Mad-science experiment postponed

Feature story - 15 July, 2002
A CO2 experiment that sounds more like bad science fiction than a global solution has been delayed because of international pressure. But the message is clear. Countries that are not yielding to pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are quietly manoeuvring in the background to find hi-tech solutions rather than make the right move to green energy.

Instead of stopping emissions like these at an oil refinery in the Netherlands, scientists in Norway want to pump the emissions into the sea. Then it's just a matter of waiting to see what happens.

Any 5 year-old can tell you that if the kitchen sink is overflowing with water, you have to turn off the tap, not cut a hole in the floor and let it drain down to the basement.

But the scientists trying to solve the planet's problems are getting desperate and hell bent on finding a modern technological solution rather than stopping the problem at the source.

The same countries that are resisting international efforts to dramatically reduce carbon dioxide and climate change inducing emissions have cooked up a plan to dump this pollution in the ocean. A group of researcher institutions from the US, Norway, Canada, Australia and Japan are funding this mad science experiment to dump 5.4 tonnes of liquid carbon dioxide into the sea of Norway. But because of growing international opposition the experiment has been delayed.

These corporations, who know their technology belongs in last century, would rather keep lining their pockets while the atmosphere chokes than do what everyone knows will have to be done sooner rather than later. Old blokes, old money, old technology, old ideas - soon to be dead unless the earth's atmosphere loses out.

It didn't seem to occur to them that this technology is illegal in the first place.

Dumping industrial waste at sea, including CO2 from fossil fuel emissions is illegal under the international OSPAR and London Conventions.


CO2 is the world's biggest industrial waste product and is causing more damage to our environment than any other single factor. Ice caps are melting, sea levels rising, coral reefs are being wiped out and our planet may never completely recover from the effects of climate change if we don't kick-start a revolution in clean green energy for all.

As governments scramble to find the least painful economic solutions to climate change, this consortium of countries was quietly working in the background without anyone knowing about it.

But over the last few weeks, the experiment has been the subject of concerns in Norway and around the world. The OSPAR commission also politely pointed out that they need to come up with a common position on this as soon as possible.

Dumping blocks of frozen CO2 at sea and pumping liquid CO2 through pipelines under 3000m which they expect would sink and form "lakes" on the sea bed - these are the rational solutions that have been suggested so that we can maintain an ignorant lifestyle of energy consumption.


The delay of the Norwegian experiment is the first step. The Rainbow Warrior will arrive in Oslo, Norway on Tuesday and we will meet with the Norwegian Environment Ministry officals and others opposed to this plan.