First the NSA was spying on us, now the Central Intelligence Agency is trying to control the Earth’s climate.
The CIA is funding research to see whether it is possible to use geoengineering to alter the Earth’s atmosphere and stop global warming, reports Mother Jones.
The CIA and other government entities are spending $630,000 on a 21-month project to see how humans “influence weather patterns, assess the potential dangers of messing with the climate, and investigate possible national security implications of geoengineering attempts,” according to Mother Jones.
CIA spokesman Edward Price would not confirm to Mother Jones the agency’s role in the study, saying “It’s natural that on a subject like climate change the Agency would work with scientists to better understand the phenomenon and its implications on national security.”
However, this is not the intelligence agency’s first foray into researching global warming. Last year, the CIA closed its controversial global warming research center after being criticized by congressional Republicans.
The goal of this new CIA-backed study is to conduct a “technical evaluation of a limited number of proposed geoengineering techniques,” according to the National Academy of Sciences, which is running the project.
Controlling the climate, or weather modification, is not something new. The Air Force engaged in cloud seeding during the Vietnam War to try and create rainfall to turn the Ho Chi Minh trail to mud.
Mother Jones also reports: “Between 1962 and 1983, other would-be weather engineers tried to change the behavior of hurricanes using silver iodide. That effort, dubbed Project Stormfury, was spearheaded by the Navy and the Commerce Department.”
Former Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall once tried to pass legislation to create national boards to oversee weather modification research.
“While we may not be able to stop Mother Nature entirely, we can sometimes alter her course, changing the weather in small, yet significant ways,” Hutchison said on the Senate floor in 2004.
China has a “Weather Modification Office” which seeded clouds to cause rainfall before the 2008 Beijing Olympics — trying to make sure rain would hit the suburbs and not the Olympic stadiums.
“This whole issue of lone actors: Do we need to be concerned about China acting unilaterally? Is that just idle chatter, or is that something the US government should prepare for?” asks geoengineer Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology and the National Academy of Sciences panel.
Mother Jones reports that at least one person — Ross George — has already tried modifying the weather. George was head of Planktos, a company that develops technology to fight global warming and seeded the Pacific Ocean off the Canadian coast with iron to create a plankton bloom to suck carbon dioxide from the air.
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