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October 12, 2010

ALERT! Demand Upcoming Global Biodiversity Meeting Ban Geoengineering

By Ecological Internet's Climate Ark Climate Change Portal

Is humanity ready to engineer a livable biosphere forever?TAKE ACTION HERE NOW!

Geoengineering [search] is the proposed large scale manipulation of Earth’s oceans, soils and atmosphere with the intent of combating climate change. Modifying Earth at a planetary scale is so complex, and ecological and other side effects potentially so severe, that clearly humanity is incapable of safely engineering a biosphere [search]. Will a "Frankensphere" be constructed with dramatic unknown consequences to biodiversity and ecosystems, or will we choose to equitably reduce emissions, consumption and population? Next week’s Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 10) meeting in Japan must pass a moratorium on live geoengineering testing. Failure will mean continued implementation of ecosystem destroying technologies – precisely what has gotten us into our current climate dilemma.


Comments

Dear Glen Barry, Randy and Friends,

We are fiddlin' while the Earth begins to burn, are we not?

Your words remind to mention a quote of Oliver Cromwell, which I would like to direct to the main actors in the misguided effort to Geoengineer the Earth and its environs: "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken."


Gary, every time a friend like you has shown me a new example of what our finest ancestors could see that would be occurring in our time, I am reminded of the remarkable number of splendid people throughout our history who raised their voices loudly… who tried to let us know as you do now. Of course, as great human beings with feet of clay have known all too well, the powers that be, the self-proclaimed masters of the universe today would complete the work of the greedy kings who came before them. Ancient kings (named by Ozymandias) have set the stage for the final act in a play presented by ideological idiots, unless, of course, we choose a different way f i n a l l y - - - b e f o r e i t i s t o o l a t e.

Sincerely,

Steve

Dear Dr. Glen Barry -

I believe you are making the most profound mistake of your career in taking this carte blanche anti-geoengineering stance! Are you really against white roofs? Biochar? Some geoengineering could, locally, be harmful, unquestionably. But almost all the best climatologists quietly agree now that emissions controls alone won't be enough to avoid runaway tipping points, at least for a couple of decades in the middle of this century.
You are either less of a hard-headed realist than I thought, or simply have not studied the RF figures very carefully, and projected impacts of those figures. Do you want to create a legal blockade against saving civilization? So-called SRM (both sulfur-based aerosols and cloud brightening) could have strong negative effects, but it deals with very short residency times, so even that could always be stopped very quickly if/when strong side effects started to occur. Ocean seeding is the most controversial, but even there, the very small scale of the tests done so far are not at all significant globally and have been quite educational (mostly in showing that the idea doesn't work nearly so easily as assumed - which is a good thing to know and demonstrates the positive value of such research, as it helps prevent desperate, ill-conceived, and untested measures in the future when things get worse) . As for the "Frankensphere" metaphor, frankly, that's exactly where we're headed right now, and while poorly conceived geoengineering could be as bad as nothing, with research, and used as a complement to emissions reductions, not a replacement of them, it could be a most vital element in saving everything you want to save. Your mistake here is immense in its implications!

I agree with the previous comment.Humans will continue to have a huge impact on this planet. It is time for us to develop the tools and wisdom to manage the biosphere. The word "geoengineer" may evoke an image of human arrogance, but
it may also evoke an attitude of human responsibility for the health of our planet.

Perhaps. But would you not grant the precautionary principle is warranted and hold back on live test until an international consensus, protocols and scientific basis agreed? To not do so is reckless beyond belief.
Dr. Glen Barry

One of the alert targets is forwarding around an email suggesting geoengineering isn't even on the agenda of CBD. It is:

Yes, geoengineering is on the agenda of the COP. The language from SBSTTA is bracketed. The 14th session of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-14) has put fo...rward to COP 10 a draft decision pertaining to geoengineering (see UNEP/CBD/COP/10/1/Add.2/Rev.1, pp. 145-147) under “Climate Change and Biodiversity” (Agenda item 5.6), which contains the following passages:

1 (d) The Conference of the Parties…Implement activities to increase the adaptive capacity of species and the resilience of ecosystems in the face of climate change, including, inter alia…

[(w) Ensure, in line and consistent with decision IX/16 C, on ocean fertilization and biodiversity and climate change, and in accordance with the precautionary approach, that no climate-related geoengineering activities take place until there is an adequate scientific basis on which to justify such activities and appropriate consideration of the associated risks for the environment and biodiversity and associated social, economic and cultural impacts;][1]

9. Requests the Executive Secretary to: …
(n) Compile and synthesize available scientific information on the possible impacts of geoengineering techniques on biodiversity and make it available for consideration at a meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice prior to the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties;[2]

Hi @Karolina - some points to keep in mind re: Mr. Sharman's email response:

1.) In the past CBD COPs have in fact made statements on geoengineering including against unregulated ocean manipulations. We are asking them to do so again.

2.) The... CBD's own technical staff did in fact recommend the importance of the issue - and placing a moratorium on geoengineering - being on the agenda, and they could bow to pressure and put it there at any time. This is referred to in the protest email, and the links on more information provides extensive information on the matter of CBD refusing to followi their own technical staff and put the matter on the agend.

3.) The protest emails are going to all global CBD National Focal Points - many of which will in fact be attending the meeting, but all of whom are listed as official government contacts for CBD business.

With these understandings, in fact the response from a CBD focal point for the European Union a remarkable and interesting read. Yes, there are real people at the end of the send button!

Please be aware the message is going to several hundred recipients - including all National Focal Point Contacts for the Convention on Biological Diversity. Thus, you will receive some email responses including out of office messages as many are traveling to Japan for the upcoming meeting, or individual responses to the issues raised.

I did not receive the email so thank you for sending it to me.

Warm regards,
Dr. Glen Barry

Is geoengineering on a large scale even viable at this time? The ideas I've heard sound almost like science fiction because their scale is so large. Who would pay to seed the oceans with hundreds of thousands of tons of iron filings? I don't think the world's governments even have the political will to raise the money to do this stuff.

The survival of our planet is an extremely complex system, constitute the Earth's climate system is an important part of the Earth system. In the long history of the earth, the climate is always changing in a constant!