Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bolivia Fights On

After hosting the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Nature and helping engineer the CBD moratorium last year (see Update on CBD COP10, 10/21/10), the Bolivian government stepped back into the geoengineering debate in April on the occasion of the UN General Assembly Interactive Dialogue on Harmony with Nature in New York. During a speech deploring capitalism and advocating for the rights of nature, the Bolivian ambassador declared "It is time to stop and reaffirm the precautionary principle in the face of geo-engineering and all artificial manipulation of the climate. All new technologies should be evaluated to gauge their environmental, social and economic impacts. The answer for the future lies not in scientific inventions but in our capacity to listen to nature."

There is, of course, ample evidence that nature is asking for help (see, for example, Alarming New Study from the Arctic Council, 5/5/11). There is also a strong case to be made that the precautionary principle requires geoengineering rather than precludes it. In any case, Bolivia has clearly established itself as a leading critic of geoengineering on the international scene. The geoengineering community is wise to follow its next steps closely.

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