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Full Press Coverage of 2012 Ocean Fertilization Scheme Near Haida Gwaii

In mid-october 2012 ETC Group, working with partners, uncovered a large-scale unauthorised geoengineering scheme that had been carried out in July 300km off the west coast of Canada, close to the islands of Haida Gwaii. We discovered that this ocean fertilization scheme, which involved at least 120 tons of iron dust and iron sulphate being dumped into a highly biodiverse marine ecosystem, appeared to have given rise, at least in part, to an unusually large (10,000 sq km) plankton boom. We also learned that the principal actor behind this large dump of iron was Russ George formerly CEO of Planktos, a company that had attempted to dump iron in the waters west of the Galapagos Islands and the Canary islands in 2007. In ETC Group's view this activity violated at least three international moratoria established through the IMO's London Convention and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

This page presents a partial record of the media reporting and scientific and official responses to this large real-world geoengineeirng scheme.

Rio+20 or Silent Spring-50?

Governments mark 50 years of failure...and a couple of nano-steps forward

It’s difficult to describe Rio+20 as anything other than a tragedy. Despite years of preparation and months of negotiations, nothing said or done in Rio can cover up not just the 20 lost years since the original 1992 Earth Summit – as seasoned delegates have quietly noted – but also the half-century of intergovernmental failures since Rachel Carson catalyzed the sequence of global environmental congresses following the publication of her book, Silent Spring, in 1962.

New Report: The Greed Revolution

Big Agribusiness Influence Threatens to Override Public Interest

A new 30-page report that documents the growing influence of agribusiness on the multilateral food system and the lack of transparency in research funding has been released today by the international civil society organization ETC Group. The Greed Revolution: Mega Foundations, Agribusiness Muscle In On Public Goods, presents three case studies – one involving the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and two involving CGIAR Centers (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) -- which point to a dangerous trend that will worsen rather than solve the problem of global hunger. The report details, amongst others, the involvement of Nestlé, Heineken, Monsanto, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Syngenta Foundation.

“Hold Your Hoses!”

Kink in UK’s ‘Trojan Hose’ geoengineering experiment

Opponents of proposals to “geoengineer” the planet have two reasons to celebrate this week.

Firstly, ETC Group has learned that UK scientists, in the midst of controversy, are on the cusp of postponing an imminent test of an experimental hose (dubbed the “Trojan Hose” by opponents) designed to deliver sulphur dioxide to the stratosphere as a way to engineer a cooler planet. The test had been scheduled for October; on Monday, 60 groups from around the globe sent an open letter to the UK government and the research councils involved expressing their opposition to the experiment. No public announcement of the decision has been made and details must be clarified, but an undeniable lack of prior stakeholder engagement is the likely reason for the delay.

Say No to the Trojan Hose:

No SPICE in our skies say environmental justice groups

Over 50 concerned groups from around the world are calling on people to sign an open letter (here) asking the UK Government and Research Councils to scrap the controversial SPICE experiment designed to test hardware for deployment of stratospheric aerosol injections as a way to artificially cool the planet.

Open letter about SPICE geoengineering test

RE: The Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering (SPICE) project

We are writing to express our concern about the SPICE research project, which is managed by the University of Bristol in collaboration with the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh, as well as military contractor Marshall Aerospace. The £1.6 million project has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). We are calling upon the UK government and the Research Councils involved to suspend the project. In particular, we believe the experiment planned to test equipment for injecting particles into the stratosphere with the aim of counteracting global warming through solar radiation management (SRM) should be cancelled.

ETC Group calls on UK government to halt Geoengineering Experiment

Hose down!

In response to reports that British scientists are about to test the hardware needed to put sulphur particles in the stratosphere as a climate technofix, international technology watchdog ETC Group is calling on the UK government to halt the controversial test and respect UN processes underway to discuss these issues.

IPCC treads carefully on geoengineering

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) wound up its expert meeting on geoengineering in Lima, Peru, which included all three IPCC Working Groups, it committed to remain “policy relevant but not policy prescriptive.” Despite getting off on the wrong foot (no transparency), with some of the wrong experts (scientists with financial interests), on some of the wrong topics (governance), the IPCC has now confirmed that it will not make recommendations to governments regarding research funding for the controversial technologies, governance models or the legality of experimentation.

At a press briefing following the close of the expert meeting, the IPCC stated that its focus will be “establishing the scientific foundations for an assessment of geoengineering.” This assessment would include risks, costs, benefits and social and economic impacts, intended and unintended consequences as well as uncertainties and gaps in knowledge and will be based solely on peer-reviewed literature. “Of course, a real assessment of geoengineering will need to be much broader than a scientific peer-review process,” said Silvia Ribeiro of ETC Group from Lima, though outside the meeting. “Civil society organizations have been clear that we do not want these dangerous technologies developed; they are a new threat from the very same countries that are responsible for the climate crisis in the first place!”

Civil Society Organizations to IPCC: Take Geoengineering off the Table!

125 international and national organizations, representing at least 40 countries from all continents, sent an open letter to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), demanding a clear statement of its commitment to precaution and to the existing international moratorium on geoengineering. The IPCC will hold an expert meeting on geoengineering 20-22 June in Lima, Peru.

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