Friday, November 30, 2007

Finally A Balanced Article on Iron. Thank you Science Mag!

Over the past year I've been bemoaning the poor quality of the scientific debate surrounding iron fertilization. Much of the coverage, even in the scientific journals, is infected by hype, political posturing, and premature speculation by scientists who ought to know better. Yes, we must accept this sort of stuff from the environmental organizations and commercial entities who are pushing their sides of this argument, but academic scientists are not supposed to let politics bias their arguments.

Therefore it was with the most profound relief that I read yesterday's article in Science, written by Eli Kintisch. Finally... a balanced, factual article.

Now if we can just persuade other scientific journals and certain marine scientists to join this trend, perhaps the science behind iron fertilization can start making some progress.

Let the policymakers and politicians fight over the politics. Scientists stick to the facts and avoid speculations. That is my hope for the future.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Name Change...Iron Fertilization News

Over the past few months, it's become apparent that Ocean Iron Fertilization is the big debate in the carbon sequestration field, and that's the topic that seems to get posted in this blog. So for the time being, I'm changing the name to reflect this.

Welcome. Anyone with comments, inside news, opinions, or input, anonymous or not, please send them to They will get posted.

Here is a list of our best posts on this topic:


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Regulating Iron Fertilization

There's been some talk in environmental circles about passing international laws to severely restrict, or ban, ocean iron fertilization.

While I think regulation are a good idea, an outright ban would be an international relations mess and would make the problem worse, not better. Here's one example why:

It's almost 100% certain that either India or China is considering large-scale iron fertilization as a way of complying with post-2012 Kyoto protocol commitments. Both nations are considering joining as of 2012, and both nations have enormous carbon dioxide problems, so the pressure to use iron fertilization will be irresistable. India has already announced a 2009 experiment being done in conjunction with the Wegner Institute under Victor Smetacek -- who is known as a proponent of the technique. We can bet it's going to happen, and it's going to be big.

So, that means we should quickly ban iron fertilzation now, right? Wrong. It won't work out that way. Any short-term effort to ban or super-restrict the technique will be seen as premature and sloppy, and will be ignored.

On the other hand, if on iron fertilization is intelligently regulated, and the regulations are developed in an open and even-handed way, and if those regulations are then applied and tested on current small-scale operations being done by various academic institutions and commercial vendors then those regulations will have "history" and it's more likely that India or China, or whoever, can be persuaded to abide by them.