The Task Force’s call for large scale testing runs counter to a resolution of the European Parliament last week, which included language opposing large scale geoengineering. Last week also saw UK geoengineers forced to back away from a controversial experiment to test geoengineering hardware. Decision-makers postponed (the so-called ‘SPICE’ experiment to erect a 1km hose to the atmosphere) after over 60 groups wrote an open letter condemning the project as ‘Trojan Hose’ that could undermine the CBD moratorium. Many scientists have also opposed real-world geoengineering tests, arguing that they essentially amount to deployment when the chemistry of the oceans or atmosphere is changed on a large enough scale to have climate impacts. See http://www.handsoffmotherearth.org/2011/09/holdyourhoses/
It is outrageous to see that the very country that has steadily refused to adopt policies to stem greenhouse gas emissions or sign binding international agreements on climate change is now being encouraged to devote significant public resources to geoengineering, now rebranded as ‘climate remediation.’. This is PR remediation – an attempt to avoid the negative connotations of the term geoengineering! Not even all panel members agreed with the new marketing strategy.
If unintentional climate change was largely ‘made in the USA,’ now it seems this task force wants intentional interference with the planet to also be driven by the U.S. too – regardless of international agreements. This hawkish geoengineering stance will spark controversy in Panama where climate negotiations are ongoing in Durban later this year and in, or Rio in June 2012.. The global South will not and should not trust the global North to geoengineer the planet and such decisions can only be made by the full membership of the United Nations. The Task Force’s proposal to work with a “coalition of the willing” (p. 31) is completely unacceptable, undemocratic and out of step with the rest of the world.
See more background on the international campaign against geoengineering experiments at www.handsoffmotherearth.org.
Who is the Bipartisan Policy Center? According to Powerbase (http://www.powerbase.info/index.php/Bipartisan_Policy_Center): (h
Funded to the tune of over 23 million in 2009 from donors including the Rockefeller Foundation, Shell, Chevron, and PhRMA, the Bipartisan Policy Center ”is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell.” It claims to act “as an incubator for policy efforts that engage top political figures, advocates, academics and business leaders in the art of principled compromise.” In contrast to its stated desire “to develop policy solutions that make sense for the nation” that “can be embraced by both sides of the aisle,” the BPC has been described by some analysts as “ultra-hawkish” due to its foreign policy recommendations. According to veteran investigative journalist Robert Dreyfuss, in this regard the BPC is “a collection of neoconservatives, hawks, and neoliberal interventionists and it “is currently campaigning for military action against Iran.”