[env-trinity] FW: [toeslist] Geoengineering Experiments Contested at UN meeting in Nairobi - thanks bill gates...

Brian Hill bhill at igc.org
Tue May 11 07:42:31 PDT 2010



-----Original Message-----
From: toeslist at yahoogroups.com [mailto:toeslist at yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
Of Riaz Tayob
Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 6:33 AM
Subject: [toeslist] Geoengineering Experiments Contested at UN meeting in
Nairobi - thanks bill gates...

The myth of progress...


ETC Group
News Release
10 May 2010
www.etcgroup.org

As huge cloud-whitening experiment goes public, global coalition urges an
immediate halt to geoengineering
First UN talks on issue in thirty years begin today

http://www.handsoffmotherearth.org

Amidst revelations in this weekend’s London Times newspaper{1} that a team
of scientists and engineers funded by billionaire Bill Gates are planning
to carry out a 10,000 square kilometer field trial of controversial
“cloud-whitening” technology, over one hundred civil society groups are
urging governments meeting on biological diversity in Nairobi to stop risky
geoengineering experiments now. Geoengineering refers to large-scale
technological schemes to intentionally alter the planet’s systems as a
quick fix for climate change.

The San Francisco based “Silver Lining Project” directed by entrepreneur
Kelly Wanser has so far received $300,000 from Bill Gates to develop
technologies that will increase the whiteness of marine clouds.
Theoretically, executed on a massive scale, whiter clouds could increase
the earth’s albedo, reflecting more sunlight back to space and thereby
reduce global warming (without changing the composition of greenhouse gases
which cause warming). The Silver Lining Project has decided to press ahead
with plans to alter cloud-cover over an undisclosed 10,000 square kilometre
patch of ocean (as large as the BP oil slick was a few days ago). If not
stopped, the Gates ‘cloud-bleaching’ experiment would be the largest known
geoengineering field trial to date. Its effects could include changes in
rainfall and other altered weather patterns. Among the sites frequently
spoken of by scientists engaged in this research are the Pacific coasts of
North and South America (specifically California, Ecuador, Peru and Chile).


Most worrisome, the Times revealed: “The British and American scientists
involved do not intend to wait for international rules on technology that
deliberately alters the climate.” Such rules could be set in motion this
week as scientists and diplomats from 193 nations meet under the auspices
of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s scientific body. The meeting
in Nairobi of SBSTTA 14 (Subsidiary Body of Scientific, Technical and
Technological Advice, running from May 10-21 2010) is the first time a UN
Body has addressed geoengineering as a whole since the signing of the ENMOD
Treaty in Geneva in 1976 that banned environmental modification for
“hostile uses”.[2]

A new global coalition will be urging governments in Nairobi to adopt a
moratorium on all geoengineering experiments, just as the UN Convention on
Biological Diversity adopted a moratorium on ocean fertilization in 2008.
Over one hundred organizations and individuals, including leading names in
the environmental and global justice movement have joined H.O.M.E.
campaign: Hands off Mother Earth--Our Home is not a Laboratory
(www.handsoffmotherearth.org).

“Our Home Planet Earth should not be treated as a laboratory for risky
geoengineering experiments,” says Silvia Ribeiro of ETC Group in Mexico
from the Nairobi SBSTTA meeting. “Human-caused climate change already
threatens our lands, seas, food supply and rights. We do not want to embark
on another dangerous experiment with our planet. If they think that the
people and governments of Ecuador, Peru or Chile – or anywhere else they
might try – will stand idly by as they mess with our oceans, clouds and
weather, they are in for a surprise. Delegates here are shocked by these
plans.”

 “We knew Microsoft was developing cloud applications for computers but we
didn’t expect this,” explained Jim Thomas of ETC Group, one of the founding
organizations of the HOME campaign “Bill Gates and his cloud-wrenching
cronies have no right to unilaterally change our seas and skies in this
way. A global moratorium on geoengineering experiments just became a whole
lot more urgent and the meeting in Nairobi is a fine place to ensure that
it gets put into place rapidly.”
-30-

Additional background:

What: Geoengineering refers to large-scale technological proposals to fix
climate change by deliberately altering the climate, weather, atmosphere
and oceans. Examples of geoengineering schemes include dumping nutrients
into the sea to grow algal blooms (called Ocean Fertilization), turning
extensive monoculture plantations into charcoal to bury in the soil (called
biochar) and deliberately polluting the upper atmosphere with sulphur or
aluminium particles to reflect sunlight (called stratospheric aerosols) as
well as cloud-whitening. All of these experiments have large potential
impacts on environment, biodiversity and the livelihoods of people
especially in the Global South. Geoengineering advocates argue that there
is no time for a global political agreement to address the real causes of
climate change, so brave new scientists and wealthy entrepreneurs should
save the world for all of us instead, with their own technofixes.

There are now several geoengineering experiments getting underway without
any global oversight framework in place and larger experiments are planned.
Geoengineers, including those behind the Gates cloud-wrenching test have
recently proposed “voluntary guidelines” rather than full independent
multilateral oversight of the field. The proposal currently before SBSTTA
14 is for governments to look into the biodiversity implications of
geoengineering (as well as to examine the ongoing work on ocean
fertilization which began in 2008). Civil society groups are insisting
experiments be stopped while governments examine the implications of such
research.

Who: A new global campaign and coalition to stop Geoengineering experiments
was launched last month at an international climate change meeting in
Cochabamba, Bolivia. This Hands Off Mother Earth (H.O.M.E.) Campaign is
calling on governments through the UN to put a halt to unilateral open-air
geoengineering experiments – arguing they are too risky and unjust.
Supporters of the HOME campaign against geoengineering include high profile
environmentalists such as Bill McKibben, David Suzuki, Vandana Shiva and
Naomi Klein. Organizations supporting the HOME campaign include ETC Group,
Friends of the Earth International, Third World Network, Indigenous
Environmental Network, la Via Campenina, Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact,
Biofuelwatch and many others.

Show of Hands: Additionally members of the public have been uploading their
pictures with their hands held up with messages against geoengineering to a
growing photo petition at http://www.handsoffmotherearth.org. A giant
poster displaying the protest is on display at SBSTTA 14 in Nairobi and ETC
Group has three people at the meeting, working with campaign partners to
inform delegates of the protest and the reasons behind it.

For more information about Hands Off Mother Earth Campaign see
http://www.handsoffmotherearth.org

In Nairobi:
*Neth Dano, neth at etcgroup.org cell & SMS + 63 917 532 9369 Nairobi cell:
+254 712 605 622
 Silvia Ribeiro, silvia at etcgroup.org cell & SMS +52 1 55 2653 3330 Nairobi
cell: +254 712 601 660
*Molly Kane, molly at etcgroup.org cell & SMS: + 1 613 797 642

In Canada:
Diana Bronson - diana at etcgroup.org; cell: +1 514 629 9236
Jim Thomas - jim at etcgroup.org cell: +1 514 516 5759
Pat Mooney – etc at etcgroup.org cell: +1 613 240 0045

Notes:
1. See Ben Webster, Bill Gates Pays for artificial clouds to beat
greenhouse gases, 8 May 2010, Times Online at
http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article7120011.ece
2.  Convention on the Prohibition of Military or any other Hostile Use of
Environmental Modification Techniques. See
http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/enmod/text/environ2.htm

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