Geoengineering is an intimidating prospect without crusaders who decide to act alone. A businessman who originally hoped to sell carbon offsets by seeding the ocean with plankton has dumped tons of iron from a fishing boat into the Pacific.
We first mentioned Planktos back in 2010 as a company hoping to sell carbon offsets by seeding the ocean with iron. The insane idea: iron will spur phytoplankton growth and the resulting blooms will absorb a whole bunch of CO2. This geoengineering scheme has been one of the most controversial theoretical ways to combat global warming.
Back then Planktos was putting its intense plans on hold. However, the Guardian is now reporting that the American businessman behind the company, Russ George, dumped 100 tons of iron sulphate into the Pacific over the summer. He did it from a fishing boat 200 nautical miles from the British Columbia archipelago Haida Gwaii, also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands.
Local people on the islands thought George was undertaking a "salmon enhancement project," and would never have supported it had they known about the potential negative effects, the president of Haida nation told the Guardian. The iron dump likely violated international rules and the United Nations might take it up at their environmental summit in India this week.