Geoengineering on a Desperate Planet — UN Declares Global Moratorium

By Stephen Leahy

NAGOYA, Japan, Oct 25, 2010 (Tierramérica)

[Update 30 October 2 am. Global moratorium passes.]

Delegates to the world summit on biodiversity here are calling for a moratorium on climate engineering research, like the idea of putting huge mirrors in outer space to reflect some of the sun’s heating rays away from the planet.

Climate engineering or geoengineering refers to any large-scale, human- made effort to manipulate the planet to adapt to climate change.

Representatives from Africa and Asia expressed concern about the negative impacts of geoengineering during the opening week of the 10th Conference of Parties (COP 10) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Oct. 18-29. They were joined by civil society organisations in calling for a moratorium on geoengineering experiments.

The geoengineering proposals include installing giant vertical pipes in the ocean to bring cold water to the surface, pumping vast amounts of sulphates into the stratosphere to block sunlight, or blowing ocean salt spray into clouds to increase their reflectivity.

The geoengineering proposals include installing giant vertical pipes in the ocean to bring cold water to the surface, pumping vast amounts of sulphates into the stratosphere to block sunlight, or blowing ocean salt spray into clouds to increase their reflectivity.

Broadly speaking, there are two main geoengineering approaches: solar radiation management and carbon sequestration, in other words, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to reduce the concentration of this greenhouse-effect gas.

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To manage the sun’s rays, there are ideas like releasing sulphates into the atmosphere or placing giant mirrors in outer space. For absorbing carbon, the possible approaches include ocean fertilisation, in which iron or nitrogen is added to seawater to stimulate the growth of phytoplankton to sequester the carbon deep in the ocean.

“Some of the proponents of these technologies think it’s easier to ‘manage the sun’ than get people to take a bus” to reduce carbon in the atmosphere, said Pat Mooney, executive director of the ETC Group, an international environmental organisation headquartered in Canada. [etc “Geopiracy” report]

“Politicians in rich countries see geoengineering as ‘Plan B’ so they don’t have to make the hard choices of reducing emissions causing climate change,” Mooney told Tierramérica.

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New Era of Spin in the War to Save Ourselves From Global Warming

No Getting Around Emissions Caps, Experts Saynigerian oil field

By Stephen Leahy

Feb 5 (IPS) – With the stark realisation that global warming is transforming our world, there will be crazy new era of “greenwashing”, desperate “geo-engineering” schemes, “grandfathering” of newly-built coal power plants and carbon-credit “profiteering”, environmentalists warn.

Welcome to the battle to save ourselves and future generations from the worst impacts of climate change, like increased floods, droughts and storms.
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