Science or propaganda? New hype about Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage

A new article published in Environmental Research Letters has made media headlines such as “Burning trees ‘may help global warming”.  It is not unknown for the media to hype up and even misrepresent announcements by scientists, but in this case, the authors’ own press release indeed promises amazing prospects from Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS):  “What we demonstrate in our paper is that even if we fail to keep temperature increases below 2°C, then we can reverse the warming trend and push temperatures back below the 2°C target by 2150.”

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Another study reveals dangers of geoengineering through ‘iron fertilisation’

Diatom, picture: Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchYet another study questions shows how dangerously simplistic the assumption that dumping iron filements into oceans will sequester carbon is.  This latest study, by Ellery D. Ingall et al, published in Nature Communications, looks at a particular type of phytoplankton, a diatom which soaks up iron from oceans and stores it in its skeleton and thus, when the phytoplankton dies, on the ocean floor.  Continue reading

Don’t Dump Iron — Dump Rogue Climate Schemes

George-Russ-Dumping-from-Ocean-Pearl-2012-Photo-HSRCOriginally posted to Huffington Post

by L. Jim Thomas

The press release had a pretty stark headline: “Haida Announce Termination of Russ George.” If the name sounds familiar its because he is the Californian businessman who last year led the world’s largest, and unapproved, geoengineering (climate manipulation) scheme to dump over 100 tonnes of iron into the Pacific ocean west of Haida Gwaii in British Columbia. Dubbed a “geo-vigilante” by The New Yorker and a “rogue” geoengineer by almost everyone else (including the World Economic Forum and Canada’s environment minister Peter Kent), George was the guy who persuaded the small impoverished indigenous community of Old Massett on Haida Gwaii to part with over $2.5-million. He did so under the pretense that dumping iron in the ocean to stimulate a plankton bloom would net lucrative profits in the carbon credit market and maybe even bring back salmon stocks. Continue reading

SPICE Boys Cancel Scheduled Appearance

KINKhoseIt’s clear from the tweets on HOME’s homepage that the news is already known: SPICE is out; the ‘Trojan Hose’ won’t spout.

But in case you missed it: On May 15, the Principal Investigator (PI) for the Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering project announced that a planned field trial associated with the project won’t happen. The intention had been to test hardware that could be used to inject aerosols into the stratosphere to block sunlight as a way to artificially cool the planet, a form of “solar radiation management.”

Everyone who voiced opposition to the geoengineering experiment since last September – including those who signed the HOME campaign’s open letter to the funders of SPICE asking for its cancellation – should feel heard. (The open letter, signed by more than 70 organizations from around the world, can be found here.)

SPICE’s PI cited both governance issues and potential conflict-of-interest as the principal reasons for cancelling the field trial – no argument here, though there are plenty more reasons to oppose SPICE. Namely, the entire geoengineering enterprise is dangerous, wrong-headed and counter-productive. What is certain, however, is that the cancellation of SPICE doesn’t signal the end of geoengineering or of field trials to test its feasibility. Other real-world experiments are already in the works. There will be lots of HOMEwork in the near future!

Please consider commenting on the CBD papers on Geoengineering: Make your Views Known by February 22

View + Comment at this link:

The Convention on Biological Diversity adopted a moratorium on geoengineering activities in 2010.  The Secretariat was instructed to prepare two papers as part of that decision:  one on the impacts of geoengineering on biodiversity and the other on regulatory frameworks.  Those papers are now
available for peer review.  Please provide your comments if you can at this website.  If you would like to see the main comments submitted by

ETC Group on the first draft of the paper on the impacts on biodiversity, check out this document

The Politics of Climate Change Dialogue (with Pat Mooney) – Feb. 8

The Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy presents the Jack Nissenson Dialogue at Concordia University, Montréal, Canada

The Politics of Climate Change:
Climate Technofixes:  Rio +20 or 
Silent Spring -50

By Pat Mooney, ETC Group

Having the “proof of principle” that industry can change the climate, the folks who caused the problem are proposing new technological solutions. Unfortunately, there is no “proof of principle” that they can do it right. Pat Mooney, author and award-winning director of ETC Group will provide an overview of the politics behind some of the most critical issues facing the planet today: unsustainable agriculture, corporate concentration in the life industries and geoengineering.


Desirée McGraw (Co-founder, Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project in Canada and Canadian delegate to the Rio Earth Summit)
William Marsden  (Author of Fools Rule: Inside the Failed Politics of Climate Change)
Patrick Bonin (Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique (AQLPA))

Diana Bronson (Programme Manager, ETC Group)

Date: February 8, 2012
Time: 6 pm- 8 pm
Venue: Hall Building, 1455 de Maisonneuve West, Room H-767 Concordia University, Montréal, Canada

Organized in collaboration with ETC Group and the Institut des sciences de l’environnement de l’UQAM.

Online Discussion Forum for Indigenous + Local Communities on impacts of geo-engineering techniques on biodiversity and associated social, economic and cultural considerations

[ English, Francais, Español ]
CBD Notification 2012-021 – Online Discussion Forum for Indigenous and Local Communities on the possible impacts of geo-engineering techniques on biodiversity and associated social, economic and cultural considerations

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Bill Gates Warns Climate Change Threatens Food Security, Finds It ‘Ironic’ People Oppose His ‘Solution’: Genetic Modification

By Joe Romm on Jan 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Bill Gates is one very confused billionaire philanthropist.

He understands global warming is a big problem — indeed, his 2012 Foundation Letter even frets about the  grave threat it poses to food security.  But he just doesn’t want to do very much now to stop it from happening (see Pro-geoengineering Bill Gates disses efficiency, “cute” solar, deployment — still doesn’t know how he got rich).

He love technofixes like geoengineering and, as we’ll see, genetically modified food.   Rather than investing in cost-effective emissions reduction strategies today or in renewable energy technologies that are rapidly moving down the cost curve, he explains that the reason invests so much in nuclear R&D is “The good news about nuclear is that there has hardly been any innovation.”  Seriously!
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