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Huge Geoengineering Project Violates UN Rules

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong dept.

Earth 319

Baldrson writes "The Guardian reports that a massive geoengineering project has been detected off the west coast of Canada that violates UN regulations. An Amerindian tribe in the Pacific NW that depends on salmon teamed with an entrepreneur and a group of scientists to have 100 tons of iron sulphate spread across a huge area of the ocean in order to spur plankton growth. 'Satellite images appear to confirm the claim ... that the iron has spawned an artificial plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometers. The intention is for the plankton to absorb carbon dioxide and then sink to the ocean bed – a geoengineering technique known as ocean fertilization that he hopes will net lucrative carbon credits.' The entrepreneur, Russ George, hopes to cash in on the carbon credits and the Amerindian tribe on an increased salmon harvest. The situation has sparked outcry from environmentalists and civil society groups. Oceanographer John Cullen said, 'It is difficult if not impossible to detect and describe important effects that we know might occur months or years later. Some possible effects, such as deep-water oxygen depletion and alteration of distant food webs, should rule out ocean manipulation. History is full of examples of ecological manipulations that backfired.'"

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319 comments

Who the fuck says Amerindian? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674121)

Amerindian? That's the stupidiest fucking word I've heard in years.

Re:Who the fuck says Amerindian? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674159)

Worse than African American? I don't think so. That isn't a race, that is a location branch.

Re:Who the fuck says Amerindian? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674847)

Hey African-American is better that a lot of the other names the blacks of America were called.

Re:Who the fuck says Amerindian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674937)

So that makes it more virtuous.

Re:Who the fuck says Amerindian? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674163)

No shit, talk about maladjusted... I read that to say Armenian and I was like WTF are those assholes doing in Canuckistan?

gay dicks ticking your eyeballs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674127)

fucking them so hard.

Soooo coool! (5, Funny)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about 2 years ago | (#41674167)

Native Americans are so much more in tune with nature......

Re:Soooo coool! (0, Flamebait)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41674331)

Native Americans are so much more in tune with nature......

I think it's more a bit of history repeating -- Native Americans meet people who see only dollar signs, agree to let them use their property (hey, what's the worst that could happen?), and after the commercial break, we'll be onto the ecological disaster and a lot of dead natives portion of the story. If this guy's fringe tech fails, it could very well starve them to death.

Re:Soooo coool! (3, Informative)

RajivSLK (398494) | about 2 years ago | (#41674415)

They actually paid the guy to dump the iron sulphate- 2.5 million is what I heard on the radio.

Re:Soooo coool! (4, Insightful)

TomSawyer (100674) | about 2 years ago | (#41674531)

I think it's more a bit of history repeating -- Native Americans meet people who see only dollar signs...

It's terrible how those poor ignorant savages keep being taken advantage of.

And then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674179)

we'll make an artificial coal reef out of automobile tires! It's totally win-win guys!

That panicked sound you hear from the left (-1, Troll)

Scareduck (177470) | about 2 years ago | (#41674187)

is the sound of horror at people doing something about global warming that they don't approve of. Ultimately, this proves the old saw about Greens = Watermelons (green on the outside, red in the middle).

Re:That panicked sound you hear from the left (4, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#41674263)

That's quite a leap from next to no evidence you are making.

Re:That panicked sound you hear from the left (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674507)

Yeah, my melons are more on the pink side.

Re:That panicked sound you hear from the left (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#41674621)

You need more GMO.

Re:That panicked sound you hear from the left (3, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#41674341)

If carbon credits werent involved, would the same people be in an uproar?

Re:That panicked sound you hear from the left (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#41674585)

If carbon credits werent involved, would the same people be in an uproar?

Well being from Ontario(Cdn), his comment about watermelons, is pretty much spot on. Especially in relation to the disastrous "green" projects that the now ex-pm of the province has going. $24 billion and counting at the cost to tax payers.

Re:That panicked sound you hear from the left (5, Insightful)

slashdyke (873156) | about 2 years ago | (#41674473)

is the sound of people wanting to know what the outcome is, to know that we are not doing more harm than good, before we do something like this. Don't f*ck the world by accident or by ignorance. Preferably don't f*ck it at all. I do not mind experimenting and learning, but something on this scale that has such huge potential ramifications, all on someone's belief rather than proven science, backed with long term studies - Nahh, that I do not like. Too much of it already in the world we live in. Let's learn from humanity's mistakes, please!

100 tons in, 100 million tons out. (5, Informative)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 2 years ago | (#41674821)

Every year we take 100 million tons of biomass from the oceans (mostly as pelagic fish, 70m tons). And each year, we dump 6 million tons of garbage in the oceans, 2 million tons of waste oil, and discharge about 450 cubic kilometres of waste water into rivers (about 450 billion tons, so even ppb chemicals release more than 100 tons).

But lets worry about 100 tons of iron sulphate dust.

Environmentalists (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674205)

Always the buzzkills. There is no solution other than to eat tofu and walk everywhere in your hemp sandals. Any other solutions to 'climate change' are heresy.

Re:Environmentalists (2, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41674375)

They also always want everyone else to undergo population declines but never have the guts to say who and how.

Re:Environmentalists (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674519)

It is simple really, start wearing condoms or getting vasectomies(allow the gov to pay for these for the poor[with appropriate counseling about the repercussions of doing so]), provide tax benefits to mothers bear a single child or no children. Oh and safe-sex sex education not this abstinence-only shit that raises teenage pregnancy rates.

Re:Environmentalists (2)

hurtfultater (745421) | about 2 years ago | (#41674623)

They also always want everyone else to undergo population declines but never have the guts to say who and how.

I believe the traditional answer is that as birth rates tend to decline with birth control and lower poverty, we pursue those as best we're able. It's not as satisfying as saying people you don't like are too cowardly to admit they want genocide, but them's the breaks.

Nuke em now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674233)

Someone just needs to let off a few nukes, so that 'nuclear winter' thing can happen. It would mean I can go skiiing more and we could get rd of the carbon tax.

Re:Nuke em now (0)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#41674275)

Nuke em now

Volunteering already you backyard to have some nukes exploded there?

UN, carbon credits, oh nos (2, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 2 years ago | (#41674237)

>> (whatever) has been detected off the west coast of Canada that violates UN regulations

Is it Canada waters? Then WTF does anyone care what the UN papershufflers think?

>> The entrepreneur, Russ George, hopes to cash in on the carbon credits

Why not? Start treating silly little "carbon credits" like valuable pieces of paper, and they will become money.

Re:UN, carbon credits, oh nos (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41674343)

Then they'll say that this is counterfeiting.

BTW, there's no such thing as 'Canadian', or for that matter, 'American, Chinese, etc' waters. It all circulates. So, for example, what gets dumped off Japan will reach the North American coastline. And North Americans are breathing Chinese smog.

Chinese smog??? (4, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | about 2 years ago | (#41674391)

And North Americans are breathing Chinese smog.

I want to know who gpt paid off to import this foreign made smog when we have plenty of good old American Made Smog right here in Los Angeles!!!

I think we need a Congressional investigation! With blackjack! And hookers!

Re:Chinese smog??? (2)

internerdj (1319281) | about 2 years ago | (#41674985)

"I think we need a Congressional investigation! With blackjack! And hookers!" Is there any other kind?

Re:UN, carbon credits, oh nos (1, Insightful)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 2 years ago | (#41674359)

>> (whatever) has been detected off the west coast of Canada that violates UN regulations

Is it Canada waters? Then WTF does anyone care what the UN papershufflers think?

>> The entrepreneur, Russ George, hopes to cash in on the carbon credits

Why not? Start treating silly little "carbon credits" like valuable pieces of paper, and they will become money.

Canada signed both treaties in question, which makes them part of Canadian law.

As for the "carbon credits" this guy wants, those are generally only available for people who get legal authorization to do what they want.

What this guy did is analogous to the Army announcing it wants tanks, and some guy bolts a canon to his Humvee, drops it off at the local National Guard base, and waits for the check to arrive.

Re:UN, carbon credits, oh nos (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674557)

The Canadian Indians signed these treaties? So just because a bunch of Europeans came in and settled on land and called it theirs, signed treaties without consulting with native Indians, and now the Indians are being held to such standards? Sounds like you are endorsing slavery.

Why you hate Indians so much? Take your bigotry somewhere else.

Re:UN, carbon credits, oh nos (1)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | about 2 years ago | (#41674665)

The treaties do not say what you think they do. There is a voluntary moratorium in place that might be violated by the experiment, but there are no national laws and no true enforceable bans in place yet. And the groups opposing it are of the kind that want environmental protection at all cost, and if that means we have to get rid of half the people in the world because we can't feed them without chemical fertilizers, tough luck for them. So I will wait for some more balanced report, maybe even hard scientific data, before picking a side here.

Re:UN, carbon credits, oh nos (1)

tolkienfan (892463) | about 2 years ago | (#41674687)

Seriously bad car analogy, dude.
Coffee damaged keyboard over here.

So what happens... (5, Insightful)

bobcat7677 (561727) | about 2 years ago | (#41674241)

So what happens if this little adventure is actually successful. Obviously there will be some side effects, but what if none of them are negative and the fish flourish and the evil carbon is inprisioned? Will they still seek to crucify this guy? Further, what "teeth" does an international "resolution" have to take legal action against him? he didn't break any actual laws.

It seems like he is swimming in a big grey sea and knows it. And is willing as an entrepreneur to take the risks associated with that swim. Makes sense to me.

Re:So what happens... (1)

BenJeremy (181303) | about 2 years ago | (#41674293)

The UN will draft a strongly worded memo and strike him with it.

That will teach him to go and try and fix the environment without their approval!

Re:So what happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674397)

And if one strongly worded letter doesn't suffice, they'll get a dictionary, and look up even stronger words!

Is the UN even worth the money spent on it?

Re:So what happens... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#41674403)

The UN will draft a strongly worded memo and strike him with it.

How thick/heavy?

Re:So what happens... (1)

a1cypher (619776) | about 2 years ago | (#41674597)

Please estimate the size of the strongly worded memo in libraries of congress so that it makes sense to the lay person. Thank you.

Re:So what happens... (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41674551)

The UN will draft a strongly worded memo and strike him with it.

That will teach him to go and try and fix the environment without their approval!

Ahhhh! Paper cuts! They burn!

Re:So what happens... (1)

PrimaryConsult (1546585) | about 2 years ago | (#41674553)

Would this memo be on recycled paper?

Re:So what happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674615)

Are we talking IBM technical manual sized or list of jewish sports stars sized?

Re:So what happens... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#41675121)

<quote><p>The UN will draft a strongly worded memo and strike him with it.</p><p>That will teach him to go and try and fix the environment without their approval!</p></quote>

Bullshit. No-one is going to die from this, nor is anyone starving. In fact, this issue is almost entirely irrelevant... therefor the UN will get involved with extreme prejudiced.

Re:So what happens... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674345)

Not so much he is willing to take risks.

more like heads he wins, tails we loose.

Re:So what happens... (3, Insightful)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 2 years ago | (#41674425)

If the venture is successful it will be repeated. Just not by this guy.

As for the possible consequences of his actions, that really depends on the exact laws Canada adopted when it signed these UN Conventions. Fines are a definite possibility. Getting carbon credits is not, because you don't get carbon credits for breaking the law. Otherwise you'd be able to get money for firebombing your neighbor's SUV.

It's entirely possible this guy could go to prison for fraud, because he told the local Haida that a) this was totally legal, and b) there was no chance of environmental harm. Neither are true, and given that this guy has been banned from Peru and Spain for doing this exact thing before he can;t very well claim he didn't know.

Re:So what happens... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674647)

Otherwise you'd be able to get money for firebombing your neighbor's SUV.

Now you tell me!

Re:So what happens... (1, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 2 years ago | (#41674447)

Of course they will seek to crucify the guy. The whole point of Global Warming Alarmism is to destroy industrialized economies. The people who really care about the environment will be truly happy if this is successful (even though they may be opposed to trying it because of unknowns).
I love these people saying there are too many unknowns to try this but at the same time claim to know exactly what impact increases in CO2 in the atmosphere will have.

Re:So what happens... (4, Insightful)

medv4380 (1604309) | about 2 years ago | (#41674483)

What if there are unintended consequences? The reason for not allowing Geo Engineering is that you can set off an uncontrollable self feeding cycle. What if what he's doing sets off a cycle that prevents Global Warming and triggers an Ice Age instead? You really should figure out what the possible consequences are before you do something on a global scale. Which normally means more research. If you could stop a Hurricane from hitting Florida but as a consequence Mexico has a drought do you stop the Hurricane?

Re:So what happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674627)

We burn more coal!

Re:So what happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674819)

If you could stop a Hurricane from hitting Florida but as a consequence Mexico has a drought do you stop the Hurricane?

You betcha... Who needs Mexico

Re:So what happens... (0)

scdeimos (632778) | about 2 years ago | (#41674919)

What if what he's doing sets off a cycle that prevents Global Warming and triggers an Ice Age instead?

Well, duh... then the people who are pushing Global Warming now will be able to revert the the Coming Ice Age they were pushing in the 1970's.

Re:So what happens... (4, Insightful)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 2 years ago | (#41675127)

I really find something I can link to so I don't have to type this out every time...

The ice age predicted in the seventies was supposed to be as a result of sulphur in the atmosphere. It has the opposite effect of carbon in that it bounces energy back out to space. Stopping sulphur getting to the atmosphere is easy, a scrubber on your exhaust stack and most of it is eleiminated. As an added bonus you can sell the sulfuric acid it produces.

Global warming is from carbon in the atmosphere. Trying to get it out is a lot more of a hassle as you'd have to change the whole way you do things. People don't like change, which is why we're seeing so much more of a fight over global warming.

Re:So what happens... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41674561)

Risks? Will he pay for the clean up if everything doesn't turn out so rosy? Or just deduct the losses from his taxes?

Re:So what happens... (2)

countach (534280) | about 2 years ago | (#41674573)

While fiddling with the earth is always questionable, none of this seems worse than what people do on the land everyday. In fact, what with forest clearing and so on, it probably makes this little exercise pale in comparison.

Re:So what happens... (1)

tolkienfan (892463) | about 2 years ago | (#41674943)

I agree - it probably does pale in comparison.

Trouble is, I don't know, and I haven't seen any studies that support or refute the claim.

In the absence of evidence, isn't it prudent to follow Hippocrates, and do no harm?

If this were intended as a practical experiment, there should be some method of collecting data built in, like how much CO2 is sequestered over time, but that doesn't appear to be the case, and some effects won't be measurable for many years.

I support studying this approach on a relatively small scale so long as the experiment has some chance of definitive answers - and perhaps this was small enough. At the same time, we should be trying to curb the bad behaviors which are known, without a shadow of a doubt, to cause damage.

Re:So what happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674669)

Don't you know? When a certain european oil company DESTROYS the entire Gulf of Mexico all you get is a shrug and "tough shit guys". When some Indians want to at least TRY to repair some environmental damage so they can eat next year...it's a fucking international crisis.

Re:So what happens... (4, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 2 years ago | (#41674693)

If it works, he gets to profit from it.
If it doesn't work, he walks away with the money given to him by the locals.
If it causes issues, he can wash his hands and let the government take care of the fallout.

I'm sorry, but that's not what I call taking risks, it's exploitation. He's gambling the ecosystem for profit.

Re:So what happens... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674771)

"Further, what "teeth" does an international "resolution" have to take legal action against him? he didn't break any actual laws."

The resolution itself does not. The resolution is, however, signed and ratified by party countries who then pass their own laws and regulations to implement it within their respective jurisdictions. That is where the proverbial teeth are.

The two conventions to which the article alludes but does not name are the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter.

The US is a signatory on the CBD but has not yet ratified the treaty so I'm not sure if there is a regulatory apparatus in place to enforce it. Canada is a party country to the CBD.

The US did sign and ratify the latter convention and passed the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 in order to implement it. Canada is also a party to the latter convention.

If the guy's actions violate the conventions and did so in Canadian or US waters or were so large in scale that they had environmental impact on Canadian or US waters then both countries could take the appropriate civil or possibly even criminal action against him based on the regulatory schemes which each country created to enforce the conventions.

Countries sign and ratify international treaties and then pass domestic laws to ensure they are enforced. What is so "grey" about that exactly?

I sure hope the planet can survive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674273)

the folks trying to save it.

(To date, my favorite is to pump Co2 underground. The biosphere might be able to adapt to the incremental additions to Co2 we are doing, but if we store a bunch underground and then screw up and release a bunch at once, I'm not so sure.)

Re:I sure hope the planet can survive (1)

zill (1690130) | about 2 years ago | (#41674849)

Don't you worry, the planet will survive just fine; it's the humans that won't.

Forgiveness comes easier than permission! (5, Insightful)

Dr. Spork (142693) | about 2 years ago | (#41674279)

Insofar as realistic-scale research on any geoengineering processes are never going to be allowed, maybe this kinds of illegal stuff is the only way to find out what works and what won't. As the writeup correctly said, we just don't know what kind of effect this will have on oceanic oxygen levels. And for another thing, we don't really know what effect this will have on the salmon either. One thing that I'm happy about: Now we're at least about to find out! Since somebody did this, I hope that a flock of oceanologists flock to the site and measure the shit out of it. Yeah, it's not an experiment we wanted or approve of, but we might as well make a bit of lemonade out of these lemons!

come Winter, the gorillas just freeze to death. (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 2 years ago | (#41674371)

I say sequester carbon in plankton. Then salmon can sequester the plankton. Then sequester that there salmon to my plate, forthwith!

Re:come Winter, the gorillas just freeze to death. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674759)

Then sequester that there salmon to my plate

...sequester that to my toilet and then onwards back to ocean! The circle of life!

Re:Forgiveness comes easier than permission! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675003)

Exactly. From a scientific perspective, this is an opportunity to get some good data.

Aww common! (5, Insightful)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | about 2 years ago | (#41674317)

So spewing billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere is NOT against UN regulations? That, it seems to me, is the REAL geoengineering experiment. At least the fertilization team is going to learn something that might be useful.

Re:Aww common! (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#41674537)

The real kicker are some of the quotes in the article..

"Some possible effects, such as deep-water oxygen depletion and alteration of distant food webs, should rule out ocean manipulation"
"Possible effects" should "rule out" .. very absolutist. Lets forget the fact that those "possible effects" may be imaginary, or even beneficial. Can't have any ocean manipulation, ever! its "ruled out!"

The UN is a joke... (2)

ClaudeVMS (637469) | about 2 years ago | (#41674323)

It's funny when one group of moonbats get pissed off with another group of moonbats.

Kneel before god! (0)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41674325)

> History is full of examples of ecological manipulations that backfired.

History is full of hundreds of thousands of times more (probably a gross underestimate) of politicians interfering and making life worse.

"You must get government permission before doing things" leads to more deaths than anything this side of a major asteroid strike.

Downside? Small compared to overbearing government, thanks for asking.

OP likes history? Go fucking learn some!

What was violated? (2)

Vylen (800165) | about 2 years ago | (#41674335)

TFA says that it violates two UN rules/moratoria with mention of one that limits ocean fertilisation projects... and probably something about not doing this sort of thing for commercial gain.

Can anyone else shed some light as to what was actually violated? Especially with the business man (George) in charge of the project claiming that such moratoria are "myths" and don't apply.

Re:What was violated? (2)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 2 years ago | (#41674575)

The UN’s convention on biological diversity (CBD), and the UN’s convention on biological diversity (CBD) and London convention on the dumping of wastes at sea.

Canada is party to both agreements. The US is party to the London Convention. Russ George is an American, his company is American, and they were working for the Haida (a Canadian Aboriginal group) so they are in legal trouble if the Canadian Courts find either applies, or US Courts find the London Convention applies. The specific US Law he would have violated is the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, which provides penalties of up to $250,000 and five years in jail.

Re:What was violated? (1)

pthisis (27352) | about 2 years ago | (#41675101)

Canada is party to both agreements. The US is party to the London Convention. Russ George is an American, his company is American, and they were working for the Haida (a Canadian Aboriginal group) so they are in legal trouble if the Canadian Courts find either applies

More accurately, they _might_ be in trouble if Canadian Courts find that either applies. It'll then depend on the ongoing mess of sovereignty issues with the Council of the Haida Nations--the Haida never signed any treaties with the Canadian government, so they have a much greater claim to sovereignty than many of the First Nations and may have a legal argument that they are not signatory to those treaties (despite Canada being a signatory).

Re:What was violated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675109)

As I read it, the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 only controls 'dumping' in the territorial waters (12 mile limit) and continuous zone (further 12 miles) of the United States, or from U.S. vessels, or from vessels sailing out from U.S. ports. The mere fact that George is an American or that his company is American doesn't appear sufficient to trigger any enforcement mechanism or penalty.

The article also suggests that the release occured 200 n.m. west of Haida Gwaii, which would put him outside of Canadian jurisdiction (and even the Canadian EEZ) unless he did something analogous like use a Canadian flagged vessel or sail from a Candian port (I have no idea of the limits of Canadian law, other than it will not apply to a foreign vessel operating outside the Canadian EEZ).

Don't pretend that UN conventions are self-executing or that an act that nominally violates a UN convention is automatically criminal. Only 87 states are party to the London Convention, and only 42 to the London Protocol, which means that it is quite possible to run the operation out of a non-signatory such as El Salvador and conduct experiments in international waters outside any nation's EEZ.

Hard sci fi strikes again (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41674347)

Hard sci fi figured it all out a long time ago. Read KSR's red mars with special focus on the guerrilla geo/aero/engineering project. Given a lot of thought its all pretty predictable.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (0)

zummit (448138) | about 2 years ago | (#41674383)

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Re:What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#41674591)

A global carbon certificate market crash. :-)

Yeah! (2)

gaelfx (1111115) | about 2 years ago | (#41674393)

See, carbon credits are sooooooooooooo great y'all!

This is the kind of problem that's created by adversarial politics, we almost always end up choosing a single bad guy to blame all the ills in the world on, but in the end, it's a systemic issue that creates these problems. We'll never find a metric that tells us what is right and wrong to do with regards to the environment, and any solution that seems to offer such a measurement is disingenuous at best.

Re:Yeah! (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#41674581)

Market distortion at its finest. Before the government got involved, carbon sequestration was worth almost zero.. now its worth big bucks.

Re:Yeah! (1)

the biologist (1659443) | about 2 years ago | (#41674711)

Which is to say... before the government got involved, there was no market which dealt with carbon sequestration. Before the government got involved the market thought it was a great thing to significantly shift the chemistry of our atmosphere by burning lots of crap and dumping it in the air for everyone to breath.

Re:Yeah! (1)

Art Challenor (2621733) | about 2 years ago | (#41674773)

What? Did you expect Goldman Sachs to just go away after screwing the economy (housing bubble, oil futures, rigged bailout). This is their next chance to take the US tax payers for big buck (Cap-n-Trade is basically a way for Goldman to tax polluters with the money going to them instead of the public coffers).

All the profits go to Goldman, all the risk goes to the tax payers.

Phyto-Plankton Produce Oxygen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674405)

I don't pretend to be an expert in this field, but my understanding was that phyto-plankton and algae produce 50% of the world's oxygen. Wouldn't a bloom produce more oxygen in the nearby waters?

Re:Phyto-Plankton Produce Oxygen? (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#41674629)

They produce oxygen as long as they are alive and near the surface. They sink to the deep waters after they died, and even if they still lived they would have a hard time to produce oxygen down in the darkness of the deep sea.

Re:Phyto-Plankton Produce Oxygen? (2)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 2 years ago | (#41674641)

Yup.

Mostly by stripping the Carbon from CO2 atoms. That's actually the entire point of doing it. Problem is it can screw up the local ecosystem in very unpredictable ways.

First Nations people, not Amerindians (2, Funny)

gig (78408) | about 2 years ago | (#41674429)

> Amerindians

In Canada, they know where the fuck India is. The people you are referring to are called “First Nations” not Indians. Maybe you should look at a map also.

Re:First Nations people, not Amerindians (2)

Detritusher (1031752) | about 2 years ago | (#41674501)

Nice chip you have on your shoulder there crank, do you have a big sign in your front yard that reads "Get off my lawn!"

Re:First Nations people, not Amerindians (3, Funny)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 2 years ago | (#41674997)

Yes. In both French and English.

Re:First Nations people, not Amerindians (1)

Joe U (443617) | about 2 years ago | (#41674513)

Isn't India an English word?

Re:First Nations people, not Amerindians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674563)

Not an English word. It is just a name that stuck with most Europeans of the 18th, 19th century.

Re:First Nations people, not Amerindians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674865)

Of course it's an English word. It's the English name for that country. (It's also a word in Spanish, Welsh, and probably numerous other European languages.)

The fact that the etymology includes Latin, Greek, Old Persian and Sanskrit has little to do with it's English-ness.

Good work alarmists! (-1, Troll)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41674471)

Now we see how little global warming alarmism has to do with actual environmentalism. We will lower our carbon footprint even if it means destroying sealife!

The important thing... (1)

metrometro (1092237) | about 2 years ago | (#41674539)

The important thing is that we live in a world where "rogue geoengineer" is a profession. I assume he's got an icecave where dude hangs out with Julian Assange and the rest of the League of Gray-hat Supervillians.

Fix: "[...] a NORTH AMERICAN entrepreneur [...]" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674565)

U$A, bu$ine$$ a$ u$ual...

Go4t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674603)

develo4ment. BSD

there's another word for carbon trapping (4, Insightful)

msheekhah (903443) | about 2 years ago | (#41674683)

oxygen production. plankton are the foundation of the ocean ecosystem. i'm a lefty, but this seems like a win win. change will happen. but no more than when we make hydroelectric dams that drastically change the water temperature so all of the indigenous fish die and have to be replaced with colder water species. and these types of changes are justified every day. I really don't see a problem with this. let's do a study to see what happens when we offer fish more food. you get more fish.

so... (3, Interesting)

retchdog (1319261) | about 2 years ago | (#41674717)

since everyone is already bashing liberals and government regulations, let's look at it from the other side.

what's the libertarian take on this, or, hypothetically, any project where the risks are in the $billions (ignoring effects on human life and welfare)? if things go wrong, then even if this guy goes into a private debtor's prison for life and somehow works at maximum capacity, there would be practically zero chance of him taking full responsibility for his harm. but the state shouldn't be able to stop him preemptively, so what's the deal? how will the open market take care of this (assuming for the moment that he has property licensed the property rights he needs to execute this project).

i guess he could take an insurance policy in theory, but even if an insurer were willing to cover this, the premium if correctly computed would probably be more than he could afford, so he would just go ahead and do it anyway.

what would happen in the real world is, of course, that private interests would have this guy arrested and maybe worse. but that's initiation of force (and libertarians would have to admit that private prisons would still exist in their paradise), so how do you solve the problem without initiating force?

you could say that the entrepreneur is "initiating force" by doing something very risky, but that's a definition which would admit many of the government regulations we have today.

Channeling Andrew Jackson (2)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#41674719)

The UN has made its decision; now let it enforce it.

Seriously: there is nothing the UN can do about actions undertaken by private parties. They don't have any police force, much less an army. Now, if the actions violated Canadian law, that might be something that Mr. George actually has to worry about. But violating a resolution of the UN has no more effect than violating a resolution of your local university faculty senate. They are a talking shop, nothing more.

We already know what will happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674817)

The plankton will bloom creating a huge boom in population for the species that eat the plankton, and the species that eat the species that eat the plankton.

How does this work? (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#41674875)

How do you earn carbon credits by dumping iron sulphate in the ocean?.
I find it hard to believe you'd get the by doing something against the rules.
Can I claim carbon credits by killing someone? It means they'll produce less carbon dioxide.

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674901)

The UN is nothing but a incredibly huge joke, waste of money, time, energy and resources. Why anyone even pays attention to them is beyond me.

They need to be disbanded and forgotten.

mo3 up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41674911)

DURING THIS FILE another special Case you want to To the transmission AS WIDEOPEN, on slashdot.org for su3cessful come Here but now out of business part of GNAA if America. You, like they are Come A BSD box that Let's keep to about half of the Very distracting to words, don't get

There is no such thing as "UN regulations." (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about 2 years ago | (#41674979)

The UN is not (yet) a world government. There is a voluntary moratorium on geoengineering among the small number of governments that could afford to attempt such a thing, but that hardly qualifies as "UN regulations". In any case, small-scale experiments such as this, no matter how ill-conceived, are not going to have any global impact and so do not qualify as geoengineering.

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