He's been called a geo-vigilante, an eco-terrorist, or alternatively a visionary who simply wants to save the world. For years, American businessman Russ George has nurtured a controversial idea: to fix global warming by seeding the ocean with iron. Thumbing his nose at U.N. conventions and possibly Canadian law, George teamed up with a Haida village on B.C.'s West Coast and carried out the biggest iron fertilization project to date.
Gillian Findlay investigates the eco-entrepreneur who once sold the Vatican on a non-existent forest, and tells the story of how he convinced a tiny First Nations community to invest 2.5 million dollars and to dump 100 tonnes of iron-rich dust off their shores.
The people of Old Massett, Haida Gwaii, are stewards of one of the most celebrated ecosystems in the world. But gone are the fish and the economy they supported. So when Russ George came knocking with his idea to help solve global warming while healing their economic woes, the people of Old Massett were ready to listen. His theory is to grow plankton blooms by dumping iron sulphate into the ocean. As the plankton grows it absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The community would ultimately be able to sell carbon credits on an international market. Or so the theory went... In the end, it didn't turn out to be quite that simple.