Geoengineering or climate manipulation?
Specifically, geoengineering is intervention in climatological conditions with the assistance of technology. The most recent, in the last twenty years, version of geoengineering has to do with the development of techniques for diminishing the effects on the Earth’s climate of the increase in greenhouse gases. Various projects are promoted within the framework of geoengineering, such as the well-known plan for aerial spraying with particles of aluminium and barium, which appear in the sky in the form of suspicious-looking clouds, familiarly known as chemtrails. According to ‘The Guardian” newspaper, the CIA ad NASA have already funded relevant research and the University of Cambridge regularly organizes relevant seminars.
(N.B. The activist organization Skyguards, and specifically Josefina Fraile, unequivocally rejects employment of the term “chemtrails”.)
It was perhaps inevitable that we should embark on our course in a back-to-front way, that is to say, not starting from the essence but instead from the appearance, from the signs in the sky. The activity of the other side, the opponent, had naturally been inaugurated not with declarations or announcements but with the presentation of unexplained and unadmitted changes in the skyscape that we had grown accustomed to regard as normal. So how would it have been possible for us to do other than react reflexively, with exhortations to “look at the sky”?
At the time when my first observations were recorded, in December 2002, what concerned me was how far the aircraft emissions I saw spreading out over my head could be seen as something unexceptional. I tried to resolve my doubts through dialogue with American activists on the “Chemtrails Central” forum and it was there that I first heard of the Greek scientist Nikos Katsaros, whom one of the Americans had just seen on television, talking about the spraying. Before long I had made the acquaintance of Dr. Katsaros.
Another acquaintance, this time with the former parliamentarian of the Greek Ecologists-Alternatives Tasia Andreadaki made it possible to attract the attention of the “Ethnos on Sunday” newspaper to the bizarre appearance of the sky. The subsequent publication of a number of articles in “Ethnos on Sunday” induced the then municipal councilor and later deputy mayor Nektarios Koukoulis to make to the then and future mayor Dimitrios Mourtzis a presentation which persuaded the municipality of Aegina to initiate legal proceedings against “any parties responsible for the phenomenon in question”.
Not long afterwards, on 16th July 2003 Europe’s first public meeting against the clandestine spraying was held in Aegina.
Following establishment of the Enouranois webpage, in the years that followed, we tried to attract an audience by participating in the mobilizations against climate change. But we soon discovered that we were marginalized as soon as we made any attempt to speak about the appearance of the sky.
Here you see us with our banners saying “SPRAYING FROM AIRCRAFT IS NOT AN ANSWER TO CLIMATE CHANGE”, on the Day of Action against Climate Change, at Syntagma Square in Athens, in December 2007, lost in the crowd at a mass demonstration, essentially talking to ourselves.
Given all this, when in 2009 we made the acquaintance of the ETC group, we acquired a new confidence. It was the time of the Climategate scandal that preceded the Copenhagen Climate Summit and contributed to its failure. The ETC group were opponents of geoengineering – i.e. of climate manipulation – and people were clearly not ignoring them as ostentatiously as they were ignoring us. Shortly after, in 2010, in Nagoya, Japan, at the UN’s meeting on Biodiversity, the ETC group managed to secure a moratorium on most types of geoengineering.
Head of the ETC group is the Canadian Pat Mooney. I am going to play some extracts from an interview with him we took at that time. Before we proceed let us examine some material that formed the subject matter of our discussion. We begin with some scenes from an EU public relations film on its plan for extending emissions trading to aviation. After that we will see part of a BBC documentary on the effect of aircraft emissions on the temperature of the planet.
These statements by Pat Mooney that we have just seen naturally also undermine his own credibility as a scientist, but this is something that does not seem to bother him particularly given his commitment to the ETC group approach on account of the seriousness of the threat from geoengineering. What are its consequences? Destruction of the ozone layer, disruption of the hydrological cycle, poisoning and sterilization of land and water. Die-off of forests and the fauna in them. This is to leave out of account the fibres that have been found in rain water, following spraying, in Europe and the USA and have been analysed by Clifford Carnicom, who uncovered links to Morgellons disease.
Pat Mooney wants the Nagoya moratorium to make governments recognize geoengineering as a problem. However legitimate that aspiration, it leaves entirely out of account the fact that geoengineering is not a hypothetical theoretical problem but a well entrenched global reality.
What is positive about the ETC Group approach, which is shared by e.g. Naomi Klein, is that it gets us away from the sterile contrails/chemtrails dispute that is dictated by the strictly policed official line according to which all phenomena seen in the sky are the product of conventional jet aircraft movements. This leads the discussion in the direction of climate manipulation, its past history and future prospects. Mr. Katsaros, who participates in all activist initiatives in Greece against geoengineering, sees the ETC Group approach as acceptable because, as he says, it is opposed to geoengineering. Personally I am more inclined to favour the more uncompromising approach of the Cyprus Greens whose conviction that the chemical spraying is in fact occurring induces them to persist in rejecting the placatory official assurances that relegate goengineering to a hypothetical future.
The stance of the Cyprus government, which accepts the dialogue that other governments avoid and in that sense is significantly bolder, essentially does not diverge very much from the international norm, at least up to the present. (Given the developments of 17th February 2016 in Cyprus, this assessment may have been invalidated.) Of course there are many different avoidance strategies. Some are notably inventive. Let us take, for example, this sui generis avoidance strategy that was discovered by the French film-maker Patrick Pasin when he interviewed the Green politician Daniel Cohn-Bendit.
What is the confusion? It is the conflating of the chemtrails/contrails dispute with the dispute between sceptics and climate change activists.
What is the common element in these examples of distortion and dishonesty? They induce intellectual paralysis, revulsion against the whole subject both of the spraying and of climate change. If solar radiation management as a means of mitigating anthropogenic global warming was an invention of the nuclear weapons laboratories, if aircraft emissions, which are seen by the European Commission as contributors to global warming, are nevertheless recommended by geoengineers as an appropriate way to cool the planet, if Cohn-Bendit declares himself unqualified to intervene in disputes between scientists when asked to take a position on the subject of the existence or non-existence of chemtrails, but at the same time does not hesitate for a second to plunge aggressively into the climate change dispute, on the side of the non-sceptics, then the conclusion must be that at least on these issues scientific integrity has been lost.
Let us continue our narrative on resistance to climate manipulation. In 2010 a symposium was organized by the Belfort Group in Ghent, Belgium. The Belfort Group symposium was the first tangible evidence of the existence of an international movement against the global phenomenon of the spraying that was being kept entirely outside of official politics and the mainstream media, everywhere in the world.
The key focus of discussion at the Ghent symposium was the Case Orange report , which targeted the physical characteristics of so-called “normal” aircraft emissions, arguing in favour of a conceptual distinction between them and the deliberate spraying that concerned the participants. The fact that a systematic and total suppression of this distinction was, and remains, possible, is something that probably strains credibility for the majority of people.
Another characteristic of the Case Orange report is that it was in petitioning mode. It made an appeal to the established authorities to face up to their responsibilities, towards public health, towards all higher forms of life. In pursuit of this objective the Belfort Group sent the report to the embassies of all major countries, to all the relevant ministries, to all the mainstream media. They received absolutely no response from anybody.
During this same period the parliamentarian of the Cyprus Greens George Perdikis made two relevant visits to Greece. The first took place in 2012, on the occasion of the conference of European Green parties in Athens. Mr. Perdikis noted the fact that decision makers in the Greens generally doubt the credibility of activists against climate manipulation who speak of deliberate aerial spraying on a global scale. He cited as evidence of the existence of clandestine spraying the fact that on the day of a general strike, when all commercial flights were suspended, the spraying planes continued their activity uninterrupted. He also said that this point was also made by a number of Cypriot air traffic controllers and members of the National Guard. Even if this fell short of being conclusive evidence, Mr. Perdikis believes that the rule to be applied in such cases is the precautionary principle. He does not wait for 100% proof that what is said about the spraying is true. Let the authorities prove that it is not true.
On his second visit in 2014 Mr. Perdikis spoke, along with the deputy mayor Nektarios Koukoulis, in Aegina’s municipal theatre.
He also had the chance to meet Mr. Mourtzis, the re-elected new mayor who in 2003 had been the first elected politician in Europe to attempt to take legal action against “any parties responsible for conducting dangerous aerial spraying over Aegina in the context of experiments for dealing with the greenhouse phenomenon”.
One important development had in the meantime taken place, in 2013, when the Spanish Green activist Josefina Fraile, in collaboration with the former European parliamentarian Giulietto Chiesa and the Latvian Europarliamentarian Tatiana Zdanoka, succeeded in organizing a two-day conference entitled “Beyond theories of climate change – Civil Society against Geoengineering”. Linda Leblanc, municipal councilor and member of the Cyprus Greens, participated in the conference, presenting the report “Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering”.
Michael Murphy’s second climate manipulation film “Why in the World are they Spraying” was screened at the conference. In contrast to Michael’s first relevant film “What in the World are they Spraying”, this work remains to date without Greek subtitles. At the end of the conference a petition was drafted for submission to the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions and a year later received an answer:
Dear Ms Fraile Martin,
I would like to inform you that the Committee on Petitions considered your petition and and decided that the issues that you raise are admissible in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament, insofar as the subject matter falls within the sphere of activities of the European Union.
The committee began its examination of your petition and decided to ask the European Commission to conduct a preliminary investigation of the various aspects of the problem. The committee will continue its examination of your petition as soon as it is in receipt of the necessary information.
I will keep you informed of any further action taken on your petition in due course.
Committee on Petitions
The committee has not shown any particular inclination to proceed any further beyond this point. The response does however have some value as an aid in undermining the positions of those who seek to slander us as promoters of conspiratorial speculation.
The most notable development of the last two years in relation to our thematics is doubtless Dr. Herndon’s research leading him to the conclusion that the basic material employed in the spraying is coal fly ash. The Enouranois group organized a meeting in Athens to investigate this assertion. The videoed discussion was presented at a workshop in the framework of the civil society component of the COP21 Climate Conference in Paris last December.
We presented our conclusions from Paris at a meeting of the Hellenic American Democratic Association in Athens.
The essential point to be made is that a climate of disillusion has clearly set in in the activist milieu in the wake of COP21. Naomi Klein said that “Only the multinational corporations are listened to at the UN Climate Conference. We knew that the Conference would be funded more than at any other time by the multinationals. The Conference is a victim of austerity. There should at least be a dialogue between the solutions proposed by the multinationals and the solutions proposed by the popular movements, but only one side was given a megaphone and the other side was marginalized and restricted.”
The discontent was also expressed by the rank and file of the CoalitionClimat21 movement. The German activist Tadzio Mueller said: “Whatever your position vis-à-vis the Accord is, whether you consider it a historic step forward, or a depressing attempt to kick the can down the road that confines millions to hunger and destitution, what we have said from the very beginning, since our very first meeting in Paris in August of 2014, continues to be true: the real work was not done in Paris, the real work is only beginning, and it is up to us to make sure that it is done.”
It is very easy to give pep talks of this kind. The fact is that the climate has changed inside the movement. We no longer see the routine censorship of Enouranois positions, either by CoalitionClimat21 or by citizens’ movement such as ATTAC. What are these positions? As we wrote in the Enouranois Proposal to CoalitionClimat21: “The real work does not have to be focused on ‘climate change’. An alternative focus can be put forward, such as opposition to TTIP/TPP and opposition to climate manipulation.” The desideratum is that activists against climate manipulation should not be confused with conventional climate change sceptics, most of whom do not recognize as a reality the global spraying programme that is being conducted over our heads. The geoengineering technique of solar radiation management is the brainchild of Freeman Dyson and Edward Teller, both nuclear weapons protagonists and both climate change sceptics. Climate manipulation dates back to the time of Eisenhower, decades before the passage, following the US defeat in Vietnam, of the ENMOD agreement which banned climate manipulation for aggressive purposes and so set the stage for the establishment of the IPCC and the discovery of “climate change”. We should make it clear that what we reject is not one side of conventional debate on climate. It is the discussion on climate as a whole, both sides of it, in the way that it is now conducted.
What has made it possible for the climate movement’s concerns to be instrumentalized and exploited is the way that the central problem has been projected as “climate change”. One could not advocate nuclear energy as a solution to climate manipulation, but it has been, and is being, presented as a solution to climate change. (The slogan “don’t nuke the climate” is a plaintive appeal launched on the territory of “the other side”, destined to remain as unheeded as were the anti-nuclear-weapons appeals of the 80s.)
One could not advocate genetic modification as a solution to climate manipulation, but it has been, and is being, presented as a way to help “deal with climate change”. One could not advocate emissions trading as a way to deal with climate manipulation, but it has been, and is being, presented as a way to deal with climate change. One could not advocate geoengineering as a way to deal with climate manipulation, because it IS climate manipulation, but it is being recommended, and implemented, as a “way to deal with climate change”.
23rd April 2016 has been programmed as the day of the International March against Climate Manipulation and Geoengineering. We have participated in the past in climate marches but our proposal this time should be for us to transform them into mobilizations against climate manipulation, and perhaps also against TTIP, which is pervaded by the same secrecy and serves the same kinds of objective. Let us make a serious attempt to free the popular movement from the paralyzing and misIeading agenda of the speculators and warmongers of climate change. Not as sceptics but as ecologists.
The public meeting against TTIP that was held in Aegina on 12th February makes a good starting point for the extension into our region, and into your region, of the already existing network of TTIP-free zones. Within this framework we could further introduce our own specific more radical demands for bans on climate manipulation.
On 10th February, together with Nikos Katsaros, we visited the offices of the Popular Unity party and spoke with its president Mr. Panagiotis Lafazanis. Like almost all politicians, and not only politicians, Mr. Lafazanis refused to believe the idea that a clandestine global spraying programme could be under implementation. He did however agree to assign at least one of the cadres of his party to participate in the discussions of the Enouranois group. We proceed on the basis of the understanding that this commitment is going to be honoured.
Finally, let us remember Michael Murphy’s programmed third film on climate manipulation, “An Unconventional Grey”. Apart from the need for translation of the subtitles of his second film “Why in the World are they Spraying?” we should be ready to promote the third film also, given that it will be of the quality that we are expecting.
(Presented on 17th February 2016 at the AXIOTHEA Hotel in Pafos, Cyprus)
DEVELOPMENTS IN CYPRUS
THE DISCUSSION AT THE PARLIAMENT