Climate Craziness of the Week – Environmentalist ignores international moratoriums, dumps in the ocean

From the Toronto Star, an example of holier than thou environmentalism in the name of carbon sequestration.

Environmental controversy erupts on Canada’s Pacific coast

Raveena Aulakh
Environment reporter

The Pacific Ocean, just off Canada’s west coast, has a new suspect ingredient: 100 tonnes of iron sulphate.

An American entrepreneur with a controversial past in geoengineering dumped the iron dust into the Pacific near the Haida Gwaii islands in July after allegedly telling local villagers that the “experiment” was a salmon restoration project, according to ETC Group, an international environmental watchdog with offices in Canada.

Russ George, a U.S. businessman, “blatantly violated” two international moratoria when he dumped the iron dust, Jim Thomas of ETC told the Star on Monday — a UN convention and the London Convention on the disposal of wastes at sea.

“There are very clear international agreements that there is (to be) no ocean fertilization,” he said. “Except if the permit (is) granted in very limited set of circumstances. It didn’t happen in this case.”

Ocean iron fertilization — a highly controversial practice — means stimulating plankton blooms in open water, which then seize carbon from the atmosphere and, on sinking to the bottom of the ocean, store it away. Earlier experiments, about a dozen mostly done by universities, have shown mixed results.

George did not respond to requests for comment from the Star but told the Guardian the two moratoria are a “mythology” and do not apply to his project.

Full story here http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1272022–environmental-controversy-erupts-on-canada-s-pacific-coast

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Right, he’s “saving the planet” and who needs rules for that?

h/t to WUWT reader Martyn Jones

 

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69 thoughts on “Climate Craziness of the Week – Environmentalist ignores international moratoriums, dumps in the ocean

  1. The idea of capturing CO2 in the sea is absurd. Far better to capture it on land where the eventual decomposition will return the CO2 to the atmosphere where it will do the most good. CO2 captured by plankton will largely fall to the ocean floor where it will be lost for all time. The level of CO2 in the atmosphere is dangerously low for plant growth.

  2. This will sequestrate some CO2 in the biomass that descends into the deeps but since there can be no CO2-AGW**, it won’t do any good. Instead, it will initiate local AGW as the dimethyl sulphide emitted from dead phytoplankton forms sulphate aerosols reduces droplet coarsening rates of low level clouds, this reducing albedo.

    So, this idiot has caused more global warming!

  3. How much CO2 was released in mining that iron? I’ve also seen dumb proposals for Mg and Ca coatings on structures that would react with CO2 and capture it. The only problem with that is Mg and Ca are mined from dolomite, which is a carbonate. So you’d be mining Mg and Ca, releasing CO2, so that you can recapture the CO2. Most iron ores are not carbonates, but some are. Anyway, it all seems so pointless and even potentially harmful. That man doesn’t know exactly whats going to happen to that iron. He’s just wasting it by throwing it into the ocean.

  4. Unfortunately there is a long history of American’s trying to apply their own ideas in other countries, and turning friends into enemies in the process. Here on the west coats of BC we have “Tides”, a front for US interests manipulating the political system to made BC into the next California. It is no different that the Chinese trying to manipulate the US political system.

    Folks in the US, please wake up. Your make no friends by pissing in your neighbor’s pool.

  5. Perhaps this is not the case, but if there is an algae bloom, isn’t there a high probability of hypoxia and therefore fish kill all in the name of saving the planet. Reminds me of allowing the “taking” of migratory birds, eagles, bats, in the name of alternative energy. Don’t these people think issues throught?

  6. The green agenda claims another government. The premier of Ontario – the largest province in Canada – resigns.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1272015–walkom-mcguinty-resigns-the-self-inflicted-death-of-dalton-mcguinty-s-bold-agenda

    But the centerpiece of the McGuinty agenda was his controversial green energy policy. …

    But like the rest of the McGuinty agenda it soon ran into trouble — from rural residents worried that windmills were making them sick, from suburbanites who didn’t want new gas turbines built near their homes, from hydro users angered by their rising energy bills.

    In the end, through a crazy-cat combination of Liberal deviousness and government incompetence, all of these contradictions came to a head.

    On Monday night, McGuinty said he realized that it was time for his party to try someone new. What he meant was that, politically, he had no choice.

    So he announced his resignation. In doing so, he took his government’s entire agenda with him.

  7. Notice the emotional effect of the reporter’s use of the word “dumped?” That’s what we do with, eewww, dirty, poison GARBAGE! If she had approved of what he did, she would have written that he “placed” or “added” or “mixed” the substance; or if she wanted to sound really scientific, “admixed.”

    The press and their editors may be as thick as lumber on the science, but as verbal propagandizers, they are skilled and dangerous. Always keep your eye on them.

  8. Apparently, the CAGW cultusts believe that to save the planet they must destroy it. The order of the day is “do something, do anything but do it NOW!”. That means doing the first thing that comes to mind rather than making sure there is a problem and that the problem can be solved without making things worse. Interestingly, reality does not pay attention to so called good intentions. It simply follows immutable cause and effect in response to human action. I suggest that deep down where it really counts, they know this and actually do want the destruction their ill-conceived actions produce. They do not mean well. Their intentions are not at all good.

  9. Lionell Griffith says:
    October 16, 2012 at 7:55 am
    I suggest that deep down where it really counts, they know this and actually do want the destruction their ill-conceived actions produce. They do not mean well. Their intentions are not at all good.
    =========
    Agreed, the high priests of old practiced “human sacrifice” in the name of saving the people they sacrificed. The Inquisition tortured and killed millions in the name of saving their souls.

    Today’s Climate Scientists have painted themselves into the role of modern day High Priests. They hold themselves above criticism, labeling anyone that questions them as “deniers”. In the name of saving humanity they are again calling for human sacrifice on a massive scale.

    To save the planet, the High Priests of Climate want a dramatic reduction in low cost energy use. However, it is this low cost energy use that makes modern civilization possible. Without this access to low cost energy, it would be impossible to support cities with populations in the millions as are now common across the planet.

    These people, those living in large cities, would need to be sacrificed to save them. Same story, different actors.

  10. The fact is that ocean fertilization could in fact have beneficial results by increasing ocean based food yields.As for climate? Who knows.
    But more plankton utimately equals more edible fish,a nd this is a good thing.
    The impaortant result would in the fish catch.
    I think ocean fertilization will be no more dangerous to the oceans than fertilizatin of the lands.
    Calling it ‘geo-engineering’ is playing into the grandiose delusions of the AGW community.

  11. Ok so this guy lies to locals so he can secretly dump iron sulphate into the ocean. I don’t buy the idea that it was simply to save the planet, this project smells of money.

    I can’t help but wonder; Where did the money originate for his project, who would pay for this?

  12. Just remember: the rules don’t apply to enlightened or friends of the enlightened. The Democrats are always crying about the rich paying their “fair share”, but the Democrats, like every politician, are also rich and always find a way to stay rich. And, by no coincidence, all the politicians give taxpayer money to those who grease their palms. Al Gore, being one of the enlightened, can fly around the world and live in big houses while telling us to conserve for the good of the planet. How many of these climate scientists pushing AGW are paupers? How many live the way they tell us we must live to save the planet?

  13. ferd berple says:
    “Here on the west coats of BC we have “Tides”, a front for US interests manipulating the political system to made BC into the next California. … Folks in the US, please wake up. Your make no friends by pissing in your neighbor’s pool.”

    Please Fred, do not mistake the Peoples’ Republic of Californication with the rest of the US. We in the US have enough problems trying to keep the Californicators from making every nearby state into another California after they flee the mess thay have made.

  14. Amazing. At my plant if we release more than 1 PPM of iron in our effluent water we are in violation of our permit and then there is hell to pay. And then this clown goes out and dumps all of this iron in the ocean, Jeez….

  15. “The Pacific Ocean, just off Canada’s west coast”

    That’s interesting. Must be some newly discovered body of water separating the ocean from the coast.

  16. And David Suzuki, Hansen-et-al have the audacity to say that WE should be charged with crimes against humanity.

  17. It’s unfortunate that “There are very clear international agreements that there is (to be) no ocean fertilization,”. While the intent behind these agreements may be good, (pollution prevention), in the long run, this is a blatantly stupid policy. Imagine what the planet would be like today if there were international agreements that banned the fertilization of soil.

    Fertilizing the oceans is an idea that needs to be explored, albeit very carefully. We’ll never learn to stimulate the oceans without careful experimentation. I’d much rather see grant money spent on carefully controlled ocean fertilization experiments than squandered on… (fill in this blank with your favorite pet peeve).

  18. Coming up next: environmentalists that proactively start depopulating their country.
    Nobel Peace Price material.

  19. Well, you an count on one thing. The federal govt here in .ca will nail him to the wall and fine him into oblivion. No fanfare. No trumpets blaring like certain administrations I won’t name here. Just quietly pound that polluting bastard into dust.

  20. I’m curious. What was the eqivalent illustration of chlorophyll incidence in, say, July – before the area was seeded? Anyone know?

  21. “Coming up next: environmentalists that proactively start depopulating their country.”

    As long as they START with themselves . . . .

  22. Applying the same level of myoptic, single parameter, faux science used in AGW can only result in disaster from unintended consequences….or maybe fully intended. The Mellon owned Aluminum Corp of America need to dispose of carcinoganic Fluoride by-product. They funded Dr H Trendley Dean, DDS for a study, then altered the data, created the ADA and began forcing fluoridation in 1931. Taxpayer and water rate payers now pay for pollution to be added to our water.

    http://www.realityzone.com/cull1.html

    Suspect all agenda driven faux science.

  23. I wonder how this “moratorium” on ocean fertilisation was enacted? Never heard about it before today. Watermelons, I’ll bet. They don’t want higher ocean fish yields.

  24. Let us hope he (and his backers) will be held financially accountable for ALL possible effects and phenomenon which occur in this area. Btw: shouldn’t a spill clean-up order be immediately issued and enforced. It might, create a re-think, on others… so disposed. GK

  25. Juice says:
    October 16, 2012 at 7:42 am

    “How much CO2 was released in mining that iron? [...] Anyway, it all seems so pointless and even potentially harmful. “

    It is the way of the warmist. They always create the opposite of what they wanted. Wind power in Europe saves at most 1% of the fuel needed to produce as much power as the wind turbines have in name plate capacity. BUT building wind turbines creates demand for steel, concrete, heavy duty trucks and cranes, wind turbines, electronics, transmission lines AND more fossil fuel power plants.

    It’s like Keynesianism on crystal meth.

    Guess which of my companies rose by up to 4% today…

  26. Follow the money!

    The intention is for the plankton to absorb carbon dioxide and then sink to the ocean bed – a geoengineering technique known as ocean fertilisation that he (Russ George) hopes will net lucrative carbon credits.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/15/pacific-iron-fertilisation-geoengineering

    According to the Guardian, Russ George runs Planktos
    Read “Our Commitment”

    http://www.planktos-science.com/

    Russ George

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russ_george

    Company Overview of Planktos Corp

    http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=8122254

  27. A serious question, did I miss where they named the treaties and laid out the relevant paragraphs that apply? He claims that the treaties do not apply but I don’t even see where an outside observer would even know what they were. Furthermore, you’d think that it would be mentioned that Canada is a party to the treaties if they were.
    Do they really call this journalism these days?

  28. ann r says:
    October 16, 2012 at 11:21 am
    “It’s my understanding, Fred, that Tides is a front foundation for George Soros, hardly and American.”

    Tides is a money launderer; anyone can donate to Tides and earmark to which organisation the money shall be sent; leaving the actual donor untraceable.

  29. Well, there is a million dollars that the Haida Gwaii will never see again. Do not forget that they are located in a remote area, and can ill afford to lose that money.

  30. In many ways what this businessman has done is similar to what many climate scientists are doing. One breaks the rules for the greater good. The others manipulate, adjust past temperatures without justification, distort and lie for the greater good. It’s called the Messiah Syndrome.

  31. Good heavens! Is the OCEAN ANEMIC? FeSO4 is commonly the form of the “iron supplements” that people eat. (Just make sure you have some FOOD in your stomach so you don’t burn it through…

  32. Russell Cook (@questionAGW) says:
    October 16, 2012 at 8:43 am
    “What would be ironic is if all the salmon in the area ate up the iron dust and became healthier and robust beyond belief, due to a previously undetected iron deficiency.”

    And easy to catch. Instead of a baited hook or some fancy-schmancy lure, just tie a magnet on the end of your line. Let’s all go fishing!

    P.S. I predict a new world record weight salmon will be caught soon. All that iron, don’tcha know.

  33. If you’re an ‘Environmentalist” , you can just dump your rubbish anywhere and get away with it without penalty. It’s all about their Holy Mission of saving the Planet by destroying the Planet.
    They could have done something really useful with all that Iron Oxide by recycling it instead!

  34. ferd berple says:
    October 16, 2012 at 8:15 am
    Agreed, the high priests of old practiced “human sacrifice” in the name of saving the people they sacrificed. The Inquisition tortured and killed millions in the name of saving their souls.

    The inquisition tortured and killed millions? Millions? Really? Hyperbole needs to be left out of these discussions. When you get something that basic wrong, it brings into question everything that follows.

  35. My worry for geo-engineering solutions such as this one is that the people who back them fail to fully analyse what some of the feedback mechanisms could be. Some of the dangers of ocean Fe-fertilising is that the fertilisation is changing the natural environment in which the local biology thrives.

    Increasing levels of Fe could lead to an increase in the phytoplankton size, therefore changing the natural food web structure in the area. It may also lead to blooms of toxic phytoplankton and, perhaps the formation of an oxygen deficient area because of the subsequent increased decomposition.

    Surely the risks of messing with the ocean biome and the natural food web are not worth it?

  36. The er, irony is that titanium pigment and zinc producers used to dispose waste iron sulfates at sea for much of the 20thC before ceasing due to environmental pressure and finally to the international London Convention.

    Maybe the global warming we’ve seen since the ’80’s is due to them stopping. (only somewhat /sarc)

  37. Planktos-science.com says, “One unexpected but most significant consequences of our burning fossil fuels, and adding hundreds of billions of tones of CO2 to the atmosphere, is the diminishment of natural dust in the wind. … By mimicking natural dust deposition we restore and replenish small amounts of the natural iron rich (hematite) dust our human activities have denied the oceans. Iron is a critical micronutrient needed, in incredibly tiny amounts, by phyto-plankton for photosynthesis. The amount of natural wind-borne iron-carrying dust from arid lands has fallen dramatically, 30% over the past 30 years alone. This has resulted in massive declines in plankton biomass that the science community has been able to measure with the benefit of the first earth observatory satellites launched in the 1970s. …”

    Is there any truth to that? Have elevated CO2 levels somehow reduced the amount of dust blowing into the oceans, and, if so, how?

  38. I just heard an interesting piece from CBC’s As it Happens tonight concerning this event. Here is the link to today’s episode…

    http://www.cbc.ca/asithappens/add-category/2012/10/16/as-it-happens—the-tuesday-edition/

    The article is over nine minutes and is titled “Geoengineering Follow.”
    Here is the beginning blurb:
    “Yesterday on the program, we told you about a controversial geoengineering project off the coast of Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. A hundred tonnes of iron sulfate were dumped into the Pacific, creating an plankton bloom that might — in theory — absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and attract salmon and other marine life to the area.
    Critics allege the project contravenes international moratoria on dumping and geoengineering to which Canada is a signatory. But the development corporation behind the project, which is funded by a village on Haida Gwaii, says the benefits are already apparent.
    John Disney is the president of the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation and the economic development officer for the Old Massett Village Council. We reached him in Old Massett, BC.”
    Not sure about the complete accuracy of both articles and it seems there is more nuance than what has been reported.

  39. People who consider blowing up children morally acceptable (the infamous 10-10 video) will have no problem with polluting the oceans or doing anything else their self-will desires. They judge themselves by their intentions, not their actions and outcomes. This should not be a surprise.

  40. Lets hope that a molecular biologist with access to a biological warfare agent doesn’t decide that “saving the planet” is the perfect rationalization for mass genocide.

  41. “How much CO2 was released in mining that iron?”

    These experiments use a surprisingly small amount of iron given the area and amount of time over which it’s added to the ocean. Quite a bit of the ocean is indeed “anemic.”

    A commenter mentioned 1 parts per million; typical surface iron concentrations can be measured in a few parts per billion.

    See

    http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/oceanography/courses/OCN626/2010/boyd_science_2007.pdf

    The UN “moratoria” are from two statements:
    The London Protocol on Ocean Dumping resolution said ocean fertilization activities, except for legitimate scientific research, were contrary to the aims of the convention (though this is a non-binding resolution). The other UN “moratorium” comes from the UN Convention on Biological Diversity saying government should ensure “that no climate-related geo-engineering activities that may affect biodiversity take place, until there is an adequate scientific basis on which to justify such activities…with the exception of small scale scientific research studies”

    see:

    Resolution LC-LP.1 (2008) on the Regulation of Ocean Fertilization, International Maritime Organisation, London.
    Conference of the Parties (2010), Decision X/33: Biodiversity and climate change, 9 pp, United Nations Environment Program Convention on Biological Diversity, Nagoya.

  42. It takes a surprisingly small amount of iron to stimulate algal growth (not the same as carbon sequestration – for that the carbon has to be transported long term to the deep ocean) in open-ocean experiments. Large parts of the ocean are indeed “anemic:” they have excess concentrations of nutrients like phosporous and nitrogen but not as much plant biomass as would be expected, because of the lack of micronutrients like iron. Someone mentioned iron concentrations of parts per million; in much of the ocean the concentrations are in parts per billion (nanomolar). See:

    http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/oceanography/courses/OCN626/2010/boyd_science_2007.pdf

    The UN moratoria are from resolutions from the London Protocol on Ocean Dumping which issued a non-binding resolution saying ocean fertilisation activities, other than for legitimate scientific research, were contrary to the aims of the convention. Also the UN Convention on Biological Diversity said governments should see “that no climate-related geo-engineering activities that may affect biodiversity take place, until there is an adequate scientific basis on which to justify such activities…with the exception of small scale scientific research studies”
    see:
    Resolution LC-LP.1 (2008) on the Regulation of Ocean Fertilization, International Maritime Organisation, London.

    Conference of the Parties (2010), Decision X/33: Biodiversity and climate change, 9 pp, United Nations Environment Program Convention on Biological Diversity, Nagoya.

  43. Perhaps one of the reasons for recent warming [ if there has been any] is the current lack of iron sulphate being pumped into the ocean. Titanium dioxide used to be produced by the sulphate process which removed excess iron as iron sulphate, which was then disposed of by being pumped into the ocean.
    One such plant operated near Bunbury in Western Australia in the 1960s-70s and possibly into early 80s. One hundred tons [or tonnes] of iron sulphate? That plant pumped more than that into the ocean every day for around 20 years. There were several other plants like it around the world.

  44. So WHY did he pick coastal BC, an area where natural upwelling already provides iron at near sufficiency? Perhaps because carbon theologians have been commiserating about rising acidity directly related to the approximately 15% higher CO2 content of the deep water upwelling there as a result of the PDO shift.. See “Rising Acidity Brings a World of Trouble”, Science Magazine.

    Why Iron Sulphate? Yes, that Sulphur will go straight to DMS when the plankton deplete the Oxygen and go anerobic. And H2S. Lovely stuff. Ancient critters have multiple metabolic pathways at their disposal. Otherwise they wouldn’t be here.

  45. I don’t think the geo-engineers have fully comprehended the complexity of climate change for them to start implementing their ideas. This Iron fertilising of the ocean might have been a deadly move, because there are many feedback mechanisms that can be triggered and those mechanisms are yet to be understood, if they ever will be. This will obviously disrupt the ecosystem of the ocean and the results might go either way. At this moment, funding should go to research rather than implementation because a lot is yet to be discovered!

  46. ferd berple:
    your theory that McGuinty will take the government’s agenda with him seems to be contradicted by the resignation of Gordon Campbell of BC – replacement by a charming new premier has not improved the party’s standing in opinion polls.

    Voters appear to be fed up with the party in general, many of them opting for a revival of the provincial conservative party (which is now self-destructing). Probably voters will flip to the Marxist NDP next spring, and in another decade flip back. No change.

    Voters keep electing politicians with grandiose schemes – like McGuinty’s green economy, which is not a possible economic recovery plan even if green economics were feasible. People cannot be manipulated like most politicians think they can.

    Typical politicians are unable to think critically before adopting them, unable to administer.

    (E.G. Bureaucrats in BC missed that people would take investment losses on their tax returns. Bureaucrats in the TransLink transportation bureaucracy in the Greater Vancouver area is missed that people were buying less gasoline thus their tax revenue is well down. Hhigh gas prices motivate people to drive less and buy cars that are more fuel efficient – who’d a thunk of that?).

  47. Makes me wonder if the fungus eating coral in the Caribbean got there from an environmentalist experiment gone awry? The fungus was found to be identical to a common one in western Africa. The theory of how it got to the other side of the Pacific is that it blew over on the wind. Last I read about it, nobody had any idea how a land based fungus adapted to living on coral in salt water.

  48. I can only say…. follow the money! How could a tiny First Nations community like Old Masset, undoubtedly beset by the usual financial woes of unemployment and poverty, come up with $2.5 million to meet the cost of dumping iron dust not into their own waters but 200 miles out in international waters for no financial return or gain. Such wonderful generosity!

  49. I used to be an environmentalist but today’s environmentalism has moved so far from its roots that it is unrecognizable to me now. Dumping iron sulfate in the ocean for carbon credits, promoting the killing of camels in Australia for carbon credits, fighting Canada’s northern seal hunt because there are NO carbon credits, intentionally introducing invasive species but renaming it ‘assisted migration’ to save the planet, its absolutely bizarre.

    How the hell did it come to this?

    I believe climate alarmism continues to be the greatest threat to the environmental movement.

    I’m not an environmentalist anymore.

  50. Iron Sulfate turns out to be excellent Earth Grease. A 7.7 magnitude earthquake was registered off Haida Gwaii on October 27, 2012 at roughly the same location that 100 tonnes of Iron Sulfate was dumped in July, 2012. This is the location of the Queen Charlotte Fault. There has not been an earthquake this big in this area since 1949, when it was an 8.1 magnitude. Need an Earthquake real bad? Just grab the Earth Grease and apply Liberally to the Left Coast!! Works like a charm!! Earth’s bowls are cleared out in no time. Our operators are standing by!

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