The Hands Off Mother Earth (HOME) campaign, led by ETC Group, has warned the IPCC not to embrace geoengineering at its upcoming Expert Meeting in Lima, Peru, scheduled for June 20-22 (see IPCC Expert Meeting on Geoengineering Set for June, 1/3). In a letter to Rajendra Pachauri, HOME declares that:
The IPCC aims to be “policy relevant” and “policy neutral,” and must take great care not to squander its credibility on geoengineering ... The IPCC’s announcement of the expert meeting already suggests that geoengineering has a place in the portfolio of legitimate responses to climate change (a highly contestable claim), and that the role of the IPCC is to define what that role is. Permit us to stress that this is not primarily a scientific question; it is a political one.
On this last point, the HOME campaign is indeed correct, but to suggest that ETC Group and its partner organizations represent the politics of social justice in this regard is arrogant and self-serving.
Interestingly, both Friends of the Earth (FOE) International and FOE US have signed this letter in support of the HOME position. This is curious, given that FOE (England, Wales & Northern Ireland) recently stated that geoengineering may be necessary to avert a climate catastrophe (see Friends of the Earth Steps Up, 12/18/10). This apparent disagreement may signal splintering within the FOE federation, and may presage additional fracturing within the global environmental community on the question of climate change and geoengineering.