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October 28, 2010

RELEASE VICTORY! UN to Impose Geoengineering Moratorium on Risky Climate Techno-Fixes

Major victory for common sense as hacking of planetary ecosystems is premature until such time as all other options are exhausted; and there are global protocols, consensus and a sound scientific basis for any geoengineering that may or may not occur. This is the 8th major conservation victory for Ecological Internet (EI) in 2010, though chronic lack of funds and a slow 11th annual fund-raiser makes for an uncertain future for EI’s ground-breaking biocentric advocacy.

Is humanity ready to engineer a livable biosphere forever?NAGOYA, Japan – Ecological Internet welcomes reports that the 193-member UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will close its tenth biennial meeting with a de facto moratorium on geoengineering [search] projects and experiments. This is a tremendous victory for the ETC Group’s “Hands Off Mother Earth” campaign [1], which has carefully researched and presented the case for such a moratorium on “planet hacking”, and with whom Ecological Internet is affiliated. “Any private or public experimentation or adventurism intended to manipulate the planetary thermostat will be in violation of this carefully crafted UN consensus,” stated Silvia Ribeiro, Latin American Director of ETC Group.

In announcing the outcome, the ETC Group publicly thanked Ecological Internet “for help winning a moratorium on Geoengineering” and particularly those that had “written to CBD delegates and spread the word… Many many thanks for your active campaigning. Your letters… really had an impact.” This is in reference to Ecological Internet’s Earth Action Network’s largest online email protest ever, where people from 83 countries sent 1,806,339 protest emails to CBD delegates just before the conference commenced [2]. Each delegate received just over 2,000 letters – just enough to make a critical ecological point, while being minimally disruptive – letting those in positions of power to do something know that global citizens are opposed to geoengineering. It appears to have made a huge difference in the outcome.

“Ecological Internet is simply thrilled to have been involved with the ETC Group led campaign to place a moratorium on geoengineering. The atmosphere is a global commons, and ‘hacking’ it to avoid reducing emissions, protecting old forests, and ending coal and tar sands is dangerous and irresponsible. The precautionary principle clearly justifies a ban on large-scale geoengineering experiments and implementation, until all other options are exhausted, and there are global protocols, consensus and a sound scientific basis for any geoengineering that may or may not occur,” explains Dr. Glen Barry, EI’s President. “This is likely the biggest victory EI’s large global network, together with allies, has ever achieved – as without this UN guidance, almost certainly private interests and climate-negligent countries were poised to launch large-scale, risky experiments upon our shared biosphere.”

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Geoengineering is the proposed large scale manipulation of Earth’s oceans, soils and atmosphere with the intent of combating climate change. Geoengineering advocates have put forward a wide range of proposals to artificially modify these ecosystems to address climate change including: blasting sulfate particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun; dumping iron particles in the oceans to grow CO2-absorbing plankton; firing silver iodide into clouds to produce rain; genetically engineering crops to have reflective leaves; spraying seawater into clouds to make clouds whiter; dumping large quantities of plant matter into the ocean, and burning plants from a huge land area to produce charcoal for burying in soils. Geopiracy: The Case Against Geoengineering [3] is a new publication by ETC Group that provides an overview of the issues involved.

Ecological Internet holds that 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. EI advocates for this and other ecologically sufficient positions necessary to achieve global ecological sustainability. This is the eighth major conservation victory for EI in 2010, though EI’s massive global network operates under the radar of most media, NGOs and the public. Sadly, Ecological Internet is chronically under-funded, depending upon network members for funding, and may have to close or significantly cutback operations - after all funds are expended - if the current 11th annual year-end fund-raiser does not pick up [4]. EI urges participation in its current alert to halt the Tar Sands pipeline through B.C., Canada’s temperate rainforests [5].

### ENDS ###

[1] Hands Off Mother Earth (H.O.M.E) | Stop Geoengineering

[2] Action Alert: Demand Upcoming Global Biodiversity Meeting Bans Geoengineering

[3] Geopiracy: The Case Against Geoengineering

[4] EI 2010 Year-End Fund-Raiser: Raising the Roof on Global Ecological Sustainability

Please donate now to celebrate this victory!

[5] ALERT! Canada Risks Pacific Coastal and Temperate Rainforest Ecosystems for Tar Sands Pipelines and Further Oil Addiction


Interestingly, this moratorium does not apply to the U.S. as it has not ratified the particular UN convention calling for this moratorium, so geoengineering (chemtrails) will continue in the U.S. Breath that aluminium, oh yeah!

I would be against a drastic, global geoengineering project due to the risks, but a proactive approach makes a lost more sense than mere conservation and hope that nature won't change for the worse on its own (which is a ridiculous assumption). One could consider pollution cleanup, desalination, irrigation, flood levies, and even agriculture itself to be small-scale geoengineering projects. If we can "fix" the environment in one small region at a time, they will add up to a whole that's positive for humanity and the environment that presently happens to sustain our species at this brief moment in the Earth's history.

Why doesn't the moratorium apply to the U.S. really blows my mind. Thanks for posting that Washington Post link Mauibrad.

Meteorologist Kevin Martin