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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

THE END OF OTEC?

The OTEC professors of Japan and the USA are Yasuyuki Ikegami of Saga University:


and Luis Vega of the University of Hawaii:


No poll was taken.  This is just my personal opinion, but I would welcome any discussion on this matter.

I have two compelling reasons, though, for indicating the above.  First, Professor Ikegami sent me a dire concern about a possible killer future hurdle for developing OTEC.  The International Maritime Organization (IMO), a formidable specialized agency of the United Nations, is in the process of banning marine geoengineering, which includes anything related to OTEC, seawater air conditioning and deep ocean water applications

Here are some historical references:
  • In the 1930's, English biologist Joseph Hart suggested that ocean deserts can be made productive with the addition of iron
  • American scientist John Martin (right) in the 80's reported that iron micronutrients could mitigate global warming, and his colleagues in the 90's conducted ocean experiments
  • One percent of the ocean where natural upwelling occurs produces 50% of fishery catches
  • In 1991 the Mount Pinatubo eruption deposited 40,000 tons of iron dust into the ocean:  there was a measurable decline in atmospheric carbon dioxide
  • Last year, Russ George, former chief executive of Planktos Inc., orchestrated the dumping of 100 tons of iron sulphate into the Pacific Ocean close to the west coast of Canada:  10,000 square kilometers of artificial plankton bloom were spawned.
Thus, it is becoming obvious that nutrient addition at the surface of our oceans, whether dumped, or through upwelling, both natural and artificial, can reduce global warming and enhance fisheries.  Is this good or bad?  The IMO is apparently saying that there are too many dangers and this practice should be stopped, now.  However, there will be a clause where a process will be established to review exceptions.  Can you imagine, in addition to the plethora or governmental permits and environmental opposition, OTEC enterprises going through the United Nations for approval?  That in itself could discourage risk averse financial interests.

So what can you do?  Communicate with Professor Ikegami:

ikegami@ioes.saga-u.ac.jp




The General-Secretary of the IMO is Koji Sekimi (right) of Japan.  The key next meeting will occur from 14-18October2013 on Regulation of Ocean Fertilization and Other Activities, submitted by Australia, Nigeria and Republic of Korea.

While this should not dissuade you from taking action, my experience with the United Nations and the attitude of the USA is that nothing much ever happens that means anything.  I attended too many meetings of the Law of the Sea Treaty a third of a century ago.  The U.S. Senate has not yet ratified that treaty.

Finally, item two.  Luis Vega last year published the ultimate summary of OTEC.  I would advise that you bookmark:


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Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke today surprised the financial community by deciding not to taper quantitative easing.  Of course, if you're a normal citizen, you don't know what this is.  So click on it!  As a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an ALL-TIME HIGH, jumping 200 points in the final two hours, closing at 15,677.  NASDAQ ended at a 13-year high.  Gold jumped $56/ounce.  By the way, in case you missed it, Janet Yellen (right) is now expected to replace Bernanke in January.

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