ETC Group's merry band of luddites
If global warming ever becomes a real threat, wouldn't it be nice to have a variety of technological solutions at our disposal? Global warming fear mongers aren't sure. In fact, they've successfully shut down an important research project in the UK:
Political opposition to technologies that could artificially cool the planet is in full swing. A field test of geoengineering, planned for October in Sculthorpe, UK, has been postponed for six months. Meanwhile, the European Parliament has passed a resolution that "expresses its opposition to proposals for large scale geoengineering".The delayed field test, led by Matthew Watson of the University of Bristol, UK, involves a kilometre-long hose that will pump water into the atmosphere. Larger versions of the device could pump sulphate aerosols into the stratosphere, creating a sunshade that would cool the Earth.
We've seen this sort of bullying before. Who shut down the science this time? Left wing activists, that's who:
The decision follows a concerted campaign by a Canadian NGO, the ETC Group. Last month they issued an open letter to the UK government calling for the project to be suspended. "We believe there should be a ban on all field experimentation until there's an international agreement," says programme manager Diana Bronson.
Could it be that global warming enviro-radicals are afraid that advances in climate cooling science will hinder their fear mongering? I think so:
Helena Paul, co-director of environment group EcoNexus, said she was "really pleased" at the latest news."We are certainly not ready to carry out experiments, and this project should not just be delayed, but should be cancelled immediately," she told BBC News."This is particularly important because while the scientists involved keep saying that reducing emissions is the primary necessity, they risk distracting attention from that necessity at a crucial moment."
Why cancel a simple science project? The plan is a very modest one: to pump 50 gallons of water droplets into the air at a level a little more than half a mile above the ground. But Pat Mooney, executive director of ETC group* believes that any progress in climate cooling research poses a grave threat to global warming puritanism:
AMY GOODMAN: What are the forces behind [climate cooling geoengineering]?PAT MOONEY: Well, it’s a great excuse. You don’t have to do anything. If you can simply say to your populations that, “Don’t worry, folks. You can keep on driving your SUVs, you can keep on flying. We’ll take care of this through a technological fix for you” — so there’s this magic bullet that will solve the problems, and we can all go back to business as usual...And tragically, it’s a bunch of rich guys in rich countries sitting around together, saying, “We can risk the planet. We can make the decision for everybody else. We can put our hand on the thermostat and decide for everybody else what has to be done.”
Mooney et al. make no secret of the fact that they are afraid of scientific progress in the area of geoengineering. They fear that discoveries in climate cooling will open minds to the possibility of attractive alternatives to traditional enviro-austerity:
We believe that such research is a dangerous distraction from the real need: immediate and deep emissions cuts.
Liberals have propogated the "right wing is anti-science" meme relentlessly, but left wing activists have clearly demonstrated that climate science is a threat to their agenda.
The debate rages on.
The test would pump water droplets 1km above the ground.