Questionable carbon-offsets

This can’t possibly mean what the plain meaning of the words seems to say. According to The Independent, a company called Planktos is going around seeding the oceans with iron, hoping to nourish carbon-fixing plankton, in spite of the fact that tests show this doesn’t work.

A number of small-scale trials tested Martin’s idea but it soon emerged that zooplankton multiplied as quickly as the phytoplankton, with the result that the animals quickly ate the organic material formed as a result of adding the iron. Instead of the carbon sequestered by the phytoplankton sinking to the seabed as planned, it was emitted to the sea and air by the feeding zooplankton.

Nevertheless, the Planktos team believe that the Waterbird II mission will raise greater awareness of what the oceans can do in mitigating the effects of climate change.

Planktos (they’re having grave problems with their website as I write this evening, so the link might not work) is a commercial venture aimed at generating carbon-offset credits for industrial customers operating in carbon-limited jurisdictions; they also sell offsets you and I can buy (online!) to assuage our consciences for various sins against the planet — $20 for driving a small car for a year, for example.

Let’s just say that assuming The Independent has any idea what’s it’s talking about, I won’t be buying any of these indulgences.


One response to “Questionable carbon-offsets

  1. Pingback: Planktos charges ahead « The EcoLibertarian

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