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Response from 'Glowing Plants' project

Email sent by Antony Evans

 

From: Antony Evans 

Date: May 7, 2013 1:34:33 PM EDT

 

Subject: Re: Request to Cancel the Kickstarter Synthetic Biology ‘Glowing Plants’ project.

Dear Jim Thomas and Eric Hoffman,

Thank you for your interest in our project and taking the time to write to us with your concerns. Please allow me to clarify and expand upon a few key points. 

Kickstopper letter to 'Glowing Plants' project

ETC Group and Friends of The Earth request a halt to Synthetic Biology project.

 

2 May 2013 Dear Antony Evans,

Request to Cancel the Kickstarter Synthetic Biology ʻGlowing Plantsʼ project.

We are writing to express our concern, in the strongest possible terms, about the project you have listed on Kickstarter, which, as currently advertised, will likely result in widespread, random and uncontrolled release of bioengineered seeds and plants produced with synthetic biology techniques. We respectfully request that this project, which poses real world risks to the environment, be abandoned as currently described.

Kickstopper Letter to Kickstarter

ETC and Friends of the Earth request Kickstarter Inc to Cancel the 'Glowing Plants' Project

 

Kickstarter Inc

155 Rivington St.

Second Floor

New York, NY 10002

United States 

30th April 2013

 

Dear Perry Chen, Charles Adler and Yancey Strickler:

Request for Kickstarter to cancel the Synthetic Biology ‘Glowing Plant: Natural Lighting with No Electricity’ project

Using Conservation for Synthetic Biology.

Using Conservation for Synthetic Biology.

Frankly it was all a set up. In the delightfully romantic setting of an old Cambridge college in springtime, complete with free drinks and delicious food, the organizers of last weeks 'Future of Nature' Conference smiled on conspiratorially as their contrivances to introduce two awkward strangers played out over 3 days.

The strangers in this case were not so much boy-meets-girl as naturalist-meets-geek and what they purportedly had in common was biology. The Future of Nature had been billed as an encounter between the synthetic biology community (biotech scientists practicing an extreme form of genetic engineering that builds artificial organisms) and the conservation biology community who are still trying to hold back the frontier of wildlife destruction for non-engineered nature.

A Mammoth Distraction - Syn Bio and 'De-extinction'.

A Mammoth Distraction - Syn Bio and 'De-extinction'.

 

The distracting allure of a technofix is a common trick deployed by those pushing risky technologies. Nuclear power we are told might just solve climate change,  GM food could feed the hungry, "DDT is good for you" etc. But the latest eyecatching technofix under discussion at a conference in Cambridge this week is a real dodo: 'Synthetic Biology' we are now told will reverse extinction of species and conserve biodiversity. Really ?

Normalizing Geoengineering as Foreign Aid

Normalizing Geoengineering as Foreign Aid

Climate Drift: Geoengineers have a problem. Computer modeling suggests that blocking solar radiation in the temperate zone (to preserve Arctic ice or to forestall massive methane releases) could cool the Northern hemisphere but its impact could also drift South, creating severe climatic disruptions by dampening down Asia’s monsoon while drying out Africa’s Sahel. Not a popular proposition.

Now, geoengineers may hope they have a solution. A new study in Nature Climate Change[i] by the UK Government’s Meteorological Office suggests that some form of solar radiation management could mitigate the conventional vicissitudes of nature. According to the report, volcanic eruptions north of the equator in the 20th century either contributed to – or caused – droughts along the African equator and further South.

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