17. Climate Change and Geoengineering

CLIMATE CHANGE AND GEOENGINEERING

Introduction to weather modification

As a preliminary remark I would like to say that if Victor Cherkesov from the Russian Duma had been able to come – unfortunately he had a problem and could not come – this meeting might have been an approximation to what Ken Coates tried to do in 1991, but unfortunately what he was trying to do then was stopped by the coup d’etat in the Soviet Union so that he could no proceed. But in any case we are proceeding now in our own way. The  point of departure for this conference is the Report on the Environment, Security and Foreign Policy, presented by Mrs. Maj- Britt Theorin in the European Parliament on 14th January 1999, A4-0005/99, for the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Security and Defence Policy. We are grateful to those who achieved it. We should have a photograph of her in now.

The title of the conference will be explained at the end in the Conclusions. We will commence with an overview:

Weather modification has been at the focus of hopes and dreams ever since nomadism gave way to cultivation of the land. The assumption must have been that the power to control the weather could make the difference between surviving or perishing. But it was only in the 19th century that experiments began to make the dream a reality, primarily in the USA, Russia, Germany and now China.  The first documents date from 1877, when a Harvard University professor, Nathaniel Shaler,  proposed a rerouting of warm ocean currents to melt the Northern Hemisphere’s polar ice cap.

Since then there has been a long series of projects with strange titles, from Nuke the Arctic in 1945, to project Argus, Project Skywater, Starfish,  Popeye, etc. Weather modification and environmental warfare have been discussed since the early 1960s. But it has only been since the 1990s that the subject has been presented as programs, plans and activities.

The landmark document is the American Academy of Science’s “Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming” of 1992.

It was also at the beginning of the 1990s that there appeared on the scene the HAARP project (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program), which is described by the A4-0005/99 report as “a weapons system that disrupts the climate”,  to be regarded as “a serious threat to the environment, with an incalculable impact on human life.”
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+REPORT+A4-1999-0005+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN

Another key document on the use of weather as a weapon, this time not a condemnation but a recommendation, is the Report presented in 1996 to the United States Air Force, entitled The Weather as a Force Multiplier:  Owning the Weather in 2025. The activities listed in this paper include Precipitation Enhancement, Storm Enhancement, Precipitation Avoidance, Denial of Precipitation (Denial of Fresh Water – Inducing of Drought –  Storm Modification, Fog and Cloud. According to the paper “In the United States, weather-modification will likely become a part of national security policy with both domestic and international applications”. The paper further states that “our government will pursue such a policy, depending on its interests, at various levels. These levels could include unilateral actions, participation in a security framework such as NATO, membership in an international organization such as the UN, or participation in a coalition. Assuming that in 2025 our national security strategy includes weather-modification, its use in our national military strategy will naturally follow. Besides the significant benefits that an operational capability would provide, another motivation to pursue weather-modification is to deter and counter potential adversaries”.

Climate change and geoengineering

In the 1990s and afterwards there was an intense public debate on global warming/climate change, culminating, with the 2009 Copenhagen Summit  – and the preceding Climategate scandal, which exposed instances of fraud amongst climate scientists – in promotion of geoengineering as the most politically feasible and economically rational solution to global warming/climate change and as an alternative to reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

What is geoengineering?

Geoengineering is defined as the deliberate and large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climatic system to reduce global warming.  It divides broadly into two categories: carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management.

At this conference we will discuss only this second category: Solar Radiation Management and Stratospheric Aerosol Spraying, that is to say, attempts to offset effects of greenhouse gases by causing the Earth to absorb less solar radiation.

The words deliberate and large-scale are important.  “Large-scale” distinguishes geoengineering from local cloud-seeding programmes to induce rainfall, a practice that goes back many years and once generated a huge amount of litigation. It is a different problem from geoengineering. “Deliberate” is of relevance because deliberate pollution is in a different legal category from pollution  caused as an inadvertent side-effect of other economic or military activity.  In the discussions of recent years on the effects of aircraft emissions on the global climate, what has been systematically downplayed or obscured is the implications of a change that is transforming pollution from aircraft from being a unwanted nuisance into  being a solution, a solution to what are identified as problems of global warming or climate change.

One of the first widely advertised declarations of geoengineering policy was Edward Teller’s 1997 “Sunscreen for Planet Earth”. Despite being a climate change skeptic, Teller  proposed the use of geoengineering to solve a problem he said he was not convinced was a real problem.

Because official policy, globally, is to claim that geoengineering  programmes are still at the theoretical stage, many – perhaps most – people apparently believe that this is true.  But geoengineering, or something that corresponds exactly to what geoengineering proposals would be like if implemented, is occurring, with devastating effect.

Over vast swathes of this planet thousands, indeed millions, of eyewitnesses are reporting horizon-to-horizon aircraft trails that slowly expand and merge until the entire sky is covered with a blanket of artificial cloud.
In parallel to this, elements such as barium, aluminium, strontium, and manganese are showing up in lab tests of precipitation in lethal quantities across the globe.
The soil PH has been so radically changed in the forests of the USA’s Pacific Northwest, that tests have indicated a 1,500 percent increase in alkalinity.

“Global dimming” – the reduction in the amount of global direct sunlight reaching  the earth’s surface – has gone up by 20% due to reflective metal particulates in the atmosphere reflecting sunlight.
Atmospheric conductivity has increased radically, leaving the earth more prone to  lightning strikes.

The Arctic Methane Emergency Group (AMEG) recently called for “emergency geoengineering” to avert a planetary catastrophe unfolding in the Arctic. This is represented as an attempt to stop implosion of the ice cap and mass expulsion of methane.

In the midst of all this metal showing up in soil and water, forests are suffering huge losses. Forest fires are out of control in the northern hemisphere. Last August, over 74,000,000 acres burned in Siberia alone. Many other countries have had prolonged states of emergency from wild fires. Drought is also reaching epidemic levels.

The spraying appears to be disrupting all natural weather patterns, shredding the ozone layer, poisoning the air with microscopic metal and chemical nanoparticles that are extremely damaging to the human body.
The damage done to the planet appears to have reached a critical point. Massive  methane release has been triggered on the East Siberian shelf of the Arctic. The methane release is a global game-changer, with potential consequences that make it a threat to the existence of higher forms of life on earth.

A few words on the costs of geoengineering

Only a few years ago “geoengineering” proposals were advanced in a disingenuous, almost self-mocking way and received with a similar lack of seriousness. Mainstream climate scientists would say “discussing such craziness only serves to encourage it”. So discussion was discouraged.

Now public debate has shifted away from whether the “proposals” deserve to be taken seriously and has moved on to economics because it is said that solar radiation management is “cheap”, with costs estimated at less than US $5 billion a year as opposed to $200 to $2000 billion a year for reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. .

Who are the players?

Who are the players?  The Raytheon Corporation, who are up to their necks in weather modification patents, appear to be doing weather modeling for The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) and the National Weather Service. Another player is the  Lockheed Martin Corporation, which also has a heavy investment in the weather modification business and carries out weather modeling for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Is  geoengineering  a reasonable strategy for combating global warming, or is it a potentially disastrous measure with lethal consequences?  It is advertised to the general public as a method for mitigating global warming but is this in fact its real purpose, or its primary purpose?

Legal aspects

The unresolved status of geoengineering under international law was investigated, in the mid-nineties, by the environmental lawyer Bodansky. Among the questions he raised were: who should make geoengineering decisions? Should all countries participate in decision-making? How should liability and compensation for damages be handled?

Legally, schemes to inject particles into the atmosphere are extremely problematic because the atmosphere above any country is part of its airspace. Nations lay claim to their airspace and may act on the claims, for example, by shooting down aircraft.

Geoengineering activity in the atmosphere could be viewed as infringements of national sovereignty. Obviously, the simplest way of dealing with legal problems of this kind, pending negotiation of the necessary adjustments to international law, is to deny that any such activity is occurring.

Who are the opponents?

One might imagine that those who dispute the reality of anthropogenic climate change would oppose programmes whose declared reason for existence is to mitigate anthropogenic climate change. Mostly, however, this is not happening. Some formerly prominent anthropogenic climate change skeptics have become advocates of geoengineering. Other “skeptics” deny  that the more extreme type of geoengineering  will ever be feasible. The American climate scientist John Christy, for example, said recently, when  asked: “I don’t think geoengineering will happen. It is too expensive and too uncertain in its results. Who would be liable when/if something goes wrong?” John Christy would not have mentioned geoengineering at all if he had not been specifically asked, because his public role is to pursue the climate change debate with other scientists who take the opposite positions to him and argue that anthropogenic climate change is a reality.

Climate change skeptics and proponents (or opponents) of geoengineering do not talk to each other about geoengineering. If they argue it will be about climate change. John Christy says that geoengineering is not going to happen. A geoengineer such as Paul Crutzen will say that it is because of the attitudes of people like Christy (specifically his climate change scepticism) that Crutzen and others are obliged to make their “Plan B” proposals for spraying sulphur in the stratosphere. Both sides point their finger at the other.

The part of the scenario formerly assigned to the ecologists was the assertion that there is a problem of anthropogenic climate change. This was what the ecological organizations focused on, marginalizing so-called “conspiracy theorists” who tried to introduce other issues. The task of marginalizing was made easier by the fact that the majority of chemtrails activists have been, and remain, anthropogenic climate change skeptics.
In the 1960s the U.S. Air Force carried out top-secret weather modification programmes in South-East  Asia, but one of the side-effects of America’s military defeat in Vietnam was a shift in the balance of forces in the 1970s between civilians and the military that made possible the beginnings of legal regulation. One of the American Congressmen who worked for adoption of the Environmental Modification Convention expressed fears that “it may become feasible to initiate weather modification projects without being detected, raising the possibility of clandestine use of geophysical warfare where a country does not know if it has been attacked”.  Objections of this kind carried weight and in 1978 the Environmental Modification Convention came into force, banning the use of weather modification techniques for the purpose of inducing damage or destruction.

The existence of the Environmental Modification Convention has made it necessary for there to be a similar conceptual transformation to that already noted with pollution, which has been turned from a problem into a solution. Damage and destruction now has to be identified as what environmental modification is aimed at preventing, not what it is aimed at causing.

One of the best-known opponents of geoengineering is the ETC group, which in Nagoya in 2010 at the UN Conference on Biodiversity achieved a moratorium on most forms of geoengineering, a moratorium which has, however been ignored in the same way that other relevant legislation has been ignored.

In February Skyguards interviewed one of the founding members of the ETC Group, Pat Mooney, but due to time constraints today we aren’t able to discuss what he said. You can find the complete text of the interview in the dossier we are distributing.

Activism

In an article I wrote some years ago called “Climate Change Jekylls and Hydes” I drew attention to a distinction between two types of activism, on the one hand activism that is supported by the mainstream media, that works through the United Nations, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the big international environmental organizations such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the WWF, and on the other hand activism  of the kind that has led to this conference today, an activism that starts not from what we hear said about global warming on radio and television or read in the mainstream press but more from what we see with our own eyes in the sky. It is hard to know which of these types of activism involves larger numbers of people, because the first, so-called respectable, type of activism, is organized and centralized, with offices, spokespersons, hierarchies, funding, all the things, in short, that we lack. But I suspect, given the millions and millions of references, photographs and analyses to be found on the internet focusing on the questions we raise, that there are more of us, many more.

It would be an understatement to say that relations between these two types of activism are bad.

They are very bad, despite a thematic convergence of the last couple of years, so that groups that were once talking exclusively of global warming have now begun to express views on, and mostly against, geoengineering. Only two weeks ago there were discussions on geoengineering in the context of what is called “climate justice” at the World Social Forum in Tunisia, and there is a friend here who has can from that conference, and can tell us about personally, I suppose.

If the political parties, parliaments, mainstream  – and alternative – mass media and world social forums are not willing to bear the political cost of honesty in relation to ‘geoengineering’, citizens must assume this responsibility themselves.

Civil society must become organized to confront what  – a generation ago and in a preceding phase of the activity of the very same weapons laboratories – was being called “exterminism” (by the British writer and activist Edward Thompson). Given the seriousness of the situation and the way  populations are being left defenceless, every potentially efficacious measure: judicial, political and economic, must be explored. Public health and public security are assets to be safeguarded, and which must be safeguarded.   And this is what Skyguards, the main organizer of this conference,  is all about.

While ways may have been found of circumventing  the Environmental Modification Convention by redefining reality and representing aggression to the world’s television audiences as protection, or at least attempted protection, there are other conventions, such as  the Aarhus Convention granting  the public right of access to environmental information, that can and should be enlisted in response to deception of this kind.

Thank you for your attention

Wayne Hall

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