CO2 “Negative Emission Technologies”: Dream or Beginning of a Nightmare?
Scheduled for 2021-2022, the next major summary report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 6th in the name, to assess the state of global warming, its impacts and the means to limit it, will also analyze the means of… manipulating the climate: capture of atmospheric CO2, management of solar radiation… We are there!
Illustration of the report “The great climate fraud” produced by ETC Group, Biofuelwatch and the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Doc. ETC Group, Biofuelwatch, Heinrich Böll Foundation.
This will undoubtedly astonish, and even shock a good number of sincere “climate” activists, who hope that over time we will finally change the system to stop changing the climate, that we will finally show humility in the face of our Mother Earth, that we are going to put the economy behind nature because nature is in fact the very basis of our wealth, that we will restore ecosystems, develop agroecology, permaculture, and end up living in harmony with our environment. In fact, of all this little seems to really be on the agenda.
Geoengineering: a report entitled "The great climate fraud"
On the side of the prestigious Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), even if it is not yet openly displayed, we are rather studying geoengineering technologies that could make it possible to either siphon off CO2 that we have accumulated in the atmosphere for about two centuries due to the use of fossil energy (coal, oil, natural gas), or even to manage the solar radiation that reaches the surface of the Earth, in order to cool down ...
Expected for 2021-2022, the 6th IPCC assessment report, to update the state of global warming, its impacts, as well as the possible means of adaptation and mitigation, should even make a good place for geo-global warming. engineering, according to the North American NGO ETC Group. "Geoengineering makes frequent appearances in the preliminary version" of the report, which was approved, underlines this NGO in a report entitled "The great climate fraud", produced with the NGO Biofuelwatch and the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Climate manipulation techniques figure mainly "in the work of Working Group III, responsible for mitigation measures, but it is also discussed in those of Working Group I, which is responsible for climate science", specifies ETC. And they are also part of the “cross-cutting” issues addressed by all the working groups.
IPCC scenarios that already integrate geoengineering techniques
In fact, while geoengineering was not seriously discussed by the IPCC until the 2010s, it began to settle at its table during its 5th assessment report, in 2014. The concept of geoengineering he negative CO2 emissions, which correspond to future technologies that would succeed in massively removing CO2 from the atmosphere, has been developed there in particular. Thus, inspired by CO2 capture and storage technologies dear to oil companies (and yet very little developed), bioenergy with CO2 capture and storage (BECSC, massive plantations whose vocation would be to produce energy with capture and storage of CO2 during the manufacturing process) have therefore been integrated (as to a lesser degree afforestation) in most of the IPCC scenarios which make it possible to limit global warming to 2 ° C, by removing CO2 from the 'atmosphere. In other words, we continue to burn oil, gas and coal reserves; we exceed the concentration of CO2 that should not be exceeded to limit warming to something viable; and we leave it to future generations to develop the parade!
The recent IPCC report on a warming of + 1,5 ° C even makes BECSCs "indispensable". But without knowing if this is really feasible and efficient, or if it will not pose multiple problems: monopolization and impoverishment of land, competition with food production, depletion of water resources, emissions of protoxide of nitrogen (another greenhouse gas), massive use of fertilizers and pesticides, loss of biodiversity, etc.
Techniques to "remove CO2 from the atmosphere"
There are many other approaches that hope to remove CO2 from the atmosphere (technologies grouped under the acronym CDR like Carbon Dioxide Removal): direct capture in the air (with large machines equipped with fans and filters), biochar (consumed biomass buried in the soil), improvement of the photosynthesis of certain plants thanks to genetics, acceleration of the deterioration of silicates by CO2 by pulverizing rocks, treatment of the oceans (with iron to stimulate the production of plankton, lime to strengthen its alkalinity and its ability to chemically capture atmospheric CO2), mixing of deep waters (to bring up nutrients and promote the production of plankton), sequestration in the oceans of carbonaceous residues, modification of ocean currents, etc.
Techniques to "manage" the solar radiation reaching the Earth
In addition, there is a second major category of geoengineering technologies. These aim for their part to cool the temperature on the Earth's surface by limiting the solar radiation absorbed by its atmosphere (SRM technologies, such as Solar Radiation Management). This category includes in particular all the projects which consist in reinforcing the terrestrial albedo, that is to say its whiteness, its brilliance: painting roofs and floor coverings white, covering deserts, glaciers, mountains with white, rendering the seas brighter (thanks to microbubbles favoring the foam), cutting down boreal forests (to increase the reflectance of the soil), genetically modifying plants so that their leaves reflect more light towards space, sowing (with 'sea water for example) low clouds (which tend to cool the temperature on the ground) so that they are whiter ... Other temptations consist in dispersing particles in high clouds (cirrus clouds, which are rather warming) to alter them, to send billions of small devices into space as sun visors or mirrors to block part of the radiation, and even to inject sulfur or various particles into the stratosphere to mimic the action of a large volcanic eruption! Not to mention the desire to modify the weather: make it rain or on the contrary prevent it from raining, reduce hailstones, prevent or deflect storms, etc.
With the support of billionaires, from the oil industry
“While the 5th IPCC report places disproportionate and scientifically unjustified hopes in BECSC and afforestation, the 6th will discuss at length almost all existing geoengineering techniques - current state, costs, risks and impacts. , potential ”, ETC. And the NGO warns: "The fact that the vast majority of people who write, criticize and revise the documentation on geoengineering are part of the same circle of geoengineers (called 'geoclic' by ETC, editor's note) represents a serious problem. This dangerous self-referential climate leaves no room for the critical points of view of civil society and governments, nor for solutions that do not come within the remit of geoengineering ”.
This technology “rescue” of our planet is supported in particular by billionaires like Bill Gates and Richard Branson, as well as by industries, notably the petroleum industry and the military industry. For example, ExxonMobil has already been interested in liming the ocean, Shell, Chevron and ConocoPhillips with biochar while Bill Gates has awarded millions of dollars to geo-engineers who work in particular on the injection of particles into the stratosphere. and that Richard Branson is known for having launched the “Virgin Earth Challenge” award to recognize a technical solution for the climate. Richard Bronson also co-founded a kind of geoengineering HQ: the “Carbon War Room”. The current chairman of the IPCC himself, a former economist at Exxon, believes that geoengineering should be taken into account.
Towards a climatosceptic - geoengineering agreement?
In the United States, DARPA, an agency attached to the Pentagon and whose objective is "to preserve the technological superiority of the United States military", launched in 2009 an initiative on the subject of geoengineering. And the CIA funded in 2013 a study by the National Academy of Sciences, also relating to the manipulation of the climate.
For ETC Group, proponents of geoengineering can also develop their links with climate skeptics: “Although these two groups do not agree on who is responsible for climate change, they can agree on technical 'solutions' to allow the climate change. to solve all the problems arising from climate change without worrying about who is responsible for them ”, underlines the NGO. For example, for former Secretary of State to Donald Trump, and former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, global warming is "an engineering problem" and "there will be an engineering solution".
An "attempt to take control of the planet"
In addition to the profound lack of democratic debate and the question of the governance of geoengineering (increasingly structured by private patents), ETC is concerned about the illusion that the work of geo-engineers maintains among decision-makers. political: the illusion "that it is possible to continue to emit large quantities of greenhouse gases". In addition, “legitimizing geoengineering as a solution to climate change distracts us from radical and systemic measures that would allow us to effectively fight against climate change and establish climate justice,” she underlines.
He added: "The 'climate emergency' discourse has helped to reinforce the view that geoengineering is allegedly an inevitable solution. This type of "shock strategy" serves to overcome popular concerns about geoengineering, and to force the world to agree to the large-scale deployment of technical solutions whose risks and consequences are unacceptable. In this way, geoengineering is more an attempt to take control of the planet than an attempt to resolve the climate crisis ”.
This entry was posted in News by Vincent Rondreux and tagged geoengineering, managing solar radiation, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
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