The Journal Nature which some, though we don’t know who, believe to be the slickest purveyors of science media have treated my village and me with the utmost disdain. They made the editorial decision to invent lies instead of printing the truth. In true British tabloid tradition, save they did not include the side bars of sexy girls, they fabricated a story to admonish us for our work and prove their true nature. No matter that after speaking at length to the smooth talking, but upon reflection conniving reporter, we contacted the editor of Nature to protest that we were certain they were engaged in a hatchet job on us. The reporter had been caught by us plying different people in our company with opposing comments and demanding that we defend ourselves against lies being perpetrated in the mass media.
Editor, Tim Appenzeller, took his own sweet time to respond calling back just hours before their story was published. I thought at the time the phone call came wow that’s special Nature calls. Later it became more clear that it was not something special rather a more common and mundane “nature calls” experience leaving nothing more than a bad smell.
He assured me that they are fair in their work and offered that in his reading of the story to appear in hours, a miraculously fast turn around for Nature of just 8 days after news of our work broke on the world, I might not be all that displeased. I told him in lengthy telephone conversation where I offered many facts about mine and the villages work that I very much doubted that. I demanded that if we found the Nature treatment misleading, factually incorrect, and full of errors and omissions that Nature must offer a chance via an equal length OP-ED to tell the truth. He refused that suggestion saying I could always submit a couple hundred word letter that they would consider.
Here’s what followed… pure tabloid science…
Ocean-fertilization project off Canada sparks furore, Nature 23 October 2012
When a chartered fishing boat strewed 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the ocean off western Canada last July, the goal was to supercharge the marine ecosystem. The iron was meant to fertilize plankton, boost salmon populations and sequester carbon. Whether the ocean responded as hoped is not clear, but the project has touched off an explosion on land, angering scientists, embarrassing a village of indigenous people and enraging opponents of geoengineering.
Let’s dissect just this first leading paragraph. Remember the school of tabloids hold to the ideal “if it bleeds it leads.”
“strewed” – Not the many week deployment covering hundreds of kilometers of mineral micronutrients to achieve a targeted infinitesimal part per trillion change in concentration of iron in and area of ten thousand sq. kilometers for the purpose of mitigation of ecosystem collapse of ocean pastures with the intent to restore those ocean pastures to the state of health and abundance they and we enjoyed a century ago…. Nah let’s go with the zinger word “strewed.”
“goal was to supercharge” – see true rationale in item above.
“angering scientists” – ah the iconic “scientists” in the world of the Journal Nature this term we know is synonymous with “God”
and the coup de grace
“embarassing a village“ – now this is just a bold faced lie. It flies in the face of the fact that the village had worked diligently and at its own expense on developing this replenishment and restoration project on the ocean pastures that are in their sovereign territory, are part of their millennia old cultural imperative demanding village stewardship. It lies in not making it clear that the project during those six years had the engagement and involvement with no fewer than 8 government of Canada ministries. It lies in not stating that explicit sovereign authority has been granted by the Supreme Court of Canada for the village to be the sovereign stewards of this traditional territory It lies by not saying that the project had conducted extensive public meetings in the village where the project intent, process, and plans were openly discussed and following those public meetings that a formal plebiscite vote was held. It lies by not saying that the plebiscite held more than a year before last summers work had the largest voter turnout in history and the largest super-majority voter approval in history and that the vote was to approve the village, a tiny village of less than 800 souls with massive unemployment was investing it’s own cash to fund the work.
The rest of the Au Naturhell story is worse and worse line by line.
That the Editor of Nature had the cynical insincere audacity to suggest that we would not be offended by his lying hatchet job speaks to his character and that of Nature far more stridently than his work speaks to our own.