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UPDATE: Council concerned by IPCC discussion on geoengineering

The  Council of Canadians has endorsed the ‘Hands Off Mother Earth!’ to  counter the threat of geoengineering.
The Council of Canadians has endorsed the ‘Hands Off Mother Earth!’ to counter the threat of geoengineering.

The Council of Canadians has signed a letter, along with numerous groups around the world, to Rajendra K. Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a scientific body established by the United Nations to review and assess the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change. The letter expresses “concerns about the upcoming IPCC joint working group expert meeting on geoengineering to be held in Lima, Peru, June 20-22, 2011.”

What is geoengineering? In short, it is the intentional manipulation of eco-systems, as opposed to our governments recognizing that we need to adjust to the limits of nature. For example, geoengineering includes large-scale proposals to ‘fix’ climate change by “changing the chemistry of the oceans to polluting the upper atmosphere with sulphur particles. …To cite just one example, shooting sulfates into the stratosphere could perhaps cool the earth, but it could also severely disrupt Asian and African monsoons threatening the sources of water and food for 2 billion people.”

The letter states, “The IPCC aims to be ‘policy relevant’ and ‘policy neutral’, and must take great care not to squander its credibility on geoengineering, a topic that is gathering steam precisely when there is no real progress on mitigation and adaptation. The IPCC’s announcement of the expert meeting already suggests that geoengineering has a place in the portfolio of legitimate responses to climate change (a highly contestable claim), and that the role of the IPCC is to define what that role is. Permit us to stress that this is not primarily a scientific question; it is a political one. International peasant organizations, indigenous peoples, and social movements have all expressed outright opposition to such measures as a false solution to the climate crisis.”

The letter can be read at http://www.etcgroup.org/upload/publication/pdf_file/IPCC_letter_080613-Eng.pdf.