A STATEMENT ON GEOENGINEERING
Enouranois group, Greece
(Definition of geoengineering: the deliberate large-scale intervention in the operations of the planet. The proposed geoengineering projects are represented as measures for dealing with climate change. They include spraying of the upper layers of the atmosphere with sulphates (this is called “Solar Radiation Management”), fertilization of the oceans; storage of carbon dioxide in the earth, etc.)
Over much of the planet, for years, in fact decades now, aircraft have been seen flying at high altitudes, engaged in what – to countless concerned citizens, including parliamentarians and a few scientists and military people – appears to be chemical spraying. When attempts have been made to raise the question of “what is going on”, inquirers are given in response, officially and unofficially, descriptions of aircraft condensation trails and their properties. It soon becomes evident from dealings with authorities – everywhere – that citizens today are required to believe that what they are seeing in the sky is the traditional unintentional – and presumably not desired – pollution that has always been associated with jet air travel. It is not some kind of deliberate spraying. If people wish to believe that they are “being sprayed”, the burden of proof rests on themselves (because they are the ones who are “making the allegation”).
All this changes when a new factor is introduced: a public relations campaign aimed at securing public acceptance for geoengineering (and in particular what is called “solar radiation management”).
3. http://www.ies.be/files/20130628%20geoengineering%20governance%20-%20ies%20policy%20forum.pdf (examples could be multiplied at will).
Under the precautionary principle, in such public relations campaigns, all burdens of proof rest on those who are canvassing for support for the practices in question. Those who want the public to accept geoengineering must persuade the public that what they say about it is true. David Keith’s December 2013 interview with Stephen Colbert can surely only have increased disbelief and the demand for honesty.
The burden of proof therefore rests on the David Keiths, the Ken Caldeiras, the Oxford Geoengineering Programmes, etc. etc. etc. to prove that they are not lying or misinformed when they say that “research on geoengineering is at a very early stage”, (asserting or implying that geoengineering, and specifically programmes of solar radiation management – possibly also serving other undeclared purposes – is/are merely a proposal and not a reality of historically unprecedented enormity, in full-scale global application).
Because it is the advocates of geoengineering, not uninvolved citizens, who are initiating the discussion, citizens are entitled to assert the following:
1) Any person or organization seeking to involve the public in a debate on the advantages and disadvantages of geoengineering techniques such as solar radiation management, or the global dispersal of light-reflecting particles in the atmosphere to reduce the level of sunlight reaching the earth, should be obliged to admit that such activity is already in global implementation, or prove that it is not. Wilfully false statements in this connection should be a penal offence, punishable by imprisonment.
2) No person or organization in any way associated with assertions or insinuations that global warming/climate change is not anthropogenic in character should be legally entitled to advocate geoengineering methods as a means of countering anthropogenic climate change/global warming.
3) Enforcement of the ENMOD Convention is a prerequisite for any attempt to secure “social acceptance” for any form of geoengineering.
4) Enforcement of the AARHUS Convention is a prerequisite for any attempt to secure “social acceptance” for any form of geoengineering.
5) No person or organization involved in any way with production of the problems for which geoengineering is being canvassed as a “solution” shall be entitled to be employed in implementation of any geoengineering programme.
6) It is not acceptable that the moratorium on most types of geoengineering voted at Nagoya in 2010 at the UN’s Convention on Biodiversity should be violated and/or ignored.
7) Penal sanctions should be attached to violations of the provisions of the ENMOD and AARHUS conventions.
8) An international court for environmental crimes must be established, with the power to impose sanctions on offences against points 1) and 2) above, in addition to other already acknowledged environmental crimes.
9) Geoengineers’ declared intention to “aim at legitimation through public involvement and transparency” lacks all credibility in the absence of any believable response to the present statement.
10) The representation of aircraft emissions as a net contributor to global warming, as put forward as an alleged motive behind the European Emissions Trading Scheme for aviation and in numerous scientific studies, undermines the plausibility of spraying from aircraft as a method of Solar Radiation Management, suggesting other motivations for the spraying, including political aggression and financial speculation. The former would place the activity in violation of the ENMOD Treaty.
The citizens’ organization Skyguards staged a conference in the European Parliament on 8th and 9th April 2013 on the issue of geoengineering and clandestine aerial spraying and have presented a formal demand for an independent investigation of facts reported in the conference.
The ENMOD Convention
An international treaty prohibiting the military or other hostile use of environmental modification techniques.
The Convention bans weather warfare, which is the use of weather modification techniques for the purpose of inducing damage or destruction.
It opened for signature on 18 May 1977 in Geneva and entered into force on 5 October 1978. Seventy-four countries are signatories to the Convention.
The text comprises ten articles, with an annex covering a Consultative Committee of Experts.
The Aarhus Convention
The UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, usually known as the Aarhus Convention, was signed on June 25, 1998 in the Danish city of Aarhus. It entered into force on 30 October 2001. As of May 2013, it had been ratified by 45 states and the European Union. All of the ratifying states are in Europe and Central Asia.
The Aarhus Convention grants the public rights regarding access to information, public participation and access to justice, in governmental decision-making processes on matters concerning the local, national and transboundary environment. It focuses on interactions between the public and public authorities.
The Aarhus Convention is a multilateral environmental agreement through which the opportunities for citizens to access environmental information are increased and transparent and reliable regulation procedure is secured. It was drafted by governments, with the highly required participation of NGOs, and is legally binding for all the States who ratified it.
The Aarhus Convention is a rights-based approach: the public, both in the present and in future generations, have the right to know and to live in a healthy environment.
Nagoya, Japan – Moratorium on Geoengineering
The moratorium on geoengineering was voted by 193 countries at the UN Convention on Biodiversity that was held at Nagoya in Japan in October 2010. According to a representative of the anti-geoengineering ETC Group, which participated in the meeting and promoted the moratorium, “any private or public experimentation intended to manipulate the planetary thermostat will be in violation of the moratorium.”
It should be noted that present-day advocates of geoengineering proposals who present solar radiation management as a solution to global warming are the same companies and the same individuals who to this day have denied the existence of anthropogenic climate change.
The agreement asks governments to ensure that no geoengineering activities take place until risks to the environmental and biodiversity and associated social, cultural and economic impacts risks have been appropriately considered, as well as the socio-economic impacts.