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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.

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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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