As a sector, science should also have a voice in nitrogen discussions with mediator Johan Remkes, says Professor Han Lindeboom. Yesterday, Remkes spoke with environmental organizations and the business community and the construction sector can have their say in the coming days. But science was not invited.
“The whole nitrogen problem is complex and complicated. There are new developments. I think it’s better to take a look at it together and that’s not the case anymore at all, ”says the professor of marine ecology at Wageningen University & Research Lindeboom.
Error in RIVM model
The scientist himself discovered an error in the RIVM model 2.5 years ago. “Reasonably large quantities of ammonia are released from the sea. For Texel, this represents 25% of the deposit. I’m a marine teacher and I know I can’t. There are not any. This is what I try to bring into the discussion, but it is ignored by the tenured professors. It would be good if these types of noises were also heard. Because it is, for example, a considerable nitrogen space, at least for farmers on the Dutch coast.
According to Lindeboom, by changing the diet of the cows and taking measures in the barns, we are also able to significantly reduce nitrogen emissions from cattle. “It can also be part of the final solution. We don’t like the current solution, which is to send half the farmers home.
Lindeboom continues: “We have written two reports on this and we think we have a good story. I worry. Who will ultimately provide our food? And for our landscape? It’s very easy to do, but I don’t think it will work. For now, Remkes is sticking to the current policy, but I thought he was there to consider other options as well.
According to Lindeboom, we currently have three major problems: nitrogen, water quality and above all the climate. “We have to work hard with fossil fuels, everything has to be sustainable. As soon as we make our cars and boats sustainable, we will also be rid of the nitrogen problem of these engines. It looks much better to me.
Read also | Ombudsman Remkes talks to nature conservation organizations about nitrogen
Lindeboom also points out: “The way we perceive nature and the way the nitrogen problem arises is not at all correct. If you take a closer look in nature, you can find the hotspots of nitrogen effects very clearly. Where is the problem? If you have looked into this, you can provide much better customization. We can find out much more easily by carefully examining how it actually works in nature. I got a PhD on the nitrogen cycle in a colony of penguins, a giant source of ammonia. There is a lot of ammonia in the air. And it’s raining right next to the settlement, which causes a lot of grass to grow, but not more than 500 meters from this settlement. This results in a beautiful region that also contains all kinds of nature. It’s only downwind from those penguins and it’s been there for 1000 years, so people have to look at nitrogen and nature in a different way.
Read also | Nature organizations do not want to negotiate with Remkes
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