Rogue Bizman Dumps 100 Tons of Iron Into Sea in 'Experiment'

Canada probing possible treaty violations
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Oct 19, 2012 2:23 AM CDT
Updated Oct 19, 2012 3:00 AM CDT
Russ George, 62, is coming under heavy criticism for his iron sulphate dumping stunt in the Pacific Ocean.   (VPROBeagle)

(Newser) – A California businessman dumped 100 tons of iron sulphate dust into the Pacific Ocean as part of a rogue "experiment" that has infuriated scientists and government officials. The operation launched by Russ George, 62, spewed the dust off western Canada in exchange for $2.5 million from a native Haida Canadian group in a project with no government or scientific oversight, reports the New York Times. The iron appeared to trigger the growth of enormous amounts of plankton. George claims the plankton created by the "state-of-the-art" study may boost salmon populations and absorb carbon dioxide. The Haida people are considering the possibility of selling carbon offset credits to companies to make money from the project, reports the Times.

Such manipulative "geoengineering" is one idea to "fix" climate change. But it can be very dangerous. “Geoengineering is extremely controversial,” says one expert. “There is a need to protect the environment while making sure safe and legitimate research can go ahead.” Another called it "ocean dumping." Canadian officials are investigating, pointing out that the action likely broke international treaties, reports the Guardian. (Read more Canada stories.)

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