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CIA Pays for Research to Manipulate Our Climate Living Green Magazine

CIA Pays for Research to Manipulate Our Climate

Editor Post | July 24, 2013 |

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By Jon Bowermaster for

Instead of working to stop the causes of global warming, the government is publicly announcing plans to geoengineer our planet.

Progress very often comes with a price.

If we are not collectively learning anything else from the global warming emergency, perhaps that’s the biggest lesson: The world cannot advance the way it has—seven billion people burning fossil fuels with wild abandon—without a cost.

One cost is that we have so cooked the atmosphere that even conservative estimates predict average temps will rise three to seven degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.

There are several ways to respond to this global cooking. One is to ignore and party on. Another is to conserve. Another is to vigorously look for options, towards renewables. And yet another is to tinker even further with technology to engineer our way out of the mess.

This week it was disclosed that the CIA is putting $630,000 into a geoengineering project that will study how humans are influencing weather patterns and assess more ways they can do so. The investment comes a year after the spy agency was forced by Congress to shutter its in-house research center on the relationship between climate change and national security.

Offloaded to the National Academy of Sciences, the program will be responsible for overseeing the first geoengineeringstudy funded by an intelligence agency. One of the CIA’s apparent prime curiosities is trying to slow global warming by using experimental technologies ranging from simulating volcanic eruptions to seeing how pumping sulfides into the atmosphere might impact national security.

While going public with the study may be new, this is hardly the first time government agencies have tried to fool Mother Nature for the sake of national security. During World War II, the Germans experimented with producing fog to confuse allied bombers. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. Air Force seeded clouds above the Ho Chi Minh Trail to encourage tropical rains to turn the ground into muck. In a more plebian effort, in 2008 the Chinese had its “Weather Modification Office” seed clouds in order to discourage rain from falling over its Olympic stadiums.

Such experimentation continues today. Indonesia would prefer that its torrential rains fall over the ocean rather than land, where it produces flooding. The methodology, dropping tons of salt from military planes, has so far not been effective.

The notion of governments trying to fool nature is slippery territory.

And there is little stopping individuals from launching their own DIY attempts, as in the wacked effort last summer by San Francisco-based Planktos to seed the northern Pacific Ocean with 100 tons of iron sulphate as an alleged way to encourage plankton growth and slow warming of the seas. All that was accomplished was creating a brand-new waste dump of 100 tons of iron on the sea floor.

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Tags: CIA, climate change, geoengineering, global warming, pollution

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