Matt\’s Cuppa

My take on tea, technology, and our environment

Dumping Iron Into The Ocean Is Not A Solution For Global Warming

Posted by telecommatt on October 20, 2007

NPR : Scientists Wary of Iron as Proposed Climate Fix

Two companies say the best way to slow global warming is to dump iron into the oceans.

I listened to this earlier today and it just struck me as a really bad idea. I’m no scientist, but throwing a bunch of iron in the water to make more plankton so they can suck up more of our CO2 emissions seems to miss the point. Not only that, but plankton are way at the bottom of the food chain. If we muck up things at such a fundamental level, that’s going to muck up pretty much everything!  And we humans just don’t have a successful history when it comes to manipulating populations to do our bidding. Think rabbits in Australia and toads in Florida. We mucked around with populations there and now we can’t control the things we set in motion.

Not to mention, the companies that are looking at this are clearly financially motivated. I have a problem with financial motivation for carbon sequestering, because a financial model depends on there being an ever-increasing amount of carbon released that these companies can ‘offset’ in larger and larger volumes in order to keep attracting customers and investors.

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