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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