Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Planktos Highlights Real Ocean/Climate Crises & Responds to Recent Misinformation Campaigns

But first, one of my favorite examples of a stock scam (I told you, I have a morbid fascination with the underbelly of the markets, it's like watching the lions approach the wildebeest at the watering hole, you don't want to see it but you can't look away):

...Peter Uttley, Equisure's chairman and a former Lloyds of London executive, took control of the company this week, assuming the chief executive post....

...Uttley said in the press release that his chairman role had been a "passive" one, but he now plans an active reorganization of the company, whose reputation has been stained by allegations that it is a scam insurance operation....

...In an unusually emotional statement to the press, sent from an Equisure board meeting Friday in London, Uttley told his version of events over the summer, which eventually led to the delisting of Equisure shares on the American Stock Exchange.

"The simple truth was consumed in the belly of deception, but now has been vomited for the world to see," Uttley began.

He then proceeded to tell a story of three men, whom he described as "liars," "cheats," and "scallywags," who worked with law enforcement officials and the press to spread false rumors about the company with the intent of buying Equisure out at 50 cents a share, a tiny fraction of the stock's trading price of $15, before AMEX suspended trading Aug. 1.

Isn't that damn fine bloviating? It's hard to research but I think Uttley et. al. got away with $100 mil.

Here's Russ George of Planktos responding (I think) to Greenpeace's submission to the recent meeting of the International Maritime Organization, in the Ottawa Citizen:

I am not the enemy

The environmentalists attacking my plan to seed carbon-sequestering ocean plankton should understand that we are both on the same side

Russ George, Citizen Special

...And yes, we do this for profit and expect to earn good returns for those who invest in our public company stock....

...After all of this work, I was shocked when Planktos came under attack from fringe environmentalists, who were later joined by a few other organizations and scientists with unfounded reservations about Planktos's methods....

...Why, in a time when our beloved planet is in dire straits, would environmentalists turn on their own? Why is the suspicion and cynicism so deep that it would lead to falsified and emotionally charged mudslinging in press releases and letters to the editor? Why the refusal by some to discuss our approach in more accurate detail and to report on those accurate details? And why the refusal by media and others to consider the possibility that their opening volley was misaligned?

Perhaps it is a kind of fundamentalism that drives this, where all for-profit companies are intrinsically evil, all interventions -- even restorative ones -- a form of desecration. Perhaps they fear that if the patient, in this case Mother Earth, is somehow brought back from the edge of death, their raison d'etre will disappear. I have a hard time understanding what their motives might be.

It seems all is fair game once the enemy is identified. But what if the company or person in the sights is not actually an enemy? What if that company and its people are deeply aligned with the same principles, and our snap judgments have led us to see them with dark red glasses?

In a time of dire straits, we really need all hands on deck, working together to find solutions. We are not yet sure of exactly how effective iron fertilization is as a method to restore oceans and alleviate global warming. Our best estimates are that one-half of global carbon excess could be turned into a revived plankton forest...

Verbal mudslinging serves only to degrade our collective green cause and postpone possible solutions. Instead of leading us to come together and collaborate far more extensively than ever before, it leads to factionalism, suspicion, and infighting. It obscures the noble quest for truth. That's why it is so damaging and unfortunate.

What I most dearly hope is that we can all move beyond infighting and into solidarity in finding, researching, and providing true solutions to the perils ahead.

Russ George is founder, president and CEO of Planktos, KlimaFa and HaidaClimate.

As they say on the nature shows:

"Sadly now, there can be but one outcome"