Billionaire Bill Gates Chucks Cash at Climate Cooling Cloud Creator

First UN talks on issue in thirty years begin today

Amidst revelations in this weekend’s London Times newspaper that a team of scientists and engineers funded by billionaire Bill Gates are planning to carry out a 10,000 square kilometer field trial of controversial “cloud-whitening” technology, over one hundred civil society groups are urging governments meeting on biological diversity in Nairobi to stop risky geoengineering experiments now. Geoengineering refers to large-scale technological schemes to intentionally alter the planet’s systems as a quick fix for climate change.

The San Francisco based “Silver Lining Project” directed by entrepreneur Kelly Wanser has so far received $300,000 from Bill Gates to develop technologies that will increase the whiteness of marine clouds. Theoretically, executed on a massive scale, whiter clouds could increase the earth’s albedo, reflecting more sunlight back to space and thereby reduce global warming (without changing the composition of greenhouse gases which cause warming). The Silver Lining Project has decided to press ahead with plans to alter cloud-cover over an undisclosed 10,000 square kilometre patch of ocean (as large as the BP oil slick was a few days ago). If not stopped, the Gates ‘cloud-bleaching’ experiment would be the largest known geoengineering field trial to date. Its effects could include changes in rainfall and other altered weather patterns. Among the sites frequently spoken of by scientists engaged in this research are the Pacific coasts of North and South America (specifically California, Ecuador, Peru and Chile).

Most worrisome, the Times revealed: “The British and American scientists involved do not intend to wait for international rules on technology that deliberately alters the climate.” Such rules could be set in motion this week as scientists and diplomats from 193 nations meet under the auspices of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s scientific body. The meeting in Nairobi of SBSTTA 14 (Subsidiary Body of Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, running from May 10-21 2010) is the first time a UN Body has addressed geoengineering as a whole since the signing of the ENMOD Treaty in Geneva in 1976 that banned environmental modification for “hostile uses”.[2]

A new global coalition will be urging governments in Nairobi to adopt a moratorium on all geoengineering experiments, just as the UN Convention on Biological Diversity adopted a moratorium on ocean fertilization in 2008. Over one hundred organizations and individuals, including leading names in the environmental and global justice movement have joined H.O.M.E. campaign: Hands off Mother Earth–Our Home is not a Laboratory (www.handsoffmotherearth.org).

“Our Home Planet Earth should not be treated as a laboratory for risky geoengineering experiments,” says Silvia Ribeiro of ETC Group in Mexico from the Nairobi SBSTTA meeting. “Human-caused climate change already threatens our lands, seas, food supply and rights. We do not want to embark on another dangerous experiment with our planet. If they think that the people and governments of Ecuador, Peru or Chile – or anywhere else they might try — will stand idly by as they mess with our oceans, clouds and weather, they are in for a surprise. Delegates here are shocked by these plans.”

“We knew Microsoft was developing cloud applications for computers but we didn’t expect this,” explained Jim Thomas of ETC Group, one of the founding organizations of the HOME campaign “Bill Gates and his cloud-wrenching cronies have no right to unilaterally change our seas and skies in this way. A global moratorium on geoengineering experiments just became a whole lot more urgent and the meeting in Nairobi is a fine place to ensure that it gets put into place rapidly.”

Additional background:

What: Geoengineering refers to large-scale technological proposals to fix climate change by deliberately altering the climate, weather, atmosphere and oceans. Examples of geoengineering schemes include dumping nutrients into the sea to grow algal blooms (called Ocean Fertilization), turning extensive monoculture plantations into charcoal to bury in the soil (called biochar) and deliberately polluting the upper atmosphere with sulphur or aluminium particles to reflect sunlight (called stratospheric aerosols) as well as cloud-whitening. All of these experiments have large potential impacts on environment, biodiversity and the livelihoods of people especially in the Global South. Geoengineering advocates argue that there is no time for a global political agreement to address the real causes of climate change, so brave new scientists and wealthy entrepreneurs should save the world for all of us instead, with their own technofixes.

There are now several geoengineering experiments getting underway without any global oversight framework in place and larger experiments are planned. Geoengineers, including those behind the Gates cloud-wrenching test have recently proposed “voluntary guidelines” rather than full independent multilateral oversight of the field. The proposal currently before SBSTTA 14 is for governments to look into the biodiversity implications of geoengineering (as well as to examine the ongoing work on ocean fertilization which began in 2008). Civil society groups are insisting experiments be stopped while governments examine the implications of such research.

Who: A new global campaign and coalition to stop Geoengineering experiments was launched last month at an international climate change meeting in Cochabamba, Bolivia. This Hands Off Mother Earth (H.O.M.E.) Campaign is calling on governments through the UN to put a halt to unilateral open-air geoengineering experiments – arguing they are too risky and unjust. Supporters of the HOME campaign against geoengineering include high profile environmentalists such as Bill McKibben, David Suzuki, Vandana Shiva and Naomi Klein. Organizations supporting the HOME campaign include ETC Group, Friends of the Earth International, Third World Network, Indigenous Environmental Network, la Via Campenina, Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact, Biofuelwatch and many others.

Show of Hands: Additionally members of the public have been uploading their pictures with their hands held up with messages against geoengineering to a growing photo petition at http://www.handsoffmotherearth.org. A giant poster displaying the protest is on display at SBSTTA 14 in Nairobi and ETC Group has three people at the meeting, working with campaign partners to inform delegates of the protest and the reasons behind it.

In Nairobi:

*Neth Dano, neth@etcgroup.org cell & SMS + 63 917 532 9369

Nairobi cell: +254 712 605 622

Silvia Ribeiro, silvia@etcgroup.org cell & SMS +52 1 55 2653 3330

Nairobi cell: +254 712 601 660

*Molly Kane, molly@etcgroup.org cell & SMS: + 1 613 797 642

In Canada:

Diana Bronson – diana@etcgroup.org; cell: +1 514 629 9236

Jim Thomas – jim@etcgroup.org cell: +1 514 516 5759

Pat Mooney – etc@etcgroup.org cell: +1 613 240 0045


[1] See Ben Webster, Bill Gates Pays for artificial clouds to beat greenhouse gases, 8 May 2010, Times Online at http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article7120011.ece

[2] Convention on the Prohibition of Military or any other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques. See http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/enmod/text/environ2.htm

10 thoughts on “Billionaire Bill Gates Chucks Cash at Climate Cooling Cloud Creator

  1. This is not Bill’s idea. As far as I know it was James Lovelock who first proposed the idea. Not as a ‘best practace’, but as a desperate solution to a desperate problem.
    I neither condone nor condemn, but we have to agree, the problem is desperate.
    Does anyone have a serious proposal which WILL work?
    Spraying salt water is not the worst proposal I’ve heard….
    Seaspray enters the atmosphere by itself through wind action, algae also control this action to a certain degree. The salt water is on average in the atmosphere about 8 days before it is rained back to earth. On a world basis massive amounts of salt water spray are lifted from the oceans. Maybe a test run might be a good idea?
    Going over to more nuclear power is another action in the pipeline.
    Its no longer a matter of complaining, but of action.
    It’s no longer a time for division, but to work together.
    I dont care what your name is, Bill, Lovelock or whatever, it’s time to work together. work together to find solutions to make a controlled retreat out of this industrial/overpopulation/etc mess.
    Geoengineering is NOT the solution, but might it assist a controlled retreat?

  2. Hello Everyone
    This is a bit of a mute point because they are already spraying us on a daily basis Worldwide and have been doing so for several Years even before the Global warming Con.

    Just look up if you dont beleve me what has happened to our blue skys, The planes have been doing this in Uk 24 x 7 now for years the sky is just a white out,

    So please its no use trying to shut the gate once the horse has all ready bolted,
    Just look on my You tube page or type chemtrails into You Tube

    This is World wide and the weather people etc are all in on it, why do you think they now cant predict the weather, becuse it is changed hour by hour by these planes

    Thank you

    Rick

  3. I became very sick in the winter of 2009 and felt very much like I felt in the late 80′s and early 90′s. In the fall of 2008 I had noticed heavy jet travel in our remote area of The Great North Woods of NH and noticed also that the expanding trails were making me very sick. This dumping of toxins, now, never stops day or night. I have numerous symptoms and live in pain and fear daily. Many days I wear a face mask and have to pad that. We use an air filtration system that does little to help. I recently visited an elementary school in the mountains of NH and many of the children have big dark circles under their eyes as I do. My heart is broken. These atrocities are an attack on all life.
    There may be help for the numerous symptoms and sicknesses caused or provoked by this “corporate cool aid”. One needs only to listen to the pharmaceutical ads on television. They cover it all except for those that die from the spraying and I’m sure they tend to gain from that also.
    I constantly contact politicians, the EPA, the media and have begged them to take a stand and warn the people. The EPA says we need laws but the population needs to know why their children are all on inhalers. Not everyone spends their time looking up. I am a photographer and rarely can find a sky that even remotely resembles the beautiful blue sky of the past. Our clouds are noxious and the dumping is extremely heavy and done at a low elevation before rain or snow.
    I think if Bill Gates wants to make a real difference and spend; he should take a long hard look and do some research on what is really going on here. Scientific experiments are one thing but mass murder is another. I beg Bill Gates to help those that suffer now and will suffer from these aerial atrocities for years to come. I joined and will continue to join those that fight this. I beg President Obama and will continue to beg even if he doesn’t see or hear my words.

  4. Well, friends, ’tis time we started the greatest coalition to ever grow out of many grassroots movement.

    The Earth is our home, the only home we have, and our children will have no-one else to blame if we let others destroy their planet but us.

    There are quite literally, thousands of small and large groups, lists, websites, organisations and hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of individuals ready to act, if only we can find the consensus.

    Time to bring together that consensus.

    If each one of us writes to the groups we know and asks them to make links, conect and organise with all other organisations they are in touch with, it will be a start.

    Our own Climate Summit. Our own Biodiversity Treaty. Our own Global Water Crisis conference.

    We can set-up a virtual portal to take our business to the Green, Ethical, Humane, Fair Trade, Organic, Anti-cruelty, Sustainable markets, a global virtual market, millions of people “taking their business elsewhere” and withdrawing their cash from the likes of MicroSoft.

    We can start with a campaign to stop Bil Gates & Co… start by hitting Microsoft, migrate to Ubuntu or Apple.
    We can start an international market to refurbish and reuse goods, supply Developing Nations.
    We can buy direct from Ethical, Organic Farmers’ Co-operatives and choose sustainable shipping.
    There is a lot we can do, but unless we act, nothing will change.

    Are you willing to ACT?

    Go to Sustain-Ability and sign-up.
    We can take it from there.

    Email Avaaz http://www.avaaz.org/ and Care2 http://www.care2.com/
    Email Greenpece and ask them to plan action http://www.greenpeace.org/international/
    Email your MP, MEP, Senator, Congressman…
    Email your friends and family

    Enough is enough!

    Thank you for your kind attention.

    Best regards to All.
    My sisters, my brothers, and our Children.

    Gea Vox

    Ask them to run a campaign!

  5. Please think about what your invested projects could do in complex system that plain intelligence cannot fix. It takes wisdom with intelligence that can bring positive effects for the greater good of all living things, including planet Earth. Please invest in things that will help in creating more coexistence.

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