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Political backlash to geoengineering begins

Source:  Copyright 2011, New Scientist
Date:  October 3, 2011
Byline:  Michael Marshall
Original URL: Status ONLINE


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.

According to the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which is funding the project, the delay was recommended by an independent panel to allow external parties to air their concerns.

The decision follows a concerted campaign by a Canadian NGO, the ETC Group. Last month they issued an open letter to the UK ...

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