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Friday, July 9, 2021

Sami Tribal People March Against Geoengineering

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Members of the indigenous Saami community march during a Friday for Future protest in Jokkmokk, northern Sweden on Feb. 7, 2020. Credit: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images
 Members of the indigenous Sámi community march during a Friday for Future protest in Jokkmokk, northern Sweden on Feb. 7, 2020. Credit: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Imagesgurs

By Haley DunleavyJuly 7, 2021

The Sámi people of Northern Sweden say blocking out the sun with reflective particles to cool the earth is the kind of thinking that produced the climate crisis in the first place.
It was February in northern Sweden and the sun was returning after a dark winter. In the coming months the tundra would reawaken with lichens and shrubs for reindeer to forage in the permafrost encrusted Scandinavian mountain range. But the changing season also brought some unwelcome news to the Indigenous Sámi people, who live across northern Scandinavia, Finland and eastern Russia.

The members of the Saami Council were informed that researchers at Harvard planned to test a developing technology for climate mitigation, known as solar geoengineering, in Sápmi, their homeland. “When we learned what the idea of solar geoengineering is, we reacted quite instinctively,” said Åsa Larsson Blind, the Saami Council vice president, at a virtual panel about the risks of solar geoengineering, organized by the Center for International Environmental Law and other groups.

“This goes against our worldview that we as humans should live and adapt to nature,” she said.

The planned geoengineering project sought to limit global warming by releasing reflective particles into the stratosphere, reducing the amount of sunlight that beams down to Earth’s surface. The test, originally scheduled for June, would have been the first step in a series of small-scale experiments aimed at understanding the feasibility of combating global warming.

Although the test would only have focused on ensuring that a high-altitude balloon worked as designed and would not have involved any immediate atmospheric experiments, the Saami Council spoke out against it, objecting not just to the lack of consultation about research conducted on and above their lands but to any solar geoengineering development, regardless of where it took place.

After the Saami Council objected, writing letters to the Harvard researchers, their external advisory committee and the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC), the balloon test was suspended until further discussion between research agencies and local stakeholders like the council could take place.

“Our research team intends to listen closely to this public engagement process to inform the experiment moving forward,” the advisory team for the research project said in a statement.

But the council’s opposition has renewed global debate about the role of geoengineering and other types of actions to reduce warming and who gets to make the decision about whether, when and where to implement them.


Via https://insideclimatenews.org/news/07072021/sami-sweden-objection-geoengineering-justice-climate-science/

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