World's biggest geoengineering experiment 'violates' UN rules

I think this is fantastic:

World's biggest geoengineering experiment 'violates' UN rules

A controversial American businessman dumped around 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the Pacific Ocean as part of a geoengineering scheme off the west coast of Canada in July, a Guardian investigation can reveal.

Lawyers, environmentalists and civil society groups are calling it a "blatant violation" of two international moratoria and the news is likely to spark outrage at a United Nations environmental summit taking place in India this week.

Satellite images appear to confirm the claim by Californian Russ George that the iron has spawned an artificial plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometres. The intention is for the plankton to absorb carbon dioxide and then sink to the ocean bed -- a geoengineering technique known as ocean fertilisation that he hopes will net lucrative carbon credits.

George is the former chief executive of Planktos Inc, whose previous failed efforts to conduct large-scale commercial dumps near the Galapagos and Canary Islands led to his vessels being barred from ports by the Spanish and Ecuadorean governments. The US Environmental Protection Agency warned him that flying a US flag for his Galapagos project would violate US laws, and his activities are credited in part to the passing of international moratoria at the United Nations limiting ocean fertilisation experiments

Scientists are debating whether iron fertilisation can lock carbon into the deep ocean over the long term, and have raised concerns that it can irreparably harm ocean ecosystems, produce toxic tides and lifeless waters, and worsen ocean acidification and global warming.

"It is difficult if not impossible to detect and describe important effects that we know might occur months or years later," said John Cullen , an oceanographer at Dalhousie University. "Some possible effects, such as deep-water oxygen depletion and alteration of distant food webs, should rule out ocean manipulation. History is full of examples of ecological manipulations that backfired."

Like... for example... the oil industry? Or the Industrial Revolution? Or the invention of agriculture? Our entire civilization is an "ecological manipulation". That's what "civilization" means. It's not just going to sort itself out on its own, you incomprehensible pinheads. Doing nothing is no longer an option.

George says his team of unidentified scientists has been monitoring the results of the biggest ever geoengineering experiment with equipment loaned from US agencies like Nasa and the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. He told the Guardian that it is the "most substantial ocean restoration project in history," and has collected a "greater density and depth of scientific data than ever before".

"We've gathered data targeting all the possible fears that have been raised [about ocean fertilisation]," George said. "And the news is good news, all around, for the planet." [...]

"If rogue geoengineer Russ George really has misled this indigenous community, [blah blah blah]

Whatever, if Russ George does not have "Rogue Geoengineer" on his business cards, what the hell is wrong with him?

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Great news, everybody! Television is only twice as bad for you as smoking!

Get Up. Get Out. Don't Sit.

Every single hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces the viewer's life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.

By comparison, smoking a single cigarette reduces life expectancy by about 11 minutes, the authors said.

Looking more broadly, they concluded that an adult who spends an average of six hours a day watching TV over the course of a lifetime can expect to live 4.8 years fewer than a person who does not watch TV.

Those results hold true, the authors point out, even for people who exercise regularly. It appears, Dr. Veerman says, that "a person who does a lot of exercise but watches six hours of TV" every night "might have a similar mortality risk as someone who does not exercise and watches no TV." [...]

Why a seemingly blameless activity like sitting should be detrimental to health, even for those of us who work out, is not fully understood, although it is assiduously being studied at many labs.

One partial explanation, however, is obvious. "The most striking feature of prolonged sitting is the absence of skeletal muscle contractions, particularly in the very large muscles of the lower limbs," says David W. Dunstan, a professor at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia, senior author of the Australian study, and a pioneer in the study of sedentary behavior.

When muscles don't contract, they require less fuel, and the surplus, in the form of blood sugar, accumulates in the bloodstream, contributing to diabetes risk and other health concerns.

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God Dammit, Facebook.

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To nobody's great surprise, the "This is Spam" link doesn't work: it just redirects to the Facebook front page.

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