The CIA asked me about controlling the climate — this is why we should worry

Alan Robock writes: On January 19, 2011, I got a phone call from two men who told me they were consultants for the CIA. Roger Lueken and Michael Canes, analysts for the Logistics Management Institute, asked, among other things, “If another country were trying to control our climate, would we be able to detect it?”

I told them that I thought we could, because if a cloud in the stratosphere were created (the most commonly proposed method of control) that was thick enough, large enough, and long-lasting enough to change the amount of energy reaching Earth, we could certainly see it with the same ground-based and satellite instruments we use to measure stratospheric clouds from volcanic eruptions. If, on the other hand, low clouds were being brightened over the ocean (another suggested means of cooling the climate), we could see telltale patterns in the tops of the clouds with satellite photos. And it would also be easy to observe aeroplanes or ships injecting gases or particles into the atmosphere.

At the same time, I wondered whether they also wanted to know if others would know about it, if the CIA was controlling the world’s climate. Given that the CIA is a major sponsor of the recently released US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) reports on geoengineering (which they have renamed “climate intervention”), the question arises as to the possible interest of the CIA in global climate control.

Let me be clear. I completely agree with all the NAS findings. Global warming is real and is being caused by humans, mainly by burning coal, oil, petrol and natural gas, which puts carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas – into the atmosphere. Global warming will result in major harm to humanity if left unchecked. The solution is to stop using fossil fuels for our energy supply and switch to solar and wind power, and to adapt to some of the coming climate change.

Geoengineering by blocking sunlight should not be implemented now, as its risks and benefits are too uncertain, but we need more research on the various proposed scenarios. Taking carbon dioxide out of the air is a good thing, but currently extremely expensive, and we need research on that, too. [Continue reading…]

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