Get used to reading about Geoengineering – a term loosely describing the manipulation of Earth’s Climate to counteract the effect of global warming from greenhouse gas emissions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded in 2007 that geoengineering options, such as ocean fertilization to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, remained largely unproven. It was judged that reliable cost estimates for geoengineering had not yet been published. That was then – this is now!
You think the manipulation of Earth’s climate is an impossibility? You think perhaps it is all underground babble – a bit like aliens, crop circles and chemtrails? Maybe you believe it is simply another conspiracy theory to be laughed at? Let me present you with a bit of information and some links to further reading. In case you are too young to know what The Manhattan Project was – May I suggest you look here.
In the Stanford Environmental Law Journal January, 1998 you will find:
Climate change is a complex problem: it is caused by the GHG-producing activities of every human being, animal, and (dead) plant on the planet. Unlike ozone depletion, which was attributable to chemicals manufactured by a small number of parties, all of us “manufacture” GHGs, whether by breathing, driving, using electricity, or raising cattle. [FN92] Consequently, any effective climate change strategy would have to include both a wide variety and a large number of emission reduction steps, with attendant enforcement mechanisms to ensure that the steps are actually taken. [FN93] Nor does the enforcement problem disappear if, as seems likely, international bodies only set targets and rely on national or regional entities to set up actual emission reduction programs. Extensive monitoring of the tremendous number of “polluters” will still be necessary and enforcement mechanisms will still have to be put in place to ensure that countries continue to meet emission reduction targets. [FN94] Both the prescription and the enforcement of climate normalization steps will have to be quite wide-ranging and complex.
The author makes a very convincing case for the pressing need of undertaking geoengineering projects. He argues that regulation, environmental laws and other stumbling blocks limit our ability to directly address the dangers that threaten us directly and immediately. He writes: “The projected insufficiency of Kyoto’s emission reduction regime, and the problems of absence, cost, and incentives discussed in part II, cry out for an alternative to our present state of climate change policy myopia.”
“Geoengineering–intentional, human-directed manipulation of the Earth’s climatic systems–may be such an alternative. This part proposes that, unlike a regulatory “Marshall Plan” of costly emissions reductions, technology subsidies, and other mitigation measures, a non-regulatory “Manhattan Project” geared toward developing feasible geoengineering remedies for climate change can meaningfully close the gaps in global warming and avert many of its most dire consequences.”
“In some ways, this phase has already begun, as geoengineering has moved from the pages of science fiction to respectable scientific and policy journals. [FN127] One of the most encouraging proposals today focuses on the creation of vast carbon sinks by artificially stimulating phytoplankton growth with iron “fertilizer” in parts of the Earth’s oceans. [FN128] Another proposal suggests creating miniature, *106 artificial “Mount Pinatubos” by allowing airplanes to release dust particles into the upper atmosphere, simulating the greenhouse- arresting eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991. [FN129]” pp. 105-106, Geoengineering: A Climate Change Manhattan Project.”
Because this is such an involved subject, and I don’t want to drive you crazy having to read an ultra long post, for now let me finish off with a letter.
No to the Dangers of Geoengineering
An Open Letter Posted on June 16, 2011 by fathertheo
Rajendra K. Pachauri Chairman of the IPCC
C/O World Meteorological Organization
7bis Avenue de la Paix
CH – 1211Geneva2,Switzerland
Dear Dr. Pachauri,
The undersigned organizations would like to express our concerns about the upcoming IPCC joint working group expert meeting on geoengineering to be held in Lima, Peru, June 20-22, 2011.
Geoengineering, the intentional large-scale manipulation of the Earth’s systems to modify the climate, is one of the most serious issues the international community will face in the decades ahead. The prospects of artificially changing the chemistry of our oceans to absorb more CO2, modifying the Earth’s radiative balance, devising new carbon sinks in fragile ecosystems, redirecting hurricanes and other extreme weather events are alarming. The potential for accidents, dangerous experiments, inadequate risk assessment, unexpected impacts, unilateralism, private profiteering, disruption of agriculture, inter-state conflict, illegitimate political goals and negative consequences for the global South is high. The likelihood that geoengineering will provide a safe, lasting, democratic and peaceful solution to the climate crisis is non-existent.
The IPCC aims to be “policy relevant” and “policy neutral,” and must take great care not to squander its credibility on geoengineering, a topic that is gathering steam precisely when there is no real progress on mitigation and adaptation. The IPCC’s announcement of the expert meeting already suggests that geoengineering has a place in the portfolio of legitimate responses to climate change (a highly contestable claim), and that the role of the IPCC is to define what that role is. Permit us to stress that this is not primarily a scientific question; it is a political one. International peasant organizations, indigenous peoples, and social movements have all expressed outright opposition to such measures as a false solution to the climate crisis.
The Scientific Steering Group of this expert meeting includes well-known geoengineering advocates who have called for steep increases in funding for research and for proceeding with experimentation, as well as scientists who have patents pending on geoengineering technologies and/or other financial interests. Asking a group of geoengineering scientists if more research should be done on the topic is like asking a group of hungry bears if they would like honey. Their predictable answer should be viewed with skepticism. At the same time, independent organizations, which have devoted years of critical research to geoengineering, are not allowed to participate, even as observers.
Furthermore, we are concerned that the IPCC appears to be wading into waters beyond its expertise and mandate. The expert meeting, for instance, describes “appropriate governance mechanisms” as part of its mandate, and participants will discuss the “suitability of existing governance mechanisms for managing geoengineering, including social, legal and political factors.” This is a crucial discussion that has already begun at the international level among governments and civil society, most notably at the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Japanin 2010. That meeting agreed to adopt a de facto moratorium on real- world experimentation until a number of conditions are met. The critical question of governance is one that needs to be fully debated by the international community, with all interested states, civil society organizations, indigenous peoples and farmers’ organizations taking part in a clearly democratic, multilateral transparent and accountable way. Scientists from the IPCC should participate in that debate, but they do not have the expertise or legitimacy to determine the suitability of existing governance mechanisms.
In the months ahead, as the Fifth Assessment Report is prepared, civil society organizations concerned with climate change and geoengineering will closely scrutinize the IPCC’s work. In particular, we will look for the IPCC to come out clearly and strongly in favour of the strict application of the precautionary principle and against any real- world geoengineering experimentation.
On the expert meeting, before its report is published and its conclusions are shared more broadly, we urge the IPCC to ensure that a variety of civil society voices is heard, understood, and taken into account, particularly from the global South. This will provide much- needed common sense and a global perspective, as well as a counterpoint to the more prominent and extreme positions of some Northern scientists engaged in geoengineering research.
We thank you for your attention to these issues and look forward to your reply.
Signatory organizations as of June 13th, 2011 available at Fr. Theo’s Blog
Keep watching this is a big topic and if you use your search facility on the computer you can read many other points of view. Things go on in secrret at times and we are the last to know. Ever wondered why it is, that no matter how many people come out against a particular issue, politicians go ahead with their proposals any way? Could it be because possibly – things have already been set into motion and that train might be difficult to stop? NOT IMPOSSIBLE, just difficult!