Monday, September 5, 2011

ETC Group calls on UK government to halt Geoengineering Experiment

ETC Group

News Release

1 September 2011

Hose Down

ETC Group calls on UK government to halt Geoengineering Experiment

In response to reports that British scientists are about to test the hardware needed to put sulphur particles in the stratosphere as a climate technofix, international technology watchdog ETC Group is calling on the UK government to halt the controversial test and respect UN processes underway to discuss these issues.

Scientists at Cambridge University (collaborating with Oxford and the Hadley Centre in a project run by the University of Bristol) have been engineering a hose to the sky that will be held up by a giant balloon. The purpose of the hose is to deliver particles to the stratosphere as a way of blocking sunlight, in order to disguise the effects of global warming. The test, expected to take place in October or November, will use a large helium balloon to loft a kilometer-long prototype hose to the sky and then spray water through the hose (a substitute for the chemicals it is ultimately designed to deliver). The experiment is part of a £1.6 million research project entitled SPICE (Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering), funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The SPICE researchers have not disclosed exactly where or when the controversial experiment will take place.

“Going ahead with this experiment will do real damage to the UK’s – and Europe’s -- credibility in climate negotiations later this year in Durban, as well as next year’s Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro,” said Pat Mooney, Executive Director of ETC Group from Ottawa. By allowing this experiment to go forward the UK is undermining intergovernmental discussions on geoengineering that it has financially supported and is very actively participating in. This extremely unhelpful provocation will sour UN negotiations. The UK Government must halt this experiment now and clearly state that it will not support any geoengineering experiments while international talks are ongoing. I will be raising these issues with governments, Parliamentarians and civil society groups next week in Bonn and Brussels in our discussions to prepare for Rio2012.”

There are many reasons why this experiment should not be allowed to proceed:

  • There has been no decision to go forward with “solar radiation management” and therefore there is no need to test the hardware designed to implement it.
  • The Convention on Biological Diversity adopted a moratorium on geoengineering activities last year in Nagoya, Japan and this experiment goes against the spirit, if not the letter, of that decision.
  • There has been no transparency on the part of the researchers involved as shown by their failure to disclose the location, timing or the basic scientific background on the test.
  • While it may seem innocuous to shoot seawater through a hose, the plan is to be able to deliver an estimated 10 million tonnes of aerosols to the stratosphere – 20 kilometers above Earth. This experiment is only phase one of a much bigger plan that could have devastating consequences including large changes in weather patterns such as deadly droughts.

J14 culminates into largest protest in Israeli history
Half a million Israelis take to the streets in a historic protest against the high cost of living. The occupation, however, remains largely unaddressed.

Israel Uprising: Record 400,000 hit streets in social rage rally

Hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters have taken to the streets of Israeli cities demanding "social justice." The rally has already been called the largest in the history of the Jewish state. ­According to local media, more than 400,000 Israelis took to the streets in cities across the country on Saturday night. More than 300,000 are said to be protesting in Tel Aviv near the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence, and more than 100,000 demonstrated elsewhere, particularly in Haifa and Jerusalem.

Gershon Baskin, Israeli-Palestinian conflict analyst, says the social unrest amongst Israel's middle class is a strong sign that the country is heading in the wrong direction. Instead of financing settlements in the occupied territories to the tune of billions of dollars, Israel should be spending the cash on domestic construction and social programs.

U.S. scientists knew 1940s Guatemalan STD studies were unethical, panel finds
The stark contrast between how the U.S. Public Health Service scientists experimented with Americans and Guatemalans clearly shows that researchers knew their conduct was unethical, according to members of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, which is investigating the experiments.

Are WikiLeaks and Anonymous All We Have Left?
Are Wikileaks and Anonymous hackers all there is left we can rely on, with trust in business and government at rock bottom? Their ability to bring powerful giants to heel is as compelling as the mythical Robin Hood's battle with a haughty medieval aristocracy.

9 TEN 11 by Tommy Roz

CIA rendition flights exposed in mundane billing lawsuit
The CIA's super-secret rendition program--to whisk terrorist suspects in the dark of night to CIA black sites for interrogation--has been further exposed to the light of day in rather humble fashion: a billing dispute in upstate New York.


In response to the recent war being waged on working Americans by corporations we need to organize a general strike. We must starve the beast which oppresses us.

PICUM calls for Cypriot authorities to drop the criminal charges against KISA
PICUM is deeply concerned with the Cypriot authorities’ prosecution of KISA, an NGO and PICUM member, a strong defender of the human rights of migrants in Cyprus and, in particular, the action taken against KISA’s Director, Doros Polykarpou.

Reclaiming public water 10 years after the 'Water War' (short version)
Inspiring and informative video debate amongst global social movement
leaders as they assess progress and challenges in the dynamic
international movement to reclaim Public Water.

Court tells police to let the public videotape
Police in several communities in New Hampshire have arrested people videotaping police officers, but according to a ruling from the federal First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, the arrests violate their First Amendment rights.

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