Say No to the “Trojan Hose”


No SPICE in our skies, say environmental justice groups

(ETC Group/Econexus)

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. The SPICE project (Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering) involves four universities, three research councils, several government departments along with private company Marshall Aerospace.

Groups signing the letter to Environment Minister Chris Huhne and the UK Research Councils hope it will gather enough support before the test to get authorities to reconsider allowing the controversial experiment to go ahead.  The experiment, which involves spraying water from a kilometre-long hose suspended by a giant balloon, is scheduled to take place on a disused military airstrip in Sculthorpe, in Norfolk, UK between October 6 and 23rd.  Groups objecting to the test say it will send the wrong signal to the international community, which adopted a moratorium on geoengineering activities last October at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan.

“On the one hand, our government is involved in negotiations around geoengineering and biodiversity by funding, chairing and actively participating in discussions at the CBD.  On the other hand, it is preparing the hardware for deployment of a potentially very dangerous geoengineering technology. Such tests should certainly not be allowed to proceed before there is an international decision to go down that path,” says Helena Paul of Econexus, one the NGOs involved in the CBD talks and in the open letter.

Diana Bronson of ETC Group, an international technology watchdog says: “This is a Trojan Hose — our objection is not that they want to spray water but that they are preparing the technology that can shoot sulfates into the stratosphere to try to block sunlight from reaching the earth.  This so-called Solar Radiation Management could have devastating consequences  — altering precipitation patterns, threatening food supplies and public health, destroying ozone and diminishing the effectiveness of solar power, in addition to many other known and unknown impacts.”

Organizers invite people opposed to carrying out geoengineering field trials in the absence of international agreement to signal their opposition here: handsoffmotherearth.org