By Daniel Nelson

If government representatives fail to negotiate an international climate agreement they will be “murderers” and will pave the way for geoengineering schemes that may end in “cloud wars”, a prominent Bangladeshi environmentalist has warned.

“Governments in their negotiating process have not done very well,“ said Dr Atiq Rahman, executive director of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies and a recipient of the UN’s Champion of the Earth awards. He said climate negotiators “live in a cocoon where they think how clever they are in manipulating words … They don’t realise they are being stupid.”

What matters, he said, is how fast greenhouse gases are reduced “for their own children and others’ children. If they don’t do it they are murderers, they are not taking their

Atiq Rahman making his closing conference speech

Atiq Rahman making his closing conference speech

Image by OneWorld

responsibilities seriously, they are shifting the chairs on a sinking Titanic.”

Speaking at the end of an eight-day meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on adapting to climate change, Rahman said that unless the world changed rapidly geoengineering and solar radiation management schemes would gain favour. (Rahman is on a British Royal Society panel on solar radiation management.)

He outlined a future in which clouds formed by pumping water into the high atmosphere to create clouds to act as barrier to solar radiation would be dropped into drought areas.

“There will be cloud over Bangladesh. Somebody else might want that cloud so they may try to take that cloud away by seeding with silver iodine, silver bromide, and there is a possibility of cloud conflict if not cloud war.”

In response to laughter from some of the 350 conference participants, he said, “ Funny as it looks, those are the worlds ahead of us. Either we take ourselves seriously or leave it to these apparent negotiators with whom we have vested our planet, and very often they are no more than jokers in this heavily packed world of conflict.”

Video of full speech:


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