Friday, October 19, 2012

NatGeo Sheds Light on Queen Charlotte Iron Dumping

Russ George is a man on a mission to come up with some scheme that will allow him to create, and sell, a fortune in carbon credits.  His scheme of choice has been to promote seeing oceans with iron powders.   The iron is supposed to promote algae blooms that will then absorb CO2 before dying and taking that trapped CO2 to the ocean floor for safe and permanent disposal.

National Geographic pours salt water on the scheme.

The ‘experiment’ that was executed by George and colleagues is primarily under fire because it was done undercover, without scientific peer review or process, and without international collaboration, yet can have global consequences. It is also the largest iron fertilization experiment to have occurred anywhere – 200,000 pounds versus a few thousand pounds. Other smaller scale international experiments over the last fifteen-plus years have concluded that the sequestering efficiency is low (and sometimes no effect was seen) – the amount of iron you’d need to make even a slight dent in our carbon emissions is in the million tons per year, and even if you put in that amount, it may just not work. Unregulated iron fertilization on this scale could have dramatic consequences and goes against an international moratoria created by the UN to protect ocean environments. Far from being a savior, this experiment is being called a large scale dumping of waste into our oceans.

Enough said.   Now maybe Peter Kent, whose job it is to know about these goings on, and Nathan Cullen, the NDP MP who did know about it in advance yet apparently did nothing to stop it, can explain themselves.

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