UK Newspaper The Guardian revealed yesterday that an American businessman conducted a massive ocean fertilisation test, dumping around 100 tonnes of iron sulphate off British Columbia’s coast. Californian Russ George conducted the Geoengineering experiment. He claims the iron has spawned an artificial plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometers. It now appears the Canadian government may have known of the project and let it happen.
The geoengineering technique of “ocean fertilization” creates an artificial bloom of plankton in the ocean in the hope it will absorb carbon dioxide and then sink to the ocean bed.
“This kind of experiment is very, very risky business. Scientists have warned us it can destroy oceanic ecosystems, create toxic tides, and aggravate ocean acidification and global warming. The long-term absorption of carbon dioxide in water is also contested. The bottom line is that ocean fertilization has a high potential of catastrophic effects and a low potential of success. It is a road we should not take at any cost,” said Elizabeth May, Green Party of Canada Leader and MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands.
“The fact that Federal officials may have known about this and let it to happen is disturbing. Have they allowed a Californian rogue investor to play with fire at the expense of Canada’s environment? I never thought I’d see something like this happen in my country,” added May.
News of the geoengineering experiment in BC surfaces as the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity is held in India. “It raises a concern that Canada’s blocking of international rules around such geoengineering experiments at the Biodiversity Convention meetings is tied to turning a blind eye to this unprecedented blunder,” concluded the Green Leader.