The Feds May Have Known of Geoengineering Experiment in BC

On Thursday, October 18th, 2012 in Press Releases

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.

Print this page

  • David

    . The purpose of the expedition was to collect information on declining salmon stocks, especially considering the risks to the fisheries posed by oil and gas initiatives such as the Enbridge Gateway Pipeline.

    This is not merely a “business” decision. It is part of decades of work in the Haida Gwaii to reinvigorate declining salmon stocks. George Russ is not a rogue investor, but a world class scientist hired by the village of Masset for a research expedition using top notch oceanographic gear. The results from this expedition are astounding and unlike any other data previously collected.

    The Haida and the village of Masset should be applauded for taking their own initiative to monitor sea life and successfully managing one of the most fruitful ocean science research expeditions ever launched.

    The political knee jerk reaction to this project is extremely concerning. Canada should not inhibit meaningful scientific conduct and should not slander research because it is funded by an independence communities rather than the tax payers.

    • iamli3

      …are you even talking about what this article is about?….

  • Patrick Hollier

    Did that dumping contravene section 36.3 of the Fisheries Act or the Dumping at Sea Regulations?

  • jcmcnch

    “World class scientist”? Hardly…within the academic community, many scientists consider ocean fertilization to be unrealistic and irresponsible. However, Victor Smetacek, one of the leaders in the field who has not dismissed this idea and is actively investigating it, has strongly criticized this study, and for good reason. To establish any positive effects from a study like this is extremely complex, and needs to be evaluated and criticized by peers in the science community. The fact that this study was conducted in secret and without the same kind of international oversight as ALL other iron fertilization experiments suggests to me that this is not a very serious undertaking, and not anything that would command respect in the scientific community.

    While I do sympathize with the Haida people’s desire to restore their salmon stocks, I would suggest that an experiment like this is unlikely to have the intended consequences. Firstly, an algal bloom such as the one that supposedly resulted from this iron fertilization will be transient. Little plankton and bacteria eat the algae very quickly, and even if salmon were able to gain some extra nutrition from this, it would only be a drop in the bucket in the long run. How also would we detect the effect this bloom had on salmon stocks? It’s difficult enough to prove that there was an algal bloom, and that the algal bloom sequestered carbon dioxide. It’s not as though it can’t be done, but what evidence do we have that such a strategy could help?

    Also, there may be unintended consequences from these types of experiments. As algae grow and divide, they produce a huge amount of organic carbon from CO2. When these algae are inevitably eaten by bacteria, the bacteria consume oxygen to eat the algae, removing oxygen from the water. This simple concept shows one of the huge dangers with any of these experiments. Anoxic conditions could have a huge negative impact on fish stocks.

  • Aaron Brockovich

    What about fracking in the Province of New Brunswick. Its highly toxic and will destroy the environment. There should be a bann on this at all costs. Radon gas arsenic poisoning whats next. there are communities that are being exposed over lonv periods of time and people in there early fifties are all dying of cancer. hmmm. Sounds like a class action lawsuit in the making. Sounds a lot like that true story movie called Aaron Brockovich.

  • iamli3

    the mass dumping of toxic iron waste , or as the shills of the power structure put it “ocean fertilization” is just another nail in our rapidly descending collective coffin , good that may was covering this even back then when i wasn’t fully aware of this issue yet , but there’s so much more going on it’s almost impossible to quantify it all at this point , but is the place to go to start finding credible data on this matter of the damage it’s doing to our entire planet , i personally gave may a card for this site the other day , hope she’ll really look into it soon…..

How you can help

Follow Me

facebook-icon Facebook Twitter YouTube Digg


Learn how to support Elizabeth May with her work in Parliament ALT

Latest Articles

Ottawa Citizen: Trudeau must step up on climate change at G20 summit
July 5th, 2017

Island Tides: Movement for Oceans
June 22nd, 2017

Policy Magazine: The Slow Pace of Parliament
June 21st, 2017

Hill Times: The Liberals’ climate plan? A chocolate cake diet
June 7th, 2017

Policy Magazine: A Green Balance of Power in BC
May 15th, 2017

Island Tides: Another Liberal promise about to be broken on Canada’s navigable waters?
April 27th, 2017

Green Party Logo

Constituency Office

1-9711 Fourth St
Sidney, BC  V8L 2Y8

Phone: 250-657-2000
Fax: 250-657-2004


Parliament Hill Office

518 Confederation Building
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A6

Phone: 613-996-1119
Fax: 613-996-0850


Jobs & Volunteering

Click here for the latest opportunities