Bill Gates’ “block the sun” SCoPEx balloon launch experiment in Sweden hits a snag as environmental groups express criticism
“A controversial solar geoengineering project has been criticized by environmental groups in Sweden. Scientists from the Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx) have planned to launch a high altitude balloon in June 2021 from the northernmost Swedish town of Kiruna, located in Lapland province. The project aimed to cool the earth and fight global warming by replicating the effect of a large volcanic eruption.
Swedish environmental groups have written to the government and the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) to voice their opposition toward the SCoPEx project. These organizations included the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Greenpeace Sweden and Friends of the Earth Sweden. The groups noted in their letter that the inaugural SCOPEX balloon flight could be the first step toward the adoption of a potentially “dangerous, unpredictable and unmanageable” technology.
The groups said: “We appeal to the Swedish government to oppose the SSC’s involvement with SCoPEx’s proposed tests, as they are fundamentally incompatible with the precautionary principle, in breach of international norms and inconsistent with Sweden’s own climate policy framework.” They stressed that the technology SCoPEx is using has “the potential for extreme consequences” and that “there is no justification for testing and experimenting with technology that seems to be too dangerous to ever be used.”
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