Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Guardian Against Geoengineering?

The Guardian newspaper is adopting an increasingly negative tone toward geoengineering as a climate change strategy. Yesterday, the Guardian published a critical piece on the upcoming IPCC Expert Meeting in Peru. The article charges that "the scientific steering group of the meeting, which will assess the technologies, includes many well-known geo-engineering advocates who have called for public funds to conduct large-scale experiments as well as scientists who have patents on geo-engineering technologies or financial interests in the technologies." Keynote abstracts obtained from an IPCC source are referred to as "leaks." Considerable attention is devoted to the recent HOME/ETC Group letter to the IPCC (see HOME Sends Warning to IPCC, 6/15).

Today, the paper published a scathing opinion piece authored by Pat Mooney, Executive Director of ETC Group. This op-ed concludes with remarkable self-righteousness: "The likelihood that geo-engineering could bring a safe, lasting, democratic and peaceful solution to the climate crisis is miniscule. The potential for unilateralism, private profiteering and disastrous, irreversible, unintended effects is great. Geo-engineering does not deserve serious consideration within climate policy circles. It should be banned." While the Guardian also published a note sympathetic to geoengineering earlier in the week, this took the form of a short letter that was subsequently attacked in the paper's IPCC article. If nothing else, this recent run gives readers an improved understanding of where the Guardian comes down on the issue of geoengineering.

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