The study was authored by Jesse Reynolds at Tilburg Law School in the Netherlands. Reynolds researched the legal status of geoengineering research by analyzing international documents and treaties.
Geo-engineering is the science of manipulating the climate for the stated purpose of fighting mad made climate change. These include Solar Radiation Management (SRM), the practice of spraying aerosols into the sky in an attempt to deflect the Sun’s rays and combat climate change.
According to a recent congressional report:
“The term “geoengineering” describes this array of technologies that aim, through large-scale and deliberate modifications of the Earth’s energy balance, to reduce temperatures and counteract anthropogenic climate change. Most of these technologies are at the conceptual and research stages, and their effectiveness at reducing global temperatures has yet to be proven. Moreover, very few studies have been published that document the cost, environmental effects, socio-political impacts, and legal implications of geoengineering. If geoengineering technologies were to be deployed, they are expected to have the potential to cause significant transboundary effects.
In general, geoengineering technologies are categorized as either a carbon dioxide removal (CDR) method or a solar radiation management (SRM) method. CDR methods address the warming effects of greenhouse gases by removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. CDR methods include ocean fertilization, and carbon capture and sequestration. SRM methods address climate change by increasing the reflectivity of the Earth’s atmosphere or surface.
Aerosol injection and space-based reflectors are examples of SRM methods. SRM methods do not remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, but can be deployed faster with relatively immediate global cooling results compared to CDR methods.“
Reynolds’ study will be published in the Journal of Energy, Climate and the Environment around the same time that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change presents its Fifth Assessment Report. The study continues the calls for an international body to regulate the controversial weather modification techniques.
Some believe the answer is international agreement for international tests but low-risk domestic research should continue to assist in the overall decision of what to do with geoengineering.
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One of the many dangers of manipulating the weather are the loss of blue skies. According to a report by the New Scientist, Ben Kravitz of the Carnegie Institution for Science has shown that releasing sulphate aerosols high in the atmosphere would scatter sunlight into the atmosphere. He says this could decrease the amount of sunlight that hits the ground by 20% and make the sky appear more hazy.
Although a number of authorities have warned about the dangers of geoengineering techniques, the risks are seen as secondary to the perceived risks of climate change. The interesting thing to note is that although proponents of geoengineering hail it as the solution to climate change and sustaining life, studies show that geoengineering could actually have the reverse effect of heating the Earth.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, if geoengineering programs were started and then suddenly halted the planet could see immediate rise in temperatures, particularly over land. The study, titled “The impact of abrupt suspension of solar radiation management”, seems to indicate that once you begin geoengineering you cannot suspend the programs without causing the very problem you were seeking to resolve.
As the dangers around this technology begin to emerge, some critics believe there is more than meets the eye. A growing group of concerned activists believe the SRM programs are not only in the developmental research phase but are currently active. Weather modification techniques in the form of cloud-seeding programs are active in China, for example. With researchers warning that the very initiation of geoengineering programs could cause global temperatures to rise it does make sense that governments would work to keep quiet about domestic geoengineering programs. Geoengineering in one country could cause drought in another part of the world after all, and no government wants that responsibility.
Despite the claims that these programs are still in their research stage there is some information that points to aerosol spraying, weather modification programs being active. In a 1996 document entitled “Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather by 2025”, the U.S. Air Force discusses a number of proposals for using the weather as a weapon. The document warrants your attention and research. (http://csat.au.af.mil/2025/volume3/vol3ch15.pdf)
We also have companies like Weather Modification, Inc. On this corporations site you can peruse different planes that you can pay to run a cloud seeding operation. They even offer a list of clients and sites that are active. There is also the Environmental Modification Treaty signed by the United States to halt global weather modification.
The United States and allied governments do have a history of covertly testing controversial technologies and apologizing later. Is it possible that in an attempt to save the planet from tragedy some rogue government(s) and/or corporation(s) have been quietly testing out geoengineering programs only to find out they cannot stop the programs without risking heating the entire planet? Is their purpose more nefarious? Or are these programs really only in the research phase, still being worked out on the drawing board?
Whether the programs are active now or not, the evidence continues to pile up that geoengineering is at the least a haphazard attempt to fix environmental issues. If we are to look for solutions concerning the health of our planet and our society as a whole, let us look inward. Let us look to our communities for solutions. Technology can be of great assistance as we maneuver forward into a more ecocentric view but we should not become so enamored with gadgets that we detach from nature and wreak havoc on the planet we co-exist with.
Please continue to do research on geoengineering programs. For the sake of us all, look up and ask questions.
Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist, community activist, gardener and promoter from Houston, Texas. He is the co-founder of The Houston Free Thinkers, and co-host of Free Thinker Radio. Broze also hosts and produces a weekly podcast under the name the Conscious Resistance Live. His writing can be found on The Conscious Resistance, The Liberty Beat, Activist Post, and other independent media sources.