Thursday, 10 December 2009

NEGOTIATORS warned to LOOK BEFORE LEAPING!

Geo-engineering is Russian Rouletter. This is important stuff here:

COPENHAGEN NEGOTIATORS warned to LOOK BEFORE LEAPING!:
Civil Society Alarmed at Climate Technology Quick Fixes in Copenhagen
[ETC Group Copenhagen Press Release]

Copenhagen, December 10, 2009 – Over 160 civil society groups, including
social movements and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), today released
a joint declaration on technology: "Let's Look Before We Leap!". The
declaration alerts governments to the absence of any precautionary
environmental and social assessment mechanisms in the draft Copenhagen
agreement on technology, and claims that the current approach poses grave
threats to human health, human rights, rural livelihoods, diverse
ecosystems and climate stability.

The negotiating texts in Copenhagen refer repeatedly to the need to rapidly
develop and deploy so-called "environmentally sound technologies". However,
the text is silent on evaluating controversial new technologies which claim
to be climate-friendly but are in fact harmful. Civil society groups are
increasingly concerned that many technologies that will be fast-tracked
through this new system are risky and untested, potentially adding a new
wave of environmental and social problems that will compound the climate
crisis. The declaration released today points to technologies such as
geoengineering, genetic engineering, agrofuels (biofuels) and biochar as
examples of risky or hazardous technologies that may receive an unwarranted
boost through agreements made in Copenhagen.

"On top of being the victims of the climate crisis, we don´t want to become
guinea pigs for new unproven technologies or for old hazardous technologies
such as nuclear power, with the excuse that more technology is needed to
fix the climate," said Ricardo Navarro from Friends of the Earth
International. "It is totally irresponsible that negotiators are discussing
the development and transfer of technologies without any mechanism to
filter which ones can be useful and which ones will create more problems
for people and the environment. We need the immediate inclusion and
application of the precautionary principle", added Navarro.

Among the climate change techno-fixes that could be promoted under the
present text are proposals for large-scale climate manipulation, known as
geoengineering. Geoengineering proponents include industry-friendly climate
skeptics such as Bjorn Lomborg who claim that a large technical fix skirts
the need for action on emissions reductions. "Fighting climate change with
geoengineering is like fighting fire with gasoline," explains Silvia
Ribeiro from ETC Group´s Mexico office. "Proposals such as dumping tonnes
of iron in our oceans or injecting sulphates in the stratosphere to reflect
sunlight are extremely dangerous. They could worsen existing problems, like
ozone depletion and drought in sub-Saharan Africa, and their impacts will
be felt in countries and by people who won't even have a chance to say what
they think of these ideas. Geoengineering is geopiracy and this kind of
gambling with Gaia needs to be excluded from any consideration in climate
negotiations."

Paul Nicholson from La Via Campesina, the international peasant movement
representing small farmers in 69 countries, reminded delegates that new
technologies introduced over the past few decades, such as genetically
modified crops and tree monocultures, have had extensive negative impacts
on peasants and the environment. "We small-scale farmers and peasants of
the world already have a diversity of proven technologies that are cooling
the planet and feeding the majority of the people in the world. These need
to be affirmed, not threatened by the introduction of new dangerous
technologies that can displace or contaminate the diversity of crops and
cultures that are a real solution for both the climate and the food
crises."

"Whatever technology agreement comes out of this meeting must not just
become a funding mechanism for venture-capital-backed green-washing
exercises", said Chee Yoke Ling from Third World Network. "In the context
of the carbon trade, "environmentally sound technologies' are often more
hype than heft. We need an agreement that will facilitate access to truly
environmentally sound technologies and clean energy and that will not
result in the global expansion of bad ideas. Governments already recognize
the principle of prior assessment in the international Cartagena Protocol
on Biosafety. We need even stronger rules in an agreement on climate
technology", she added.

"At a time when the geoengineering lobby is jockeying for money, influence
and power, a wide-open agreement facilitating the rapid expansion of
technological fixes is suicidal", reminded Silvia Ribeiro from ETC Group.
"The geoengineers will argue that it is too late for mitigation, and that
humanity is on an inevitable march to manipulate the climate by applying
extreme technologies. The geopirates are standing in the wings, and
increasingly on stage, waiting for this COP to fail so they can step into
the breach with their own fast and cheap solution," concluded Ribeiro.

The statement "Let's Look Before We Leap" demands a clear and consistent
international approach for all new technologies on climate change: States
at COP 15 must ensure that strict precautionary mechanisms for technology
assessment are enacted and are made legally binding, so that the risks and
likely impacts, and appropriateness, of these new technologies, can be
properly and democratically evaluated before they are rolled out. Any new
body dealing with technology assessment and transfer must include equitable
representation of communities most affected by climate change, as well as
ensuring gender and regional balance, participation of peasants and
indigenous peoples so that their views will be taken into account.

The "Let's Look Before We Leap" statement and the list of organizations
that have signed it to date can be downloaded in English, French, Spanish,
Italian and Chinese at

http://www.etcgroup.org/en/node/4956




5 Comments:

Blogger s.d. savage said...

Rupert,
I'm interested in why you are calling biochar a dangerous option? I'm trying to learn more about the state of that technology and I do understand that there are huge differences in carbon half-life depending on feedstock and pyrolysis conditions. I'm just wondering if you have come across other problems. I do generally agree that there is much more to be learned before deciding which processes should qualify for carbon offsets

10 December 2009 at 17:04  
Blogger Erich J. Knight said...

All political persuasions agree, building soil carbon is GOOD.
To Hard bitten Farmers, wary of carbon regulations that only increase their costs, Building soil carbon is a savory bone, to do well while doing good.

Biochar provides the tool powerful enough to cover Farming's carbon foot print while lowering cost simultaneously.

Another significant aspect of bichar is removal of BC aerosols by low cost ($3) Biomass cook stoves that produce char but no respiratory disease emissions. At Scale, replacing "Three Stone" stoves the health benefits would equal eradication of Malaria.
http://terrapretapot.org/ and village level systems http://biocharfund.org/
The Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF).recently funded The Biochar Fund $300K for these systems citing these priorities;
(1) Hunger amongst the world's poorest people, the subsistence farmers of Sub-Saharan Africa,
(2) Deforestation resulting from a reliance on slash-and-burn farming,
(3) Energy poverty and a lack of access to clean, renewable energy, and
(4) Climate change.

The Biochar Fund :
Exceptional results from biochar experiment in Cameroon
http://scitizen.com/screens/blogPage/viewBlog/sw_viewBlog.php?idTheme=14&idContribution=3011
The broad smiles of 1500 subsistence farmers say it all ( that , and the size of the Biochar corn root balls )
http://biocharfund.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=55&Itemid=75

Mark my words; Given the potential for Laurens Rademaker's programs to grow exponentially, only a short time lies between This man's nomination for a Noble Prize.

This authoritative PNAS article should cause the recent Royal Society Report to rethink their criticism of Biochar systems of Soil carbon sequestration;

Reducing abrupt climate change risk using
the Montreal Protocol and other regulatory
actions to complement cuts in CO2 emissions
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/10/09/0902568106.full.pdf+html

There are dozens soil researchers on the subject now at USDA-ARS.
and many studies at The up coming ASA-CSSA-SSSA joint meeting;
http://a-c-s.confex.com/crops/2009am/webprogram/Session5675.html

11 December 2009 at 06:09  
Blogger Rupert said...

Biochar is geoengineering. It might work, but proper evaluation is needed. before we undertake such a vast experiment.
Otherwise, we will have a Biofuels MK.II disaster on our hands. Along with others, I warned for years that biofuels were going to be a disaster; we were fobbed off with the claim that biofuels would be 'green'. What a joke!
Large scale industrial biochar will quite possibly turn out to be as big a disaster as large scale industrial biofuels. Biochar has very little in common with 'terra preta'. It is new and potentially-problematic, and we need to remember the Hippocratic Oath: 'First, do no harm'.
Finally: look out for people who stand to make loads of money from biochar. Don't trust them.

For more, see previous posts on this blog, and see the Biofuelwatch website.

11 December 2009 at 09:05  
Blogger Erich J. Knight said...

The Biofuel watch folks in the UK, have totally misrepresented research to data and attack biochar because it is a sustainable biofuel system, and becaue they hate all biofuels period, it represents a slippery slope against their core beliefs about all biofuels being BAD.

Soil Carbon sequestration standards, defining protocols and measurement validations,will obfuscate most all their concerns,
overcoming the legitimate objections of so many about biofuels.

11 December 2009 at 17:11  
Blogger Erich J. Knight said...

This post by Nathaniel Mulcahy of
www.WorldStove.com , to the Biofuel Watch folks exemplifies their refusal to even look at reason.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Nathaniel Mulcahy
To: info@biofuelwatch.org.uk, rsmolker@riseup.net
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 18:57:51 +0100
Subject: Dangerous Misinformation put forth by the Biofuelwatch Group at COP15
Dear Almuth, Rachel, and Deepak Rughani,

I am stunned that after I wrote to your groups (see attached) with the correct information regarding pyrolytic stoves and offered time and again to meet with you to provide you with all the information you had asked me to prepare for you, you chose no not to show up. In your side event yesterday Dr. Rughani insisted in restating the incorrect statement from your November publication that biochar stoves use one third more fuel. I had clearly shown your that this is simply not the case.

Furthermore, in good faith, I had written to you, called you, and you had been provided information based on field work and lab tests that show that the LuciaStove char produces no PAHs and that the LuciaStove uses significantly less fuel than other stoves (as little as one twelfth as much fuel as standard biomass cook stoves that can only use large pieces of wood or charcoal).

That you have deliberately chosen to ignore scientific evidence provided to you is deplorable, and that your misinformation places the lives of the people we have been helping, the soils we have been restoring, and the forests we are replanting at risk says that your personal agendas are clearly more dear to you than the lives of the poor and the health of the planet.

Your behaviour yesterday at your COP15 side event is so contrary to both logic and to your stated “about us” goals, and your lack of scientific integrity so pronounced, that I have to wonder what your objectives really are and who might be funding you.

Cordially yours,

Nathaniel Mulcahy
www.WorldStove.com

12 December 2009 at 16:36  

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29.
Geo-engineering is Russian Rouletter. This is important stuff here:

COPENHAGEN NEGOTIATORS warned to LOOK BEFORE LEAPING!:
Civil Society Alarmed at Climate Technology Quick Fixes in Copenhagen
[ETC Group Copenhagen Press Release]

Copenhagen, December 10, 2009 – Over 160 civil society groups, including
social movements and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), today released
a joint declaration on technology: "Let's Look Before We Leap!". The
declaration alerts governments to the absence of any precautionary
environmental and social assessment mechanisms in the draft Copenhagen
agreement on technology, and claims that the current approach poses grave
threats to human health, human rights, rural livelihoods, diverse
ecosystems and climate stability.

The negotiating texts in Copenhagen refer repeatedly to the need to rapidly
develop and deploy so-called "environmentally sound technologies". However,
the text is silent on evaluating controversial new technologies which claim
to be climate-friendly but are in fact harmful. Civil society groups are
increasingly concerned that many technologies that will be fast-tracked
through this new system are risky and untested, potentially adding a new
wave of environmental and social problems that will compound the climate
crisis. The declaration released today points to technologies such as
geoengineering, genetic engineering, agrofuels (biofuels) and biochar as
examples of risky or hazardous technologies that may receive an unwarranted
boost through agreements made in Copenhagen.

"On top of being the victims of the climate crisis, we don´t want to become
guinea pigs for new unproven technologies or for old hazardous technologies
such as nuclear power, with the excuse that more technology is needed to
fix the climate," said Ricardo Navarro from Friends of the Earth
International. "It is totally irresponsible that negotiators are discussing
the development and transfer of technologies without any mechanism to
filter which ones can be useful and which ones will create more problems
for people and the environment. We need the immediate inclusion and
application of the precautionary principle", added Navarro.

Among the climate change techno-fixes that could be promoted under the
present text are proposals for large-scale climate manipulation, known as
geoengineering. Geoengineering proponents include industry-friendly climate
skeptics such as Bjorn Lomborg who claim that a large technical fix skirts
the need for action on emissions reductions. "Fighting climate change with
geoengineering is like fighting fire with gasoline," explains Silvia
Ribeiro from ETC Group´s Mexico office. "Proposals such as dumping tonnes
of iron in our oceans or injecting sulphates in the stratosphere to reflect
sunlight are extremely dangerous. They could worsen existing problems, like
ozone depletion and drought in sub-Saharan Africa, and their impacts will
be felt in countries and by people who won't even have a chance to say what
they think of these ideas. Geoengineering is geopiracy and this kind of
gambling with Gaia needs to be excluded from any consideration in climate
negotiations."

Paul Nicholson from La Via Campesina, the international peasant movement
representing small farmers in 69 countries, reminded delegates that new
technologies introduced over the past few decades, such as genetically
modified crops and tree monocultures, have had extensive negative impacts
on peasants and the environment. "We small-scale farmers and peasants of
the world already have a diversity of proven technologies that are cooling
the planet and feeding the majority of the people in the world. These need
to be affirmed, not threatened by the introduction of new dangerous
technologies that can displace or contaminate the diversity of crops and
cultures that are a real solution for both the climate and the food
crises."

"Whatever technology agreement comes out of this meeting must not just
become a funding mechanism for venture-capital-backed green-washing
exercises", said Chee Yoke Ling from Third World Network. "In the context
of the carbon trade, "environmentally sound technologies' are often more
hype than heft. We need an agreement that will facilitate access to truly
environmentally sound technologies and clean energy and that will not
result in the global expansion of bad ideas. Governments already recognize
the principle of prior assessment in the international Cartagena Protocol
on Biosafety. We need even stronger rules in an agreement on climate
technology", she added.

"At a time when the geoengineering lobby is jockeying for money, influence
and power, a wide-open agreement facilitating the rapid expansion of
technological fixes is suicidal", reminded Silvia Ribeiro from ETC Group.
"The geoengineers will argue that it is too late for mitigation, and that
humanity is on an inevitable march to manipulate the climate by applying
extreme technologies. The geopirates are standing in the wings, and
increasingly on stage, waiting for this COP to fail so they can step into
the breach with their own fast and cheap solution," concluded Ribeiro.

The statement "Let's Look Before We Leap" demands a clear and consistent
international approach for all new technologies on climate change: States
at COP 15 must ensure that strict precautionary mechanisms for technology
assessment are enacted and are made legally binding, so that the risks and
likely impacts, and appropriateness, of these new technologies, can be
properly and democratically evaluated before they are rolled out. Any new
body dealing with technology assessment and transfer must include equitable
representation of communities most affected by climate change, as well as
ensuring gender and regional balance, participation of peasants and
indigenous peoples so that their views will be taken into account.

The "Let's Look Before We Leap" statement and the list of organizations
that have signed it to date can be downloaded in English, French, Spanish,
Italian and Chinese at

http://www.etcgroup.org/en/node/4956




30. 31. 32.