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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Vatican was victim of man caused climate change scam in 2007. 13 days after photo op presenting phony carbon dioxide certificate to Vatican, perp was sitting before US Congress along with Joe Romm as esteemed global warming expert-CS Monitor

4/20/2010, "Carbon offsets: How a Vatican forest failed to reduce global warming," CS Monitor, Doug Struck, Budapest, Hungary 

7/5/07, Vatican accepts CO2 certificate fr. Russ George






"From a scheme to create an algae bloom in the South Pacific to a Vatican forest in the plains of Hungary –how one carbon offset developer's ideas failed to reduce global warming."
 
"Russ George described himself as a man of vision. He certainly envisioned making money.

The San Francisco promoter saw the profit of promising to remove carbon dioxide from the air and selling that promise as carbon offsets to polluters, a plan he touted in interviews, press releases, and even to a congressional committee."...


7/18/07, Russ George in Congress
 

 





 
July 18, 2007: 13 days after his Vatican photo-op, Russ George was an esteemed expert speaking before a US Congressional committee,  Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, about carbon offsets and global warming. "Witnesses: Derik Broekhoff, Senior Associate, World Resources Institute; Joseph Romm, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; Thomas Boucher, President and Chief Executive Officer, NativeEnergy LLC; Russ George, President and Chief Exeuctive Officer, Planktos, Inc.; Eric Blatchford, CEO, TerraPass." Image of Russ George and others before Congress, 7/18/2007 from RussGeorge.net

(continuing, CS Monitor): "He just needed seed money. Nelson Skalbania, a high-profile Canadian real estate trader who had spent a year wearing a court-supervised electronic bracelet for a conviction in Canada of misappropriating $100,000 in investor funds, was just the kind of “green angel” – as Mr. George called him – who would put up the money.

With Mr. Skalbania’s backing, George bought the 152-foot research vessel Weatherbird II, repainted it with his new company name – Planktos – and hired a crew to sail for the Galapagos Islands in summer 2007.

His plan was to enlist one of nature’s carbon sponges, algae. He’d scatter a fertilizer of iron dust on 2.4 million acres of the South Pacific, he announced. In three weeks, it would produce a massive bloom of phytoplankton algae, which would inhale carbon dioxide, then sink with the carbon. George would sell his estimate of the absorbed carbon as “carbon offsets” at $5 a ton and make millions. 


The Weatherbird II was under sail preparing to scatter 50 to 100 tons of iron dust when an outcry stopped it. Scientists said there was no way to tell what the iron or algae would do to the ocean environment. Diplomats cited treaties against dumping at sea. The captain of a Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship threatened to ram the vessel. The Weatherbird II diverted to the Atlantic. 


But George already was working on another plan: to plant millions of trees in rural Hungary and sell the carbon dioxide those trees could be expected to absorb. 


He formed a Hungarian company, KlimaFa – “Climate Trees.” His publicity strategy: Present the Vatican with carbon offsets to make the Holy See carbon neutral based on the trees he’d plant.

The photo of George handing Cardinal Paul Poupard the offset certificates at the Vatican on July 5, 2007, went worldwide.
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In the glow of that publicity coup, George offered offsets for sale on his Planktos website. There are no public records of how much he sold. But with the growing outcry over the sea-seeding scheme, Planktos abruptly closed in December 2007.


KlimaFa – and the Vatican’s still unfulfilled offsets – were left in the hands of a Budapest partner, David Gazdag. He blogged a few times about the project, occasionally stopped by government offices to talk, but planted no trees.

“This is a problem,” Gyorgy Dallos, a World Wildlife Federation official, said in Budapest. Carbon offsets create “false hope” if they’re not real. The Vatican’s emissions, he noted, are not neutralized.

Few of the players want to talk about that problem. Mr. Gazdag agreed to an interview in Budapest, then canceled. A Vatican spokesman says “the case is being studied to take legal action in order to defend the Vatican’s reputation.The Hungarian government, once an enthusiastic supporter of the project, now wants no part of it. Erika Hasznos, [*] Hungary’s chief climate policy officer, walked out of an interview when asked if KlimaFa had submitted applications for the project.

George created another website in 2008, announcing a new business, Planktos-Science. He did not agree to an interview. He replied by e-mail that this story seemed a “potentially hostile piece” and insisted his new company is “no longer affiliated with the now defunct” old company he ran.
In the impoverished village of Tiszakeszi, where KlimaFa trees were to be planted, Mayor Kiss Lajos looks forlornly over the empty space along the Tisza River where George had promised to plant “the Vatican Forest” and create hundreds of jobs.

“We felt honored because the Vatican chose our village,” he said. “Now we feel sorry.”"
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Images: Top: "Cardinal Paul Poupard accepts a KlimaFa carbon offset certificate from Russ George in July 2007. The promise to plant a "Vatican forest" as a carbon offset for the Vatican's CO2 emissions, and thereby reduce global warming, was not fulfilled by KlimaFa." Business Wire.

Second: Russ George in Congress 7/18/2007 from RussGeorge.net

Third: "In Tiszakeszi, Hungary, villagers push their bicycles loaded with firewood beside land where the "Vatican Forest" was supposed to be planted by KlimaFa. The company marketed carbon offsets as a way to neutralize CO2 emissions and lessen global warming." BelA Szandelszky

*Ms. Erika Hasznos (Hungary), was a UN expert climate reviewer, per Dec. 8, 2009 UNFCCC report, p. 3, item 2

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7/18/07 Russ George and Joe Romm appearance before US Congress, text from You Tube video page. Video provided by US House of Representatives:
 
"Voluntary Carbon Offsets--Getting What You Pay For (Part 2 of 2) - Part 1 is presently missing. - Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming - 2007-07-18 - Eager to be part of the solution to global warming, many consumers, businesses and government agencies have turned to carbon pollution offsets to help reduce or eliminate their "carbon footprint." While these offsets represent a promising way to engage consumers in global warming solutions, there are many unanswered questions as to the efficacy and accounting of these unregulated commodities. On Wednesday, the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming will hold a hearing examining carbon offsets. Chairman Edward Markey (D-MA) will combine his extensive experience in consumer protection to explore the issues of transparency, effectiveness and other necessary questions to ensure carbon offsets can be a responsible way to address global warming on a consumer-based level. Witnesses: Derik Broekhoff, Senior Associate, World Resources Institute; Joseph Romm, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; Thomas Boucher, President and Chief Executive Officer, NativeEnergy LLC; Russ George, President and Chief Executive Officer, Planktos, Inc.; Eric Blatchford, CEO, TerraPass. Video provided by the U.S. House of Representatives."
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"Uploaded April 11, 2011"  "Planktos abruptly closed in December 2007.
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Russ George wasn't done:
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In 2013 Russ George scammed a Canadian indigenous group out of its $2.5 million trust fund after promising they'd make millions from his carbon offset idea. Said "gold star scientists" oversaw the project: 

Russ George

"The Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s “Fifth Estate” program about former LENR researcher Russ George aired on March 29. (See New Energy Times article: “CBC-TV Investigates Former LENR Researcher Russ George.”) Here are some of the highlights of the show.

Last year, George used his knowledge of science and his salesmanship to convince an indigenous community off the coast of Canada to part with its $2.5 million trust fund to fund George’s untested — at the time — and still unproven ocean-seeding concept.

Several years ago, George had tried to perform a similar large-scale ocean-seeding experiment to test whether plankton blooms, artificially enriched by iron dust, would capture and permanently sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

However, Paul Watson, founder and president of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and founding director of Greenpeace, chased George around the world and notified local environmental groups and governments wherever George went.

Those governments issued orders to George forbidding performance of his experiments. Environmental organizations issued new conventions to prevent such experiments.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warned George that he would be violating U.S. laws if he went through with his iron dumping plan. Eventually, George ran out of options and money and abandoned his plan and ship, the Weatherbird II.

Soon after, he found a First Nations community, the Old Massett Haida Gwaii village, and learned that its members were desperate for new economic development and a solution to return salmon levels to normal. George also learned that they had a $2.5 million trust fund.

George and John Disney, a local collaborator in the Old Massett village, formed a company called the Haida Salmon Restoration Corp. Together, they convinced the community that George’s untested plan would certainly a) capture carbon from the atmosphere, b) sequester carbon permanently, and c) provide marketable carbon credits to sell for several million dollars more than their initial investment.

George and Disney also told the community that the simple act of his iron dump in the ocean would bring salmon levels back. George had no direct scientific evidence to support his pitches. He took existing scientific data from other events and research and applied that to his sales pitch. He did the deed, and in fact a plankton bloom was observed during the period, but there is no direct evidence that the plankton bloom was caused by George’s dump.

More important, there is no evidence of any permanent carbon sequestration, and nobody is buying any carbon credits from George, his company or the village.

The chief of the community and owner of a coffee shop, Ken Rea, and Disney believed everything George told them. Rea said he learned new things about science, like the word “hypothesis.”
Gillian Findlay, the host for the program, sums up the program.

In Old Masset,” Findlay said, “their $2.5 million is gone, there will be no carbon credit return, and as for the fish, even if there is another bumper harvest some year, who will ever be able to say it was because of the iron?”

Old Massett resident Gloria Tauber says that history may have repeated.

“When I saw that,” Tauber said, “I fully understood how our ancestors gave away our land for beads and blankets, because it was so easy to convince some of them.…I hope this goes somewhere, that something is done out of it to set a precedent that this is not acceptable and that people shouldn’t be blinded by greed.”

On March 29, when the show aired, CBC reported that the Canadian government issued search warrants for Russ George’s company. Dumping anything in the ocean is a violation of Canadian law. The loophole is that the law allows for scientific experiments.

George and his colleagues have declined to disclose their scientific methods, identify their panel of “gold-star scientists” who oversaw the project or release their data.

No aspect of George’s or his associates’ behavior is consistent with scientific protocol. George will also have difficulty proving this was a scientific experiment, considering that he pitched it as an investment opportunity to the local residents.

Journalist Steven B. Krivit provided background information and video footage of George to CBC and spoke on the show. George claims to be a scientist, however, Krivit learned that George did not obtain a degree in science and did not graduate from college although he attended the University of Utah for two years.

Krivit warned viewers that, if presented with scientific-sounding claims from George, they should demand to see the evidence."
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