Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 6/19/2007 7:07:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/19/2007 7:08:21 PM EST by Skibane]
Proposal to boost plant life not a proven tactic to combat global warming, officials say

Ottawa Citizen

A clash with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is threatening to scuttle a U.S. company's plan to "seed" the Pacific Ocean with iron dust to offset global warming.

Planktos Inc., which has offices in Vancouver and San Francisco, wants to set sail this month from Florida to dump more than 45 tonnes of iron dust into the sea near the Galapagos Islands.

The iron nutrients would stimulate the growth of phytoplankton, which would then absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide -- an experimental process Planktos compares to reforestation. Planktos Inc. says phytoplankton, seen in bright blue and green, would be increased if iron dust was dumped in the ocean, boosting carbon dioxide absorption.

A for-profit "ecorestoration" company, Planktos plans to sell carbon credits from this type of project to firms like Vancouver's Wedgewood Hotel and Spa, which has agreed to buy 5,000 tonnes of carbon credits.

The firm launched its two-year "Voyage of Recovery" program in March, launching a public relations campaign in Washington, D.C., to promote its "green message of hope."

But in May, the EPA warned the firm it may need a permit under the U.S. Ocean Dumping Act if it uses its U.S.-registered vessel, the Weatherbird II.

Planktos CEO Russ George says U.S. regulations should apply only when a firm dumps levels of a substance that are one per cent or more above the level considered toxic.

His firm's plan would fall "roughly a billion times below regulatory limit," he said.

If the EPA stands in his way, he says he will use a flag-of-convenience ship.

Planktos' controversial plan, which has drawn fire from environmental groups and many scientists, will be on the agenda of this week's meeting of the International Maritime Organization in Spain, which sets international shipping standards for matters such as ocean dumping.

In a submission to the group, of which Canada and the U.S. are members, the U.S. government urges nations to scrutinize any such project, adding "Planktos was not able to provide the EPA with any information ... (on) the potential environmental impacts" of the plan.

The U.S. cites the possibility that the project would lead to toxic algae blooms, and that the decomposing plankton masses would release other greenhouse gases or choke off the oxygen supply in the deep ocean.

Nonsense, says Mr. George.

"The world has spent the last 20 years and more than $100 million" developing the science behind the plan, he says.

"These questions have all been addressed," he says, blaming the EPA's reservations on "fear mongering" by environmental groups, such as the Ottawa-based ETC Group, which discovered the U.S. government document this week.

Ken Caldeira, also of the Carnegie Institution, says "there's no practical way to verify" that ocean seeding would sequester any additional carbon -- and if it did, "it would exacerbate ocean acidification."

Mr. Caldeira was co-author of a section of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that dealt with ocean-carbon capture.

"It's far-fetched to claim you help ocean ecosystems by disturbing them," he said.

Such projects are a disincentive to pursue real reductions in fossil-fuel emissions, he said.
Link Posted: 6/19/2007 7:13:10 PM EST
I heard about this idea at least 15 years ago. I think the quote I read was "Give me a shipload of iron dust and I'll give you another ice age."
Link Posted: 6/19/2007 7:20:11 PM EST
i didn't realize any "science" was needed when it came to global warming plans. i thought as long as it made people feel better that was all that mattered. even if it killed off half the ocean they would call it a success.
Link Posted: 6/19/2007 7:23:56 PM EST
LMAO he says that the enviro-groups are fear mongering about him STOPPING global warming...usually it is the enviro-groups fear mongering that global warming even exists.


I think anyone with a ship and some iron dust is a scary individual if they are an enviro-nut job.

I wonder what the iron dust will do to the fish that are a many stiple in the worlds food supply?

I can see the headlines in 5-10 years. "Fish dying from iron poisoning related to iron-dust dumping 10 years ago."

Then we all go fucking hungry because some nutjob thought he could save the planet.
Link Posted: 6/19/2007 7:29:37 PM EST
Iron is a necessary nutrient for sea life (Pretty much all life as far as I know). A few thousand tons of iron in the ocean won’t hurt a thing. All it’ll do is make the plankton grow for a while. It will cause some CO2 to be absorbed but the amounts are too small to have any real effect on Earth’s climate.

Link Posted: 6/19/2007 7:34:35 PM EST
So what their saying is that all the rusting hulks littering the ocean floor all over the world, that grows in number every year, isn't enough rusty crap to help?

Especially considering that just one sunken ship weighs waaaaayy more then 45 tons?

Their science must not be all that good.

Link Posted: 6/19/2007 7:43:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By GrumpyM4:
So what their saying is that all the rusting hulks littering the ocean floor all over the world, that grows in number every year, isn't enough rusty crap to help?

Especially considering that just one sunken ship weighs waaaaayy more then 45 tons?


In powdered form, every single bit of this iron would be consumed almost instantly (unlike the several hundred years it takes a ship to rust out completely). And, it would all be concentrated in a small area (resulting in a huge plankton growth in a small area). Seems like that can't be good for some other species in the same area.
Link Posted: 6/19/2007 7:45:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/19/2007 7:46:39 PM EST by FredMan]

Originally Posted By GrumpyM4:
So what their saying is that all the rusting hulks littering the ocean floor all over the world, that grows in number every year, isn't enough rusty crap to help?

Especially considering that just one sunken ship weighs waaaaayy more then 45 tons?

Their science must not be all that good.



It's the difference between 45 tons of solid metal with a relatively small surface (reactive) area and 45 tons of dust, with a humongous surface (reactive) area.

Plus, those old hulks are on the bottom, away from the light, which phytoplankton need to thrive.

That being said, I think it's a dipshit idea. What's going to happen when all the new plankton runs out of nutrients and dies? Going to be a lot of decomposing activity there...
Link Posted: 6/19/2007 7:53:47 PM EST
Seems like a super villian plot............

This is exactly the kind of thing Dirk Pitt would stop.
Link Posted: 6/19/2007 8:00:36 PM EST
So lemme get this straight:

Dude buys lots of rust.
Dude dumps dust offshore.
Due sells said offshore detrius to companies looking for EPA "carbon credits", because, in theory, the rust should lead to an increase in CO2 consuming plankton.

Damn. I wish I'd thought of that (at least the rust salesmanship part).
Link Posted: 6/19/2007 8:03:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By Skibane:

Originally Posted By GrumpyM4:
So what their saying is that all the rusting hulks littering the ocean floor all over the world, that grows in number every year, isn't enough rusty crap to help?

Especially considering that just one sunken ship weighs waaaaayy more then 45 tons?


In powdered form, every single bit of this iron would be consumed almost instantly (unlike the several hundred years it takes a ship to rust out completely). And, it would all be concentrated in a small area (resulting in a huge plankton growth in a small area). Seems like that can't be good for some other species in the same area.


No kidding, surely it will kill large amounts of ocean life.
Link Posted: 6/19/2007 8:05:16 PM EST
Should have just spend his money on every dehumidifier he could find.
Top Top