A Few Things Ill Considered

Reading a post on Deep-Sea News, and considering some of the recent worries about it I’ve read and considered on my own it occurs to me that, like flouride in drinking water, ocean fertilization is promising to be a great excuse to dump all kinds of crap in the ocean.

Got some industrial waste? If you can find some dubious mechanism whereby it may cause some plankton blooming, why not get paid to dump it in the ocean instead of paying to properly dispose of it?

Stay tuned for all kinds of abuses and misuses….


  1. #1 Dunc
    November 6, 2007

    Yay! Eutrophication is not only a Good Thing, it’s going to be saleable! What a brilliant idea!

    Does this mean we’ll also be able to claim carbon credits for agricultural run-off?

  2. #2 coby
    November 6, 2007

    re: agricultural run-off – exactly what I was thinking, let’s watch for the first such claim, it can’t be far away!

  3. #3 John Mashey
    November 10, 2007

    [Editor’s note: sorry this got caught and overlooked in an approval queue I never check for the last 9 months! oops…]
    It does seem like there are two different cases:
    1) People like Planktos who want to do something different and make money doing it.

    2) People who want to get rid of byproducts cheaper.

    In either case, the last I heard, good R&D management meant:
    1) Do research.
    2) Do Development
    3) Deploy & scale up

    and it’s usually considered Good Form to make sure in 1) that you understand whether something works and whether or not it has side-effects.

    I attended a conference recently that included a few other wild ideas, and it doesn’t seem all bad to be exploring anything remotely reasonable at stage 1), because it will take decades. Of course, leaping to scaled-up deployment with accompanying front-page claims that such geoengineering will fix everything … don’t think so.