Thursday, October 29, 2020

Plankton Week: Planktos and the Pope

One of the people who decided that iron fertilization of plankton to remove CO2 from the atmosphere was a good idea was Russ George. At the time the European Emissions scheme was coming off the 2006 €30 per tonne price level but the tout was €50; €80; €100 per tonne and Russ wanted some of that action, no point in letting the Chinese with the 'ol HFC-23 scam (HFC-23 is 11,700 times more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, the CCP would build factories to produce it and then get paid BILLIONS for shutting them down) or the Russians  with the Gazprom leaky pipes scam (unburned methane is 20x more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas), the Russians were looking at $50 billion.

"I don't know if climate change is caused by burning coal or sun flares or what," said the Moscow-based carbon cowboy. "And I don't really give a shit. Russia is the most energy inefficient country around, and carbon is the most volatile market ever. There's a lot of opportunity to make money."
Yeah we've been doing this for a while. Rio, 1992.
Here's one of our posts on Russ George:

Planktos' Russ George Is Back

One of the Vancouver denizens.
In his last incarnation we got to watch his stock go to zero.
From Pacific Standard:
In July 2012, a commercial fishing charter called Ocean Pearl motored through the frigid waters of the North Pacific. It carried 100 tons of iron dust and a crew of 11, led by a tall and heavyset 62-year-old American named Russ George. Passing beyond Canada’s territorial limit, the vessel arrived at an area of swirling currents known as the Haida eddies. There, in an eddy that had been chosen for the experiment, George and his crew mixed their cargo of iron with seawater and pumped it into the ocean through a hose, turning the waters a cloudy red. In early August, the ship returned to port, where the crew loaded an additional 20 tons of iron. They dumped it near the same Haida eddy a few weeks later, bringing to an end the most audacious and, before long, notorious attempt yet undertaken by man to modify Earth’s climate.
The expedition was grand in its aims and obscure in its patronage. Funding George’s voyage was a village of Haida Indians on Haida Gwaii, a remote Canadian archipelago about 500 miles northwest of Vancouver. George and his business partners had gained the town’s support for a project of dumping iron dust into the ocean to stimulate the growth of a plankton bloom. The plankton would help feed starving salmon, upon which the Haida had traditionally depended for their livelihood, and also remove a million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. (In algae form, plankton, like all plants, absorbs CO2 through photosynthesis.) The intended result: a replenished fish population—and millions of dollars’ worth of “carbon credits” that could be sold on the international market.

Back on land, in Vancouver, George and his associates drafted a report on the expedition. It claimed that Ocean Pearl had seeded more than 3,800 square miles of barren waters, leaving in its wake “a verdant emerald sea lush with the growth of a hundred million tonnes of plankton.” According to the account, fin, sperm, and sei whales, rarely seen in the region, appeared in large numbers, along with killer whales, dolphins, schools of albacore tuna, and armies of night-feeding squid. Albatross, storm petrels, sooty shearwaters, and other seabirds had circled above the ship, while flocks of Brant geese came to rest on the water and drifted with the bloom.

But George did little to publicize these findings. Instead, he set about compiling the data in private, telling people that he intended to produce a precise estimate of the CO2 he had removed from the atmosphere and then invite an independent auditor to certify his claims.

If that was the plan, it quickly fell apart. In October 2012, the Guardian of London broke the news of George’s expedition, saying it “contravenes two UN conventions” against large-scale ocean fertilization experiments. Numerous media outlets followed up with alarmed, often savage, reports, some of which went so far as to label George a “rogue geoengineer” or “eco-terrorist.” Amid the uproar, Canadian environment minister Peter Kent accused George of “rogue science” and promised that any violation of the country’s environmental law would be “prosecuted to the full extent.”

George, for his part, spoke of media misrepresentation, and he stressed that he was engaged in cautious research. Amid the controversy, in an interview with Scientific American, he was asked whether his iron fertilization had worked. “We don’t know,” he answered. “The correct attitude is: ‘Data, speak to me.’ Do the work, get the data, let it speak to you and tell you what the facts might be.” While most commenters seemed to think George had gone too far, some expressed sympathy—or at least puzzled ambivalence. A Salon headline the following summer asked, “Does Russ George Deserve a Nobel Prize or a Prison Sentence?

GEORGE’S EFFORTS PLACE HIM in the company of a small but growing group of people convinced that global warming can be halted only with the aid of dramatic intervention in our planet’s natural processes, an approach known as geoengineering. The fixes envisioned by geoengineers range from the seemingly trivial, like painting roads and roofs white to reflect solar radiation, to the extraterrestrial, like a proposal by one Indian physicist to use the explosive power of nuclear fusion to elongate Earth’s orbit by one or two percent, thus reducing solar intensity. (It would also add 5.5 days to the year.)...MORE
Possibly also of interest:

Did Planktos Commit a Fraud Upon the Market? (PLKT.PK)
Planktos: $2 MM Private Placement
A Problem with Planktos
Is Something Very Wrong With Planktos? (PLKT.OB)
Planktos (PLKT.OB): Denied Landing Rights! AND What the hell is the boat doing in the Canary Islands?
Planktos Highlights Real Ocean/Climate Crises & Responds to Recent Misinformation Campaigns
And Il Papa?
A July 2007 post:
The Outlook wasn't brilliant for the Rustville nine that day:

They thought, if only Rusty could get but a whack at that -
We'd put up even money, now, with Rusty at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with ore;

...With a smile of Christian charity great Rusty's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;

..."Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Rusty and the audience was awed.

...Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Rustville - mighty Rusty has struck out.
Apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer. Original at the Baseball Almanac

After getting shellacked by the WWF; spanked by Greenpeace and clobbered by the International Maritime Organisation, Planktos had to go deep into the bullpen to bring out:
Il Papa.

Planktos/KlimaFa's New Vatican Climate Forest Initiative to Fully Green the Holy See
San Francisco -- July 12, 2007 -- By agreement with the Vatican, Planktos/KlimaFa is now pleased and honored to announce that the Vatican plans to become the world's first entirely carbon neutral sovereign state, and it has accepted KlimaFa ecorestoration offsets to achieve this historic goal. In a brief ceremony on July 5th the Vatican declared that it had gratefully accepted KlimaFa's offer to create a new Vatican Climate Forest in Europe that will initially offset all of the Vatican City State's CO2 emissions for this year.

His Most Reverend Eminence Cardinal Paul Poupard presided at the event and stated, “As President of the Pontifical Council of Culture; I am honored to receive this donation from the leaders of Planktos-Klimafa. This donation means an entire section of a national park in central Europe will be reforested.
And now, Numbers 11:32
"... he that gathered least, gathered ten homers..."
but Rusty still struck out. 

Of course it was just part of the stock promotion. January, 2008:
....The December 19, 2007 press release had no mention of Il Papa:
...As a result of the unanticipated events in the Canary Islands as well as the fact that the Company is presently in need of funds to support its ocean and forest-based projects, the decision has been made to remain in Madeira until the Company can better assess its priorities and funding needs. 
Madeira, nice hood.
Except maybe when the Pope you are jacking around was Benedict, formerly head of of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, also known as The Spanish Inquisition
The story so far: 
October 28