Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations

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Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations andrewjlockley 10/15/12 4:33 AM

http://m.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/15/pacific-iron-fertilisation-geoengineering?cat=environment&type=article

Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations

Controversial US businessman's geoengineering scheme off west coast of Canada contravenes two UN conventions

A controversial American businessman dumped around 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the Pacific Ocean as part of a geoengineering scheme off the west coast of Canada in July, a Guardian investigation can reveal.Lawyers, environmentalists and civil society groups are calling it a "blatant violation" of two international moratoria and the news is likely to spark outrage at a United Nations environmental summit taking place in India this week.Satellite images appear to confirm the claim by Californian Russ George that the iron has spawned an artificial plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometres. 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 hopes will net lucrative carbon credits.George is the former chief executive of Planktos Inc, whose previous failed efforts to conduct large-scale commercial dumps near the Galapagos and Canary Islands led to his vessels being barred from ports by the Spanish and Ecuadorean governments. The US Environmental Protection Agency warned him that flying a US flag for his Galapagos project would violate US laws, and his activities are credited in part to the passing of international moratoria at the United Nations limiting ocean fertilisation experimentsScientists are debating whether iron fertilisation can lock carbon into the deep ocean over the long term, and have raised concerns that it can irreparably harm ocean ecosystems, produce toxic tides and lifeless waters, and worsen ocean acidification and global warming."It is difficult if not impossible to detect and describe important effects that we know might occur months or years later," said John Cullen , an oceanographer at Dalhousie University. "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."George says his team of unidentified scientists has been monitoring the results of what may be the biggest ever geoengineering experiment with equipment loaned from US agencies like Nasa and the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. He told the Guardian that it is the "most substantial ocean restoration project in history," and has collected a "greater density and depth of scientific data than ever before"."We've gathered data targeting all the possible fears that have been raised [about ocean fertilisation]," George said. "And the news is good news, all around, for the planet."The dump took place from a fishing boat in an eddy 200 nautical miles west of the islands of Haida Gwaii, one of the world's most celebrated, diverse ecosystems, where George convinced the local council of an indigenous village to establish the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation to channel more than $1m of its own funds into the project.The president of the Haida nation, Guujaaw, said the village was told the dump would environmentally benefit the ocean, which is crucial to their livelihood and culture."The village people voted to support what they were told was a 'salmon enhancement project' and would not have agreed if they had been told of any potential negative effects or that it was in breach of an international convention," Guujaaw said.International legal experts say George's project has contravened the UN's convention on biological diversity (CBD) and London convention on the dumping of wastes at sea, which both prohibit for-profit ocean fertilisation activities."It appears to be a blatant violation of two international resolutions," said Kristina M Gjerde, a senior high seas adviser for the International Union for Conservation of Nature. "Even the placement of iron particles into the ocean, whether for carbon sequestration or fish replenishment, should not take place, unless it is assessed and found to be legitimate scientific research without commercial motivation. This does not appear to even have had the guise of legitimate scientific research."George told the Guardian that the two moratoria are a "mythology" and do not apply to his project.The parties to the UN CBD are currently meeting in Hyderabad, India, where the governments of Bolivia, the Philippines and African nations as well as indigenous peoples are calling for the current moratorium to be upgraded to a comprehensive test ban of geoengineering that includes enforcement mechanisms."If rogue geoengineer Russ George really has misled this indigenous community, and dumped iron into their waters, we hope to see swift legal response to his behavior and strong action taken to the heights of the Canadian and US governments," said Silvia Ribeiro of the international technology watchdog ETC Group, which first discovered the existence of the scheme. "It is now more urgent than ever that governments unequivocally ban such open-air geoengineering experiments. They are a dangerous distraction providing governments and industry with an excuse to avoid reducing fossil fuel emissions.

Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations M V Bhaskar 10/15/12 7:08 AM
Andrew

One view is that fertilizing to grow / restore fish is NOT prohibited under LC / LP

Pl see the presentation by Dr David Schnare 

Geoengineering and the Four Climate Change Truths:

Perspectives of a Lawyer-Scientist

A Presentation at the

Research Triangle Institute, International 

November 18, 2008

Slide 59

 ....

         The London Convention / London Protocol: You may fertilize if the intent is to grow fish but not if the intent is to dispose of carbon in the ocean.  Hence, focus on “restoration”.


The Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation seems to aim at restoring the Salmon population.

regards

Bhaskar
Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations kcaldeira 10/15/12 9:38 AM
It would be useful if any legal minds in the group would assess exactly the relevant language that Russ George has supposedly violated.

I recall that in negotiations under the London Convention / London Protocol, there was concern not to impact fish farms which of course supply copious nutrients to surrounding waters.

If my recollection was correct, somebody proposed an exception for mariculture. I piped up and said that all ocean fertilization could be considered mariculture and that the CO2 storage could be regarded as a co-benefit, achieved knowingly but not intentionally (just as when we drive a car we knowingly heat the planet although that is not our intent).

My recollection was that in response to this comment, the word 'conventional' was added to the language, so that it now reads:

"Ocean fertilization does not include conventional aquaculture, or mariculture, .. ".   

Resolution LC-LP.1(2008) - IMO


Incidentally, it seems that they have a misplaced comma, as I believe the word 'conventional' was meant to apply to both 'aquaculture'' and 'mariculture', but with the placement of the comma, I read this as 'conventional aquaculture' or 'mariculture'.  I am not enough of a lawyer to know whether the intended meaning or the literal meaning is the one likely to prevail under some sort of adjudication process.

---

It is interesting to see the level of interest that intentional ocean fertilization draws relative to, say, nutrients added to the ocean as a result of farm runoff or inadequately processed sewage. We are very sensitive to the intent with which actions are conducted, and are willing to overlook travesties caused in the normal course of business so that we can focus on physically insignificant acts where the presumed intentions do not meet our high ethical standards.

We do not choose to focus on problems based on an objective appraisal of threats posed, but rather largely based on which actions we find to be most ethically repugnant. Apparently, dumping raw sewage simply to save the cost of sewage processing is less repugnant than fertilizing the ocean in hopes of increasing fish yields. One suspects that the real ethical boundary that Russ George is inferred to have transgressed is the desire to personally profit from unconventional mariculture.


_______________
Ken Caldeira

Carnegie Institution for Science 
Dept of Global Ecology
260 Panama Street, Stanford, CA 94305 USA
+1 650 704 7212 kcal...@carnegiescience.edu
http://dge.stanford.edu/labs/caldeiralab  @kencaldeira

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Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Oliver Wingenter 10/15/12 10:20 AM
Ken,

The scale of the scientific research is not clearly defined in the IMO document.  Does there definition coastal water extend out 200 miles?

Oliver
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Assoc. Prof. of Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate
Research Scientist
Geophysical Research Center
New Mexico Tech
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Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations JimETC 10/15/12 1:06 PM
Ken,

from our legal analysis that doesn't wash.

Firstly, mariculture and acquaculture doesn't come into COP Decision IX/16 so obviously it's a breach of that in any case

COP 9 DECISION IX/16
4. Bearing in mind the ongoing scientific and legal analysis occurring
under the auspices of the London Convention (1972) and the 1996 London
Protocol, requests Parties and urges other Governments, in accordance
with the precautionary approach, to ensure that ocean fertilization
activities do not take place until there is an adequate scientific
basis on which to justify such activities, including assessing
associated risks, and a global, transparent and effective control and
regulatory mechanism is in place for these activities; with the
exception of small scale scientific research studies within coastal
waters. Such studies should only be authorized if justified by the
need to gather specific scientific data, and should also be subject to
a thorough prior assessment of the potential impacts of the research
studies on the marine environment, and be strictly controlled, and not
be used for generating and selling carbon offsets or any other
commercial purposes

regarding LC/LP

LC/LP.1 (2008) reads "2. AGREE that for the purposes of this resolution, ocean fertilization is any activity undertaken by humans
with the principal intention of stimulating primary productivity in the oceans"

That is the definition. So whether it's carbon or fish is irrelevant. The principal intention needs to be 'stimulating primary productivity in the oceans"

The footnote "Ocean fertilization does not include conventional aquaculture, or mariculture, or the creation of
artificial reefs." must be read in the light of the sentence it's noting i.e.''stimulating primary productivity in the oceans".

Without doubt, the exercise by Russ George and his band was with the intention of stimulating primary productivity in the oceans. An activity which qualifies as mariculture which nevertheless is 'stimulating primary productivity in the oceans" is still ocean fertilization. The footnote is simply to
avoid an argument that feeding fish as part of aquaculture or mariculture is ocean fertilisation since it is inadvertently stimulating primary
productivity in the oceans.Clearly putting iron in the oceans was done with the intention of stimulating primary productivity in the oceans
and was neither mariculture nor aquaculture, and I am sure no country would seriously argue that it is. 

Nor can the addition of the word 'conventional' mean that 'unconventional' aquaculture (or mariculture) is somehow exempt even if it is done with the primary intention of stimulating primary productivity in the oceans. The meaning of para 2 is clear.

Further everything we have learned from the Haida and also public  financial documents around a loan for the project clearly indicate that the aim of the project was to sequester carbon in order to sell carbon credits - ie in financial terms this is primarily about carbon not fish. Quite who was expected to issue such carbon credits is beyond me but thats what those paying for the project were led to believe (by Russ George one assumes).

Jim

 

Jim Thomas
ETC Group (Montreal)
+1 514 2739994





Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations andrewjlockley 10/15/12 1:13 PM

Jim

I kinda half buy your argument.

An individual can't legitimately do this as they can't ordinarily ringfence the fishing rights.

But surely a government, with territorial rights, could legitimately fertilize fish at an ecosystem level.

A

Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations kcaldeira 10/15/12 1:18 PM
I am less familiar with the CBD, but from the LC/LP perspective, it is clear that the intent of the footnote ("[3]               Ocean fertilization does not include conventional aquaculture, or mariculture, or the creation of artificial reefs.") was to limit the scope of "AGREE that for the purposes of this resolution, ocean fertilization is any activity undertaken by humans with the principal intention of stimulating primary productivity in the oceans[3];", so as to exclude "conventional aquaculture, or mariculture.".

I recall being in the room when this exception was discussed, and there was a clear objective of some of the parties in the room to make sure that the actions taken under LC/LP would not adversely impact "conventional aquaculture".

Thus, I think Jim's interpretation of this document is not consistent with what was understood by the people who agreed to this language.

On the other hand, I think the parties did intend to exclude actions such as is reported to have been undertaken by Russ George, which I think would be characterized as "unconventional aquaculture".


Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Russell Seitz 10/15/12 1:51 PM
A trifling investment in dimensional anaysis  reveals that roughly a thousand tonnes a week of ferrous sulfate was deposited in the trans-Atlantic and Pacific  shipping lanes   every week from roughly 1890 to 1930.

the same torrent of engine exhaust proviided more than synergistic amounts of soluble phosphorus and nitrogen, all under the rubric of 'marine propulsion ' when the primary fuel was coal, typically holding much of its sulfur content as combustable iron pyrites .

Experiments Happen.
Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Georg P Koessler 10/15/12 2:59 PM
Experiments happen... but not without a pupose. Russ George (Planktos) clearly tries to play with the climate and - frankly - it doesn't matter if shipping lanes sprayed the same amount of dirt. 

We need a clear and honest debate on this issue and international rules to set a safe environment for careful science - not some lunatic DIY-action by some wannabe-hero billionaire. He needs to be stopped.

Best
:) Georg

Sent from my mobile


Am 15.10.2012 um 22:51 schrieb Russell Seitz <russel...@gmail.com>:

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Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Josh Horton 10/15/12 3:22 PM
There seem to be a lot more questions than answers here.  Every report I've seen on this so far has been based solely on the Guardian story.  Reading that story, it's not at all clear to me what exactly Russ George did.  The Guardian reports that he had assistance from NASA and NOAA--what?  He wanted to earn carbon credits?  I don't know of any authority anywhere that issues offset credits for OIF.  George has a checkered history no doubt, but Guardian reporting on geoengineering over the past few years has been checkered too and its thoroughness and accuracy simply can't be taken for granted.  When a newspaper engages in sloppy, biased reporting on a sustained basis, it forfeits any assumption that it's providing the full, complete, and accurate story.  Furthermore, the source of the Guardian story appears to be ETC Group, which is certainly entitled to its opinion, but can hardly be considered disinterested.

More facts from more objective sources would be helpful right now.

Josh Horton
RE: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Jesse Reynolds 10/15/12 11:49 PM

Here are a couple of extra thoughts:

 

Generally speaking, international law such as LC-LP binds national governments, not individuals. George thus cannot violate international law himself, but the country under whose flag he flew could have. The LC and LP do not have universal membership. In 2007 he said that he planned on operating under a flag of convenience. If NASA and/or NOAA did assist him, that would imply that the US violated the LC (it is not a party to the LP). I would be surprised for various reasons, in part because it was the US EPA that was instrumental in ending his operations in 2007.

 

Regarding this

 

LC/LP.1 (2008) reads "2. AGREE that for the purposes of this resolution, ocean fertilization is any activity undertaken by humans
with the principal intention of stimulating primary productivity in the oceans"


Primary productivity is the growth of organisms by fixing carbon from the air or dissolved in water. Fish grow through secondary (or tertiary…) means. Intention in law is often tricky this way.

 

The CBD COP resolutions are non-binding.

 

Jesse L. Reynolds, M.S.

PhD Candidate

European and International Public Law

Tilburg Sustainability Center

Tilburg University, The Netherlands

email: J.L.Reynolds@uvt.nl

http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/webwijs/show/?uid=j.l.reynolds

http://twitter.com/geoengpolicy

 

From: geoengi...@googlegroups.com [mailto:geoengi...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Josh Horton
Sent: dinsdag 16 oktober 2012 0:23
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Subject: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations

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Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations M V Bhaskar 10/15/12 7:38 PM
Ken

You said 
"I piped up and said that all ocean fertilization could be considered mariculture and that the CO2 storage could be regarded as a co-benefit, achieved knowingly but not intentionally (just as when we drive a car we knowingly heat the planet although that is not our intent)."

I agree with you.
Unfortunately people do not seem to like solutions that yield multiple benefits, they are too focused on single solutions.

The reason why cars and electrical appliances pollute is that people ignored the side effects of steam engines and Internal Combustion engines.

In the case of solutions to climate change too, people seem to prefer single solution solutions like SRM rather than multiple solution solutions like Ocean Fertilization.

In the past 200 years fish biomass of oceans have declined (perhaps from 8 to 14 billion tons to 0.8 to 2 billion tons - a decline of at least 75% ) and agriculture production has increased (population has increased from 1 billion to 7 billion, so food production has increased at least 7 fold.

Agriculture production has increased partly due to Irrigation and Fertilizer use.
Ocean fertilization with Silica and Iron is similar to this.

Land has silica and metals but not water and N P K.
Water has N P K but not Silica and metals.

Providing the missing elements is obviously the simple solution.
If farmers can fertilize fields, why can't fishermen fertilize ocean?

LC / LP does not seem to have set up any mechanism for regulating Ocean Fertilization research. An approval process and maximum limits should be set up. 

I would like to suggest the following rules -

1. Each institution / group should not use more than 100 tons of fertilizer in a year. 
This is minuscule compared to the 100 million tons of Urea and Phosphate fertilizer used by farmers.
 
2. Not more than 100 sq km of ocean should be fertilized.

3. A representative of LC / LP should be present on the ship fertilizing, the entire cost of this should be boarn by the experimenters.

4. The results should be released into public domain.

regards

Bhaskar
Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Russell Seitz 10/16/12 12:46 AM
Today's iron fertilization 'experiment' pale in comparison to the actual emission stats of the Age of Steam.

Over ten thousand ships burning several  times their weigh in coal annually created a  bunker coal trade reckoned in hundreds of millions of tons with an Fe content of several % or more .

Some serious data mining would seem in order to fathom the biological consequences of this massive release, as well as some seabed coring to check the obvious hypothesis-   was more  biomass captured and sequestered along the shipping lanes than in the oceans at large ? 

I published a note on this in Science in 2007 :  http://www.sciencemag.org/content/318/5855/1368/reply

If the impact over two generations went unremarked, -  fly ash  pales in turn in comparison to  aeolian aerosols like Saharan dust or Andean ash plumes,  why the rhetorical high  dudgeon  (vide infra ), about releases four orders of magnitude smaller  ?
Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Russell Seitz 10/16/12 8:24 AM
Andrew might have mentioned at the outset  that,  far from being a purely scientific experiment, this stunt is part of a long running scheme to sell dubious carbon offsets to the unwary-  It too considerable reading to identify Russ George as the promoter-- someone  who's been seen- and investigated-  before ::


Apart from shovelling rust over the transom of borrowed yachts, George  is noted for trying to rebrand  the Vatican   as  "the first carbon neutral state"  by parlaying a sack of acorns and pine nuts into the hypothetical reforestation of vast swaths of central Europe.

<i>Caveat amptor!</i>
Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Mick West 10/16/12 9:59 PM
Some perspective on the Chlorophyll level map in the Guardian article. You can generate those products based on historical data at:

I generated the attached images of the entire planet's surface for August 2009-2012. The bloom that George claimed he created (and that is displayed in the Guardian article) is just below the Alaska-Canada Border at about 50N 140W in the 2012 image. I've also attached a larger plot of the general area for 2011 and 2012.

While it's certainly a noticeable local aberration, it does not seem vastly more significant that normal flux. It would be interesting to consider how this might scale, and if it's possible to scale to useful levels without having significant negative local effects. 

Mick West
http://contrailscience.com

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Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Robert Tulip 10/15/12 8:31 PM
The Guardian and NGO confected fury about this activity is a disgrace.
 
Consider
1. The algae produced by such operations could potentially be captured and used to make fuel, food, fertilizer and fabric, helping to address pressing global commodity supply problems and achieve energy and food security. Is that not a good thing?
2. If algae production could be scaled up and industrialised to an order of 0.1% of the world ocean, it could potentially capture more carbon than total anthropogenic emissions, removing the need for emission reduction.  So we could keep our coal and petroleum infrastructure within a climate-stable economy, while shifting its fuel source to mining carbon from the air and sea.  Is that not a good thing? 
3. Technology to convert CO2 into algae at sea on massive scale would surely slow ocean acifidification, and possibly slow ocean warming.  Is that not a good thing? 
4. More algae blooms means more fish, which means more food, and probably less pressure on stressed marine ecosystems.  Is that not a good thing? 
 
The potential environmental and economic benefits of this research are massive.  The global warming risks of not proceeding are massive - given the complete failure of UN processes to achieve emission reduction. The ecological risks of such technological experiments are surely manageable, and likely to be far outweighed by the benefits.  No way do the hypothetical risks justify the fatwa imposed by the UN.
 
Instead of such visionary practical measures, what do the global UN bureaucrats give us?  Such absurd failures as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD), which is based on the false premises that all a tree's carbon enters the atmosphere the instant a chainsaw touches it and that a protection racket can save forests.  I am all for biodiversity, but the UN environmental globocrats have hijacked the real problem of climate security through a tendentious assertion that REDD will slow global warming, which it won't.
 
Overall, my impression is that what we have here is an out of touch UN movement whose main objective seems to be using climate politics to expand its social control, through pernicious taxation and other regulatory measures that won't work for their stated climate purpose.  These UN globocrats are reacting with hysteria to an innovative practical experiment that has great prospect to contribute to a range of global public goods, relating to food, ocean health, climate and energy.  Their comments about the evil of the profit motive show their socialist colours. The UN agency goals are more about power than outcomes. You could be excused for thinking the Berlin Wall never fell, since these Convention on Biological Diversity and IUCN jokers seem to be hiding behind it. 
 
Perhaps the most interesting statement in this insidious Guardian campaigning article is its conclusion, that ocean iron fertilisation experiments are "a dangerous distraction providing governments and industry with an excuse to avoid reducing fossil fuel emissions."
The UN agenda at play in this debate seems to be to use climate politics to advance an agenda of destroying the capitalist system, on the premise that economic growth is unsustainable so we have to go back to the stone age. The emission reduction movement operates on the false moral premise that only personal energy sacrifice will save the planet.  It is time the climate debate got real. 
 
Good luck to Russ George and Planktos Inc.  I hope he makes a lot of money and achieves some good for the world ocean and climate.  Entrepreneurial experiments such as his could well be the only real way to stabilise the climate.
 
Robert Tulip
 

On Monday, October 15, 2012 7:33:21 AM UTC-4, andrewjlockley wrote:
Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations
Controversial US businessman's geoengineering scheme off west coast of Canada contravenes two UN conventions
A controversial American businessman dumped around 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the Pacific Ocean as part of a geoengineering scheme off the west coast of Canada in July, a Guardian investigation can reveal.Lawyers, environmentalists and civil society groups are calling it a "blatant violation" of two international moratoria and the news is likely to spark outrage at a United Nations environmental summit taking place in India this week.Satellite images appear to confirm the claim by Californian Russ George that the iron has spawned an artificial plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometres. 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 hopes will net lucrative carbon credits.George is the former chief executive of Planktos Inc, whose previous failed efforts to conduct large-scale commercial dumps near the Galapagos and Canary Islands led to his vessels being barred from ports by the Spanish and Ecuadorean governments. The US Environmental Protection Agency warned him that flying a US flag for his Galapagos project would violate US laws, and his activities are credited in part to the passing of international moratoria at the United Nations limiting ocean fertilisation experimentsScientists are debating whether iron fertilisation can lock carbon into the deep ocean over the long term, and have raised concerns that it can irreparably harm ocean ecosystems, produce toxic tides and lifeless waters, and worsen ocean acidification and global warming."It is difficult if not impossible to detect and describe important effects that we know might occur months or years later," said John Cullen , an oceanographer at Dalhousie University. "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."George says his team of unidentified scientists has been monitoring the results of what may be the biggest ever geoengineering experiment with equipment loaned from US agencies like Nasa and the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. He told the Guardian that it is the "most substantial ocean restoration project in history," and has collected a "greater density and depth of scientific data than ever before"."We've gathered data targeting all the possible fears that have been raised [about ocean fertilisation]," George said. "And the news is good news, all around, for the planet."The dump took place from a fishing boat in an eddy 200 nautical miles west of the islands of Haida Gwaii, one of the world's most celebrated, diverse ecosystems, where George convinced the local council of an indigenous village to establish the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation to channel more than $1m of its own funds into the project.The president of the Haida nation, Guujaaw, said the village was told the dump would environmentally benefit the ocean, which is crucial to their livelihood and culture."The village people voted to support what they were told was a 'salmon enhancement project' and would not have agreed if they had been told of any potential negative effects or that it was in breach of an international convention," Guujaaw said.International legal experts say George's project has contravened the UN's convention on biological diversity (CBD) and London convention on the dumping of wastes at sea, which both prohibit for-profit ocean fertilisation activities."It appears to be a blatant violation of two international resolutions," said Kristina M Gjerde, a senior high seas adviser for the International Union for Conservation of Nature. "Even the placement of iron particles into the ocean, whether for carbon sequestration or fish replenishment, should not take place, unless it is assessed and found to be legitimate scientific research without commercial motivation. This does not appear to even have had the guise of legitimate scientific research."George told the Guardian that the two moratoria are a "mythology" and do not apply to his project.The parties to the UN CBD are currently meeting in Hyderabad, India, where the governments of Bolivia, the Philippines and African nations as well as indigenous peoples are calling for the current moratorium to be upgraded to a comprehensive test ban of geoengineering that includes enforcement mechanisms."If rogue geoengineer Russ George really has misled this indigenous community, and dumped iron into their waters, we hope to see swift legal response to his behavior and strong action taken to the heights of the Canadian and US governments," said Silvia Ribeiro of the international technology watchdog ETC Group, which first discovered the existence of the scheme. "It is now more urgent than ever that governments unequivocally ban such open-air geoengineering experiments. They are a dangerous distraction providing governments and industry with an excuse to avoid reducing fossil fuel emissions.





RE: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Greg Rau 10/17/12 11:18 AM

Further reporting below.  I think it might have been a little premature for the UN to give George/Canada the Dodo Award until it has been established that he has indeed harmed biodiversity. Perhaps he's preserved or increase biodiversity. But the chances of objectively finding this out would appear slim given the likely insufficient monitoring going on.  That's the tragedy here, insufficient oversight and governance in determining the scale, execution, and outcomes of  this "experiment".

-Greg



In geoengineering scheme, Calif. man dumped iron in Pacific

Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012

California businessman Russ George dumped about 100 metric tons of iron sulphate off the western Canadian coast as part of a geoengineering scheme. The iron has created an artificial plankton bloom of more than 6,000 square miles in the Pacific Ocean.

The technique, known as ocean fertilization, is done so plankton can absorb carbon dioxide and then sink. George, the former CEO of Planktos Inc., could earn carbon credits from the experiment.

But lawyers, environmentalists and civil society groups have called George's actions a "blatant violation" of two international moratoriums that limit ocean fertilization.

While scientists have wondered about the lasting effects of the technique, George said his team has found nothing worrisome about the project.

"We've gathered data targeting all the possible fears that have been raised [about ocean fertilization]," he said. "And the news is good news, all around, for the planet" (Martin Lukacs, London Guardian, Oct. 15).

Canadian officials have remained silent about whether the government knew of George's actions and did nothing to stop it, saying the matter is under investigation.

"Canadian government people have been helping us," George said. "We've had workshops run where we've been taught how to use satellite resources by the Canadian space agency. [The government] is trying to 'cost-share' with us on certain aspects of the project. And we are expecting lots more support as we go forward."

The potential government involvement has angered international civil society groups. They announced at a U.N. biodiversity meeting in India that the country would be singled out at the meeting and awarded the Dodo Award for actions that harm biodiversity (Martin Lukacs, London Guardian, Oct. 17). -- JE


From: geoengi...@googlegroups.com [geoengi...@googlegroups.com] on behalf of Robert Tulip [rtuli...@yahoo.com.au]
Sent: Monday, October 15, 2012 8:31 PM
To: geoengineering
Subject: Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations

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Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Mick West 10/17/12 5:24 PM
An easier to look at perspective on the size of the bloom in historical context, six years of september readings in one image. 
Inline image 1
Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Greg Rau 10/19/12 3:59 PM
More iron input:

Ocean fertilization for geoengineering: a review of effectiveness, environmental impacts and emerging governance

  • a School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
  • b Dept of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS, B3H 4R2, Canada
  • c NIWA, Greta Point, PO Box 14-901, Wellington, New Zealand
  • d Dept of Chemistry, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054,New Zealand
  • e Laboratoire ECOSYM, UMR 5119,Université Montpellier 2, CNRS, Montpellier Cedex 5, France
  • f Dept of Earth and Ocean Sciences, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
  • g School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Univ of Victoria, PO Box 3065, STN CSC Victoria BC, Canada
  • h IFM-GEOMAR, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, Germany
  • i Faculty of Fisheries, Nagasaki University, Bunkyo-machi 1-14, Nagasaki, Japan
  • j Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Lowestoft NR33 OHT, UK

Abstract

Dangerous climate change is best avoided by drastically and rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Nevertheless, geoengineering options are receiving attention on the basis that additional approaches may also be necessary. Here we review the state of knowledge on large-scale ocean fertilization by adding iron or other nutrients, either from external sources or via enhanced ocean mixing. On the basis of small-scale field experiments carried out to date and associated modelling, the maximum benefits of ocean fertilization as a negative emissions technique are likely to be modest in relation to anthropogenic climate forcing. Furthermore, it would be extremely challenging to quantify with acceptable accuracy the carbon removed from circulation on a long term basis, and to adequately monitor unintended impacts over large space and time-scales. These and other technical issues are particularly problematic for the region with greatest theoretical potential for the application of ocean fertilization, the Southern Ocean. Arrangements for the international governance of further field-based research on ocean fertilization are currently being developed, primarily under the London Convention/London Protocol.


Highlights

► Fertilization using iron can increase the uptake of CO2 across the sea surface. ► But most of this uptake is transient; long-term sequestration is difficult to assess. ► Unintended impacts of ocean fertilization may be far removed in space and time. ► For climate benefits, the Southern Ocean has most potential - also most problems. ► A regulatory framework for ocean fertilization research has been developed.


From: Mick West <mi...@mickwest.com>
Reply-To: "mi...@mickwest.com" <mi...@mickwest.com>
Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 5:24 PM
To: geoengineering <geoengi...@googlegroups.com>

Subject: Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations

An easier to look at perspective on the size of the bloom in historical context, six years of september readings in one image. 
Inline image 1

On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 11:18 AM, Rau, Greg <ra...@llnl.gov> wrote:

Further reporting below.  I think it might have been a little premature for the UN to give George/Canada the Dodo Award until it has been established that he has indeed harmed biodiversity. Perhaps he's preserved or increase biodiversity. But the chances of objectively finding this out would appear slim given the likely insufficient monitoring going on.  That's the tragedy here, insufficient oversight and governance in determining the scale, execution, and outcomes of  this "experiment".

-Greg



In geoengineering scheme, Calif. man dumped iron in Pacific

Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012

California businessman Russ George dumped about 100 metric tons of iron sulphate off the western Canadian coast as part of a geoengineering scheme. The iron has created an artificial plankton bloom of more than 6,000 square miles in the Pacific Ocean.

The technique, known as ocean fertilization, is done so plankton can absorb carbon dioxide and then sink. George, the former CEO of Planktos Inc., could earn carbon credits from the experiment.

But lawyers, environmentalists and civil society groups have called George's actions a "blatant violation" of two international moratoriums that limit ocean fertilization.

While scientists have wondered about the lasting effects of the technique, George said his team has found nothing worrisome about the project.

"We've gathered data targeting all the possible fears that have been raised [about ocean fertilization]," he said. "And the news is good news, all around, for the planet" (Martin Lukacs, London Guardian, Oct. 15).

Canadian officials have remained silent about whether the government knew of George's actions and did nothing to stop it, saying the matter is under investigation.

"Canadian government people have been helping us," George said. "We've had workshops run where we've been taught how to use satellite resources by the Canadian space agency. [The government] is trying to 'cost-share' with us on certain aspects of the project. And we are expecting lo

...
Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Josh Horton 10/20/12 11:01 AM
Circling back to Ken's original question, given what we know it seems pretty clear that the Haida experiment did violate both the CBD and LC/LP.

CBD Decision IX/16(C)(4) explicitly prohibits any research "used for generating and selling carbon offsets or any other commercial purposes."

Resolution LC/LP.1 (2008) explicitly prohibits any research that has not "been assessed and found acceptable under the assessment framework."

George and his company have had a week to make their case, including a press conference yesterday, and have neither denied the commercial aspect of the test, nor shown that approval was granted under the LC/LP Assessment Framework.

Josh Horton
Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations andrewjlockley 10/20/12 11:51 AM

Not wishing to take sides, but I don't agree with the points raised.

It's not clear to me what, if any, commercial purpose there was. I don't see any evidence of selling credits, specifically.  It's probably harder to judge the fisheries issue - which may have been within the definition of commercial. However, it may be that the intended fisheries impact was research, not directly commercial, on this specific occasion.

Secondly, the assessment framework expressly permits small scale research. 100t is pretty small scale (two petrol tankers)  even if the effect was spatially dispersed.

Surely it's for objectors to prove a violation, not the converse. Innocent until proven guilty, and all that ....

A

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Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Josh Horton 10/20/12 12:36 PM
According to multiple sources, the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation (HSRC) had planned to sell carbon credits resulting from the experiment (for example, see CBC http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/10/19/bc-ocean-fertilization-haida.html).  Setting aside the fact that there's no way currently to do this, neither Russ George, John Disney (president of HSRC), nor any other corporate or community official has disputed this assertion, not even during the press conference they organized in Vancouver yesterday.

As for the Assessment Framework, the point is not whether or not the experiment was "small-scale," but whether or not it was submitted to the LC/LP for approval under the Framework, which apparently it was not (presumably because it wouldn't have passed scientific muster).

Josh
Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations andrewjlockley 10/20/12 12:40 PM


Well, to defend the absent :
A press conference is not a quasi judicial process. There's no obligation to mount a formal defence.

Small scale experiments are pre exempted.  They don't need piecemeal approval.

A
>
> On Oct 20, 2012 8:36 PM, "Joshua Horton" <joshuah...@gmail.com> wrote:

Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Mike MacCracken 10/20/12 1:06 PM
Were HSRC really interested in solid and verifiable carbon credits, investing their money and effort in improving efficiency almost anywhere in the world would seem to have been a much better investment and chance of return. In addition to the actual costs of doing iron fertilization, the transaction costs in terms of lawyers and legal vulnerability would seem to me so high it is hard to understand on what basis they would be drawing in investors. Thus, in addition to being ecologically and legally suspect, isn’t the whole idea economically suspect as well? Were global emissions way down and the CO2 costs way up and ocean acidification causing significant impacts, there might be reason for re-consideration, but I just don’t understand the rationale for this idea when global emissions are headed up, overall efficiencies of energy use are so low, and CO2 permit costs are so low. What am I missing here?

Mike MacCracken



On 10/20/12 3:36 PM, "Joshua Horton" <joshuahorton533@gmail.com> wrote:

According to multiple sources, the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation (HSRC) had planned to sell carbon credits resulting from the experiment (for example, see CBC http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/10/19/bc-ocean-fertilization-haida.html).  Setting aside the fact that there's no way currently to do this, neither Russ George, John Disney (president of HSRC), nor any other corporate or community official has disputed this assertion, not even during the press conference they organized in Vancouver yesterday.

As for the Assessment Framework, the point is not whether or not the experiment was "small-scale," but whether or not it was submitted to the LC/LP for approval under the Framework, which apparently it was not (presumably because it wouldn't have passed scientific muster).

Josh

On Sat, Oct 20, 2012 at 2:51 PM, Andrew Lockley <andrew.lockley@gmail.com> wrote:

Not wishing to take sides, but I don't agree with the points raised.

It's not clear to me what, if any, commercial purpose there was. I don't see any evidence of selling credits, specifically.  It's probably harder to judge the fisheries issue - which may have been within the definition of commercial. However, it may be that the intended fisheries impact was research, not directly commercial, on this specific occasion.

Secondly, the assessment framework expressly permits small scale research. 100t is pretty small scale (two petrol tankers)  even if the effect was spatially dispersed.

Surely it's for objectors to prove a violation, not the converse. Innocent until proven guilty, and all that ....

A

On Oct 20, 2012 7:01 PM, "Josh Horton" <joshuahorton533@gmail.com> wrote:
Circling back to Ken's original question, given what we know it seems pretty clear that the Haida experiment did violate both the CBD and LC/LP.

CBD Decision IX/16(C)(4) explicitly prohibits any research "
used for generating and selling carbon offsets or any other commercial purposes."

Resolution LC/LP.1 (2008) explicitly prohibits any research that has not "
been assessed and found acceptable under the assessment framework."

George and his company have had a week to make their case, including a press conference yesterday, and have neither denied the commercial aspect of the test, nor shown that approval was granted under the LC/LP Assessment Framework.

Josh Horton



On Monday, October 15, 2012 12:38:16 PM UTC-4, Ken Caldeira wrote:
It would be useful if any legal minds in the group would assess exactly the relevant language that Russ George has supposedly violated.

I recall that in negotiations under the London Convention / London Protocol, there was concern not to impact fish farms which of course supply copious nutrients to surrounding waters.

If my recollection was correct, somebody proposed an exception for mariculture. I piped up and said that all ocean fertilization could be considered mariculture and that the CO2 storage could be regarded as a co-benefit, achieved knowingly but not intentionally (just as when we drive a car we knowingly heat the planet although that is not our intent).

My recollection was that in response to this comment, the word 'conventional' was added to the language, so that it now reads:

"Ocean fertilization does not include conventional aquaculture, or mariculture, .. ".   
Resolution LC-LP.1(2008) - IMO <http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CB8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.imo.org%2Fblast%2FblastData.asp%3Fdoc_id%3D14101%26filename%3D1.doc&ei=xzV8ULXmFoKG9QSWsICYCA&usg=AFQjCNFJLn-efXeq0_tlczhFZRjjpRGFGQ&sig2=FC11W0IMKGaw0-Mc166MwQ>

Incidentally, it seems that they have a misplaced comma, as I believe the word 'conventional' was meant to apply to both 'aquaculture'' and 'mariculture', but with the placement of the comma, I read this as 'conventional aquaculture' or 'mariculture'.  I am not enough of a lawyer to know whether the intended meaning or the literal meaning is the one likely to prevail under some sort of adjudication process.

---

It is interesting to see the level of interest that intentional ocean fertilization draws relative to, say, nutrients added to the ocean as a result of farm runoff or inadequately processed sewage. We are very sensitive to the intent with which actions are conducted, and are willing to overlook travesties caused in the normal course of business so that we can focus on physically insignificant acts where the presumed intentions do not meet our high ethical standards.

We do not choose to focus on problems based on an objective appraisal of threats posed, but rather largely based on which actions we find to be most ethically repugnant. Apparently, dumping raw sewage simply to save the cost of sewage processing is less repugnant than fertilizing the ocean in hopes of increasing fish yields. One suspects that the real ethical boundary that Russ George is inferred to have transgressed is the desire to personally profit from unconventional mariculture.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVCu158FqvE <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVCu158FqvE>
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voXiJ5t23sY <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voXiJ5t23sY>
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5gcZ4rojsI <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5gcZ4rojsI>

_______________
Ken Caldeira

Carnegie Institution for Science 
Dept of Global Ecology
260 Panama Street, Stanford, CA 94305 USA
+1 650 704 7212 <tel:%2B1%20650%20704%207212>  kcal...@carnegiescience.edu
http://dge.stanford.edu/labs/caldeiralab <http://dge.stanford.edu/labs/caldeiralab>   @kencaldeira

Our YouTube videos
The Great Climate Experiment: How far can we push the planet? <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce2OWROToAI>   
Geophysical Limits to Global Wind Power <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U7PXjUG-Yk>
More videos <http://www.youtube.com/user/CarnegieGlobEcology/videos>



On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 7:08 AM, M V Bhaskar <bhaska...@gmail.com> wrote:
Andrew

One view is that fertilizing to grow / restore fish is NOT prohibited under LC / LP

Pl see the presentation by Dr David Schnare 
 - 
http://www.thomasjeffersoninst.org/pdf/articles/geo_and_4climatetruths.ppt <http://www.thomasjeffersoninst.org/pdf/articles/geo_and_4climatetruths.ppt>  

Geoengineering and the Four Climate Change Truths:

Perspectives of a Lawyer-Scientist

A Presentation at the

Research Triangle Institute, International 

November 18, 2008


Slide 59
 
....
         The London Convention / London Protocol: You may fertilize if the intent is to grow fish but not if the intent is to dispose of carbon in the ocean.  Hence, focus on “restoration”.

The Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation seems to aim at restoring the Salmon population.

regards

Bhaskar

On Monday, 15 October 2012 17:03:21 UTC+5:30, andrewjlockley  wrote:
http://m.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/15/pacific-iron-fertilisation-geoengineering?cat=environment&type=article <http://m.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/15/pacific-iron-fertilisation-geoengineering?cat=environment&type=article>

Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations

Controversial US businessman's geoengineering scheme off west coast of Canada contravenes two UN conventions

A controversial American businessman dumped around 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the Pacific Ocean as part of a geoengineering scheme off the west coast of Canada in July, a Guardian investigation can reveal.Lawyers, environmentalists and civil society groups are calling it a "blatant violation" of two international moratoria and the news is likely to spark outrage at a United Nations environmental summit taking place in India this week.Satellite images appear to confirm the claim by Californian Russ George that the iron has spawned an artificial plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometres. 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 hopes will net lucrative carbon credits.George is the former chief executive of Planktos Inc, whose previous failed efforts to conduct large-scale commercial dumps near the Galapagos and Canary Islands led to his vessels being barred from ports by the Spanish and Ecuadorean governments. The US Environmental Protection Agency warned him that flying a US flag for his Galapagos project would violate US laws, and his activities are credited in part to the passing of international moratoria at the United Nations limiting ocean fertilisation experimentsScientists are debating whether iron fertilisation can lock carbon into the deep ocean over the long term, and have raised concerns that it can irreparably harm ocean ecosystems, produce toxic tides and lifeless waters, and worsen ocean acidification and global warming."It is difficult if not impossible to detect and describe important effects that we know might occur months or years later," said John Cullen , an oceanographer at Dalhousie University. "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."George says his team of unidentified scientists has been monitoring the results of what may be the biggest ever geoengineering experiment with equipment loaned from US agencies like Nasa and the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. He told the Guardian that it is the "most substantial ocean restoration project in history," and has collected a "greater density and depth of scientific data than ever before"."We've gathered data targeting all the possible fears that have been raised [about ocean fertilisation]," George said. "And the news is good news, all around, for the planet."The dump took place from a fishing boat in an eddy 200 nautical miles west of the islands of Haida Gwaii, one of the world's most celebrated, diverse ecosystems, where George convinced the local council of an indigenous village to establish the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation to channel more than $1m of its own funds into the project.The president of the Haida nation, Guujaaw, said the village was told the dump would environmentally benefit the ocean, which is crucial to their livelihood and culture."The village people voted to support what they were told was a 'salmon enhancement project' and would not have agreed if they had been told of any potential negative effects or that it was in breach of an international convention," Guujaaw said.International legal experts say George's project has contravened the UN's convention on biological diversity (CBD) and London convention on the dumping of wastes at sea, which both prohibit for-profit ocean fertilisation activities."It appears to be a blatant violation of two international resolutions," said Kristina M Gjerde, a senior high seas adviser for the International Union for Conservation of Nature. "Even the placement of iron particles into the ocean, whether for carbon sequestration or fish replenishment, should not take place, unless it is assessed and found to be legitimate scientific research without commercial motivation. This does not appear to even have had the guise of legitimate scientific research."George told the Guardian that the two moratoria are a "mythology" and do not apply to his project.The parties to the UN CBD are currently meeting in Hyderabad, India, where the governments of Bolivia, the Philippines and African nations as well as indigenous peoples are calling for the current moratorium to be upgraded to a comprehensive test ban of geoengineering that includes enforcement mechanisms."If rogue geoengineer Russ George really has misled this indigenous community, and dumped iron into their waters, we hope to see swift legal response to his behavior and strong action taken to the heights of the Canadian and US governments," said Silvia Ribeiro of the international technology watchdog ETC Group, which first discovered the existence of the scheme. "It is now more urgent than ever that governments unequivocally ban such open-air geoengineering experiments. They are a dangerous distraction providing governments and industry with an excuse to avoid reducing fossil fuel emissions.

Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations David Lewis 10/21/12 2:36 PM
The ETC group is "blatantly violating" an international convention....

The ETC group, <a href="http://www.etcgroup.org/people">as their website says</a>, consists of "nine staff members and nine board members scattered over five continents".  Many wonder when these 18 people will finally confess what their combined greenhouse gas "footprint" is.  

Speculation persists that the total tonnage of GHG emitted in a single year by these ETC members may be massive, i.e. it may exceed the amount of material involved in what ETC has been denouncing as the "world's largest geoengineering deployment", i.e. the 100 tonne BC Haida ocean fertilization project.  If the total lifecycle GHG emissions of the ETC group are considered, the tonnage must dwarf what's involved in this Haida project.  

Experts agree that "the ETC effect", i.e. increasing the GHG concentration in the atmosphere, will add to the forces driving global climate change and ocean acidification.  By aggravating the widespread disruption of regional and global ecosystems which the expansion of civilization is already causing, the changing climate and the acidifying ocean are diminishing global biodiversity.  As the areas most suitable for crop growing and for where people want to live change location, military analysts have concluded, tension of the type that has led in the past to conflict between human groups up to and including war between nation states will increase.  

There is less agreement about "the Haida effect", i.e. what the ultimate effect of fertilizing the ocean is.  One reason some scientists call for experimentation of the type conducted by the Haida is to find out if this type of activity might reduce what "the ETC effect" causes.  

Some say that the ETC attack on the Haida is a stunt designed to divert public attention away from their own questionable activities which have been going on for a very long time.  

Consider how the two groups behave.  The Haida are acting as if they have nothing to hide:  they publicly applied their possibly one time application of ocean fertilizer in the full light of day on an ocean they knew was under constant satellite surveillance.   But consider the "egregious eighteen", the members of the ETC, who hide away in their offices and homes constantly emitting silent but deadly dangerous gases day after day and year after year.

The members of the ETC know how serious adding greenhouse gases to the planetary system is.  Their ongoing refusal to stop their emissions must be taken to mean that they are, at best, blatantly ignoring the principal objective of the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, i.e.: "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system", "within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally...."  

Some of these ETC members, i.e Executive Director Pat Mooney, have known about the link between GHG and climate change since 1988.  Has Mooney been geoengineering the climate for decades in order to intentionally make climate change worse as part of some diabolical or perverse plan only he can understand?
Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Nathan Currier 10/21/12 3:12 PM
Andrew mentions in a parallel thread that
"there's very little briefing on the list for proactive involvement."

I'm just wondering aloud now about whether some pro-active involvement at the moment couldn't 
turn the Russ George incident into a "teachable moment" for geoE, rather than the PR disaster that 
it basically seems like right now.

It seems to me that a couple of possible unexplored political avenues to be pursued might be:

1. The people on this list write up something and try to get Russ George to sign on to it, that makes a declaration from 
people within the geoengineering community that it understands that at this point in time geoE cannot possibly work as a for-profit
undertaking. 

George himself is clearly under pressure at the moment, and also has a bit of a convenient megaphone at the moment. He has tried to 
distance himself from GeoE in the media, saying his project has "nothing to do with GeoE", which is just plain silly, and also has tried to
say that he isn't just some guy wanting to make money - which might actually be half true. He wants to be seen as a "champion of geoengineering," but at the moment, everyone on this list should recognize, that he isn't the kind of champion anyone should want, unless things can get turned around a bit. 

Now, I don't know what others on this list think, but it is hard enough to see any GeoE getting accepted in the near future, and the profit
aspect greatly stirs the pot. It would clearly be possible to have a market-based system eventually with carbon credits that really 
work, and then, sure, GeoE projects could legitimately be part of that, but can't everyone here see the writing on the wall?
Right now, there's the real risk that no effective carbon market gets set up at all, and so any potential GeoE profit maker would sit high and dry anyhow, while that also clearly pushes the world at the same time toward needing more GeoE sooner, and public trust would be virtually impossible to build for it if profit schemes were tied in to GeoE, even if just by association. Thus, some kind of blanket statement, signed by folks at this list, any other concerned parties worldwide in GeoE,  & Russ George himself, stating that, while GeoE might eventually function within the context of a robust carbon market system, that, for the time being, no GeoE should be pursued whatsoever with a profit motive. This might build momentum in a positive direction, rather than a negative one.


2. Since the deed has already been done, rather than shrink from it, maybe there should now be a formal request to get acceptance through the UN CBD (even if that isn't actually necessary) for better scientific support to come in and monitor just what happens where the dumping took place, if it is in fact true that the amount dumped is larger than past seeding experiments, and that George was ill-equipped to do so himself. 

Just to have a UN body say "OK, you can go ahead and research this now" gives respectability to the enterprise, rather than a black eye. So, this might also go a long way to turn the tide of negative PR into a more positive spin, and then the story will morph into what scientists find there, not the negative spin of the "bad deed" and further stigmatization of GeoE by ETC etc, etc..... 

cheers, 

Nathan 
Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations kcaldeira 10/21/12 3:40 PM
Forgive me for perhaps not following this closely enough, but did Russ George say that his intention was to store carbon in the ocean?

I read something saying that his intent was to increase fish stocks. 

----

I think it is a big mistake for international conventions designed to reduce risk from scientific and technical experiments to determine scope based on the intent (of the experimenter? the funder? all participants? some participants?), where it is unclear whose intent matters and how this intent is to be determined.

I would vastly prefer the scope of activities covered by international agreements such as the CBD or LC/LP be based on there being some prima facie evidence that an experiment poses substantial risk to a global commons or across international borders, and not based on the intent of the various parties associated with the experiment.

If a proposed experiment does pose a prima facie risk, then it makes sense to evaluate the expected benefits from the experiment relative to those risks, and in that context it makes sense to take into consideration the intent of associated parties.

However, it seems to me wrongheaded to make intent be the determining factor deciding which if any international regulations apply and furthermore it seems unwise to add a regulatory burden to experiments for which there is no prima facie evidence of substantial risk.

Geoengineering is such a contentious and poorly defined term that it does not seem to sharply define a specific set of activities. 

If I step on the gas pedal with the intent of altering climate, is that geoengineering that needs to be regulated? If I step on the gas pedal simply to accelerate, knowingly but unintentionally altering climate, is that then something that needs to regulated differently. Is it wise to make the venue for adjudicating disputes depend on an a priori assessment of intent?


_______________
Ken Caldeira

Carnegie Institution for Science 
Dept of Global Ecology
260 Panama Street, Stanford, CA 94305 USA
http://dge.stanford.edu/labs/caldeiralab  @kencaldeira

Our YouTube videos



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Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Nathan Currier 10/21/12 8:23 PM
This just out at Discovery News: 

GEOENGINEERING SCHEMES SPLIT SCIENTISTS


http://news.discovery.com/earth/geoengineering-climate-change-121021.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1

Hi, Ken - I agree with all the basic points you make, & was just proposing something to effectuate a bit 
of damage control, or rather to find a touch of opportunity within the damage....but perhaps the article above isn't really 
so bad.....

Perhaps one reason that intent is deeply written into this stuff is that if it weren't there'd be all kinds of potential
suits because all kinds of parties are unwittingly "geoengineering" all the time - indeed, like Andrew's most recent post adding to the laundry list of approaches, literally coming from the laundry itself, so now the suit might be over a suit.....what if you didn't know who laundered your suit
and it had TiO2 stuff sprinkled on it? 

cheers, 

Nathan



On Sunday, October 21, 2012 6:40:42 PM UTC-4, Ken Caldeira wrote:
Forgive me for perhaps not following this closely enough, but did Russ George say that his intention was to store carbon in the ocean?

I read something saying that his intent was to increase fish stocks. 

----

I think it is a big mistake for international conventions designed to reduce risk from scientific and technical experiments to determine scope based on the intent (of the experimenter? the funder? all participants? some participants?), where it is unclear whose intent matters and how this intent is to be determined.

I would vastly prefer the scope of activities covered by international agreements such as the CBD or LC/LP be based on there being some prima facie evidence that an experiment poses substantial risk to a global commons or across international borders, and not based on the intent of the various parties associated with the experiment.

If a proposed experiment does pose a prima facie risk, then it makes sense to evaluate the expected benefits from the experiment relative to those risks, and in that context it makes sense to take into consideration the intent of associated parties.

However, it seems to me wrongheaded to make intent be the determining factor deciding which if any international regulations apply and furthermore it seems unwise to add a regulatory burden to experiments for which there is no prima facie evidence of substantial risk.

Geoengineering is such a contentious and poorly defined term that it does not seem to sharply define a specific set of activities. 

If I step on the gas pedal with the intent of altering climate, is that geoengineering that needs to be regulated? If I step on the gas pedal simply to accelerate, knowingly but unintentionally altering climate, is that then something that needs to regulated differently. Is it wise to make the venue for adjudicating disputes depend on an a priori assessment of intent?


_______________
Ken Caldeira

Carnegie Institution for Science 
Dept of Global Ecology
260 Panama Street, Stanford, CA 94305 USA
http://dge.stanford.edu/labs/caldeiralab  @kencaldeira

Our YouTube videos



Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations JimETC 10/21/12 9:23 PM
Obviously this is patently silly. ETC Group are not a party to  UNFCCC and if continuing to use air travel constitutes some sort of breach of a UN convention then many people and groups on this list are  also 'in breach' .  So is the IPCC etc etc.  Also didn't there used to be some sort of moderation rule on this list about 'no ad hominem attacks'??? Andrew: what happened to that?

More seriously however , can I ask you David to retract your language referring to ETC Group's "Attack on the Haida" and to be far more careful who you are smearing in your rather sloppy language below.

To be clear: The ocean fertilization dump was not carried out by 'the Haida'- an indegenous nation of several thousand people. It was carried out by a commercial company called the "Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation"  (HSRC) established through the band council of the village of Old Massett. So this was a project of a small commercial company associated with one particular Haida Village. It is not a project of 'The Haida' and most press reports have been careful not to misrepresent it as you have.   Nor do band council's represent 'The Haida''  - they are administrative units established mostly  for provision of services set up by the Canadian Government under the Indian Act. The bodies that represent 'The Haida' as a sovereign People are The Council of the Haida Nation and the Council of Hereditary Chiefs. Both bodies issued a clear declaration on Thursday disassociating themselves from the ocean fertilization dump undertaken by HSRC and making it very clear they do not support ocean fertilization activities. See http://www.haidanation.ca/Pages/Splash/Public_Notices/PDF/Joint_Statement.pdf . In fact since this dump first became public a week ago the President of the Council of The Haida Nation, Guujaaw, has consistently made clear this was not an initiative of "The Haida" but of only of one village band council. 
 
Meanwhile ETC Group has been  in constant constructive discussion with the Council of Haida Nations and other Haida Groups and indeed brought this matter to their attention  before it was brought to any media. There has been no 'attack on the Haida' and as you'll see from our own press release where we have been diligent in communicating the difference between HSRC and 'The Haida': http://www.etcgroup.org/content/world%E2%80%99s-largest-geoengineering-deployment-coast-canada%E2%80%99s-british-columbia  - may I respectfully ask that others take the same care.

Best
Jim Thomas
ETC Group.


On Oct 21, 2012, at 5:36 PM, David Lewis wrote:

The ETC group is "blatantly violating" an international convention....

The ETC group, <a href="http://www.etcgroup.org/people">as their website says</a>, consists of "nine staff members and nine board members scattered over five continents".  Many wonder when these 18 people will finally confess what their combined greenhouse gas "footprint" is.  

Speculation persists that the total tonnage of GHG emitted in a single year by these ETC members may be massive, i.e. it may exceed the amount of material involved in what ETC has been denouncing as the "world's largest geoengineering deployment", i.e. the 100 tonne BC Haida ocean fertilization project.  If the total lifecycle GHG emissions of the ETC group are considered, the tonnage must dwarf what's involved in this Haida project.  

Experts agree that "the ETC effect", i.e. increasing the GHG concentration in the atmosphere, will add to the forces driving global climate change and ocean acidification.  By aggravating the widespread disruption of regional and global ecosystems which the expansion of civilization is already causing, the changing climate and the acidifying ocean are diminishing global biodiversity.  As the areas most suitable for crop growing and for where people want to live change location, military analysts have concluded, tension of the type that has led in the past to conflict between human groups up to and including war between nation states will increase.  

There is less agreement about "the Haida effect", i.e. what the ultimate effect of fertilizing the ocean is.  One reason some scientists call for experimentation of the type conducted by the Haida is to find out if this type of activity might reduce what "the ETC effect" causes.  

Some say that the ETC attack on the Haida is a stunt designed to divert public attention away from their own questionable activities which have been going on for a very long time.  

Consider how the two groups behave.  The Haida are acting as if they have nothing to hide:  they publicly applied their possibly one time application of ocean fertilizer in the full light of day on an ocean they knew was under constant satellite surveillance.   But consider the "egregious eighteen", the members of the ETC, who hide away in their offices and homes constantly emitting silent but deadly dangerous gases day after day and year after year.

The members of the ETC know how serious adding greenhouse gases to the planetary system is.  Their ongoing refusal to stop their emissions must be taken to mean that they are, at best, blatantly ignoring the principal objective of the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, i.e.: "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system", "within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally...."  

Some of these ETC members, i.e Executive Director Pat Mooney, have known about the link between GHG and climate change since 1988.  Has Mooney been geoengineering the climate for decades in order to intentionally make climate change worse as part of some diabolical or perverse plan only he can understand?




On Saturday, October 20, 2012 11:01:46 AM UTC-7, Josh Horton wrote:
Circling back to Ken's original question, given what we know it seems pretty clear that the Haida experiment did violate both the CBD and LC/LP.

CBD Decision IX/16(C)(4) explicitly prohibits any research "used for generating and selling carbon offsets or any other commercial purposes."

Resolution LC/LP.1 (2008) explicitly prohibits any research that has not "been assessed and found acceptable under the assessment framework."

George and his company have had a week to make their case, including a press conference yesterday, and have neither denied the commercial aspect of the test, nor shown that approval was granted under the LC/LP Assessment Framework.

Josh Horton



On Monday, October 15, 2012 12:38:16 PM UTC-4, Ken Caldeira wrote:
It would be useful if any legal minds in the group would assess exactly the relevant language that Russ George has supposedly violated.

I recall that in negotiations under the London Convention / London Protocol, there was concern not to impact fish farms which of course supply copious nutrients to surrounding waters.

If my recollection was correct, somebody proposed an exception for mariculture. I piped up and said that all ocean fertilization could be considered mariculture and that the CO2 storage could be regarded as a co-benefit, achieved knowingly but not intentionally (just as when we drive a car we knowingly heat the planet although that is not our intent).

My recollection was that in response to this comment, the word 'conventional' was added to the language, so that it now reads:

"Ocean fertilization does not include conventional aquaculture, or mariculture, .. ".   

Resolution LC-LP.1(2008) - IMO


Incidentally, it seems that they have a misplaced comma, as I believe the word 'conventional' was meant to apply to both 'aquaculture'' and 'mariculture', but with the placement of the comma, I read this as 'conventional aquaculture' or 'mariculture'.  I am not enough of a lawyer to know whether the intended meaning or the literal meaning is the one likely to prevail under some sort of adjudication process.

---

It is interesting to see the level of interest that intentional ocean fertilization draws relative to, say, nutrients added to the ocean as a result of farm runoff or inadequately processed sewage. We are very sensitive to the intent with which actions are conducted, and are willing to overlook travesties caused in the normal course of business so that we can focus on physically insignificant acts where the presumed intentions do not meet our high ethical standards.

We do not choose to focus on problems based on an objective appraisal of threats posed, but rather largely based on which actions we find to be most ethically repugnant. Apparently, dumping raw sewage simply to save the cost of sewage processing is less repugnant than fertilizing the ocean in hopes of increasing fish yields. One suspects that the real ethical boundary that Russ George is inferred to have transgressed is the desire to personally profit from unconventional mariculture.


_______________
Ken Caldeira

Carnegie Institution for Science 
Dept of Global Ecology
260 Panama Street, Stanford, CA 94305 USA
+1 650 704 7212 kcal...@carnegiescience.edu
http://dge.stanford.edu/labs/caldeiralab  @kencaldeira

Our YouTube videos



On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 7:08 AM, M V Bhaskar <bhaska...@gmail.com> wrote:
Andrew

One view is that fertilizing to grow / restore fish is NOT prohibited under LC / LP

Pl see the presentation by Dr David Schnare 

Geoengineering and the Four Climate Change Truths:
Perspectives of a Lawyer-Scientist
A Presentation at the
Research Triangle Institute, International 
November 18, 2008
Slide 59

 ....

         The London Convention / London Protocol: You may fertilize if the intent is to grow fish but not if the intent is to dispose of carbon in the ocean.  Hence, focus on “restoration”.


The Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation seems to aim at restoring the Salmon population.

regards

Bhaskar

On Monday, 15 October 2012 17:03:21 UTC+5:30, andrewjlockley wrote:

http://m.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/15/pacific-iron-fertilisation-geoengineering?cat=environment&type=article

Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations

Controversial US businessman's geoengineering scheme off west coast of Canada contravenes two UN conventions

A controversial American businessman dumped around 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the Pacific Ocean as part of a geoengineering scheme off the west coast of Canada in July, a Guardian investigation can reveal.Lawyers, environmentalists and civil society groups are calling it a "blatant violation" of two international moratoria and the news is likely to spark outrage at a United Nations environmental summit taking place in India this week.Satellite images appear to confirm the claim by Californian Russ George that the iron has spawned an artificial plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometres. 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 hopes will net lucrative carbon credits.George is the former chief executive of Planktos Inc, whose previous failed efforts to conduct large-scale commercial dumps near the Galapagos and Canary Islands led to his vessels being barred from ports by the Spanish and Ecuadorean governments. The US Environmental Protection Agency warned him that flying a US flag for his Galapagos project would violate US laws, and his activities are credited in part to the passing of international moratoria at the United Nations limiting ocean fertilisation experimentsScientists are debating whether iron fertilisation can lock carbon into the deep ocean over the long term, and have raised concerns that it can irreparably harm ocean ecosystems, produce toxic tides and lifeless waters, and worsen ocean acidification and global warming."It is difficult if not impossible to detect and describe important effects that we know might occur months or years later," said John Cullen , an oceanographer at Dalhousie University. "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."George says his team of unidentified scientists has been monitoring the results of what may be the biggest ever geoengineering experiment with equipment loaned from US agencies like Nasa and the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. He told the Guardian that it is the "most substantial ocean restoration project in history," and has collected a "greater density and depth of scientific data than ever before"."We've gathered data targeting all the possible fears that have been raised [about ocean fertilisation]," George said. "And the news is good news, all around, for the planet."The dump took place from a fishing boat in an eddy 200 nautical miles west of the islands of Haida Gwaii, one of the world's most celebrated, diverse ecosystems, where George convinced the local council of an indigenous village to establish the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation to channel more than $1m of its own funds into the project.The president of the Haida nation, Guujaaw, said the village was told the dump would environmentally benefit the ocean, which is crucial to their livelihood and culture."The village people voted to support what they were told was a 'salmon enhancement project' and would not have agreed if they had been told of any potential negative effects or that it was in breach of an international convention," Guujaaw said.International legal experts say George's project has contravened the UN's convention on biological diversity (CBD) and London convention on the dumping of wastes at sea, which both prohibit for-profit ocean fertilisation activities."It appears to be a blatant violation of two international resolutions," said Kristina M Gjerde, a senior high seas adviser for the International Union for Conservation of Nature. "Even the placement of iron particles into the ocean, whether for carbon sequestration or fish replenishment, should not take place, unless it is assessed and found to be legitimate scientific research without commercial motivation. This does not appear to even have had the guise of legitimate scientific research."George told the Guardian that the two moratoria are a "mythology" and do not apply to his project.The parties to the UN CBD are currently meeting in Hyderabad, India, where the governments of Bolivia, the Philippines and African nations as well as indigenous peoples are calling for the current moratorium to be upgraded to a comprehensive test ban of geoengineering that includes enforcement mechanisms."If rogue geoengineer Russ George really has misled this indigenous community, and dumped iron into their waters, we hope to see swift legal response to his behavior and strong action taken to the heights of the Canadian and US governments," said Silvia Ribeiro of the international technology watchdog ETC Group, which first discovered the existence of the scheme. "It is now more urgent than ever that governments unequivocally ban such open-air geoengineering experiments. They are a dangerous distraction providing governments and industry with an excuse to avoid reducing fossil fuel emissions.


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Jim Thomas
ETC Group (Montreal)
+1 514 2739994





Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations andrewjlockley 10/22/12 2:49 AM

Jim

Thanks for your email.

Could you cite emails where you think there have been ad hominem attacks on ETC?

I'm reluctant to censor obvious satire. This thread has triggered useful debate.

I'm also concerned at your attempts to apply the ad hominem principle to a group or organisation. This would make it harder for people to criticize governments, etc.

Furthermore, can it really be said the ETC conduct in this regard has been at the standards by which it would ask others to be judged?

Your response has been useful, and I'd welcome more contribution from ETC. This group's posts are widely read by an influential, but mostly silent, audience of policy makers, Journalists and scientists. It's a good opportunity to boost support for your cause.

Andrew Lockley
Moderator

RE: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Veli Albert Kallio 10/22/12 6:48 AM
I still think we need to focus on the fact that the public do find geoengineers a viable community deserving the support. We should not be distracted by the negative lobby groups like ETC because the public realises that the real problem in quantitative terms is the pollution we put out, not the efforts of geoengineers to remedy it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15399832

How we can loose the main point and continuously stare at a rare healty individual trees while failing to see our pollution that makes the forest sickly in the mean time?
Mitt Romney says CO2 does not cause global warming but distant supernovae and cosmic particles, ETC says that geoengineering is the real threat to our climate. The public does not believe any of these claims, they understand that the inventors of ETC have just invented fund raising machine to award jobs and international travel themselves.
 
When I sponsored the geoengineering session at CMPCC summit, I paid the bills for flights, accommodation etc and people volunteered their time and presentations. No one was on anyone's payroll there. Does ETC people volunteer? Not, barring their fund raisers to stuff their pockets with the cash of donors they ply for. Good business for them.

Regards,

Albert

Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 10:48:58 +0100
Subject: Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations
From: andrew....@gmail.com
To: j...@etcgroup.org; kcal...@gmail.com; mmac...@comcast.net
CC: jrando...@gmail.com; geoengi...@googlegroups.com
Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations David Lewis 10/22/12 10:34 AM
After I read "Geopiracy:  The Case Against Geoengineering" on the ETC website, I, mistakenly as I see now, concluded that ETC couldn't possibly be serious.  I thought their contribution was aimed at provoking laughter.  Hence, my satirical response.  

Readers may understand why I made my mistake if they read that ETC Geopiracy webpage, especially the paragraph that appears under the subhead Actors: 

In this paragraph, ETC describes a conspiracy, which is at present led in public by an alliance of two main groups.  The first group is made up of the leading scientific institutions that exist in the world.  Named specifically are the UK Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences, which are "joined by counterparts in other countries such as Canada, Germany and Russia".  The second group is described as "conservative think tanks (the very ones that used to deny climate change)".  

But the ETC tells us, these groups are just the public front who are taking "the heat" at the moment, for the real villains.  

The group that is "remaining in the background, for now", are waiting for their front groups to deliever "the shock - that climate chaos is upon us and GHG emissions won't be reduced in time", after which, at the appropriate time, they will step forward to deliver their "techno-fixes", i.e. geoengineering.   The group dictating the marching orders the National Academy, the Royal Society, and various conservative think tanks are marching to at the moment is:  "major energy, aerospace and defence industries", i.e. I presume they imply Exxon-Mobil, Haliburton, and what, Boeing?  

Hence, the ETC feels fully justified using their label for all this: "geopiracy", and all who read their argument will now oppose it, presumably.  

What else could I assume but that ETC presents this argument as entertainment?  I had no idea they were serious.  (I may have had an inkling...)

Perhaps "JimETC" will respond with some evidence.  How about some email records of the key communications between Rex Tillerson and Ralph Cicerone?    



On Sunday, October 21, 2012 9:23:04 PM UTC-7, JimETC wrote:
Obviously this is patently silly. ETC Group are not a party to  UNFCCC and if continuing to use air travel constitutes some sort of breach of a UN convention then many people and groups on this list are  also 'in breach' .  So is the IPCC etc etc.  Also didn't there used to be some sort of moderation rule on this list about 'no ad hominem attacks'??? Andrew: what happened to that?
 
Best
RE: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Veli Albert Kallio 10/20/12 4:45 PM
"We do not choose to focus on problems based on an objective appraisal of threats posed, but rather largely based on which actions we find to be most ethically repugnant. Apparently, dumping raw sewage simply to save the cost of sewage processing is less repugnant than fertilizing the ocean in hopes of increasing fish yields. One suspects that the real ethical boundary that Russ George is inferred to have transgressed is the desire to personally profit from unconventional mariculture."

Ken Kaldeira's comment is particularly pertinent, as another similar project by fossil fuel industry to artificially to alter pH of ocean has received no criticism at all:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18045733

It seems to me from the above that the facts and fiction are increasingly getting mixed up by ideological lobbies whose self interest is to just raise money. 

Somehow I am getting both tired and angry about these pointless debates instigated by the climate change denialists, and people who try to prevent even research attempts of geoengineering while turning blind eye when oil companies intentionally seed ocean with carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons etc stuff, and as Ken pointed out raw sewage is often allowed to the sea and farmers pour tons of fertilisers on sea side fields in Sweden every year when floods occur each spring on those sea side fields.

I think geoengineers should strike back when even the water spraying on UK coast was stopped due to some supposed environmental risk last year. I suppose if we re-labelled geoengineering as oil field related research project, we would be only congratulated and said it is welcome project like the one currently polluting ocean with CO2 in Scotland.

Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2012 17:05:39 -0400
Subject: Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations
From: mmac...@comcast.net
To: joshuah...@gmail.com; andrew....@gmail.com
CC: bhaska...@gmail.com; kcal...@carnegiescience.edu; Geoengi...@googlegroups.com

Were HSRC really interested in solid and verifiable carbon credits, investing their money and effort in improving efficiency almost anywhere in the world would seem to have been a much better investment and chance of return. In addition to the actual costs of doing iron fertilization, the transaction costs in terms of lawyers and legal vulnerability would seem to me so high it is hard to understand on what basis they would be drawing in investors. Thus, in addition to being ecologically and legally suspect, isn’t the whole idea economically suspect as well? Were global emissions way down and the CO2 costs way up and ocean acidification causing significant impacts, there might be reason for re-consideration, but I just don’t understand the rationale for this idea when global emissions are headed up, overall efficiencies of energy use are so low, and CO2 permit costs are so low. What am I missing here?

Mike MacCracken


On 10/20/12 3:36 PM, "Joshua Horton" <joshuahorton533@gmail.com> wrote:

According to multiple sources, the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation (HSRC) had planned to sell carbon credits resulting from the experiment (for example, see CBC http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/10/19/bc-ocean-fertilization-haida.html).  Setting aside the fact that there's no way currently to do this, neither Russ George, John Disney (president of HSRC), nor any other corporate or community official has disputed this assertion, not even during the press conference they organized in Vancouver yesterday.

As for the Assessment Framework, the point is not whether or not the experiment was "small-scale," but whether or not it was submitted to the LC/LP for approval under the Framework, which apparently it was not (presumably because it wouldn't have passed scientific muster).

Josh

On Sat, Oct 20, 2012 at 2:51 PM, Andrew Lockley <andrew.lockley@gmail.com> wrote:

Not wishing to take sides, but I don't agree with the points raised.

It's not clear to me what, if any, commercial purpose there was. I don't see any evidence of selling credits, specifically.  It's probably harder to judge the fisheries issue - which may have been within the definition of commercial. However, it may be that the intended fisheries impact was research, not directly commercial, on this specific occasion.

Secondly, the assessment framework expressly permits small scale research. 100t is pretty small scale (two petrol tankers)  even if the effect was spatially dispersed.

Surely it's for objectors to prove a violation, not the converse. Innocent until proven guilty, and all that ....

A

On Oct 20, 2012 7:01 PM, "Josh Horton" <joshuahorton533@gmail.com> wrote:
Circling back to Ken's original question, given what we know it seems pretty clear that the Haida experiment did violate both the CBD and LC/LP.

CBD Decision IX/16(C)(4) explicitly prohibits any research "
used for generating and selling carbon offsets or any other commercial purposes."

Resolution LC/LP.1 (2008) explicitly prohibits any research that has not "
been assessed and found acceptable under the assessment framework."

George and his company have had a week to make their case, including a press conference yesterday, and have neither denied the commercial aspect of the test, nor shown that approval was granted under the LC/LP Assessment Framework.

Josh Horton



On Monday, October 15, 2012 12:38:16 PM UTC-4, Ken Caldeira wrote:
It would be useful if any legal minds in the group would assess exactly the relevant language that Russ George has supposedly violated.

I recall that in negotiations under the London Convention / London Protocol, there was concern not to impact fish farms which of course supply copious nutrients to surrounding waters.

If my recollection was correct, somebody proposed an exception for mariculture. I piped up and said that all ocean fertilization could be considered mariculture and that the CO2 storage could be regarded as a co-benefit, achieved knowingly but not intentionally (just as when we drive a car we knowingly heat the planet although that is not our intent).

My recollection was that in response to this comment, the word 'conventional' was added to the language, so that it now reads:

"Ocean fertilization does not include conventional aquaculture, or mariculture, .. ".   
Resolution LC-LP.1(2008) - IMO <http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CB8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.imo.org%2Fblast%2FblastData.asp%3Fdoc_id%3D14101%26filename%3D1.doc&ei=xzV8ULXmFoKG9QSWsICYCA&usg=AFQjCNFJLn-efXeq0_tlczhFZRjjpRGFGQ&sig2=FC11W0IMKGaw0-Mc166MwQ>

Incidentally, it seems that they have a misplaced comma, as I believe the word 'conventional' was meant to apply to both 'aquaculture'' and 'mariculture', but with the placement of the comma, I read this as 'conventional aquaculture' or 'mariculture'.  I am not enough of a lawyer to know whether the intended meaning or the literal meaning is the one likely to prevail under some sort of adjudication process.

---

It is interesting to see the level of interest that intentional ocean fertilization draws relative to, say, nutrients added to the ocean as a result of farm runoff or inadequately processed sewage. We are very sensitive to the intent with which actions are conducted, and are willing to overlook travesties caused in the normal course of business so that we can focus on physically insignificant acts where the presumed intentions do not meet our high ethical standards.

We do not choose to focus on problems based on an objective appraisal of threats posed, but rather largely based on which actions we find to be most ethically repugnant. Apparently, dumping raw sewage simply to save the cost of sewage processing is less repugnant than fertilizing the ocean in hopes of increasing fish yields. One suspects that the real ethical boundary that Russ George is inferred to have transgressed is the desire to personally profit from unconventional mariculture.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVCu158FqvE <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVCu158FqvE>
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voXiJ5t23sY <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voXiJ5t23sY>
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5gcZ4rojsI <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5gcZ4rojsI>

_______________
Ken Caldeira

Carnegie Institution for Science 
Dept of Global Ecology
260 Panama Street, Stanford, CA 94305 USA
+1 650 704 7212 <tel:%2B1%20650%20704%207212>  kcal...@carnegiescience.edu
http://dge.stanford.edu/labs/caldeiralab <http://dge.stanford.edu/labs/caldeiralab>   @kencaldeira

Our YouTube videos
The Great Climate Experiment: How far can we push the planet? <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce2OWROToAI>   
Geophysical Limits to Global Wind Power <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U7PXjUG-Yk>
More videos <http://www.youtube.com/user/CarnegieGlobEcology/videos>



On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 7:08 AM, M V Bhaskar <bhaska...@gmail.com> wrote:
Andrew

One view is that fertilizing to grow / restore fish is NOT prohibited under LC / LP

Pl see the presentation by Dr David Schnare 
 - 
http://www.thomasjeffersoninst.org/pdf/articles/geo_and_4climatetruths.ppt <http://www.thomasjeffersoninst.org/pdf/articles/geo_and_4climatetruths.ppt>  

Geoengineering and the Four Climate Change Truths:

Perspectives of a Lawyer-Scientist

A Presentation at the

Research Triangle Institute, International 

November 18, 2008


Slide 59
 
....
         The London Convention / London Protocol: You may fertilize if the intent is to grow fish but not if the intent is to dispose of carbon in the ocean.  Hence, focus on “restoration”.

The Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation seems to aim at restoring the Salmon population.

regards

Bhaskar

On Monday, 15 October 2012 17:03:21 UTC+5:30, andrewjlockley  wrote:
http://m.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/15/pacific-iron-fertilisation-geoengineering?cat=environment&type=article <http://m.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/15/pacific-iron-fertilisation-geoengineering?cat=environment&type=article>

Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations

Controversial US businessman's geoengineering scheme off west coast of Canada contravenes two UN conventions

A controversial American businessman dumped around 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the Pacific Ocean as part of a geoengineering scheme off the west coast of Canada in July, a Guardian investigation can reveal.Lawyers, environmentalists and civil society groups are calling it a "blatant violation" of two international moratoria and the news is likely to spark outrage at a United Nations environmental summit taking place in India this week.Satellite images appear to confirm the claim by Californian Russ George that the iron has spawned an artificial plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometres. 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 hopes will net lucrative carbon credits.George is the former chief executive of Planktos Inc, whose previous failed efforts to conduct large-scale commercial dumps near the Galapagos and Canary Islands led to his vessels being barred from ports by the Spanish and Ecuadorean governments. The US Environmental Protection Agency warned him that flying a US flag for his Galapagos project would violate US laws, and his activities are credited in part to the passing of international moratoria at the United Nations limiting ocean fertilisation experimentsScientists are debating whether iron fertilisation can lock carbon into the deep ocean over the long term, and have raised concerns that it can irreparably harm ocean ecosystems, produce toxic tides and lifeless waters, and worsen ocean acidification and global warming."It is difficult if not impossible to detect and describe important effects that we know might occur months or years later," said John Cullen , an oceanographer at Dalhousie University. "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."George says his team of unidentified scientists has been monitoring the results of what may be the biggest ever geoengineering experiment with equipment loaned from US agencies like Nasa and the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. He told the Guardian that it is the "most substantial ocean restoration project in history," and has collected a "greater density and depth of scientific data than ever before"."We've gathered data targeting all the possible fears that have been raised [about ocean fertilisation]," George said. "And the news is good news, all around, for the planet."The dump took place from a fishing boat in an eddy 200 nautical miles west of the islands of Haida Gwaii, one of the world's most celebrated, diverse ecosystems, where George convinced the local council of an indigenous village to establish the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation to channel more than $1m of its own funds into the project.The president of the Haida nation, Guujaaw, said the village was told the dump would environmentally benefit the ocean, which is crucial to their livelihood and culture."The village people voted to support what they were told was a 'salmon enhancement project' and would not have agreed if they had been told of any potential negative effects or that it was in breach of an international convention," Guujaaw said.International legal experts say George's project has contravened the UN's convention on biological diversity (CBD) and London convention on the dumping of wastes at sea, which both prohibit for-profit ocean fertilisation activities."It appears to be a blatant violation of two international resolutions," said Kristina M Gjerde, a senior high seas adviser for the International Union for Conservation of Nature. "Even the placement of iron particles into the ocean, whether for carbon sequestration or fish replenishment, should not take place, unless it is assessed and found to be legitimate scientific research without commercial motivation. This does not appear to even have had the guise of legitimate scientific research."George told the Guardian that the two moratoria are a "mythology" and do not apply to his project.The parties to the UN CBD are currently meeting in Hyderabad, India, where the governments of Bolivia, the Philippines and African nations as well as indigenous peoples are calling for the current moratorium to be upgraded to a comprehensive test ban of geoengineering that includes enforcement mechanisms."If rogue geoengineer Russ George really has misled this indigenous community, and dumped iron into their waters, we hope to see swift legal response to his behavior and strong action taken to the heights of the Canadian and US governments," said Silvia Ribeiro of the international technology watchdog ETC Group, which first discovered the existence of the scheme. "It is now more urgent than ever that governments unequivocally ban such open-air geoengineering experiments. They are a dangerous distraction providing governments and industry with an excuse to avoid reducing fossil fuel emissions.


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Fwd: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations M V Bhaskar 10/21/12 1:05 AM
The media advisory released by Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation's law firm -
http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1055481/media-advisory-the-haida-salmon-restoration-corporation-october-19th-media-availability-on-salmon-enhancement-project

MEDIA ADVISORY - The Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation - October 19th media availability on salmon enhancement project

VANCOUVEROct. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - The Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation, founded and majority owned by the Old Massett Village Council of Haida Gwaii is engaged in on-going ocean research and environmental studies approximately 200 nautical miles west of Haida Gwaii. This work is lawful, on-going, self-funded and in compliance with the Law of the Sea Convention and Canada's Ocean Act.

The purpose of this salmon-enhancement pilot research project, also called ocean restoration or ocean micronutrient replenishment, is to study conditions of the Haida Ocean, with particular attention to the collapse of ocean plankton blooms that traditionally provide nutrients to salmon and other marine life. The Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation is studying and developing methods that may be useful in restoring the growth of phytoplankton and thereby sustain and enhance the production of all marine life and create a sustainable economy for Old Massett.

  • Chief Councillor Ken Rea of the Old Massett Village Council will outline the project and how the village initiated and founded the company to proceed with the project.
  • Mr. John Disney, the president of Haida Salmon Research Corporation will be available along with legal counsel James L. Straith whose firm completed a comprehensive international and domestic legal status review and legal position paper prior to the work done at sea.

Where:  Vancouver Aquarium
  845 Avison Way in Stanley Park
  Media Registration at Aquaquest Reception (white trailer) between 9-9:20 a.m.
When:  Friday October 19, 2012
Time:   9:30 AM

SOURCE: Haida Salmon Restoration Corp.

For further information:

Jay Straith or K. Joseph Spears at  604-921-1122 or e-mail at k...@oceanlawcanada.com

Straith Litigation, 6438 Bay Street, West Vancouver British Columbia Canada V6W 2H1.

-------------------------------------------------------

So they are clear that their actions are legal and it appears that Russ George was only an adviser and not a beneficiary.

regards

Bhaskar

Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Gene 10/22/12 7:46 AM

Geoengineering also splits nations. Nations like Canada, Russia, the Scandanian countries prefer warming and ice melt. Go toward the equator and you have a different result.

 

You cannot please all nations or regions unless it gets too hot for all and that scenario is many many thousands of years away. In the end the only way a geoengineering technique will be accepted without significant rancor is if it is relatively local to a country or region and can be implemented without world wide approval or oversight. What the various countries think then will not be especially relevant. The issue then will be how local and that is not trivial. The oceans outside boundaries pose special problems.

 

Geoengineering techniques that have global impact are interesting but probably have not a chance for implementation. I suggest that the group add potential localization to consideration of geoengineering approaches and options and give higher marks for localization capability.

 

-gene.


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Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2012 11:23:34 PM


Subject: Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations

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Re: [geo] Re: Pacific iron fertilisation is 'blatant violation' of international regulations Mike MacCracken 10/23/12 3:29 AM
Gene—It is not at all clear the northern nations prefer warming and ice melt. The Indigenous Peoples of the Arctic have been pushing under human rights charter for the right to be cold, and the thawing of the permafrost that would result from warming is quite serious. Oil and resource extraction companies might want warming, but it is not clear others do.

Mike



On 10/22/12 10:46 AM, "eSubscription@montgomerycountymd.gov" <euggordon@comcast.net> wrote:

Geoengineering also splits nations. Nations like Canada, Russia, the Scandanian countries prefer warming and ice melt. Go toward the equator and you have a different result.

 

You cannot please all nations or regions unless it gets too hot for all and that scenario is many many thousands of years away. In the end the only way a geoengineering technique will be accepted without significant rancor is if it is relatively local to a country or region and can be implemented without world wide approval or oversight. What the various countries think then will not be especially relevant. The issue then will be how local and that is not trivial. The oceans outside boundaries pose special problems.

 

Geoengineering techniques that have global impact are interesting but probably have not a chance for implementation. I suggest that the group add potential localization to consideration of geoengineering approaches and options and give higher marks for localization capability.

 

-gene.


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