Guest essay by Eric Worrall
If geoengineering was ever attempted on a significant scale, it would likely lead to crop failure and global famine. As a 2018 study discovered, plants need sunlight. But despite this rather disturbing drawback, scientists are pushing ahead with their experiments.
Balloon test flight plan under fire over solar geoengineering fears
Swedish environmental groups warn test flight could be first step towards the adoption of a potentially “dangerous, unpredictable, and unmanageable” technology
A proposed scientific balloon flight in northern Sweden has attracted opposition from environmental groups over fears it could lead to the use of solar geoengineering to cool the Earth and combat the climate crisis by mimicking the effect of a large volcanic eruption.
In June, a team of Harvard scientists is planning to launch a high-altitude balloon from Kiruna in Lapland to test whether it can carry equipment for a future small-scale experiment on radiation-reflecting particles in the Earth’s atmosphere.
An independent advisory committee will rule on whether to approve the balloon test flight by 15 February. Swedish environmental groups have written to the government and the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) to voice their opposition.
In the letters, seen by the Guardian, organisations including the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Greenpeace Sweden and Friends of the Earth Sweden said that while the balloon flight scheduled for June does not involve the release of particles, it could be the first step towards the adoption of a potentially “dangerous, unpredictable, and unmanageable” technology.
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/08/solar-geoengineering-test-flight-plan-under-fire-over-environmental-concerns-aoe
This is not the first time an unpopular green technology took on a life of its own. In 2007-8, global infatuation with biofuel subsidies triggered widespread hunger riots in poor countries.
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