Pacific Spirit Marine Institute
Monday, August 11, 2008
Just like Yogi Berra Said, “It’s like deja-vu, all over again”.
California based Planktos has postponed its ocean “iron-fertilization” plans indefinitely. Planktos failed to find sufficient funding for its efforts.
Climos. Climos has raised $3.5 million in Marchto conduct the same “ocean iron fertilization” plan. Climos, like Planktos was founded in California.
Dan Whaley, a self-taught computer programmer and Richard Whilden,a wildly successful money raiser. Whilden is also very familiar with the banking industry. You’ll want to have a look at his experience in that industry.
The Climos website has listed as a co-founder and Chief Science Officer Dr. Margaret Leinen. In addition to being Chief Science Officer, Dr. Leinen is also Dan whaley’s mother.
Studies show that the North Atlantic Ocean is only absorbing half of the CO2 it once did and that the Southern Oceans have stopped absorbing it at all, and are now in fact releasing CO2 back into the atmosphere. Emissions of carbon dioxide from the oceans have increased by 40% since 1981.
Enter the catcher.
Emissions trading is being hyped as a $30 billion market already that could grow to $1 trillion within the next 10 years. Where oh where would there be a vault large enough to hold 1 trillion dollars worth of emissions? Maybe the ocean? Maybe that why Dan Whaley, came up with a business plan that involved selling ‘carbon offsets’.
Whaley’s light bulb moment came after talking to his oceanographer mother about ocean iron fertilization. She had known John Martin, who is apparently the father of the whole ocean iron fertilization concept,known as the “iron hypothesis”. Martin said in 1991 “Give me half a tankerload of iron, and I’ll give you an Ice Age. He died in 1993. shortly after his death his theory was proven to be correct by Moss Landing Marine Laboratories after they spread an iron solution into the ocean near the Galapagos Islands and algae bloomed.
The Umpire calls, “stee rike”.
Never mind that algae blooms are also responsible for ‘dead zones’ in the oceans. The proliferation of plankton is what depletes oxygen in the waters creating dead zones in which some fish can flee, but many slow moving creatures are less able to escape. Oxygen levels in Dead Zones are too low to support marine life.
Rob Fujita, Environmental Defense Fund marine ecologist thinks Dead Zones are already hard enough to control. “It’s not a great time to increase the risk to oceans ecosystems”, says Fujita.
Russ George, of the shut down Planktos said, “This isn’t rocket science, it’s ocean farming.” George believed there wasn’t any reason a profit couldn’t be made while still helping the environment.
There is a line between fertilization and pollution. Nether side of the line looks to be territory where the iron “ball” should be played as fair.
Whaley says, “Basically, the business model hinges on the price of carbon and the efficacy of sequestration.”
Isn’t all of this really a means to generate wealth for a wealth generating machine? A New York Times article called carbon trading one of the fastest-growing ’specialties in financial services’. Have we learned nothing from the past ‘financial services’ hatched from thin air?
CCX, the Chicago Climate Exchange, ECO.L EcoSecurities or how about the EU ETS. The government backed trading program in Europe called European Emission Trading Scheme. I don’t happen to like anything with Scheme in its official title and there are plenty.
Game called on account of rain.
Some estimates have fertilizing the entire Southern Ocean with iron for 100 years would only reduce atmospheric CO2 levels by 20-30%. This providing the organism decay isn’t released back into at shallow or intermediate depths creating an unnatural decomposing leading to more devastating Dead Zones
Patient: It hurts when I poke my eye.
Doctor: Stop poking your eye.
Labels: Carbon-credit, Climos, Frankenplankton, Galapagos, Iron fertilization, Ocean, Planktos, Sequestration, carbon dioxide, carbon-trading market, ocean dead zone
© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.
Planktos out, Climos at bat. Frankenplankton lives.
Monday, July 30, 2007
In 1978 The Galapagos Islands were given World Heritage Site status by UNESCO. In 1985 the islands were made a ‘Biosphere Reserve’ in December of 2001 the marine reserve was expanded to 43,500 miles of ocean surrounding the islands.
UNESCO is looking at an application from Ecuador, the territory’s ruler, requesting further protection for the Galapagos.
Tourism is said to be threatening the environment of the islands. Ecuador’s President, Rafael Correa, has named the islands management as one of his nation’s top priorities.
Correa thinks there needs to be further restrictions placed on tourism and residency permits.
This leaves room for the notion that someone will be keeping an eye on Russ George’s plan to dump 80 tons of iron particles just 350 miles west of The Galapagos, into the ocean. It would seem the more eyes on this plan the better, but Correa seems to be someone that can stare down many giants at one time.
Ecuador appears to be crawling out from under a large and very thick blanket of corruption that has been covering it for a very long time.
Correa ran his Presidential bid seeking a clear mandate for ‘deep political reform’. He seems to be committed to cleaning up the government and stoking social reform. He’s been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration and said he would reject the US backed hemispheric free-trade agreement.
It bodes well for the environment of The Galapagos if Correa takes up his mission to protect it, when the administration in the US is still in a state of denial where the environment is concerned.
If compassion for people can be extrapolated to compassion for the beasts of the field and of the oceans then the fragile residents of The Galapagos can hope for some permanent protection. Correa seems to be a man that isn’t afraid to stand up for his idealism.
Labels: Carbon-credit, Correa, Environment, Frankenplankton, Galapagos, Ocean, UNESCO, carbon-trading market
© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.
Saving The Galapagos from Frankenplankton, Tourism and Residents
Sunday, July 22, 2007
A company in California plans to plow a field under the sea with iron dust.
The company, Planktos says it is “possible to boost the ocean’s absorption of carbon dixoide by increasing the production of phytoplankton”.
How much iron do they want to ‘dump’ into the sea? how about a whopping 80 tons?
Where do they want to ‘dump’ their 80 tons of iron particles? 350 miles west of the Galapagos islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Johannah Barry, Galapagos Conservancey says, “it’s still this extraordinary place that contains 95% of its prehuman diversity.”
Planktos intends to drop iron dust into the ocean, feeding plankton and encouraging growth. The ‘restored’ plankton blooms would generate food for sea life. Some plankton would sink and store carbon deep beneath the surface of the sea.
As I’ve said before, I’m not a rocket scientist, but Russ George says I don’t have to be. According to George, “This isn’t rocket science, it’s ocean farming.”
In what sounds like a story that rivals ‘Citizen Kane’ the protagonist in this novel is Russ George. Planktos plans to estimate the amount of carbon dioxide captured by the plankton and sell it on the nascent carbon-trading markets.
Where Kane inserts the words ‘you provide the prose poems, I’ll provide the war” in place of W.R. Hearst’s “You provide the pictures, I’ll provide the war” one could be tempted to imagine George saying, you provide the market, I’ll provide the credits!
Color me dubios yet again. When I wrap my mind around carbon-trading, it falls back on the dot.com boom and bust.
Worse yet carbon-trading leaves me with the bitter taste of the rich man’s war, and the poor man’s fight. pay either $300 or supply a substitute as happened during the US Civil War. Will people like George ultimately turn our oceans into ‘the 300 credit seas’…amassing carbon-credits with which to buy influence.
From the Galapagos to the Vatican, Russ George is a man that seems to be all over the map. Both literally and figuratviely. Billed as CEO of Planktos, and managing director of its ‘forest subsidiary’, KlimaFa, George recently presented Cardinal Paul Poupard a bushel basket of carbon credits. George hopes to make the Vatican the first carbon-neutral sovereign state.
This carbon-credit donation is coming from not the iron dumpped off the back of a boat near the Galapagos, but from a new “Vatican Climate Forest” planted in Hungary’s Bukk National Park. The dimensions of said ‘Vatican Climate Forest’ will be determined by the Vatican’s 2007 energy usage. Fair enough.
Frankenplankton and carbon-credits as always, follow the money. This idea isn’t passing my Acid Test, if I have to drink the kool aid, I’m going to chase it with a large dose of skepticism.
Labels: Carbon, Carbon-credit, Frankenplankton, Galapagos, Ocean, Plankton, Sea, Vatican, carbon dioxide, carbon-trading market
© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.
Frankenplankton: Plans to force feed iron to plankton may create the world’s first Carbon-credit bank.