The United Nations has released a new report stating that the practice of geoengineering the weather presents dangers to the environment, but may be necessary to fight climate change.
In late October the United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity released a new report examining the problems of geoengineering and whether or not humanity will be forced to employ the practice in an attempt to halt climate change. The report, Update On Climate Geoengineering In relation to the Convention on Biologicial Diversity: Potential Impacts and Regulatory Framework, found that geoengineering “would reduce the impacts of climate change on biodiversity at the global level”, but also cause unpredictable rain and temperature distribution on the local level.
The report defines geoengineering as “a deliberate intervention in the planetary environment of a nature and scale intended to counteract anthropogenic climate change and its impacts.” A 2013 congressional report also defined geoengineering in the following way:
In general, geoengineering technologies are categorized as either a carbon dioxide removal (CDR) method or a solar radiation management (SRM) (or albedo-modification)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.
The U.N. report states that the effectiveness of geoengineering is “uncertain” and “in reducing the scale of one problem, other new problems would be created. Thus, there would also be risk of the geoengineering action also contributing to other drivers affecting biodiversity loss and ecosystem integrity.” Dr. Phillip Williamson, Lead author of the report and scientist with the Natural Environment Research Council in the United Kingdom, says he is skeptical of geoengineering.
The report examines several types of geoengineering, including reforestation, ocean fertilization, and CO2 capture. However, the authors conclude that these activities “would be insufficient to remove carbon at the scale required in most current scenarios.” Instead, the report recommends further study and emphasis on Solar Radiation Management (SRM).
Recent studies and assessments have confirmed that SRM techniques, in theory, could slow, stop or reverse global temperature increases. Thus, if effective, they may reduce the impacts on biodiversity from warming, but there are high levels of uncertainty about the impacts of SRM techniques, which could present significant new risks to biodiversity.
The U.N. concludes that although SRM may possibly slow the loss of Arctic sea ice, but not without “unacceptable climatic impacts elsewhere.” One particular method of SRM involves injecting aerosols into the atmosphere via airplanes. The study found that the use of sulphur aerosols for SRM would be associated with a risk of stratospheric ozone loss. There is also a risk that stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI) would have a small impact on climate change but could lead to negative impacts on biodiversity.
The U.N. study is not the first to find negative side effects of geoengineering. For example, Activist Post recently reported on a new analysis released by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The FMI is the government agency responsible for reporting weather data and forecasts in Finland. The Institute’s study, “Modelling radiative and climate effects of aerosols: from Anthropogenic emissions to geoengineering,” examined the potential for SRM to combat climate change.
The study specifically looked at two types of SRM. The first involved marine aerosol concentrations use to increase clouds, while the second looked at increasing the amount of sulphur concentrated in the stratosphere. The researchers stated that their key objectives were to “investigate the potential of aerosols to cool the climate at the global scale, and identify the possible limits in the effectiveness of the Solar Radiation Management techniques as well as the risks related to these techniques.”
The researchers found that the geoengineering techniques which were studied do in fact have the potential to cool the climate and slow down warming. “However, the cooling effect has limitations,” the team writes.“The cooling effect attributable to aerosols would be rather small due to the geographical change in tropospheric aerosol emissions or change in energy production studied here when compared to the warming due to the increased greenhouse gas emissions,” the paper states.
In other words, the effort, money, and time it would take to invest and create geoengineering methods would likely do very little to actually limit the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. The researchers even state that, based on their models, if the world replaced coal with nuclear power for energy production it would lead to a “temporal cooling effect,” but after several years “the warming effect from simultaneously increased GHG emission would exceed the cooling effect.” Also, the cooling that does result from an increase in aerosols is “often achieved at the cost of air quality” which could “lead to an increase in premature mortality.”
In February 2015, an international committee of scientists released a report stating that geoengineering techniques are not a viable alternative to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat the effects of climate change. The committee report called for further research and understanding of various geoengineering techniques, including carbon dioxide removal schemes and solar-radiation management before implementation.
The scientists found that SRM techniques are likely to present “serious known and possible unknown environmental, social, and political risks, including the possibility of being deployed unilaterally.” The report was sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. intelligence community, NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Department of Energy.
According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, if geoengineering programs were started and then suddenly halted, the planet could see an immediate rise in temperatures, particularly over land. The study, titled, “The Impact of Abrupt Suspension of Solar Radiation Management,” seems to indicate that once geoengineering begins, the programs cannot be suspended without causing the very problem the engineering was intended to solve.
Conspiracy Fact or Theory?
The idea that aerosols could be sprayed from planes is eerily reminiscent of various conspiracies involving the government using weather control technology to manipulate world events. This is what is derogatorily called the “Chemtrails Conspiracy.” Essentially, some believe geoengineering is actively taking place in our skies, and the “contrails” are actually geoengineering programs covertly being carried out. The “chemtrails” label comes from the portion of the crowd that believes these programs are delivering dangerous chemical additives to the food, water, soil, and humans below for nefarious purposes.
Despite the knee-jerk dismissal from many casual researchers, the theories might be grounded in reality. It’s important to know the United States government has a history of weather modification. In a 1996 document entitled “Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather by 2025,” the U.S. Air Force discussed a number of proposals for using weather as a weapon. The Environmental Modification Treaty was signed by the United States and other nations to halt global weather modification.
But the government did not simply research these ideas. It actually implemented them. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. government operated covert weather modification programs under Operation Popeye. In 2012, it was revealed that the U.S. Army sprayed toxic chemicals over the skies of St. Louis without informing the public.
In February 2015, while speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Jose, California, Professor Alan Robock discussed the possibility that the CIA is using the weather as a weapon of war. Robock has done research for the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) in the past.
Robock stated he was phoned by two men claiming to be from the CIA, asking whether or not it was possible for hostile governments to use geoengineering against the United States.
Professor Robock’s fears of the government using the weather as a weapon are not completely unfounded. 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 Environmental Modification Treaty was signed by the United States and other nations to halt global weather modification.
In late June, John Brennan, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, spoke at a Council on Foreign Relations meeting about threats to global security. Director Brennan mentioned a number of threats to stability before discussing the science of geoengineering. Brennan said the technologies “potentially could help reverse the warming effects of global climate change.”
Director Brennan specifically mentions a type of SRM known as stratospheric aerosol injection, or SAI. As Brennan notes, SAI is “a method of seeding the stratosphere with particles that can help reflect the sun’s heat, in much the same way that volcanic eruptions do.”
Whether or not Professor Robock’s theory is correct remains to be seen; but, for now, Director Brennan’s speech makes it perfectly clear that America’s favorite spy agency is interested in manipulating the weather on a global scale. Whether it’s happening already or will be in the near future, the thought of the CIA (or any agency of government) using the weather as a weapon of war should show you that the U.S. government is not operating with reason or concern for the people.
What are your thoughts? Is the new U.N. report covertly pushing the geoengineering agenda? Are geoengineering programs already active?
Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of three books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 1 and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 2
Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact [email protected]
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Image Credit: Dees Illustration