Archive for April, 2008

I don’t know if you’re sick of the subject by now, but iron fertilization of the oceans is back in the news – this time on CNNmoney.com. This is a good sign, if only because it signals that people with money are beginning to hear that we need to put some major resources into reducing the amount of carbon that’s in the atmosphere (not just reducing the amount that is still going in).

Yes, yes, this is that issue I keep bringing up owing to having recently written a bunch of articles about the subject. (If you want a return to the varied and occasionally witty posts of old, I’m sorry, my brain is fried. Go read the Gist.) But finally it looks like Climos is edging out from the somewhat disreputable shadow of Planktos and getting a bit of attention on its own merits.

The CNN article sums up the appeal of iron fertilization soberly and without fanfare, but in language that might get the attention of investors:

Like other potential solutions to the climate crisis that carry risks – think nuclear power or the idea of burying CO2 in the ground near coal plants – ocean iron fertilization deserves a close look.

In case you haven’t finished reading the five Oceanus articles yet, the CNN piece does a nice job of summarizing them, and offers a link, even going so far as to call them “lively” – a gratuitous adjective that it must be said occasioned a small thrill on the part of Yours Scribbly.

So anyhow, Climos CEO Dan Whaley sounds appropriately level-headed, too:

“This is no silver bullet,” [he said] “It’s not going to fix the problem of climate change. But it’s a significant lever.”

A better way to say it would be “it might be a significant lever if it’s still as promising after we’ve worked out the maze of methods and monitoring obstacles still out there.” But at least it’s more level headed than Planktos sounded last year (NYT):

“This is organic gardening, not rocket science,” said Russ George, the chief executive of Planktos, the company behind the WeatherBird II project. “Can it possibly be as easy as we say it is? We’re about to find out.”

Put it this way: last month, the company fired its CEO, put its ship up for sale, laid off most of its employees, closed its Foster City, Calif., office, started looking into farming trees, and posted this on its website:

The Company’s Board of Directors has decided to abandon any future ocean fertilization efforts that were once intended to restore marine plant life and generate ecological offsets for the global carbon credit market.

(Image: Theodore Gray/periodictable.com)

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north atlantic right whale mother and calf / NOAADetect. Transmit. Analyze. Notify. Avoid.

Sounds like a pretty straightforward way to keep ships from plowing into whales. It’s just in the knick of time then, as collisions are an all-too-frequent occurrence along the busy Atlantic seaboard.

The Boston Globe has the story of the new system, just installed in Massachusetts Bay. Here’s the project website itself, complete with maps of the action, plus multimedia so you don’t have to do any pesky reading.

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