Geoengieering, more accurately called Planetary Engineering, is the deliberate large-scale intervention in the Earth’s natural systems to counteract climate change.

A great deal of media in 2012 labelled our project as “Geoengineering”.  The facts behind our ocean research mission in 2012 are that we generated an oceanic plankton bloom approximately 35,000 square kilometers in size. 

The Pacific Ocean is 165,200,000 square kilometers.  Our experiment involved approximately 0.0002 % of the Pacific Ocean surface area.  Furthermore, the plankton bloom is short lived, and cannot sustain itself indefinitely. Clearly, our 2012 project cannot meet the definition of a large-scale intervention.

However, let’s discuss Geoengineering.  By reading this discussion, you are Geoengineering.  We all do. Nearly every activity we humans do, affects the environment in some way. For decades, our species has been ‘dumping’ billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which has manifested as an increase of global average temperature, and sea level rise.  Using the definition of ‘large-scale intervention in the Earth’s natural systems’ as a test for Geoengineering, it appears that we humans have been doing this for decades.

The city of Montreal in Quebec Canada dumps over 3.6 billion liters of untreated raw sewage and wastewater into the St Lawrence River each year.  Victoria British Columbia dumps an astonishing 34.2 billion liters (34 million tons) into the Ocean, every year.  This effluent is known to be a negative environmental stress.

Within the context of geoengineering, or ocean ecosystem health one must ask, why is it OK to dump billions of liters of known hazardous material into our fresh water and oceans, but media-based controversy arises when placing 120 tons of a known nutrient back into the ocean, that has been scientifically shown to be in necessary and beneficial?  Our project placed 0.0000029 % as much material into the Ocean as the City of Victoria. 

 

 

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