Read between the lines in the financing agreement between the Haida and the North Coast Credit Union and it appears the Old Massett Village council's $2.5-million gambit was a scheme to generate lucrative carbon credits to flog on world markets.
Too bad the band council and their partner, controversial carbon credit entrepreneur, Russ George, didn't take into account the Haida eddies in their plans to dump 200,000 pounds of iron sulphate into the north Pacific waters. Those eddies literally wash away any possible hope of gaining carbon credits for their illegal scheme.
The Haida eddies, clockwise-rotating areas of water up to 300 kilometres
in diameter, are known to carry iron-rich coastal water out to sea,
where there is less iron and therefore less ocean life. The eddies form
off the southern tip of the island and become highly concentrated with
phytoplankton and chlorophyll, which is readily visible as a “bloom”
from satellites as they travel through the northeast Pacific.
But experts also say adding iron to this particular ocean region
would obscure any data collected by the salmon restoration company
because it would be impossible to tell if any growth in fish food —
plankton — was a result of added iron or the eddies.
“If you were
going to plan to do an experiment to demonstrate the impact of iron
fertilization, you wouldn’t dump it into a Haida eddy, I don’t think,”
said Jay Cullen, an ocean scientist who runs a lab at the University of
Victoria that studies chemicals and trace metals in marine environments.
a group were to fertilize such a feature with iron, it would be next to
impossible to determine how productivity and phytoplankton biomass was
influenced by the treatment,” he said, calling it “bad scientific
So this appears to be another hare-brained stunt for Russ George that may leave the Old Massett Village band stiffed with a $2.5-million headache.