Our organization wishes to express its support for your rejection of atmospheric geoengineering and your campaign against it, including the moratorium recommendation to be submitted in October to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.
We note that the Capodistrias-Spinelli-Europe initiative and the Belfort group, with whom we have a relationship of collaboration, have been included in the list of supporting organizations and we would like similar recognition to be given to the support we offer.
Our opposition to atmospheric geoengineering broadly coincides with the opposition expressed at the May 2010 Belfort group symposium in Ghent, Belgium on “the illegal spraying of harmful substances in the atmosphere by airplanes”, as registered in the “Case Orange” report commissioned by the organizers of that symposium and reviewed at the symposium by the scientist Coen Vermeeren.
(For Dr. Vermeeren’s review of the report see , starting at minute 35.)
The conclusions of the Case Orange report are significantly different from those of Hands off Mother Earth, particularly in relation to recognition of atmospheric geoengineering not as a proposal or a practice at most in a preliminary experimental stage but rather as a well-entrenched, and systematically denied, planetary reality.
We would like to invite you to explain the factors, political and/or legal, that prevent you from reaching the same conclusions as the Case Orange report in this respect. It is quite possible to do this without modifying or altering your public stance.
We would like to emphasize that we do NOT wish to conduct a “scientific” debate with you. Our fear is that such a debate could resemble the street debate conducted in San Diego in February 2010 between scientist Alan Robock, known as a “critic” of geoengineering, and activists.
This debate was degrading for both parties, exposing the activists as naive and Dr. Robock as an insincere politician, not a scientist researching and describing reality.
We would appreciate a written reply to this message. We propose at some future date, when we are in a position to conduct a symposium ourselves, to invite you to it so that a similar discussion may be conducted there also, hopefully with more public involvement and participation.
In the meantime, please continue, with our support, your campaign in the international organizations and keep us informed of your progress.
Members of the Committee
Nikos Katsaros (chemist),
Wayne Hall (translator)
Aliki Stefanou (journalist)
Freideriki Zougrou (economist)
Georgios Karayannis (attorney)
Last Edit: Jul 17, 2010 1:53:16 GMT -5 by Wayne Hall
ETC Group action group on erosion, technology and concentration
16 July 2010
Thank you for your open letter to the HOME campaign and your endorsement of its goals. And thank you for the information you have forwarded for review. We agree that it is an entrenched practice by governments, motivated by self-interest, to try to alter the weather, and that there is increasing discussion about how the climate as a whole could be manipulated. And we know that past actions by governments have unintentionally altered weather patterns. However, as we see it, our role - and the goal of the H.O.M.E. campaign - is to bring public awareness to - and to stop - the plans of a small group of countries to get on with planetary geoengineering experiments in the absence of any international debate. This discussion must not be confined to a small group of scientific experts from a small group of (high-emissions) countries.
Many geoengineering experiments have already taken place (for example in ocean fertilization and biochar, as well as in areas of weather modification). This is a fact and denied by no one. The geoengineering experiments that bear some relation to what are sometimes known as "chemtrails" are, to the best of our knowledge, the following:
1. Cloud seeding to provoke rain or change precipitation patterns, usually involving the spraying of silver iodide or dry ice from aircraft: This technology has been practiced in dozens of countries over decades with unclear results and varying scientific grounding (1).
2. Cloud seeding for military purposes: the most well-known examples are Operation Popeye used in an attempt to prolong the monsoon during the Vietnam War, as well as the US government's Project Storm Fury (1962-1983) intended to disrupt hurricanes. ETC Group considers such weather modification technologies a form of geoengineering (unlike, for example, the Royal Society or the UK Parliamentary Committee on Science and Technology which specifically exclude these technologies from their definition of geoengineering) (2).
3. Chemical spraying of herbicides or other chemical (sic) from airplanes: The best known example was Agent Orange, used by the United States during the Vietnam War, with devastating effects on hundreds of thousands of people, including civilians and military personnel as well as the children of those exposed to the high concentrations of toxins, primarily dioxin. It is of course possible that the military is looking at such options as part of its counter-insurgency or other plans and and while we know DARPA, for instance, has held meetings on geoengineering, we have not had the opportunity to review precise information on such activities.
4. Cloud whitening: The most commonly discussed cloud whitening geoengineering technology involves spraying salt water into lower-level clouds to increase their condensation nuclei, expanding their coverage and creating whiter surfaces that will reflect sunlight back to outer space. This is a form of "solar radiation management" and there is a burgeoning scientific literature on the technique. To the best of our knowledge, no scientific experiments on this type of cloud whitening have taken place outside the lab because a delivery system has not yet been worked out. However, scientists working under the auspices of the Silver Lining project in California are reportedly planning to execute an experiment in the next 2-3 years (3).
5. Stratospheric aerosols - the injection of sulfates or aluminum particles into the upper layer of the atmosphere as a technique to cool the planet. Alarmingly, this techique has been receiving increased attention from policy makers. To the best of our knowledge, only two experiments have taken place using this technology (both in Russia under the direction of Yuri Israel). You are aware of the scientific debate around this testing since you have included one of our press releases (4) as an Appendix to the Belmont Group's (sic) Case Orange report.
It has also been well documented that human-made clouds, principally due to air traffic, are having impacts on the climate (5). We have not studied what chemicals are released by different kinds of aircraft and therefore are not in a position to judge the quality of the Case Orange report you have asked us to review.
On behalf of ETC Group, I would like to thank you for your engagement in the HOME campaign.
Diana Bronson Programme Manager ETC Group
1. See ETC Group's 2007 Report "Gambling with Gaia" (http://www.etcgroup.org/en/node/4913) for more information. 2. See UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, The Regulation of Geoengineering, London, March 2010, chapter 2, available at www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/221/221.pdf and Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Retooling the Planet: Climate Chaos in a Geoengineering Age, A Report Prepared by ETC Group, 2009. 3. See ETC Group press release, "As huge cloud whitening experiment goes public, global coalition calls an immediate halt to geoengineering," 10 May 2010, available at www.etcgroup.org/en/node/5137 4. ETC Group press release, "Top-down planet hackers call for bottom-up governance," 11 February 2010, available at www.etcgroup.org/en/node/5073 5. Rex Dalton, "How aircraft emissions contribute to global warming," Nature news, 21 December 2009, available at www.nature.com/news/2009/091221/full/news.2009.1157.html
Post by Wayne Hall on Jul 21, 2010 22:30:21 GMT -5
Problematic elements of the climate change debate W. Hall
The view is heard more and more from both sides of the mainstream “climate change” debate that last year’s Climategate scandal in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate summit was a turning point, for the better according to the “skeptics”, for the worse according to the non-skeptics.
Just as the skeptics rejoice in the evidence of fraud, manipulation of figures, private doubts about whether the world is really heating…. that were brought to light in the e-mails stolen from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU), so non-skeptics worry that, despite recent exoneration of the CRU scientists by three separate professional groups “ the reputation of the climate-science community has been tainted, and… the trust of the public has diminished”.
The conservative British journalist James Delingpole puts forward the view in the Daily Telegraph of 21st July 2010 that: ”The world is currently cooling; electorates are increasingly reluctant to support eco-policies leading to more oppressive regulation, higher taxes and higher utility bills; the tide is turning against Al Gore’s Anthropogenic Global Warming theory. The so-called “sceptical” view … is now also, thank heaven, the majority view.”
Leaving aside the question of who is right and who is wrong, one thing can be said about this mainstream climate change debate: it has had undesirable side effects. The threat of uncontrolled global warming has firstly provided legitimation for the introduction of emissions trading: the buying and selling of pollution credits. It has secondly facilitated a revival in the alleged acceptability of nuclear power on the basis of the specious argument that nuclear power, along with all the associated infrastructure, does not produce greenhouse gases. It has thirdly provided a theoretical basis for what is called the new science of “geoengineering”: the deliberate large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment to counteract climate change.
Because, despite the public’s unfamiliarity with the subject, there is nothing new about geoengineering proposals (a relevant large-scale study “Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming” was published, for example, by the American Academy of Sciences as far back as 1991), I tried for years in the past to have the subject included in the thematics of discussion between ecologists. The evolution of these attempts follows a very interesting trajectory. In the early years, say up to around 2007, it was entirely impossible to get either side of the climate change debate, sceptic or non-sceptic, to pay any attention. Distinguished climate scientists, the people who represent Greece at the meetings of the IPCC and other international organizations, contemptuously dismissed geoengineering proposals, saying that they were so absurd they should not even be discussed. The same stigma was attached to them as was attached in the ecological milieu generally to “climate change scepticism”.
The boost in the fortunes of climate change scepticism that has accompanied Climategate and its aftermath has been paralleled by an upsurge in public discussion of geoengineering. There is a prima facie absurdity to this, because anthropogenic climate change scepticism entails denial of the existence of a certain problem. Geoengineering is a proposed method for dealing with the same problem whose existence is being denied.
Nevertheless the strengthening is proceeding in parallel, and in some cases even takes the form of scientists whose celebrity or notoriety was derived from aggressive climate change scepticism,- the most prominent being Bjorn Lomberg- now making a name for themselves as promoters of geoengineering.
But the situation is even more complicated. According to one train of thought, for years stigmatized as “conspiracy theorist”, geoenginering in the form of particulate spraying from aircraft to reduce levels of incoming solar radiation has been a global reality for well over a decade. Such practices are openly advocated in the reports of the IPCC. There is a statement in the 2001 report, for example, that “the mean effect on the earth surface energy balance from a doubling of CO2 could be offset by an increase of 1.5% to 2% in the earth’s albedo, i.e. by reflecting additional incoming solar radiation back into space.” Sulphuric acid aerosols and alumina particles are suggested as acceptable alternative methods for achieving such increase in albedo.
If planetary scale atmospheric geoengineering has been under implementation clandestinely, for such a long time, then the alleged lack of global warming since the mid-nineties that is at the heart of the skeptics’ Climategate accusations could be explicable precisely as a reflection of the “success” of the IPCC’s proposed geoengineering measures.
This would make both sides of the mainstream climate change debate complicit in a gigantic act of fraud against the public. The skeptics fraudulent because they do not acknowledge the real reason for the planet’s “lack of warming” since the mid-nineties (clandestine atmospheric geoengineering). The non-skeptics because they do not defend themselves competently and courageously but instead allow themselves to be put on the defensive by charlatans and dupes.
In the 1980s, the decade of the mass European anti-nuclear movements of the closing phase of the Cold War, it was habitual in the “non-aligned” sections of these movements for there to be denunciations of the bipolar logic of the Cold War system. One of the key theoreticians of the anti-nuclear movement, Edward Thompson, described the US vs Soviet Cold War as a state of “inertial deadlock” whose objective product was the nuclear arms build-up. Today emissions trading, geoengineering, the renewed “respectability” of nuclear power, are all analogous objective and equally negative products of a new and similar bipolar inertial deadlock that has been constructed around climate, with a very large input from the same laboratories, and the same people, that gave us the nuclear arms race, and a very large input from citizens once again acting out scenarios that they do not understand.
Many thanks for sending this along. I agree with you 100%. I'm not getting many analyses as concise and spot-on as this. The issue really is one of climate destabilization, and the aerosol question involves a physics quite different from global warming, because their timescales are so different, i.e., CO2 stays in the atmosphere for decades whereas particles normally settle in days to weeks. This all is playing with fire, and geoengineering only raises the ante of human folly.
In my opinion, nothing short of a concerted clean breakthrough energy R&D effort can alleviate the crisis--combined with the precautionary principle.
From Jim Thomas of H.O.M.E.
....the question of whether sceptics claims of recent cooling are linked to ongoing unacknowledged geoengineering is interesting speculation but at this point just that. I think they would claim its solar cycles or other factors. As i understand it the Lomborg faction don't deny warming per se.. they just question that its anthropogenic... their basic argument for geoengineering is 'stop worrying about the causes -lets just deal with the symptoms'... the caldeira et al team say we need to alleviate symptoms while also dealing with underlying causes.