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Geoengineering in the News

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Sore Throat

Joined: 01 Sep 2000
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Geoengineering in the News PostWed Jun 28, 2006 12:58 am  Reply with quote

How to Cool a Planet (Maybe)


PROBLEMS AND EXPERIMENTS 1 Before-and-after images of plankton in an experiment that increased iron in the Pacific. 2 A large mirror that would shield Earth from the Sun. 3 A reservoir in a Palestinian village that is now covered with algae, potentially capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and a crater lake caused by a volcanic eruption. 4 An example of cloud production, the Blur Building by the architects Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, at the Swiss Expo in 2002.


In the past few decades, a handful of scientists have come up with big, futuristic ways to fight global warming: Build sunshades in orbit to cool the planet. Tinker with clouds to make them reflect more sunlight back into space. Trick oceans into soaking up more heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

Their proposals were relegated to the fringes of climate science. Few journals would publish them. Few government agencies would pay for feasibility studies. Environmentalists and mainstream scientists said the focus should be on reducing greenhouse gases and preventing global warming in the first place.

But now, in a major reversal, some of the world's most prominent scientists say the proposals deserve a serious look because of growing concerns about global warming.

Worried about a potential planetary crisis, these leaders are calling on governments and scientific groups to study exotic ways to reduce global warming, seeing them as possible fallback positions if the planet eventually needs a dose of emergency cooling.

"We should treat these ideas like any other research and get into the mind-set of taking them seriously," said Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington.

The plans and proposed studies are part of a controversial field known as geoengineering, which means rearranging the earth's environment on a large scale to suit human needs and promote habitability. Dr. Cicerone, an atmospheric chemist, will detail his arguments in favor of geoengineering studies in the August issue of the journal Climatic Change.

Practicing what he preaches, Dr. Cicerone is also encouraging leading scientists to join the geoengineering fray. In April, at his invitation, Roger P. Angel, a noted astronomer at the University of Arizona, spoke at the academy's annual meeting. Dr. Angel outlined a plan to put into orbit small lenses that would bend sunlight away from earth — trillions of lenses, he now calculates, each about two feet wide, extraordinarily thin and weighing little more than a butterfly.

In addition, Dr. Cicerone recently joined a bitter dispute over whether a Nobel laureate's geoengineering ideas should be aired, and he helped get them accepted for publication. The laureate, Paul J. Crutzen of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany, is a star of atmospheric science who won his Nobel in 1995 for showing how industrial gases damage the earth's ozone shield. His paper newly examines the risks and benefits of trying to cool the planet by injecting sulfur into the stratosphere.

The paper "should not be taken as a license to go out and pollute," Dr. Cicerone said in an interview, emphasizing that most scientists thought curbing greenhouse gases should be the top priority. But he added, "In my opinion, he's written a brilliant paper."

Geoengineering is no magic bullet, Dr. Cicerone said. But done correctly, he added, it will act like an insurance policy if the world one day faces a crisis of overheating, with repercussions like melting icecaps, droughts, famines, rising sea levels and coastal flooding.

"A lot of us have been saying we don't like the idea" of geoengineering, he said. But he added, "We need to think about it" and learn, among other things, how to distinguish sound proposals from ones that are ineffectual or dangerous.

Many scientists still deride geoengineering as an irresponsible dream with more risks and potential bad side effects than benefits; they call its extreme remedies a good reason to redouble efforts at reducing heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide. And skeptics of human-induced global warming dismiss geoengineering as a costly effort to battle a mirage.

Even so, many analysts say the prominence of its new advocates is giving the field greater visibility and credibility and adding to the likelihood that global leaders may one day consider taking such emergency steps.

"People used to say, 'Shut up, the world isn't ready for this,' " said Wallace S. Broecker, a geoengineering pioneer at Columbia. "Maybe the world has changed."

Michael C. MacCracken, chief scientist of the Climate Institute, a private research group in Washington, said he was resigned to the need to take geoengineering seriously.

"It's really too bad," Dr. MacCracken said, "that the United States and the world cannot do much more so that it's not necessary to consider getting addicted to one of these approaches."

Martin A. Apple, president of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, said of geoengineering at a recent meeting in Washington, "Let's talk about research funding with enough zeroes on it so we can make a dent."

The study of futuristic countermeasures began quietly in the 1960's, as scientists theorized that global warming caused by human-generated emissions might one day pose a serious threat. But little happened until the 1980's, when global temperatures started to rise.

Some scientists noted that the earth reflected about 30 percent of incoming sunlight back into space and absorbed the rest. Slight increases of reflectivity, they reasoned, could easily counteract heat-trapping gases, thereby cooling the planet.

Dr. Broecker of Columbia proposed doing so by lacing the stratosphere with tons of sulfur dioxide, as erupting volcanoes occasionally do. The injections, he calculated in the 80's, would require a fleet of hundreds of jumbo jets and, as a byproduct, would increase acid rain.

By 1997, such futuristic visions found a prominent advocate in Edward Teller, a main inventor of the hydrogen bomb. "Injecting sunlight-scattering particles into the stratosphere appears to be a promising approach," Dr. Teller wrote in The Wall Street Journal. "Why not do that?"

But government agencies usually balked at paying researchers to study such far-out ideas, and even ones that were more down to earth. John Latham, an atmospheric physicist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, told how he and his colleagues had unsuccessfully sought for many years to test whether spraying saltwater mists into low ocean clouds might increase their reflectivity.

"We haven't found a way in," Dr. Latham said of government financing. "It's been a bit dispiriting."

Other plans called for reflective films to be laid over deserts or white plastic islands to be floated on the world's oceans, both as ways to reflect more sunlight into space.

Another idea was to fertilize the sea with iron, creating vast blooms of plants that would gulp down tons of carbon dioxide and, as the plants died, drag the carbon into the abyss.

The general reaction to such ideas, said Alvia Gaskill, president of Environmental Reference Materials Inc., a consulting firm in North Carolina that advocates geoengineering, "has been dismissive and sometimes frightened — afraid that we don't know what the consequences will be of making large-scale changes to the environment."

Dr. Gaskill said small experiments would let researchers quickly pull the plug if such tinkering started to go awry.

Critics of geoengineering argued that it made more sense to avoid global warming than to gamble on risky fixes. They called for reducing energy use, developing alternative sources of power and curbing greenhouse gases.

But international efforts like the Kyoto Protocol — which the United States never ratified, and which China and India as members of the developing world never had to obey, freeing the current and projected leaders in greenhouse gas emissions from its restrictions — have so far failed to diminish the threat. Scientists estimate that the earth's surface temperature this century may rise as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Geoengineering's advocates say humankind is already vastly altering the global environment and simply needs to do so more intelligently.

Dr. Angel, the University of Arizona astronomer, told members of the science academy of his idea for an orbital sunshade, calling the proposal less important than the goal of encouraging bold thought.

"This could engage a whole generation," he said in an interview. "All I'm saying is, let's start thinking about these kinds of things in case we need them one day." Such visionary plans are still far from winning universal acclaim. James E. Hansen of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, who attended the talk and strongly advocates curbing emissions, belittled the orbital sunshade as "incredibly difficult and impractical."

Dr. Crutzen, the Nobel laureate from the Max Planck Institute, has also drawn fire for his paper about injecting sulfur into the stratosphere. "There was a passionate outcry by several prominent scientists claiming that it is irresponsible," recalled Mark G. Lawrence, an American scientist who is also at the institute.

The stratospheric plan called for fighting one kind of pollution (excess greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide) with another (sulfur dioxide), though it appeared that any increase in sulfur at the earth's surface would be small compared with the tons already being emitted from the smokestacks of coal-fueled plants.

Dr. Cicerone of the science academy helped broker a compromise: Dr. Crutzen's paper would be published, but with several commentaries, including his own. They will appear in the August issue of Climatic Change. The other authors are Dr. Lawrence of the German chemistry institute, Dr. MacCracken of the Climate Institute, Jeffrey T. Kiehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and Lennart Bengtsson of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Germany.

In a draft of his paper, Dr. Crutzen estimates the annual cost of his sulfur proposal at up to $50 billion, or about 5 percent of the world's annual military spending.

"Climatic engineering, such as presented here, is the only option available to rapidly reduce temperature rises" if international efforts fail to curb greenhouse gases, Dr. Crutzen wrote.

"So far," he added, "there is little reason to be optimistic."

Andrew C. Revkin contributed reporting for this article.
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Sore Throat

Joined: 01 Sep 2000
Posts: 1923
Location: x
Weather Modification a Long-Established, Though Secretive, R PostSat Aug 25, 2007 11:30 pm  Reply with quote

Weather Modification a Long-Established, Though Secretive, Reality

New legislation not designed to foster pleasant or productive weather, but planned as tool of weaponized weather control, already well tested and in use since 1976. Amateur and hostile weather-makers alike likely to lose their technology to the military.

by Mary-Sue Haliburton
Pure Energy Systems News
Copyright © 2005

New Weather-Control Board to Set up Shop in U.S.

It’s late fall of 2004. Fred McKenna* surveys his beloved radionics equipment with sorrow. “I am expecting a visit from the boys in black,” he sighs to me. Because he has been engaged in storm mitigation and deflection, he’s sure that military and other authorities know of his location and activities. Fred has already begun to dispose of the reagents, the active principle used for the “broadcast” of specific corrective energies to persons or the environment. By transferring their activity to the land itself, he hopes this might at least protect a passive aspect of his operation. But he fears that the machines themselves may no longer be in his possession by the end of the following year.

It’s for good reason that Fred is concerned about confiscation of his radionics machines. He has received numerous threatening phone calls; his computer has been sabotaged while connected to satellite weather-data sites; and he has even been subjected to a psionic attack intended to cause a car crash – which would have happened if he had not serendipitously made an unplanned turn off the highway. Just as he was stopping the car, he was suddenly plunged into unconsciousness (for which no medical explanation could be found). Had he continued on the road, he said, the car would have smacked into a rock face.

Long before there was any public announcement, Fred and others like him have been aware of planned legislation in the United States. Just because Fred lives in Canada, he is not exempt from interference or even being arrested. The U.S. military has a very long arm. As evinced by many examples, the US feels it has the right to reach into any nation on earth to take whatever it wills by force, whether this is oil fields or weather-influencing technology. Set forward as Bill S. 517 on March 3, 2005, and scheduled to take effect on 1 October 2005, is the Weather Modification Research and Technology Transfer Act.

What Kind of Weather Control Will this Be?

Bill S.517 sets up an eleven-member board of directors to oversee all the research on weather control, and to direct funding to projects. The wording sounds typically bureaucratic and innocuous. Except for the fact that the title of the act includes the words “technology transfer”, there is no specific reference to possible confiscation of privately-held equipment. However, there are gray areas, such as "and for other purposes" and other vague phrases that periodically appear in the text.

This is what rings alarm bells for independent, benevolent weather modifiers like Fred who want to normalize rainfall for farmer, and to lessen storm damage. For example, under Section 5, DUTIES, the following statement appears:

(2) assessments and evaluations of the efficacy of weather modification, both purposeful (including cloud-seeding operations) and inadvertent (including downwind effects and anthropogenic effects). (Ref.)

Note the reference to cloud-seeding, an old method largely superseded by new technology, but still popularly equated to weather control as it is the only one discussed in the mass media. However, some aerial spraying continues, of which the nature and purpose are hotly debated. (Refs)

The statement only partly conceals an expectation that they will be recording evolutionary – probably genetic – changes, and that this will regarded as merely be a “normal” part of data collection. Because the word "anthropogenic” refers to "the origin and evolution of humans" we should be asking, “What sort of testing is planned here?” Is this new Board going to be approving weather experimentation that includes genetic modifiers, treating whole human populations as guinea pigs? If so, we should all be as concerned as Fred.

Transfer of Technology to Whom?

Not explained in the text is why "Technology Transfer" is in the title. Unless that is related to the right of the Board of Directors to “receive, use, and dispose of gifts" (emphasis added), we are left to guess what this means.

If the government’s objective is to control the weather for military advantage, then some of these transfers may be involuntary. There is also no mention of any upper limit on gift value, or whether the board members could take them for personal use, which would be gross conflict of interest if this were for the public good. Will owners of radionics and other types of equipment be expected to “give” their equipment, inventions and patents over to the Board? And why would the words “dispose of” be included in relation to these “gifts” – possibly of technology? Does this mean that the Board has a carte blanche to destroy confiscated technology? Remembering that the military document on weather control is titled “Owning the Weather by 2025”, (emphasis added) it is implied that no one else will be allowed to own anything that could influence the weather for either military or non-military purposes. We must all be at the “mercy” of the distinctly unmerciful Armed Forces.

According to one website, crediting as its source another site that no longer carries this report, Canada and the U.S. have entered into an agreement to exchange information about these technologies and their transboundary effects. (Ref.) Article IV of this agreement requires both parties to inform the other of weather-control experiments and activities "prior to" the commencement of such activities. However, apparently to cover their backsides, Article VII states:

"Nothing herein relates to or shall be construed to affect the question of responsibility or liability for WEATHER MODIFICATION activities, or to imply the existence of any generally applicable rule of international law. " (Ref.)

Also on the books in Canada is a law concerning public notification of weather-modification activities. Apparently this means that people must submit proposals with full details of what they plan to do, how large an area will be affected, and other details. As worded, the act appears to be designed to allow people in the affected area to be informed and to raise objections if they are negatively affected. An example is the use of a hail cannon, which uses a powerful supersonic shockwave to break up the hail formation process in the clouds. (Ref) Due to the high decibel level, a warning whistle must be sounded in advance of each firing of the cannon so that any people who are nearby can protect their ears.

However, when citizens of Canada have attempted to use this act to obtain information about the weather-modifying activity known as chemtrail spraying, the public disclosure principle does not seem to be applicable. One caller in Ontario ended up talking with a someone in an office in Manitoba who attempted to persuade him that this was only crop-dusting, one of the usual disinformation tactics. Whether or not the information exchange agreement between Canada and the U.S. means that the Canadian government is being informed about this program, the information is not trickling down to the public. The spirit of this act is more honored in the breach than in the observance.

What will happen to this agreement and the information legislation when the new American Weather Authority comes into being? Given all the qualifiers and the national security acts that override all other laws, it doesn’t likely have a future. And if the planned annexation of Canada and Mexico by the U.S. goes ahead, the question will be academic anyway.

A Brief and Partial History of Weather Control

The official recognition given to weather control technology by setting up a Board to oversee it at this time might suggest to some that this technology is a new field, and that the research is just beginning. However, weather control has a long history, and if various observers and researchers are correct in their interpretation of documents and data, we have been seeing it in use for at least three decades.

The ancient way to govern weather was for especially trained and disciplined individuals to interact with the spirit dimension.

"In many cultures, weather-working ability seems to be part and parcel of the shaman's job description and is considered necessary for the survival and well-being of the community. Successful weather-working also demonstrates the shaman's strong relationship with the spirits and the forces of nature. Implicit in these demonstrations is not an opportunity for self-aggrandizement, but ideally, an opportunity to support the community in the certain knowledge that the spirits are really at work and that miracles can indeed be expected! "

The co-authors point out that compassion and relationship were part and parcel of the shaman's weather control. This aspect of supporting the human social fabric is entirely missing from to the weaponized, inhuman imperative to manipulate weather, usually for the domination of one group over against another. (Ref)

Wilhelm Reich – discoverer of an actual, scientifically verifiable "life energy" he named "orgone" – developed a device he called the Cloud-Buster. This consisted of pipes grounded in water, and connected to layers of material from living and inorganic sources which functioned as an orgone accumulator. He was able to use this device to both shut off and bring rain. It was so powerful that it had to be used sparingly and with caution, to avoid creating either drought or flood. Some of Reich’s experiments had remarkable results. In 1954, he brought rain to drought-stricken Tucson. Even before the rain actually arrived, the grass had reached a foot in height due to the enhanced and balanced life energy (orgone). (Ref)

Trevor J. Constable continues in the Reich tradition, but mounts the pipes on aircraft and flies them through the area to be treated. His site describes Operation Clincher, a series of smog-reduction operations conducted in California under the auspices of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. In 2004 Constable authored an article rebutting the heavy-handed conventional ideas for control of hurricanes. He writes:

"Lunatic suggestions to explode atomic bombs against the eye wall of these immense vortexial systems, attest to orthodoxy’s dangerous bankruptcy, and also to orthodoxy’s perpetual readiness to embrace the murderous."

Constable's work, arising directly from that of Reich, draws on life-energy principles, which orthodox mechanistic science still refuses to acknowledge as existing. (Ref.) Since Descartes first dissected living dogs without anaesthetic, ignoring their howls of pain because he had convinced himself that “lower animals” had no conscious awareness, mechanistic scientists have regarded living and dead as being essentially the same.

Even when confronted with evidence, film, time-lapse video, and data, the conventionally-educated scientists and engineers still refuse to accept that the "etheric" technology – based on this life-energy concept – is able to diminish storms, even though it is etheric forces that play a role in creating them, according to Trevor Constable.

"The cardinal technical principle involved in any hurricane control measures, is to use the colossal energies of etheric force in a hurricane, AGAINST THE HURRICANE. A science that thinks an octave too low, with no understanding of what vital energy actually is, cannot access and technologically utilize that force. The chief characteristic of vital energy is that it flows from low potential to high potential – the reverse of conventional, standard concepts of energy potentials."

Constable wrote this in 2004, indicating that with some minor resources provided and "protected status"-- to avoid the fate of his mentor and predecessor Reich who died in prison --

"with a year of such preparatory work, our entire posture vis-à-vis the Florida hurricane season, would be totally transformed from terror to confidence that we were finally doing something meaningful about hurricane diversion and control, instead of just standing in the rain." (Ref.)

Of course he did not receive any permission, recognition, or protection. And as we all know, Florida storms continue unabated – some say, with an extra push from one or another covert secret weather controller with nefarious intentions. (Ref.)

Weather Control As A Weapon

For many, weather control suggests the ability always to have pleasant weather and to avoid serious storms or long droughts. Due to the frequency destructive storms, hurricanes and the consequent floods, or to their total absence and consequent droughts, such people assume that weather control has not been mastered and therefore is not being used. This naive view assumes that weather would always be controlled for the good of humanity.

Human nature seems to dictate otherwise. The discovery of any new power is considered to confer a military advantage, and therefore its very existence is kept secret for as long as possible. While the general public is being told that all phenomena, including some highly anomalous ones inexplicable by natural forces, are "Mother Nature" at work, various military and even private agencies have been flexing their technological muscles and playing havoc with the weather.

Although the American military has actually published a detailed document "Owning the Weather by 2025", many people will simply say "I don't believe it" when confronted with this. Why? They may say because it has not been reported in the mass media, it must not be real. (Some others will say this is a prime indication that it is real, because most of what the mass media publishes is fantasy.) But normally any military power must be kept secret, and the major media outlets are well aware that they must not cross this line or they could be shut down. Freedom of the press is allowable only if "national security" policies are not breached.

Some apologists attempt to argue away the frightening contents of this policy document by focussing on the disclaimer that it represents only possible future scenarios and should not be taken to be factual:

"2025 is a study designed to comply with a directive from the chief of staff of the Air Force to examine the concepts, capabilities, and technologies the United States will require to remain the dominant air and space force in the future. Presented on 17 June 1996, this report was produced in the Department of Defense school environment of academic freedom and in the interest of advancing concepts related to national defense. The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Air Force, Department of Defense, or the United States government. This report contains fictional representations of future situations/scenarios." Emphasis included in original. (Ref.)

But such theoretical reports have a tendency to be implemented behind the scenes, even while being denied in public. In his article The Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction: "Owning the Weather" for Military Use, professor and independent analyst Michel Chossudovsky cites other official documents to arrive at his conclusions that weaponized weather control is already in use. He also explores how public opinion is being misled. At the time this was written, the UN was avoiding dealing with the issue of deliberate human-caused climate change. (Ref.)

More recently, the UN has showed more concern about weather and climate change. In July of 2004, they granted official advisory status to the Planetary Association for Clean Energy (PACE), which served as "NGO in Special Consultative Status with Economic and Social Council of the United Nations". PACE members with scientific expertise have been doing analyses and opinion concerning the overriding nature of the climate-change issue. (Ref.)

Covert Harassment of Humanity?

Evidence from the environment and from independent researchers and analysts suggest that this type of weather control is already being exercised as – in effect – a weapon of mass destruction. Public disclosure occurred at an April 1997 counter-terrorism conference. Secretary of Defense William Cohen stated:

"Others [terrorists] are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves. So there are plenty of ingenious minds out there that are at work finding ways in which they can wreak terror upon other nations and it's real, and that's the reason why we have to intensify our [counterterrorism] efforts." (Ref.)

According to Lt.Col. (Ret'd) Tom Bearden, the Russians developed weather control several decades ago, and have been using it over North America since 1976. Using over-the-horizon (OTH) radar, the beams are transmitted in the 3-30 megaHertz band. His website explores the theory of scalar interferometry, and explains how such beams can be used to direct the weather patterns as well as to transmit disease patterns of interaction to cells of living beings, affecting bio-electrical functioning. (Ref.) No chemicals are necessary to cause disruption of living tissues, if this alarming theory is true.

Bearden also alleges that after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian scientists sold this technology to other hostile elements such as the Yakusa. And Russia continues to operate its “Woodpecker” system. In his view, it is these outside rogue weather controllers working hard to make our lives difficult by causing storms and droughts. However, some of these economically displaced Russian scientists are attempting to benefit humanity and agriculture. One group ended up in Mexico, where they have built an effective rainmaking system that has gained the blessing of that country. Mexico plans to have 19 more of these rainmaking stations installed in the dry north by 2006. (Ref.)

HAARP: Pure Research or Active Manipulation?

Ostensibly, HAARP — the High-Altitude Active Auroral Research Program – is a research station, gathering data about the atmosphere and “radio propagation conditions”, presumably for the benefit of scientists in general as well as for civilian and military communications. Their public website states that they are “monitoring and archiving the naturally occurring variations that take place in response to the sun's day-to-day and long term variability.” This phrase “in response to” implies that this is passive research. Continually-updated, colorful charts are available online (Ref.) for each type of instrument, ranging from magnetometer readings to spectrum monitors and total electron content.

However, there seems to be much more going on behind this public face. Weather-control patents have been issued for several decades. Patent No. 3564253 is summarized as: "A system and method for generalized irradiation of relatively large surface areas of a planet, such as the earth, the moon, etc. for illumination, heating, weather control, etc., employing one or more planet-orbiting self-erecting planar-reflector satellites controlled in attitude and orbit position to reflect energy from the sun to a desired area on the planet's surface." (Ref.) Although this patent called for a satellite, HAARP ground installations are capable of directing energy to any spot on the planet, as is the Russian system.

That “Woodpecker” system uses the 10 Hz frequency, which by coincidence or otherwise is the frequency at which the human brain operates when in “alpha” rhythm (made famous by the “Silva Method of Mind Control”). This mental state fosters active imagination, and if the user learns to work with guided imagery, he or she can achieve some interesting effects both in personal health and also in influencing others’ moods and behavior. Some believe that it’s also possible for human thoughts and empowered wishes to influence even the air, water and earth. Why not? If 10 Hz/alpha is the same frequency that HAARP and Russian weather-control systems are using, perhaps we humans need not think of ourselves as victims of any weather-weaponry systems. Maybe we should all try sending out our positive thoughts for equalization of rainfall, for the health of the planet and for the integrity of its vital envelope of ozone.

Looking for Evidence from Meteorology

One of the primary indications of manipulated weather is the anomalous blocking high, a “ridge” in the jetstream that stays locked in one place for months instead of moving around in its normal fashion. These stationary high-pressure areas tend to occur just off the coastline, and are noted for preventing rain systems that would normally come inland from bringing much-needed moisture.

Typically, the weather reporters on TV refer to this as “Mother Nature” being contrary, but it’s neither maternal nor natural for the jetstream to lock in place like this, guiding all rain to be dumped uselessly over the ocean instead of onto land. Such a stationary high persisted over British Columbia for several months in 2003 and 2004, drying out the coastal rainforest as well as the interior to the point of creating two of the worst forest-fire seasons known. Why on earth, you might well ask, would anyone want to burn up the forests of B.C.? In reply one can only ask another question: “Who would benefit from doing this?” Would it have anything to do with the “softwood lumber” dispute between Canada and the United States? American lumber businesses don’t want competition and have vigorously opposed imports from the north. Despite the “free trade” deal between the two countries, the American lumber industry succeeded in having an exorbitant tariff charged against Canadian wood products.

Tom Bearden’s website presents numerous photographic evidence of cloud and weather patterns apparently being controlled by non-natural means. Grids, radials and other peculiar structures do not seem to be created by winds. (Ref.) While admitting that in a few cases it might be possible for natural forces to form unusual shapes, he believes overall, there are too many such occurrences to be accounted for by unassisted nature.

Meteorologist Scott Stevens has also gathered examples of cloud anomalies that do not have a natural explanation. (Ref.) His examples of clouds being directed by a scalar grid include both photographs from the ground, and wide-image satellite cloud formations showing where the clouds are adhering to square grid lines.

The author of this essay has also observed anomalous cloud forms that are impossible to explain based on wind direction, such as a square configuration, with one bar of cloud lying at right angles to the next, covering an area too wide to capture in a photograph (unless one had a panoramic or video camera). Further, just in watching the weather channel one sees anomalies, which the anchor person does not notice, or to which he or she does not want to draw attention.

One example was the so-called "Pineapple Express", which for a few weeks early in 2004 was bringing what the on-air personalities described as "regular pulses" of rain across the Pacific to British Columbia. This kind of description ought to be a red flag. When does nature produce "regular pulses", and how would natural forces explain the neat arc shapes of those cloud pattern crossing the ocean, each equidistant from the next? They looked exactly like those diagrams of how broadcast radio waves expand outward from a central point, the transmitter, like rings of ripples from tossing a stone into a pond. These cloud arcs suggested that a synthetic but benevolent weather-making system of some kind must have been operating in Hawaii. The Pineapple Express stopped running when the blocking high moved in that spring.

News Blackouts Feed Public Frustration

Numerous individuals and “indy-media” web publishers are observing anomalies in the sky and in weather patterns, and publishing their concerns. These articles and image banks express a wide range of manner from the careful, sober analysis and data collection, including documenting the existence of patents and other material evidence (Refs) to equally thorough documentation but sensationalistic and attention-grabbing in tone. (Ref.)

The edge of emotional indignation and sometimes active fear-mongering may be simply an "equal and opposite" reaction to the dead-eyed stonewalling of the major media outlets. Occasionally a snippet leaks through, and the gap is firmly closed. Hearing a radio report of anomalous surface heating of the sub-arctic ocean in November two years ago, I promptly wrote to the broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, to ask for further details and analysis. I specified that we should find out whether this was an accidental or deliberate effect. However, I never got a reply, and the story was not either repeated or followed up. Apparently even the public broadcaster does not have the right to give out this kind of information.

It is not that these independent investigators are all inherently wild-eyed fanatics or crazy "conspiracy theorists", but frustration builds up in the absence of trustworthy information when people can see something happening and know that we are not being told the truth about what it is or why it is being done. Whatever the tone, all agree that something is going on, and it does not appear to be beneficial to humanity. Where do we go from here? Unless we learn, en masse, to use our innate human abilities to, in effect, return to the most ancient way and compassionately balance our environment through mental/spiritual means, there will be no place to hide from the storms and droughts to come.

Post Scriptum (Sept. 27, 2005)

To the extent that the ocean warming and the increased violence of the hurricanes is caused by direct and deliberate targeting by HAARP and/or some other similar powerful world-scale technology, that is the extent to which we are under attack from agencies that can only be called "weather terrorists" -- because they operate in secret in an undeclared war on humanity. And that is the extent to which we must resist that unnatural dimension of the weather.

It is equally important to seek to expose these hidden agencies and their purposes, sources of funding, supporters, and last but not least their minions and mouthpieces holding public office. For this reason I feel that we have to be suspicious about the reason anyone would have to suppress this information, and to expect us to bow to the self-appointed weather gods wielding their technology in secret.

Why should we accept being told not to take notice of or to question anomalies in the weather, much less try to mitigate these crimes against humanity and nature? Yes, storms are generated by natural forces and are part of the planet’s self-balancing dynamics. But there is an added dimension in these new storms.

I believe human beings must exercise our human right to lessen the destructive power of these extreme, weaponized storms -- down to the level nature would be using to accomplish purposes of balancing the environment. I affirm that this right is "inherent" and "inalienable" by virtue of our being alive. Life doesn’t lie down and give up, or humanity would have vanished long ago. Life seeks to continue and to defend itself.

Therefore, any simple method of directing heart-energy in co-operation with the Loving Creator (ref.), or directing “orgone” or life energy, or employing radionics for benevolent purposes is totally legitimate, and we must defend the rights of all who do so.

Taking away weather-mitigation concepts, beliefs and technologies from ordinary citizens is the same thing as taking away legally-owned guns. It leaves the people defenceless and completely under the heel of this weaponized weather-control/mind-control/total domination system. Pretty much in the same position of the citizens of New Orleans, who found themselves suddenly homeless, without food or shelter, and being treated as criminals even when they were not offering resistance. That's the position into which we may all be put, if this agenda goes ahead as it has begun.

The propaganda machine puts forward the loss of freedom as inevitable due to these alleged "natural" effects of "global warming". An article in the weekend newspapers owned by the right-wing CanWest Global chain in Canada argues for the weather war. It states: “A Pentagon report, written well in advance of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, says weather catastrophes will create a new world order.” (Ref.) This was hardly a “prophecy being fulfilled” if it was a military plan based on secret war technology. The appearance of this major feature article on the day that Rita was expected to have devastated Houston is a dead give-away that weather manipulation is being used to achieve political and financial goals, circumventing all laws and constitutions.

We can't sit on the fence. We have to make a choice: either condone this or reject it, based on as much information as can be gathered.

In my view, the only ILLEGITIMATE use of weather control is this "force multiplier" concept: to cause droughts, floods, famine and enslavement of whole populations. Unlike farmers and small operators, this is not done for altruistic or benevolent reasons: multiplying force in this way enables a few wealthy companies and individuals to profit from expropriation and even genocide while blaming it on "the weather" and getting off scot-free.

As long as Weather Control is kept secret, it can and will be used for nefarious purposes, Bringing it into the public eye is the first step toward accountability, and toward ensuring that weather is controlled for beneficial purposes, to balance the needs of humanity and the planet.

So, while working toward public accountability for all weather-management activity, pray earnestly to God, use your radionics, or your orgone-generator, or even just your alpha-rhythm and imagination. Let's mitigate all these super-storms.

# # #


Fred McKenna, not his real name, has many years of experience with weather modification, working mostly for and with farmers. The official wording of the act to create this weather-control authority. ,
Wording of Canada-U.S. Agreement on Weather Modification.
This Toronto-based site includes an introduction to the topic.

The Weather Modification Information Act:
The various websites featuring this act have a disclaimer: “These documents are not the official versions.” Even clicking on Environment Canada’s link takes one back to these “unofficial” versions. It makes one wonder how seriously this legislation is being taken.
Normally “right to farm” legislation is considered to deal with issues such as the smell of manure, but this technology brings noise issues to the forefront.
Shamanism and the Spirits of Weather, by Nan Moss and David Corbin.
Reich’s work was suppressed, even to the extent of burning his books, a blot on the history of a supposedly free society.
Click on links for “Clincher” and "Hurricane Control" in the sidebar; the URL does not change for these articles.
A believer in esoteric philosophy, this author has an unusual insight into possibly dynamics leading to Katrina’s apparent targeting of oil rigs. Promotes orthodox view, denies all evidence and allegations to the contrary, employing standard memes.
"Owning the Weather" for Military Use

The Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction: "Owning the Weather" for Military Use

Washington's New World Order Weapons Have the Ability to Trigger Climate Change, Third World Resurgence, January 2001,

PACE as consultants to the U.N.:
"Over the next decades, the instability of the planetary environment will be of greater concern than wars, threats of war and terrorism.
"The ways of handling these perturbations, however, requires more ingenuity than what has been attempted to date. Our international collaborative network of advanced scientific thinking aims to be part of the remedy."
-- Dr. A. Michrowski, PhD, in private email 12 August 2004

Many pages from Bearden’s book Fer de Lance are online, giving overview of cold-war technologies.
Russian Scientists create successful rain technology in Mexico. The public face of HAARP: innocent data collection

Observational data about HAARP substations and weather manipulation
Sober accumulation of evidence and argument by Dr. Nick Begich,

See Bearden’ index of cloud photographs that appear to indicate scalar engineering, at The meteorologist’s professional eye picks out the grid lines in satellite photos as well: Several of the weather patents are numbered and described on this site. reports analysis of samples collected. The history of weather engineering. Frequent use of exclamation points indicates that the writer is very concerned about the significance of these collected data.
This site has as its thesis the “New World Order” which is said to be taking control of the world and to be ready to overturn or enslave all existing governments and peoples. Weather anomalies causing social and economic devastation are said to be evidence of world-takeover policies being covertly implemented.

Ephesians 3:20. God as a loving Father knows our needs, and can do “infinitely more than we can ask or imagine” -- as Saint Paul affirms. It is totally legitimate -- perhaps the most legitimate human recourse of all -- to cry out to God our Creator, repent of the abuses we may have committed that got us into this mess, and ask Him to intervene on our behalf.

“The Climate Revolution” by Donna Jacobs. The Ottawa Citizen, Saturday Observer section, Saturday September 24, 2005. Page B2.

Still More References

(Added from email by Mary-Sue, Sept. 25, 2005)

1. < >
This site includes content from a network of independent data collectors who have recently found "smoking guns" in the radar images captured from official sources and from televised weather reports that strongly indicate use of advanced scalar technology. Most of these images are rapidly purged from official sources, but have been archived and are (at least up until this moment) visible at the above site.

Two major revelations:

(a) a radar signature, impossible to explain with Newtonian physics, preceded arrival of Katrina and may have drawn the storm to New Orleans as to a target.

(b) a radar oddity, as if of a "fence" set up between Rita which was tracking toward Houston, apparently deflected the storm northward.

There is of course no way to determine who was actively manipulating the weather in either incident, but apparently some agency was using advanced, possibly a hyper-dimensional weather-control method.

Some additional background:
2. This site has data for tracking current storms:
< >

3. This one has archives of previous storms going back over many years, with the ability to generate an animated storm track from the archived data using Java: <> E.g. Select 2004, and enter "Hurricane Ivan" in the search bar and watch what that one does.

4. And not least, based on the concept that human beings can actively intervene with our psychic/spiritual innate abilities given by God, this site urges action:
< >,
with a corollary at:
< >

More Documentation

Captain May's "Battle of New Orleans page, just for the record:

He states: "The fact that the National Guard now bars entry (by journalists) to
the very places where people last week were barred from LEAVING (The
Convention Center and Superdome) is a kind of perverse and perfectly
backward postscript to this awful chapter in American history."

Further links from Captain May:
Medical Worker said that by Sept. 6, 43,000 body bags had been used in New Orleans alone (not all of them for single bodies)

Pathologist involved in body ID-ing forbidden to talk about body count - Low-tech rainfall-normalization device reveals microwave rain-inhibition grid in the sky.

May 29, 2006 Update

Under the rubric of the "weather control bill", NBC has brought in the first mainstream-media coverage of the illegal high-altitude spraying of unknown substances - known as 'chemtrails' - being done by large, white military aircraft since the mid 1990s:
(This is a big ".wmv" file of 13,022KB - best handled by high-speed service.) (NBC4; Los Angeles; May 3, 2006)

An update at the Holmes website brings forward some more background about, and an article by, Rosalind Peterson (who is interviewed briefly in the above NBC video clip):

Brian Holmes is also featuring an update on the current confusion about the timing of this new legislation. Although announced originally as coming into effect by October of last year, Bill S.517 -- still appearing on <> under the title of the "Weather Modification Research and Technology Transfer Authorization Act of 2005" -- has still not actually been voted into law.

Whether the funding was already allocated is difficult to find out, since funding can be channeled through different agencies, such as DOE, EPA, NASA, etc.. The source who supplied this report indicates that even if implementation is delayed, it would likely be made retroactive to the original planned date, and provides the following link for tracking progress of American government legislation that is in the works:

See also

Weather Modification - index at
Marketing Social Darwinism: Emergency Services by Mary-Sue Haliburton
Media silence concerning the extent of damage and number of deaths allows expropriation and displacement of the poor. This is being sold to the public as the way that a free and responsible society would act. Meanwhile, executive orders have created a monster that allows everything to be confiscated, and citizens converted to slave gangs. (Sept. 9, 2005)
PESN (Pure Energy Systems News) - feature stories - daily news
This Week in Free Energy™ - Weekly five minute blurb.
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Richard Burgeson


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I'm all setup for them PostTue Aug 28, 2007 8:25 pm  Reply with quote  

I don't have anything worth taking. I've spent the last 2 decades making sure of it. In 94 I quit work and signed up for SSD, of course I didn't get it. They called me a faker and so on, I couldn't get a diagnosis. To appeal the SSD the secound line says state what's wrong with you. Well they had me there, I had to spend every last dollar of retirement money on medical bills before I could gret a medical card. I did exactly that. It took 9 years to be diagnosed, I had an artery completely blocked off next to the heart. So all they had to say is sorry you can't do anything, statute of limitations. Some of the stupid crap they did to me like social anxiety disorder. (which is a invented disease to sell medicine) I got some of my short term memory back and I don't fall down anymore after surgery. Odd how most of the scarring I got from falling was on the right side. Now a man that hadn't missed a day of work in years and worked 60 to 72 hours a week fell (through the cracks), how do you suppose that happened? SSI and SSD is a scam, noone has been able to prove it otherwise to me, so don't be shocked if it's not there for you. If I have it figured correctly the house I live in will cost twice as much for them to tear down as it is worth. Good luck to them. My children are grown a small trailer at the Starlight trailer court (Movie called The Last Starfighter) or dig myself a cave is all I need. If they want my house payments they had better leave me alone. I just will not play their game.

Don't feel sorry for me I'm not whining just explaining and I still have a purpose in life. I now dedicate my time to trying to stop the money grubbing bankers from stealing the country from our children. It's there birthright, heritage and rightful inheritance. The government puppets can stuff the Amero right up alongside the ID chip, were the sun don't shine.
Maybe it's time for the people to print there own money and tell the government to go to hell. It's my personal interest that the country isn't handed to a bunch of illegal wetbacks which is what the government is intent on doing, and you have to ask yourself why?
Thomas Jefferson. " Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who don't."
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Sore Throat

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Agreement on the US Medical System PostWed Aug 29, 2007 4:52 am  Reply with quote  

Give Em' Hell Richard!
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Sore Throat

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Giant Ocean Tubes Proposed as Global Warming Fix PostThu Sep 27, 2007 5:45 am  Reply with quote

Giant Ocean Tubes Proposed as Global Warming Fix

Kate Ravilious
for National Geographic News

Imagine an ocean full of giant pipes that pump up cold, nutrient-rich water from deep below, encouraging surface algae to bloom and suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

That's the controversial new vision of James Lovelock, the independent British scientist best known for proposing the Gaia hypothesis, and Chris Rapley, a space physicist and director of London's Science Museum.

The pair claims that such climate engineering solutions may be the only way to hold global warming at bay given its current progress. (See a global warming interactive.)

"Global warming appears to be an irreversible process, and if we don't do anything then the world will just heat up to a stable, hot state," Lovelock said. "The stakes are now so high that we have to act."

But other experts are skeptical, pointing out that the scheme could release more carbon than it absorbs while putting fragile marine life in danger. (Related: "Plan to Dump Iron in Ocean as Climate Fix Attracts Debate" [July 25, 2007].)


Lovelock and Rapley say their proposal is the oceanic equivalent of planting trees. But with more than two-thirds of Earth covered in ocean, the plan could be applied on a much grander scale.

The pair's preliminary calculations indicate that an array of between 10,000 and 100,000 pipes would be required, with each pipe around 33 feet (10 meters) wide and 330 feet (100 meters) long.

Wave energy would make the pipes bob up and down. One-way valves inside the pipes would then force water to circulate, bringing nutrient-rich water up to the surface.

"This would stimulate algal growth and help to draw down carbon dioxide," Lovelock said.

A further benefit from the increased algal blooms is that they would produce dimethyl sulfide, a chemical that helps sunlight-reflecting clouds to form, the scientists say.

The idea is outlined in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

"In principle this idea should work, and it should definitely be examined further," said John Latham, an atmospheric scientist at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, who is also developing engineering solutions to mitigate climate change.

Preliminary laboratory tests using cylindrical pipes in a tank of water have shown that the concept has potential, at least on a small scale, Lovelock and Rapley point out.

Making the Problem Worse?

But there are a number of issues with such a proposal, other researchers say.

"Pumping deep water to the surface not only pumps nutrients up, but also carbon dioxide," said Penny Chisholm, an environmental engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

Initially the deep waters might "exhale" carbon dioxide into atmosphere, adding to the global warming problem.

"Only after the outgassing is complete will the surface ocean start to take up carbon dioxide, and it is unclear whether there will actually be a net transfer of carbon dioxide to the deep ocean," said Eric Achterberg, an oceanographer at the University of Southampton in England.

Another concern is that meddling with oceanic water circulation might be damaging to ocean life.

"If done on a large enough scale then problems with oxygen depletion could occur in subsurface waters, which would probably have knock-on effects for ecosystems," said Toby Tyrrell, an ocean ecology expert at the University of Southampton.

Time to Test

Lovelock and Rapley acknowledge that there could be problems but still think that the idea deserves to be tested.

The problem of global warming is so serious, they say, that we may have to resort to climate-engineering solutions and accept some of the unwanted consequences.

"Even if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide tomorrow we are still committed to significant temperature rise," Rapley said.

"We don't think that scrubbing carbon dioxide out of chimneys and driving energy efficient cars will be sufficient. We need to draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere too."

The pair is already working with an anonymous sponsor on building an oceanic prototype.

"We can do a small-scale trial and discover any problems, giving us opportunity to back off if need be," Rapley said.

If all goes well the scientists envision situating their pipes in areas where they would have a dual purpose, such as the Gulf of Mexico and the Coral Sea off northeast Australia.

Cooler surface waters in such locations could help take the oomph out of Atlantic hurricanes and revitalize coral in the Great Barrier Reef.

Cleansing Earth

The new proposal ties back to Lovelock's best-known work, the Gaia hypothesis.

In the 1960s Lovelock formulated the idea that Earth functions like a living organism, with both living and nonliving parts interacting to regulate the planet's environment. (Related: "New Technologies Emerge in Search for Alien Life" [February 7, 2003].)

Lovelock and Rapley see today's global warming as a disease of Earth caused by human actions.

"Our idea is to stimulate the Earth's immune system," Rapley said, "and help it to cure itself of its current infection."
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Sore Throat

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Could Iron Fertilization Of Oceans Combat Global Warming? PostThu Sep 27, 2007 5:51 am  Reply with quote

Could Iron Fertilization Of Oceans Combat Global Warming?

Researchers will consider whether iron fertilization can allow the ocean to absorb more carbon dioxide while remaining healthy (left), or if the addition of iron will give no net benefit while promoting other problems in the ocean (right). (Credit: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Science Daily — Several times over the past century, scientists and environmental engineers have proposed spreading slurries of dissolved iron into the oceans in order to “fertilize” the waters and promote vast blooms of marine plants (phytoplankton). Phytoplankton consume carbon dioxide as they grow, and this growth can be stimulated in certain ocean basins by the addition of iron, a necessary micronutrient.

Though common on land, dissolved iron is often rare in the ocean. Some researchers and commercial interests have recently proposed to provide that missing nutrient on a large scale in order to create artificial blooms. Theory holds that if you make such blooms large enough, you could remove excess carbon dioxide from Earth’s atmosphere and carry it down into the deep ocean as organic matter (such as fecal pellets and dead plankton) sinks, thereby reducing the impact of greenhouse gases and global warming.

On September 26-27, scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will host an international, interdisciplinary conference on the proposed “iron fertilization” of the ocean as a means to combat rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

“There are many critical questions that require both better scientific understanding and an improved legal, economic, and political framework before iron fertilization can be considered either effective or appropriate,” said Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist in WHOI’s Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department and a participant in two iron fertilization experiments at sea. “The time is right to bring scientists, policymakers, and commercial interests together to inform each other and the public.”

Scientists took a serious interest in the idea in the late 1980s after oceanographer John Martin famously told colleagues: “Give me half a tanker of iron and I’ll give you the next ice age.” Iron fertilization has since been tested in at least a dozen experiments around the world.

The results have varied, but in general, iron fertilizers have been shown to promote plant growth in surface waters. However, many researchers remain skeptical about whether the process removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for the long term or just for a fleeting time. Ecological impacts from long-term, large-scale fertilization are also a concern.

The purpose of the Woods Hole conference is to bring researchers, policymakers, industrial interests, regulators, and environmentalists together to share their scientific observations and discuss the range of issues involved in altering the chemistry of the ocean. It is not intended as forum or referendum for specific projects and ventures.

In 20 hours of formal presentations and panel discussions over two days, participants will discuss:

Efficacy: Can iron fertilization work?

Research: What do we already know, and what could future studies, models, and experiments tell us?

Consequence: What will be the intended and unintended impacts?

Policy: What are the economic, social, and regulatory considerations?

The symposium—“Exploring Ocean Iron Fertilization: The Scientific, Economic, Legal, and Political Basis”-- is being hosted by Buesseler, Scott Doney, a senior scientist in the WHOI Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department, and Hauke Kite-Powell, a research specialist in the WHOI Marine Policy Center.
Support for the iron fertilization conference was provided by the Elisabeth and Henry Morss Jr. Colloquia Fund, the Cooperative Institute for Climate Research, the WHOI Marine Policy Center, the Ocean and Climate Change Institute, the Ocean Life Institute, and Woods Hole Sea Grant.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
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Sore Throat

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Pumping Particles Into the Atmosphere: A Global Warming Doom PostTue Oct 09, 2007 11:53 pm  Reply with quote

Pumping Particles Into the Atmosphere: A Global Warming Doomsday Device?

By Brandon Keim

In our last post, we discussed why cooling the planet with sun-blocking atmospheric particles wouldn't do much good if an excess of carbon dioxide still turned the oceans to acid.

"Fine," I hear you saying. "How about we use the particles and cut back on the gases? Maybe the particles will buy us the time we need to that." It sounds pretty good -- and, according to Ken Caldeira, it'd be relatively easy to do:

The amount of material that Mount Pinatubo put up into the stratosphere would be enough, if sustained in the stratosphere, to compensate for a quadrupling of CO2. It's twice as much as needed to compensate for doubling.... The flow rate that you'd have to introduce particles into the stratosphere would be on the order of 25 liters per second, which could be sustained by a single firehose. Essentially a single hose or pair of hoses, suspended by balloons, repeated by pumps, would be enough to reverse the globally averaged effects of global warming.

Why not do it, then? Well, in part because a lot of research is still needed to make sure there aren't any unintended and catastrophic consequences. (As in, "Sorry about that, India! My bad," or "Hmm, I wonder why all the plants are so brown and sickly these days?")

But let's assume we get those kinks worked out -- after all, the world didn't go to hell in a handbasket after Mount Pinatubo exploded. (Or, at least, it didn't go to hell because Mount Pinatubo exploded. 1991 sure looks nice these days, don't it?) In that case, the danger is likely to come from prematurely stopping the particle-seeding project.

Even if the world, particularly the United States and China and assorted developing countries, get very serious very quickly about cutting their greenhouse gas emissions, it's going to take decades to reach a sustainable level. The CO2 we've already released is going to stick around in the atmosphere for centuries after that. And if the particle hose doesn't stay running, says Caldeira, the warming effects of that CO2 are going to be felt. Fast. He calls it the "backlash effect."

Over the decade after you stopped, you could experience climate change 20 times more rapid than what we are experiencing now. This is, in general, an area of concern. When we drive our cars today, one-quarter of that CO2 will be in the atmopshere 1000 years from now. If you're saying that you're going to negate the climate effects of your automobile driving by geoengineering, you're committing people 1000 years from now to throwing particles into the stratosphere.

So is that reason to abandon such plans altogether? Well, that's up to you to decide. Personally, I'm pretty creeped out by the thought of humanity's fate hinging on the maintenance of a few pipes is pretty scary. (He who controls the pipe ... controls the world! And talk about a target for terrorists.) But there does seem to be good reason to insist that these plans not be carried out by whoever has the money and inclination to do so. Would you really trust, say, Microsoft to keep something running for a thousand years? Or some startup carbon offset company? Or the government of Cyprus? Or even the United States? Ultimately, these need to be global decisions.
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Sore Throat

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How to Cool the Globe PostMon Oct 29, 2007 4:27 am  Reply with quote

How to Cool the Globe

Published: October 24, 2007

DESPITE growing interest in clean energy technology, it looks as if we are not going to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide anytime soon. The amount in the atmosphere today exceeds the most pessimistic forecasts made just a few years ago, and it is increasing faster than anybody had foreseen.

Even if we could stop adding to greenhouse gases tomorrow, the earth would continue warming for decades — and remain hot for centuries. We would still face the threat of water from melting glaciers lapping at our doorsteps.

What can be done? One idea is to counteract warming by tossing small particles into the stratosphere (above where jets fly). This strategy may sound far-fetched, but it has the potential to cool the earth within months.

Mount Pinatubo, a volcano in the Philippines that erupted in 1991, showed how it works. The eruption resulted in sulfate particles in the stratosphere that reflected the sun’s rays back to space, and as a consequence the earth briefly cooled.

If we could pour a five-gallon bucket’s worth of sulfate particles per second into the stratosphere, it might be enough to keep the earth from warming for 50 years. Tossing twice as much up there could protect us into the next century.

A 1992 report from the National Academy of Sciences suggests that naval artillery, rockets and aircraft exhaust could all be used to send the particles up. The least expensive option might be to use a fire hose suspended from a series of balloons. Scientists have yet to analyze the engineering involved, but the hurdles appear surmountable.

Seeding the stratosphere might not work perfectly. But it would be cheap and easy enough and is worth investigating.

This is not to say that we should give up trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ninety-nine percent of the $3 billion federal Climate Change Technology Program should still go toward developing climate-friendly energy systems. But 1 percent of that money could be put toward working out geoengineered climate fixes like sulfate particles in the atmosphere, and developing the understanding we need to ensure that they wouldn’t just make matters worse.

Think of it as an insurance policy, a backup plan for climate change.

Which is the more environmentally sensitive thing to do: let the Greenland ice sheet collapse and polar bears become extinct, or throw a little sulfate in the stratosphere? The second option is at least worth looking into.

Ken Caldeira is a scientist at the Carnegie Institution’s department of global ecology.

Last edited by Sore Throat on Mon May 19, 2008 6:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sore Throat

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Engineered Weathering Process Could Mitigate Global Warming PostWed Nov 14, 2007 12:53 am  Reply with quote

Engineered Weathering Process Could Mitigate Global Warming

11/13/2007 Cambridge, MA -- Researchers at Harvard University and Pennsylvania State University have invented a technology, inspired by nature, to reduce the accumulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) caused by human emissions.

By electrochemically removing hydrochloric acid from the ocean and then neutralizing the acid by reaction with silicate (volcanic) rocks, the researchers say they can accelerate natural chemical weathering, permanently transferring CO2 from the atmosphere to the ocean. Unlike other ocean sequestration processes, the new technology does not further acidify the ocean and may be beneficial to coral reefs.

The innovative approach to tackling climate change is reported in the Nov. 7 issue of the journal Environmental Science and Technology by Kurt Zenz House, a Ph.D. candidate in Harvard's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences; Christopher H. House, associate professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University; Daniel P. Schrag, professor of earth and planetary sciences in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences, professor of environmental science and engineering in Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment; and Michael J. Aziz, Gordon McKay Professor of Materials Science in Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

"The technology involves selectively removing acid from the ocean in a way that might enable us to turn back the clock on global warming -- removing CO2 directly from the atmosphere while simultaneously limiting the rate at which man-made CO2 emissions are acidifying the ocean,"Kurt Zenz House says. "Essentially, our technology dramatically accelerates a cleaning process that Nature herself uses for greenhouse gas accumulation."

In natural silicate weathering, atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolves into fresh water, forming a weak carbonic acid. This acid is neutralized as rain water percolates through continental rocks, producing an alkaline solution of carbonate salts. The dissolution products eventually flow into the ocean, where the added alkalinity enables the ocean to hold the dissolved carbon instead of releasing it into the atmosphere. As weathering dissolves more continental rock, more carbon is permanently transferred from the atmosphere to the ocean and ultimately to the sediments.

"In the engineered weathering process we have found a way to swap the weak carbonic acid with a much stronger one (hydrochloric acid) and thus accelerate the pace to industrial rates," Kurt Zenz House says. "To minimize the potential for adverse side effects on the environment we combine it with other chemical processes, the net result of which is identical to the natural weathering process. As a result, the ocean's alkalinity would increase, enabling the uptake and storage of more atmospheric CO2 in the form of bicarbonate, the most plentiful and innocuous form of carbon already dissolved in the earth's waters. That means we may be able to safely and permanently remove excess CO2 in a matter of decades rather than millennia."

Unlike other climate engineering schemes that propose reflecting sunlight back into space to cool the planet, the weathering approach counteracts the continued ocean acidification that threatens coral reefs and their rich biological communities. Moreover, the process works equally well on all sources of CO2, including the two-thirds of human emissions that do not emanate from power plants, and could be run in remote locations and powered by stranded energy, such as geothermal and flared natural gas.

The team cautions, however, that while they believe their scheme for reducing global warming is achievable, implementation would be ambitious, costly, and would carry some environmental risks that require further study. Replicating natural weathering would involve building dozens of facilities, akin to large chlorine gas industrial plants, on coasts of volcanic rock.

"The least risky trajectory is to significantly cut our carbon dioxide emissions -- but we may not be able to cut them rapidly enough to avoid unacceptable levels of climate change," says Aziz. "If it looks like we're not going to make it, the 'House Process' has the potential to let us rescind a portion of those emissions while mitigating some of the chemical impacts the excess CO2 will have on the oceans. It won't be ready in time, though, if we wait until we're sure we'll need it before pursuing R&D on the technical and environmental issues involved."

SOURCE: Harvard University
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Sore Throat

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sing chemicals to cut global warming may damage ozone layer PostTue May 13, 2008 2:24 am  Reply with quote

Using chemicals to cut global warming may damage ozone layer

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID – 5 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The rule of unintended consequences threatens to strike again. Some researchers have suggested that injecting sulfur compounds into the atmosphere might help ease global warming by increasing clouds and haze that would reflect sunlight.

After all, they reason, when volcanoes spew lots of sulfur, months or more of cooling often follows.

But a new study warns that injecting enough sulfur to reduce warming would wipe out the Arctic ozone layer and delay recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole by as much as 70 years.

"Our research indicates that trying to artificially cool off the planet could have perilous side effects," said Simone Tilmes of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.

"While climate change is a major threat, more research is required before society attempts global geoengineering solutions," said Tilmes, lead author of a paper appearing in Thursday's online edition of the journal Science.

And while one study worries that fixing climate will destroy ozone, another raises the possibility that recovery of the ozone hole over Antarctica will worsen warming in that region.

A full recovery of the ozone hole could modify climate in the Southern Hemisphere and even amplify Antarctic warming, scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA report in a paper scheduled for Geophysical Research Letters.

Although temperatures have been rising worldwide, there has been cooling in the interior of Antarctica in summer, which researchers attribute to the depletion of ozone overhead.

"If the successful control of ozone-depleting substances allows for a full recovery of the ozone hole over Antarctica, we may finally see the interior of Antarctica begin to warm with the rest of the world," said Judith Perlwitz of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, a joint institute of CU-Boulder and NOAA.

The authors used a NASA supercomputer to model interactions between the climate and stratospheric ozone chemistry. A return to pre-1969 ozone levels would mean atmospheric circulation patterns now shielding the Antarctic interior from warmer air to the north will begin to break down during the summer, they concluded.

The idea of reversing global warming by injecting sulfates into the air was suggested by eruptions such as the 1991 blast by Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, which produced a brief cooling.

The massive 1815 eruption of Tambora in what is now Indonesia produced such a strong cooling that 1816 became known as the "year without a summer" in New England, where snow fell in every month of the year.

But Tilmes knew that volcanic eruptions also temporarily thin the ozone layer, which protects people, plants and animals from the most dangerous ultraviolet rays from the sun.

So she and colleagues calculated the effect of suggested sulfate injections and concluded that the result, over the next few decades, would be to destroy between one-fourth to three-fourths of the ozone layer above the Arctic. This would affect a large part of the Northern Hemisphere because of atmospheric circulation patterns.

The sulfates would also delay the expected recovery of the ozone hole over the Antarctic by about 30 to 70 years, or until at least the last decade of this century, they said.

The research was supported by the United Kingdom Meteorological Office, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and NASA.

The study comes just a day after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that despite efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, the rate of increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is accelerating.

Concern has grown in recent years about such gases, with most atmospheric scientists concerned that the accumulation is causing increases in the earth's temperature, potentially disrupting climate and changing patterns of rainfall, drought and other storms.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has worked to detail the scientific bases of this problem and the Kyoto agreement sought to encourage countries to take steps to reduce their greenhouse emissions. Some countries, particularly in Europe, have taken steps to reduce emissions.

But carbon dioxide emissions, primarily from burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas have continued to increase. Since 2000, annual increases of two parts per million or more have been common, compared with 1.5 ppm per year in the 1980s and less than one ppm per year during the 1960s, NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory said. Last year the increase was 2.4 parts per million.

Meanwhile, in a separate paper in Science, researchers said human activities are at least partly responsible for the Arctic having become a wetter place over the last half century.

Seung-Ki Min of Environment Canada, and colleagues, studied rain and snowfall patterns in the arctic and the factors affecting them.

They concluded that human-induced greenhouse gases have contributed to the increased precipitation rates observed in the Arctic region over the past 60 years.

They warned that this "Arctic moistening" could occur more quickly than current climate simulations indicate.

Their work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Canadian International Polar Year Program.

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Sore Throat

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Radical climate action would change sky's colour PostMon May 19, 2008 5:45 pm  Reply with quote

Radical climate action would change sky's colour: Flannery

May 19, 2008 - 7:06PM

Scientist Tim Flannery has proposed a radical solution to climate change which may change the colour of the sky.

But he says it may be necessary, as the "last barrier to climate collapse."

Professor Flannery says climate change is happening so quickly that mankind may need to pump sulphur into the atmosphere to survive.

Australia's best-known expert on global warming has updated his climate forecast for the world - and it's much worse than he thought just three years ago.

He has called for a radical suite of emergency measures to be put in place.

The gas sulphur could be inserted into the earth's stratosphere to keep out the sun's rays and slow global warming, a process called global dimming.

"It would change the colour of the sky," Prof Flannery told AAP.

"It's the last resort that we have, it's the last barrier to a climate collapse."

"We need to be ready to start doing it in perhaps five years time if we fail to achieve what we're trying to achieve."

Prof Flannery, the 2007 Australian of the Year, said the sulphur could be dispersed above the earth's surface by adding it to jet fuel.

He conceded there were risks to global dimming via sulphur.

"The consequences of doing that are unknown."

Professor Flannery, who spoke at a business and sustainability conference in Parliament House today, said new science showed the world was much more susceptible to greenhouse gas emissions that had been thought eight years ago.

Regardless of what happened to emissions in the future, there was already far too much greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, he said.

Cutting emissions was not enough. Mankind now had to take greenhouse gases out of the air.

"The current burden of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is in fact more than sufficient to cause catastrophic climate change," Prof Flannery said.

"Everything's going in the wrong direction at the moment, timelines are getting shorter, the amount of pollution in the atmosphere is growing."

"It's extremely urgent."

As well as the global dimming plan, Prof Flannery said carbon should be taken out of the air and converted into charcoal, then ploughed into farmers' fields.

Wealthy people should pay poor farmers in tropical zones to plant forests - possibly through a direct purchase scheme like the eBay website.

And all conventional coal-fired power stations - which did not have "clean coal" technology - should be closed by 2030.

Capturing carbon emissions from coal-fired power stations and storing it underground - called carbon capture and storage (CCS) - was a good idea, Professor Flannery said.

He urged Australia to dramatically fast-track CCS research and give the technology to the Chinese, who are building the equivalent of one new coal-fired power station a week.

Prof Flannery said while the Rudd government was doing more to tackle climate change than its predecessor, it was still "nowhere near enough."

He called on the government to remove the means test on the $8,000 rebate for domestic solar panels introduced in last week's budget.

"It's probably the bureaucrats getting in the way, we all know that sort of policy is not going to work," he said.
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Geoengineering Could Slow Down Global Water Cycle PostSat May 31, 2008 5:21 am  Reply with quote

What I found most interesting about this article was the inclusion in the graphic of "Chemicals to save ozone". Just what are these "chemicals"? How are they dispersed in the atmosphere? Is this being done now? Would metallic barium (Ba 2+), kept in kerosine to prevent oxidation, be dispersed to combine with ozone depleting halogens to scrub them from the atmosphere? Just how much of such "ozone saving" chemical would need to be released into the atmosphere to have any noticeable and beneficial effect? ... and just one more question, what would be the human health consequences of such "Ozone Saving" chemicals when they returned to ground level and become part of the air we breathe?

Geoengineering Could Slow Down Global Water Cycle

ScienceDaily (May 28, 2008) — As fossil fuel emissions continue to climb, reducing the amount of sunlight hitting the Earth would definitely have a cooling effect on surface temperatures.

However, a new study from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, led by atmospheric scientist Govindasamy Bala, shows that this intentional manipulation of solar radiation also could lead to a less intense global water cycle. Decreasing surface temperatures through "geoengineering" also could mean less rainfall.

The reduction in sunlight can be accomplished by geoengineering schemes. There are two classes: the so-called "sunshade" geoengineering scheme, which would mitigate climate change by intentionally manipulating the solar radiation on the earth's surface; the other category removes atmospheric CO2 and sequesters it into the terrestrial vegetation, oceans or deep geologic formations.

In the new climate modeling study, which appears in the May 27-30 early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Bala and his colleagues Karl Taylor and Philip Duffy demonstrate that the sunshade geoengineering scheme could slow down the global water cycle.

The sunshade schemes include placing reflectors in space, injecting sulfate or other reflective particles into the stratosphere, or enhancing the reflectivity of clouds by injecting cloud condensation nuclei in the troposphere. When CO2 is doubled as predicted in the future, a 2 percent reduction in sunlight is sufficient to counter the surface warming.

This new research investigated the sensitivity of the global mean precipitation to greenhouse and solar forcings separately to help understand the global water cycle in a geoengineered world.

While the surface temperature response is the same for CO2 and solar forcings, the rainfall response can be very different.

"We found that while climate sensitivity can be the same for different forcing mechanisms, the hydrological sensitivity is very different," Bala said.

The global mean rainfall increased approximately 4 percent for a doubling of CO2 and decreases by 6 percent for a reduction in sunlight in his modeling study.

"Because the global water cycle is more sensitive to changes in solar radiation than to increases in CO2, geoengineering could lead to a decline in the intensity of the global water cycle" Bala said.

A recent study showed that there was a substantial decrease in rainfall over land and a record decrease in runoff and discharge into the ocean following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991. The ash emitted from Pinatubo masked some of the sunlight reaching the earth and therefore decreased surface temperatures slightly, but it also slowed down the global hydrologic cycle.

"Any research in geoengineering should explore the response of different components of the climate system to forcing mechanisms," Bala said.

For instance, Bala said, sunshade geoengineering would not limit the amount of CO2 emissions. CO2 effects on ocean chemistry, specifically, could have harmful consequences for marine biota because of ocean acidification, which is not mitigated by geoengineering schemes.

"While geoengineering schemes would mitigate the surface warming, we still have to face the consequences of CO2 emissions on marine life, agriculture and the water cycle," Bala said.

Adapted from materials provided by DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Last edited by Sore Throat on Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:17 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Can the ecohackers save us? PostSat May 31, 2008 6:27 pm  Reply with quote

Can the ecohackers save us?

Many scientists now believe the Earth can be altered to tackle global warming. But are these geoengineers being overly optimistic?

Danny Bradbury
The Guardian, Thursday May 29 2008

It sounds like something from B-movie lore. Scientists working to avert global catastrophe invent a terrible technical instrument that could affect the fundamental way that the planet operates. The question is not whether they should use it, but whether they have a choice. In both academic and privately funded laboratories, such techniques are being considered, mostly in response to global warming. Geoengineering, or "ecohacking" - using science to change the environment on a vast scale - could become a reality faster than you think.

There are roughly 385 parts per million (ppm) of carbon in the atmosphere today, and that's making scientists already concerned about global warming unhappy. "I think it's a good goal to not go over 450ppm," says Alan Robock, a professor in the department of environmental sciences at Rutgers University. Many in his field consider that figure to be a tipping point, when global warming could run out of control. "The solution is mitigation," he warns.

But how to mitigate? Paul Crutzen doesn't think we're moving fast enough with reductions in carbon emissions. The professor emeritus at Utrecht University's Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences became one of the most famous geoengineering advocates for his idea of copying the Pinatubo volcano.

Its 1991 eruption sent 10m tonnes of sulphur (which became sulphur dioxide) into the atmosphere, reducing the global temperature by 0.5C the next year. Crutzen suggested a project to produce a similar effect, using balloons or artillery shells to put 1.9m tonnes of sulphur into the atmosphere to cool the Earth.

He wasn't the first would-be ecohacker. As far back as the 1970s, Russian climatologist Mikhail Budyko suggested putting reflective aerosols in the atmosphere. "And the first time that a US president was informed that there might be a global warming problem from carbon dioxide was in 1965," says Ken Caldeira, a scientist at the Carnegie Institution's department of global ecology. "President Johnson's advisors gave him a report that suggested we might put reflective materials across the surface of the ocean." The idea was that these would reflect large amounts of sunlight back into space and mitigate the effects of global warming.

Even in the early 19th century, US meteorologist James Espy advocated burning huge areas of forest in the hope of making rain by affecting the thermal dynamics of the atmosphere, says meterological historian and professor of science, technology, and society at Colby College James R Fleming.

When leading US meterologist Harry Wexler predicted ecohacking in a 1962 lecture, the first weather satellite had been up for three years. "He pointed out that any intervention with the Earth's heat budget could cause a change in the downstream flow and the climatic systems and weather patterns," says Fleming. "He gave serious lectures about the possible inadvertent damage we might do."

As climate change becomes an increasing concern, geoengineering is making a comeback. Scientists are looking at the atmosphere, the ocean, the land and even space to create a variety of effects, including helping to reduce the effect of sunlight on the Earth and sequestering carbon.

Seeding the ocean

US firm Climos plans to seed the ocean with iron particles. This will encourage the development of phytoplankton, it says, which carry large amounts of carbon to the ocean floor when they die. The company hopes to turn a profit by selling carbon credits.

Others are hoping to achieve a similar effect by bringing things up from underneath the ocean, rather than dropping things in from the surface. Atmocean plans to put large tubes in the ocean which will move vertically with the waves, pumping cool water to the surface from 200 metres down, says chief executive Phil Kithil. This will bring more nutrients with it, encouraging the phytoplankton to grow, he hopes.

Kithil adds that there's another benefit: "You're also reducing hurricane intensity by cooling the upper ocean." He argues that deploying these pumps over a roughly 60 x 60km area at one every 500 metres would bring enough cool water to the surface to reduce the intensity of a hurricane or perhaps even divert it, but ultimately he thinks the tubes could cover 80% of the ocean's surface for CO2 sequestration purposes.

Peter Flynn has oceanographic ideas of his own. The professor of mechanical engineering at Canada's University of Alberta cites worries about the Gulf Stream, which cycles warm water from the south Atlantic to the north, and sends cooler water back again. Salty water in the north sinks to the ocean floor and keeps the cycle moving. Should melting fresh water from the Arctic north shut down the pump, the results could be catastrophic, and Europe could be plunged into an ice age. Flynn proposed re-icing the Arctic using 8,000 giant floating platforms that would draw salty water from the ocean and spray it on to winter ice, dramatically increasing its thickness. It would continue to do this in the summer, which would then melt the ice and send tonnes of salty water plunging into the Gulf Stream.

Looking to the stars

Roger Angel, director of the Centre for Astronomical Adaptive Optics at the University of Arizona, is looking to the stars rather than the sea. He wants to put a mesh of tiny light refractors into space to sit between the Earth and the sun. The material would bend some of the sun's rays away from the planet.

"It's probably the most expensive and the cleanest," says Angel, who would need 16 trillion gossamer-light spacecraft, each sitting about a kilometre apart. Roughly 5m tonnes of material would be shot into space by a large magnetic railgun seated at the top of a mountain near the equator. Other than the $1tn (£500bn) launch cost, the other downside would be the 30 years needed to get them up there.

One of the upsides of the project is that it is reversible. Control craft would be needed to keep the others in exact position (using energy harvested from the solar light that they would be diverting). The control craft could move the array of reflectors out of the earth's orbit. In theory, the solar rays that contribute to climate change could be dialed up and down. "But whose hand is on that knob?" asks Caldeira. Whoever controlled the technology would be in a position of significant power. Getting everyone in the world to agree on climatic issues was difficult enough in Kyoto. And things could get even stormier when climatic, technological, and political fronts collide.

"Let's say Europe and North America don't reduce their carbon emissions, and China has a decade-long drought," Caldeira says. "It could say, 'You guys wrecked our climate, and we're going to engineer our own climate to repair things'."

Complicated outcomes

One of the biggest worries for Robock is that such tinkering could produce complicated outcomes. For example, spraying sulphur into the atmosphere might reduce the sunlight by 2%, he argues, but what will it do to the rain? "You might reduce precipitation," he says. "Preliminary results from calculations suggest that the Asian monsoon would be affected, which provides food for billions in Asia."

Some would-be ecohackers such as Espy may have been over-optimistic, but most of today's geoengineers are more cautious in their studies. Flynn says that his system would only be useful if we reached a tipping point.

Angel proposes amortising the cost of his project over 50 years. "You could say that a minimum of 100 million people would have their way of life ruined," says Flynn, musing about a gulf-stream shutdown. The $50bn that he'd need to mitigate the problem seems like a drop in the ocean when you consider that the money currently spent on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would pay for it in just over three months.

But hopefully we're not in B-movie territory yet. [color=yellow]"The simplest thing is to stop putting in the gases that cause the warming,"
says Robock. When it comes to preventing the conditions that might make governments take geoengineering projects seriously, we all have our hands on the climate dial.

Considering the cost

Money spent on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in just over 3 months: $50bn

Launch of mesh of light reflectors between earth and the sun: $1tn

· This article was amended on Thursday May 29 2008. A paragraph introducing US meteorologist James Espy and historian James R Fleming was omitted from the original version of this article. This has been reinstated.

· This article was further amended on Friday May 30 2008. In the article above, we referred to climactic systems and climactic issues when we should have said climatic. Climactic refers to climaxes, climatic refers to the climate. These mistakes have been corrected.
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PostSat May 31, 2008 6:43 pm  Reply with quote  

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Dump Dirt in Oceans to ‘Fertilise’ Them PostSun Jun 01, 2008 2:34 am  Reply with quote

Dump Dirt in Oceans to ‘Fertilise’ Them

Inter Press Service

BONN, Germany - When some multinational companies dump chemicals into the sea, they call it ‘ocean fertilisation’. This practice is near the top of the agenda at the UN conference on biological diversity in Bonn.

“‘Ocean fertilisation’ simply means dumping into the ocean particles of iron, nitrogen or urea allegedly to transform the ecological balance of particular marine habitats, to encourage additional phytoplankton growth, and increase absorption of carbon dioxide (CO2),” Saskia Richartz, ocean expert at Greenpeace told IPS.Practically all developing countries want the UN conference to approve a global moratorium on ‘ocean fertilisation’ until scientific evidence can prove that the practice does not bring new pollution risks. But some industrialised countries, led by Australia, want to avoid a strong ban.

Phytoplankton collectively account for half of the CO2 absorbed annually from the earth’s atmosphere by plants. Through photosynthesis, plankton capture carbon and sunlight for growth, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.

The supposedly scientific hypothesis behind ocean fertilisation is that dumping “nutrients” such as iron, nitrogen and urea into seawater would lead to growth of new phytoplankton that would absorb more CO2, thus reducing the main cause of global warming and climate change.

“The problem is, there is no sound scientific evidence that this would actually happen,” Richartz told IPS. “On the contrary, ocean fertilisation could have negative side effects that would lead to further loss of marine biodiversity.”

Since 1978, 12 international projects have tried to prove the hypothesis of ‘ocean nourishment’ with no success,
Silvia Ribeiro, environmental researcher with the Canada-based Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration (ETC) told IPS.

According to ETC research, most of the additional CO2 absorbed by phytoplankton appears to be re-released back into the environment when the plankton die, or are eaten by marine creatures.

Other risks include reduction of oxygen levels beneath the sea surface caused by the degradation of plankton, resulting in excess production of methane, another strong greenhouse gas responsible for global warming and climate change.

‘Ocean fertilisation’ could also modify marine ecosystems in uncontrollable ways by inducing changes in the food chain in localised marine biological habitats.

“One consequence of iron-induced blooms could be the consumption and depletion of other vital nutrients, that would reduce plankton productivity and carbon absorption in other areas of the seas, with unknown effects in other ecosystems,”
Ribeiro said.

Yet another risk is the artificial growth of harmful algae, which produce toxins associated with the poisoning of fish and other sea life.

Richartz told IPS that the debate at the UN conference has been controversial. “Brazilian delegates have been cooperating with Australia in order to avoid a moratorium on ‘ocean fertilisation’,” Richartz said.

On May 26, the Brazilian delegation “presented an extreme unacceptable proposal on the moratorium, with the only ostensible objective of making the Australian position appear moderate,” Richartz told IPS.

But within hours, Brazil withdrew the proposal. “The debates within the Brazilian delegation were very loud,” Richartz said. This was confirmed to IPS by Brazilian non-governmental organisation representatives.

Ribeiro told IPS that “what Australia wants on ‘ocean fertilisation’ is obvious. It wants that the UN convention on biological diversity does not touch the subject, and transfer it instead to the London convention” on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter.

One reason for Australia to want that is that the UN convention would approve a global binding set of rules ratified by 191 countries, while the London convention has 88 parties.

In addition, the London convention is being updated through the London Protocol, which will eventually replace the former. Under the new protocol, all dumping is prohibited except for acceptable waste on the “reserve list”. But this protocol has been ratified by still fewer countries, 34.

The leading global company in the business is the Australia-based Ocean Nourishment Corporation (ONC). The Australian government’s support for the company and for ‘ocean fertilisation’ has won it the Greenpeace nomination for the Golden Chain Saw Award for the worst polluters.

ONC is currently planning to dump hundreds of tonnes of industrially produced urea, most likely into the Sulu Sea between the Philippines and Borneo. The dumping of urea could imperil the local marine environment — the main source of livelihood for the poor fisher population in the Philippines.

Besides ONC, a handful of private companies, all registered in the U.S., are planning to launch ‘ocean fertilisation’ projects in unregulated high seas after specific projects in the Philippines, Ecuador, Oman, and Morocco provoked a storm of complaints from civil society groups.

Environmentalists say the UN conference should approve a global moratorium, and also ban the granting of carbon credits for ocean carbon sequestration, tradable at the carbon exchange mechanisms created by the Kyoto protocol on climate change.
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