ``Wanted for Deep-Sea Sound Test: Whale-Sized Earplugs,'' March 29. That some scientists would put great underwater species at risk through the propagation of an enormous ``noise'' in the ocean reflects the misunderstanding of what it means to be shepherds of this planet.

Even if this experiment could give us a definitive answer on global warming and a perfect way of measuring temperature change on our planet, it is not likely the only way to obtain this information.

Since we are the dominant species and have the capacity for discovering alternative ways of solving problems, we have a responsibility to find a way that will not cause injury to marine animals. Joel Barker, Lake Elmo, Minn.

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