Geoengineer David Keith first made his intention to launch a geoengineering trial public back in 2012 – saying then that it would take place “within a year” and naming Fort Sumner in New Mexico as the likely location. All indications were that he was ready to move forward, but was first waiting to get a signal of public support from the US government, ideally in the form of funding. Tellingly, the experiment never came.
Solar Radiation Management (SRM) describes a set of geoengineering techniques that aim to counter human-made climate change by artificially increasing the reflection of heat from sunlight (solar radiation) back into space. Some advocates have started using the term “solar geoengineering” – but these techniques are not related to solar power production.
On Thursday, December 15, 2016 the Civil Society Working Group on Synthetic Biology circulated a short fact sheet to help clear up four of the most common questions arising about gene drives.
1. Are gene drives naturally occurring?
In brief: the engineered gene drives being discussed at COP 13 are NOT naturally occurring elements.
ETC Group’s Year-End Update on Global Agriculture’s Mega-Mergers
OTTAWA, CANADA – ETC Group today released an end-of-year update on the high-profile mergers announced in the agri-inputs industry in 2016. Arguing that the three announced seed/pesticide mega-mergers will only be decided in 2017 and possibly much later, ETC’s new update, entitled “Software vs. Hardware vs. Nowhere,” shows that it is not only the $97 billion per annum seed and crop chemicals market that is at stake in the three announced mergers.
Briefing for Government Delegates
• CBD Decision X/33, 8 (w) on geoengineering remains valid and should be affirmed and strengthened.
• The potential impacts of geoengineering on biodiversity have been scarcely studied. Studies and policy recommendations on the impacts on biodiversity and associated livelihoods caused by any geoengineering intervention are, and should remain, under the mandate of CBD and its bodies.
• New research papers continue to demonstrate high risks and uncertainties associated with the full range of geoengineering proposals.
Case studies exploring the impact of synthetic biology on natural products, livelihoods and sustainable use of biodiveristy
A fundamental shift is underway in how food, flavor, cosmetic, and fragrance ingredients are being produced for global markets. The new game in town is synthetic biology, or GMOs 2.0—companies are now able to create yeasts that secrete artificial compounds that taste or smell like familiar substances but don’t actually come from the natural source.
Available to watch on Synbiowatch.org
What’s the role of synthetic biology in our food system and how does it relate to “climate-smart” agriculture? What are the costs and risks?
Available to watch at http://www.synbiowatch.org/2016/07/outsmarting-nature-webinar/
Who’s going to eat whose lunch … the Hardware Grunts or the Software Gurus? The Battle for the control of agricultural inputs is just beginning.
Briefing Note, May 31st, 2016