Geoengineering Gets NGOs Madder Than A Nest Of Angry Wasps

I tweeted yesterday that I wondered how NGO’s would try to pop the geoengineering genie back in the bottle, now that it is being actively discussed by the Royal Society. It hasn’t taken the ETC group long to develop a strategy that involves dismissing geoengineering as pure fantasy – just like banning all technology would lead to a perfect world then? But, boy are they angry?

The Royal Society will play an important role in this performance by offering a prestigious platform and global microphone to some modern-day tricksters. The emperor in the children’s fable, encouraged by dishonest tailors, pretends he can see the invisible threads of his fancy new clothes just as the political establishment, aided by scientists, will pretend that technology will save us from the climate crisis. In order to get us all to have faith in this fallacy, they need first to engineer momentum and then get us to believe in fairy tales.

From the vehemence of this piece, accusing the Royal Society of promoting ‘geopiracy’ the ETC group appears to be severely rattled, but as usual they don’t advance any practical solution, and that’s my real beef with this rather misleading piece, that it entirely negative and pretty much the same kind of scaremongering that we would take the Daily Mail to task for.

Given that climate change is an urgent issue, shouldn’t we be doing everything that we can to evaluate ways to mitigate it? Not according to the ETC group who suggest that releasing huge amounts of hot air into the atmosphere is the only solution. Their response is to call for

an international framework to evaluate new technologies, so that governments, in consultation with civil society and the scientific community, can make reasoned and equitable decisions regarding their possible development and/or deployment. The possibility of “dual-use” geoengineering to be unilaterally deployed and its possible commercial applications call for an urgent global resolution. The current governance gap over geoengineering needs to be closed, which will happen only through serious international discussion under the auspices of the United Nations

I wonder how history will judge some of the environmental movement. Will they be seen as the people who saved us from ourselves, or will they be the Luddites who blocked every attempt to find a solution and made a bad situation even worse?


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