Geoengineering Is a Dangerous Solution to Climate Change

by Rachel Smolker

As the realities of global climate change become ever more alarming, advocates of technological approaches to “geoengineer” the planet’s climate are gaining a following.

But the technologies that are promoted — from spraying sulphate particles into the stratosphere, to dumping iron particles into the ocean, to stimulate carbon absorbing plankton, to burning millions of trees and burying the char in soils — are all fraught with clear and obvious risks, and are most likely only going to make matters worse.

Yet zeal for these approaches continues unabated. According to right-wing think tank American Enterprise Institute, geoengineering offers:

“…the marriage of capitalism and climate remediation…What if corporations shoulder more costs and lead the technological charge, all for a huge potential payoff?…Let’s hope we are unleashing enlightened capitalist forces that just might drive the kind of technological innovation necessary to genuinely tackle climate change.”

 Forget about cutting emissions: manipulating the atmosphere and biosphere through geoengineering is the only sensible option for business and thus policy makers, they claim.

Notably, on the very same website, American Enterprise Institute claims that opponents of the Keystone Pipeline are exaggerating environmental risks while undermining economic gains and ‘neighborliness‘.

The connection between the tar sands industry and geoengineering advocates is perhaps not immediately obvious, but it makes perfect, ugly sense. Tar sands investors and their allies have long realized that geoengineering could provide them an extended lease on life — and a convenient means to avoid the shuttering of their industry, which many consider the single most destructive and climat — damaging form of energy extraction.

Hence, it isn’t surprising that tar sands magnate Murray Edwards, director of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, actually fact funds a geoengineering company that works on techniques for capturing CO2 from the air called Carbon Engineering.

Carbon Engineering’s president, David Keith, is one of the most vocal and best funded advocates of geoengineering. Carbon Dioxide air capture is often viewed as benign or “soft” geoengineering. After all, what could possibly be wrong with removing carbon dioxide from the overloaded atmosphere?

For starters, air capture of CO2 requires vast amounts of water and, yes, more energy. According to one study, scrubbing all current annual fossil fuel emissions from the air would deprive 53 million people of water. Even capturing CO2 from power station smokestacks, where it is already in a relatively concentrated stream, requires those power plants to burn nearly one third more fuel in order to generate the same amount of energy, plus the additional demand required to power carbon capture.

Capturing CO2 from the air, where it is measured in parts per million, would require vastly more power stations to be built in the first place. More carbon-spewing power stations that is, to help scrub a bit of the emitted CO2 back out of the air.

What Carbon Engineering is developing may be nonsensical from an environmental and scientific perspective, but it fits neatly into the tar sands’ industry agenda for portraying themselves as “low carbon.” In 2011, Richard Branson chose Calgary for announcing the shortlist of his “Virgin Earth Challenge” which offers a $25 million prize to one project working to remove CO2 from the air. His spokesperson explained the rationale for this choice:

“Calgary is a good place to start low-carbon technology. It’s an energy centre [with inventiveness and rigor to apply “to sustainable, low-carbon and economically viable technology.”

Tar sands influence behind so-called ‘soft geoengineering’ can be found in unexpected places. Take a recent announcement by Vermont-based Green Mountain Coffee:

“Mountain Coffee Roasters is helping to fund nonprofit Radio Lifeline’s Black Earth Project, an initiative that uses biochar to help Rwandan farmers mitigate the effects of climate change. Radio Lifeline’s project partner Re:char, a Kenyan developer of small-scale biochar technologies, will use agricultural residues such as dried corn stalks, grasses, rice hulls, coffee pulp, cow manure and wood chips as feedstock for the biochar production.”

 Green Mountain Coffee and Radio Lifeline may not associate such a project with ConocoPhillips Canada, but in fact, ConocoPhillips has been the foremost corporation to promote and fund biochar developments, apparently motivated by hopes that they can eventually purchase cheap offsets for their tar sands operations — for example under the Alberta ‘tar sands’ Offset System. Re:char themselves have received fundingfrom Conoco .

Far greater Conoco funds have gone to biochar developments in Iowa, to the Biochar Protocol , which aims to get biochar included into carbon offset markets, and to CoolPlanet, a US Venture with the motto: “Imagine driving today’s cars & SUV’s while actually reversing global warming using fuel that costs less than $1.50/gallon.”

Other tar sands investors, including Cenovus Energy, BP and Shell have also funded biochar developments, as has their friend Richard Branson.

Some might argue that it is acceptable to take dirty money to fund projects that will help African farmers make their soils more fertile and hold more carbon. Yet what the scientific evidence and experience from field trials shows is that biochar cannot be relied on to achieve either of those goals.

It can even have the effect of suppressing yields and causing a loss of soil carbon. Farmers who are recruited for supposed “trials” tend to be ill-informed, hearing only the hype from project developers. In effect, they are being duped to take part in these projects based on incomplete and in some cases downright false information.

For example, when a Cameroonian researcher looked at a Biochar Fund project in his country, he found that farmers had been promised great benefits, including finance from nonexistent carbon markets. They had donated their land and labor. Yet the promised benefits failed to materialize, and the project was shortly abandoned. It was nonetheless touted as a “success” on websites and in the media.

So far, biochar projects are invariably small, largely serving PR purposes. Yet if, as many of its advocates hope, it were to be scaled up to the level needed to supposedly offset any significant amount of fossil fuel emissions, the consequences would be grave. According to a study about the “sustainable biochar potential”, 556 million hectares of land would need to be converted to biochar production to “offset” 12 per cent of annual CO2 emissions (presuming, of course, that all of that biochar would actually sequester carbon, which is contradicted by evidence).

Carbon dioxide air capture and biochar, despite their potentially massive impacts in terms of energy, water and land requirements, are among the geoengineering proposals that are considered more benign. They are being promoted in part to soften up public opinion for other more intuitively objectionable forms of geo-engineering, such as spraying vast amounts of sulphur particles into the stratosphere or manipulating clouds over large areas.

Those approaches would indeed be guaranteed to produce rapid effects. Among them: immediate crop-failures, acid rain and ozone destruction. In sum, geoengineering options amount to “picking your poison.” The tar sands industry, with somewhere on the order of 50 billion dollars invested and rapidly expanding its operations, is hoping that choice will enable them to continue profiting from their dirty business, at any and all cost to the planet.

This article originally appeared on HuffPo.

Greatest risk of ocean experiment is that it will spawn more

by Dene Moore (Postmedia News)

Handout satellite image provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA via Getty Images

VANCOUVER – A small British Columbia First Nation making waves around the world with a controversial experiment in the Pacific Ocean is on the front lines of climate change, even critics admit.

And as the fears of global warming grow, there is a risk that potentially dangerous geoengineering experiments like the ocean fertilization carried out off the islands of Haida Gwaii will be unleashed as a quick fix, warns Jim Thomas, spokesman for Montreal-based ETC Group, a geoengineering watchdog.

“In desperate times desperate people do sometimes rather stupid things,” said Thomas.

A spokesman for the Haida Salmon Restoration Corp., which arranged funding for and carried out the experiment, said the organization is no longer doing media interviews about the issue.

John Disney, head of the salmon restoration corporation and economic development officer for Old Massett, said the corporation’s intentions have been misinterpreted, and the experience has been very trying.

“You have to understand that caught up in some big international … whatever, this little Haida community has had their whole integrity and their character totally assassinated,” Disney said.

The Haida people have relied for centuries on the world around them for survival, in particular on the salmon. The fish play a central role in not only the Haida diet, but the culture of Haida Gwaii, an archipelago 80 km off the northwest coast of B.C., that is home to a UNESCO world heritage site.

Like fishermen throughout B.C., they watched salmon stocks decline for decades until a near collapse in 2009. That year, the largest run in the province — the Fraser River run — plummeted to 1.7 million fish. The federal government announced a public inquiry, but many felt it was too late to save the run.

Then the following year, returns defied all predictions. Rivers ran red with the backs of spawning salmon as the Fraser River run hit 34 million.

There is no shortage of scientific speculation that a 2008 volcanic eruption on the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, which spewed iron-laden ash over thousands of kilometres of the North Pacific, was the cause for the large return.

A 2010 study of the Mount Kasatoshi volcano by Institute of Ocean Sciences, within the federal Fisheries and Oceans Ministry, concluded that the ash was a contributing factor.

“…the volcanic emission of iron-rich dust in 2008 caused a massive late summer bloom of diatoms that enhanced the food chain for young sockeye salmon in the Gulf shortly after they migrated into the oceanic habitat,” it said, though the ash was not exclusively responsible.

And it was not the first time. In 1956, the study noted, a volcanic eruption in Kamchatka, Russia, was believed to cause a sockeye run 20 million-strong in 1958.

“This is about the fish,” Ken Rea, chief councillor for the village of Old Massett, said when news first broke of the experiment. “This is about providing sustainable opportunities for our future generations.”

Over several days in late July, from a leased fishing vessel called the Ocean Pearl, almost 200 metric tons of iron dust, iron sulfate fertilizer and iron oxide were dumped over an area of about one square kilometre 300 kilometres west of Haida Gwaii, just outside Canadian territorial waters.

Satellite images suggest the fertilization resulted in a 10,000-square kilometre plankton bloom. The Haida will have to wait two years to see if they achieved the desired effect on salmon returns.

But if the village of Old Massett entered into the experiment in an effort to restore salmon, critics aren’t saying the same of its partner in the project.

Russ George is listed as the CEO and chief scientist of Planktos Inc., a defunct company dedicated to “carbon remediation and creative eco-restoration.” George has made several attempts to sell carbon credits for ocean fertilization.

“This is a village project. They started it, they own it, they run it. It’s not the Russ George rogue geoengineering story,” George told Scientific American magazine this week.

“You’ve seen the vile and vehement twisting of this story. You can probably imagine how I feel. (It) was the faith and trust and hopes and dreams of a village whose environment is dying, whose culture is dying because the salmon are dying. And now the world is saying they were duped.”

George is pursuing the Holy Grail of environmental entrepreneurship: a profitable process to address the current global climate crisis.

A phytoplankton bloom does capture carbon, trapping it at the bottom of the ocean as the organisms that feed off the algae die and sink. Previous, smaller-scale tests show the effect was short-term.

“It’s not divided,” said Roberta Hamme, an oceanographer at the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria who studied the fallout from the 2008 volcanic eruption in Alaska.

“Almost every experiment has said that it’s not an efficient way. You can take up some carbon, but it’s not an efficient way to go about it and, if it were done on a large scale, would likely have significant impacts on the ecosystem.”

George’s critics suggest long-term carbon capture is environmental snake oil.

“Our concerns are nested in wider concerns about geoengineering … We are concerned about any move towards deploying or testing geoengineering schemes,” said Thomas, of ETC, which stands for Erosion, Technology and Concentration.

“We’re concerned about what this means in terms of moving toward more geoengineering tests.”

International negotiations have failed to address climate change, he said, and there are people who “are reaching for these quick fix, very risky approaches such as geoengineering.”

As far as salmon restoration, Thomas said stakeholders should wait for the report expected later this year from the public inquiry into the 2009 collapse.

“The particular hypothesis that they were trying to examine is interesting but it’s not an excuse to try a large-scale ocean fertilization.”

Geo-engineering: green versus greed in the race to cool the planet

by John Vidal

The alert on the Climate Ark website in January 2009 was marked urgent: “Take action: A rogue science ship is poised to carry out risky experimental fertilisation of the Southern Ocean. This is likely [to be] the first of many coming attempts to begin geo-engineering the biosphere as a solution to climate change. The chemical cargo is likely to provoke a massive algal bloom big enough to be seen from outer space…”

The response was immediate and vitriolic: “You morons,” fumed a woman from a Canadian university. “That isn’t a rogue ship… it’s one of the best marine science research groups in the world. You are no different than anti-science religious fanatics. You seek to keep the world ignorant. May you drown in your lies…”

Professor Peter Liss, then chair of Britain’s Royal Society’s global environment research committee and himself involved in research to see the effect of iron on phtyoplankton, stepped in: “The [intention] is to find out what role iron plays in marine biogeochemistry. In no way is it an attempt to geo-engineer the planet. Only by knowing the facts can you argue effectively against such geo-engineering proposals. Emotion and opinion will not win the argument; knowledge and understanding will.”

Some hope. Geo-engineering – artificial efforts to mitigate global warming by manipulating weather patterns, oceans, currents, soils and atmosphere to reduce the amount of greenhouses gases – evokes ideological, political and financial passions. For those who have more or less given up on UN climate talks, it is, along with nuclear power, the only practical planetary way to avoid catastrophic climate change; for others, it is an irresponsible move into the unknown by the rich world that will inevitably have unintended consequences, most probably for the poorest.

But as attempts to get major economies to agree to reduce emissions through energy efficiency falter, so groups of scientists, universities and entrepreneurs are coming together, patenting ideas and pressing the case with governments and the UN to back experiments as the first step towards wide-scale deployment of a suite of technologies.

From just a few individuals working in the field 20 years ago, today there are hundreds of groups and institutions proposing experiments. They fall broadly into two camps: one aims to remove greenhouse gases from the air and store them underground; the other, more controversially, tries to cool the Earth down by reflecting sunlight from the atmosphere or space in a process known as solar radiation management.

The range of techno-fix ideas is growing by the month. They include absorbing plankton, growing artificial trees, firing silver iodide into clouds to produce rain, genetically engineering crops to be paler in colour to reflect sunlight back to space, fertilising the ocean with iron nanoparticles to increase phytoplankton, blasting sulphate-based aerosols into the stratosphere to deflect sunlight, covering the desert with white plastic to reflect sunlight and painting cities and roads white.

There are serious proposals to launch a fleet of unmanned ships to spray seawater into the atmosphere to thicken clouds and thus reflect more radiation from Earth. Most controversial of all is an idea to fire trillions of tiny mirrors into space to form a 100,000-mile “sunshade” for Earth.

Most are unlikely to be seriously considered but some are being pushed hard by entrepreneurs and businessmen attracted by the potential to make billions of dollars in an emerging system of UN global carbon credits. Research by ETC, the Canadian-based watchdog, shows at least 27 patents have been granted to inventors and assignees including Bill Gates, Dupont, the US government and various corporations. Chemical engineer Michael Markels has four patents, Professor Steven Salter of Edinburgh University and climate change scientist David Keith have two.

“If geo-engineering techniques move towards actual deployment, the existence of patents could mean that decisions over the climate will be effectively handed over to the private sector,” says Diana Bronson of ETC.

In what is shaping up to become a deep, ideological division along the lines of pro- and anti-nuclear or GM crops, the scientists, corporates and entrepreneurs are being broadly opposed by environment groups and developing countries, but backed increasingly by the UK and US governments, as well as businessmen such as Richard Branson. And in a strange new grouping, free market environmentalists such as Mark Lynas in Britain, Stewart Brand in the US and Bjorn Lomborg in Denmark have joined high-profile US conservative politicians and thinktanks to say geo-engineering is a step forward.

“Geo-engineering holds forth the promise of addressing global warming concerns for just a few billion dollars a year,” said Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the US House of Representatives, in 2008. “We would have an option to address global warming by rewarding scientific innovation. Bring on American ingenuity. Stop the green pig.”

How geo-engineering plans to combat climate change.

Such people have decided that re-engineering Earth for survival, or for profit, is just an intellectual skip away from what we have been doing for centuries and what has got us into the mess in the first place – cutting down most of the world’s forests, converting the savannas, diverting and damming rivers and plundering the seas. With no evidence that mankind is prepared to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, it has become necessary to have a plan B, an insurance policy for the situation in which Earth hits a tipping point, they argue.

But to do that requires experiments and money, says Andrew Lockley, moderator of the geoengineering group Google site that brings together many of the world’s leading scientists working in different areas. His own area is finding geo-engineering ways to capture methane on a vast scale from melting tundra landscapes.

Lockley says: “We just do not know if a catastrophic methane release could be 50, 100 or 10,000 years away. Different scientists are saying different things. We could be sleepwalking into a climate disaster. What is needed is the support of academe to do further research. We need basic research done on which models might work.”

But with most major research institutions scared of the public reaction and hesitating to put money into geo-engineering, it is being left to corporations and billionaire entrepreneurs. Bill Gates has put in $400m (£250m) into two projects and is named in a group of people holding a patent to employ a fleet of vessels to suppress hurricanes through various methods of mixing warm water from the surface of the ocean with colder water at greater depths. Richard Branson’s “carbon war room” is backing carbon capture and storage technologies. Behind the scenes, airlines, GM and chemical companies are believed to be cautiously investigating the potential.

Britain now leads the world’s public funding, by providing research money and intellectual backing from scientific institutions such as the Royal Society. Last week, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, a British government funding agency, released over £3m for two geo-engineering research projects.

The most controversial project is for an artificial mini-volcano to block sunlight and lower temperatures. Inspired by the way eruptions can spew particles into the stratosphere dimming the sun and lowering temperatures, the scientists from Bristol, Cambridge and Reading Universities propose to launch a massive balloon system 20-25km into the stratosphere to spray millions of sulphate particles. The prototype will put a balloon just 1km into the sky.

Their work is being mirrored in the California where Philip Rasch, chief scientist for climate science at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a research group with the US Department of Energy, has proposed fleets of aircraft continually spraying tons of reflective sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere. Geo-engineering critics are appalled, saying the diffusion of the sunlight might result in ozone depletion, reduced plant growth, more humidity in the atmosphere, less energy and even potential damage as particles fall to Earth.

“We just do not know how to recall a planetary-scale technology once it has been released. Techniques that alter the composition of the stratosphere or the chemistry of the oceans are likely to have unintended consequences as well as unequal impacts around the world,” says Pat Mooney of ETC.

Scientists are also divided on the deployment of planetary-scale geo-engineering but united on the need for research – if only to show that many of the proposed schemes may be rubbish.

“I am actually pretty scared of putting things in space. Some people are planning to do it [but] it is much harder to check what is going on in the stratosphere. We may need to regulate the experiments. We know very little about secondary consequences. To talk about doing it is naive. To do research is different,” he says. “The case for experimentation is not the case for going ahead with major implementation. You cannot consider [these things] until you have done the research. Maybe it goes no further. A first step does not presume a second. That would be for politicians to decide.”

But the technologists are at many different stages. According to ETC, there are now several groupings, including the pragmatists, such as Branson, Lomborg and the American Enterprise Institute, which argue that geo-engineering is faster and cheaper than carbon taxes and emissions reductions, so just get on with it; and the theorists, such as the Royal Society and the Carnegie Institution for Science in the US which say we must have an emergency Plan B because we are heading for a certain climate catastrophe; meanwhile, businesses such as the Ocean Fertilisation Company and the Biochar Initiative see dollars.

In the background is the military. According to US science historian James Fleming, control of the climate gives the military an advantage and so it seeks to “weaponise” every technology, providing a stream of resources for scientists. Star Wars architect Lowell Wood argued in the 1990s that by spending about $1bn per year, the US could put enough particles in the stratosphere to reduce sunlight by about 1%.

“It is not easy to see how a serious geo-engineering programme could move forward without some degree of military involvement,” says Jeff Goodell, journalist and author of How to Cool the Planet.

The immediate battle, though, is being fought in the media, where the scientists are hoping to be hailed as social visionaries, and in the UN and scientific establishments, where they are seeking intellectual underpinning. According to Bronson: “The geo-engineers have worked hard to conquer the western scientific establishment and are now moving into Brazil, India and China because they know that the northern orientation of everything so far is a huge liability.”

There is growing awareness that geo-engineering is not going away, adds Bronson. “Many NGOS and social movements in Latin America have started to get involved and interest in south-east Asia and some parts of Africa is growing. Combined with lacklustre climate talks and rising emissions, though, many environmentalists end up with some kind of reluctant endorsement of the ‘more research’ agenda. Indigenous peoples and farmers’ organisations have proved particularly strong in their opposition. Women’s groups are also starting to get interested and alarmed.”

Above all, it will be the governments of poor countries which are likely to object to any planetary-scale project. Two years ago, all countries except the US agreed to a de facto voluntary moratorium on geo-engineering projects and experiments. Apart from the unpredictability of the science, there was mistrust that western-northern-driven technological solutions to climate change would be fair or equitable. Two weeks ago, 160 organisations from around the world sent an open letter to Rajendra Pachauri, the Nobel prize-winning chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, after it had hosted a meeting of geo-engineers in Lima, Peru.

“Geo-engineering is too dangerous to too many people and to the planet to be left in the hands of small group of so-called experts,” they warned. “The IPCC has assured us it will go forward carefully in this work. We will be closely following the process.”

This article was originally posted to the Guardian.

London Convention: Climate campaigners oppose meddling with the oceans

Indymedia UK

On Monday 5th November climate change campaigners from Camp for Climate Action, Rising Tide and BioFuel Watch took action against geo-engineering (deliberate modification of Earth’s environment on a large scale) companies who are hoping to make a great deal of money from carbon credits by encouraging the growth of phytoplankton in the oceans . They claim this will ‘sequester’ carbon dioxide, a technology known as ‘ocean seeding’.

The campaigners held a demonstration outside a meeting of the London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes. The meeting is deciding on the response by the Convention to the attempts to commercialise the technology. They gave out leaflets to delegates calling on the London Convention to take strong action against this dumping of toxic material, and held a banner reading ‘Toxic Dumping: No Climate Solution’.

Campaigner Sarah Mills said: “These companies don’t care about climate change they are just out to make a fast buck out of the carbon market. This risky technofix won’t work but it will be used to enable the rich to keep polluting the planet while the poor feel the worst effects of climate change.”

Leaflet Text:

Toxic dumping is no solution to climate change

What’s the solution to climate chaos? Renewables? Energy efficiency? Using less? Keeping the fossil fuels in the ground?

Not according to geo-engineering companies like CLIMOS, PLANKTOS, OCEAN NOURISHMENT CORPORATION and ATMOCEAN. They are hoping to make a great deal of money from carbon credits for encouraging the growth of phytoplankton in the oceans which they claim will ‘sequester’ carbon dioxide. Methods proposed include dumping large quantities of tiny iron particles, dumping industrial quantities of synthetic urea, and piping up nutrient rich deep ocean waters to the surface.

– It’s dangerous – Ocean seeding has the potential negative impacts on the marine environment and human health. Concerns include increased production of nitrous oxide and methane, unintended changes in the plankton that could result in production of toxic blooms and effects on the ocean food chain. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have warned that toxic tides and lifeless oceans might result from such geo-engineering activities [deliberate modification of Earth’s environment on a large scale]. One IPCC report said “geo-engineering options…remain largely speculative and with the risk of unknown side-effects”.

– It’s unproven -Science journal Nature published a study on iron seeding authored by forty-seven ocean scientists concluding that such attempts to artificially seed the ocean were unlikely to sequester much carbon dioxide. There is no way of proving how much carbon dioxide is stored or how long it will be locked away for. The scientists say their results “mean the end of the ‘geo engineering’ utopia that consists of artificially seeding the oceans with iron.”

– It’s a scam – Local and international environmental groups are furious at this risky gamble with sensitive marine ecosystems spurred by the opportunity to make a profit from carbon trading. Do these companies really care about climate change or are they out to make a fast buck? In the words of Planktos CEO Russ George “It’s really more of a business experiment than a scientific experiment.” Ocean Nourishment Corporation are expected to claim fishing rights on the basis of increasing fish stocks because of the phytoplankton blooms.

– It’s a red herring – Even if it worked, which there is no evidence for, ocean seeding is not sustainable or an equitable solution to climate change. Ocean Nourishment’s urea dumping scheme is depending on fast depleting natural gas stocks which may not in the future be available on the vast scale needed for ONC’s scheme. Ocean seeding enables a business as usual approach where the richest are able to buy the right to pollute while the poor become more and more marginalised. We have the solutions to climate change at our fingertips – reducing consumption, relocalising economies, and using existing renewable energy technologies sustainably

– It’s a threat to local economies – The livelihoods of millions of small-scale fisher families depend on the coastal waters surrounding the Philippines and Malaysia, but none of the communities have been consulted about the dumping scheme proposed by ONC. Wilhelmina Pelegrina of SEARICE in the Philippines said “Large-scale urea dumping is treating our oceans like a communal toilet. Our already endangered marine ecosystems are the lifeblood of our communities – and ONC must not be permitted to foul them for their own profit”. Ruperto Aleroza of Kilusang Mangingisda, the Philippine Fisherfolks Movement, said “This technology is unacceptable. It is a dangerous technology that could imperil marine environment which is the main source of survival and livelihood of poor fisherfolks in the Philippines. Under Philippine laws experiments like this must undergo environmental impact assessments and free prior informed consent of communities that are potentially affected. ”

We demand a moratorium . No to voluntary codes of conduct.

Climos believe that by offering to undertake a voluntary code of conduct they can placate the concerns of scientists and environmentalists.

Voluntary codes of conduct allow companies to make their own decisions on what is acceptable behaviour and are a deliberate strategy to stave off regulation by national governments and international organisations who have a responsibility to protect the natural environment in the face of dangerous schemes such as the one proposed.

– We call on the London Convention, national governments and international agencies to reject geo-engineering scams and promote real solutions to climate change.
– We call on Climos, Planktos, Ocean Nourishment Corporation and Atmocean to abandon these mistaken schemes.
– We call on all members of the public concerned about the future to take action on climate change and against the destructive impacts of these companies.

More information:

Canadian NGO, the ETC Group, has collated scientific analyses and civil society critiques of ocean dumping. Information is available at:

www.etcgroup.org/en/issues/geoengineering.html