In February 2015, the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, together with several other institutions, published two reports on geoengineering — the use of technology to manipulate the weather — which were financed, in part, by the CIA. I wrote about those reports in a recent article published in La Jornada on Feb. 21, 2015.
The CIA and other sectors of the U.S. intelligence apparatus have characterized climate change and climate control as strategic, geopolitical factors for national security. In 2009, the CIA opened its own Center for Climate Change and National Security, but Congress ordered its closure in 2012. This is perhaps one of the reasons why the CIA decided to fund the National Academy of Sciences´ project in 2013. Many of the proposed geoengineering technologies have a high potential for hostile use.
In respect to this hostile potential, Alan Robock, a climatologist at Rutgers University who researches geoengineering issues, expressed his preoccupation about the CIA´s participation in these reports.
On January 19, 2001, Robock received a call from two CIA consultants, Roger Lueken and Michael Canes, who asked him if it would be possible to detect weather interference caused by other countries. Robock responded affirmatively: If someone created an artificial, volcanic cloud in the stratosphere — one of the most common proposals — and if it were big enough, thick enough and lasted long enough to affect the weather, then we would absolutely be able to spot it with instruments from the earth. Other types of geoengineering, like cloud whitening or crafts that expel particles into the atmosphere, could probably be detected by satellites and existing radar systems. However, the doubt that stayed with Robock was whether these inquiries concerned U.S. national security or whether they were directed toward determining if other countries could detect the CIA´s climate manipulations.
Weather manipulation as a weapon of war has been a part of the U.S. military agenda, and that of other great powers, for decades. For example, Operation Popeye, employed during the Vietnam War and now declassified, caused prolonged rainfall with the intention to flood roads and ruin the rice fields of the Vietnamese resistance. During those years, the U.S. government carried out additional projects that dealt with hurricane control; these projects, unlike Operation Popeye, were not referenced as military weapons, although they do have that potential. In 1996, the U.S. Air Force published an in-depth report on weather modification, suggestively titled, ¨Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025.”
Robock commented that the latest Quadrennial Review, published in 2014 by the U.S. Defense Department, affirmed that climate change is a significant threat to the United States and to the rest of the world. The document stated: ¨The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies and governance institutions around the world. These effects are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.¨
It is not surprising, although very threatening, that a government dedicated to promoting war throughout the world and powered by the largest military-industrial complex on the planet proposes utilizing the weather for its own purposes.
What perhaps lies outside the public radar are the U.S. government´s attempts, through scientific reports such as those published by the National Academy of Sciences, to convince the world that geoengineering is essential to the fight against climate change: A change, no doubt, that is provoked in large part by that government.
The reports propose more investigation and geoengineering experiments, but these measures will divert resources and attention from the urgent need to slow greenhouse gases and will leave the dominant industrial model of production and consumption intact. In addition, the U.S. government will seek approval for highly dangerous technologies which would be widely rejected by the international community if they were presented as weapons of war. After the Vietnam War, the United Nations endorsed the signing of the Environmental Modification Convention which prohibited the use of weather and the environment as weapons of war.
However, presented as tools to combat climate change, these technologies have managed to enter the discussions of scientists and governments when their experimentation should clearly be prohibited.
Does anyone believe that the same geoengineering technologies that have been considered weapons for decades will now be used by countries like the United States with the sole purpose to fight climate change? Whatever story its promoters are selling, geoengineering will have a devastating impact on entire regions and will potentially disrupt the global climate even more.