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Vladimir Zhirinovsky: Russia Can Use Environmental Weapons of Mass Destruction

What goes around, comes around

COMMENT: Russian fascist and Duma member Vladimir Zhirinovsky has made threatening statements about using weather weaponry against countries perceived as threatening Russia.

Financed by German fascist Gerhard Frey, Zhirinovsky has always been viewed as a loose cannon. His comments about the existence of  environmental weaponry should not be dismissed out of hand, however.

This is NOT to say that his hints about the Fukushima disaster can be taken at face value. Nor should we automatically dismiss them.

With the U.S./U.S.S.R. treaty thirty-plus years in the past, the possibility that other countries have developed such technology should be carefully considered.

That devastating tragedy may well have been a natural occurrence.

For the record, so to speak, I am NOT saying, necessarily, that HAARP was involved in the Japan quake. As discussed in FTR #272, other nations are developing or have developed such systems.

Another thing to consider is just WHO is controlling HAARP? Might Underground Reich elements have access to the technology?

“Secret Weather Weapons Can Kill Millions, Warns Top Russian Politician”; The Nation; 5/18/2011.

EXCERPT: . . . Zhirinovsky made reference to the recent tsunami in Japan, suggesting that the “new weapons” to which he refers are related to weather control technology, which has been intensely studied by both the U.S. and Russia since the 1950′s and is commonly used today.

Threatening to annex Georgia completely, Zhirinovsky warned, “And then there will be another tsunami, on the other side of the planet, in the Caucasus.”

Zhirinovsky’s reference to the Kuril Islands in connection with the devastating tsunami that hit Japan in March is a not so subtle suggestion that Russia had something to do with causing the natural disaster that killed thousands, led to the Fukushima crisis and threatened to derail Japan’s economic recovery.

Zhirinovsky also warned of a coming “third world war” emerging from the current turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa that would lead to the collapse of current global institutions like the EU and the WTO and the rise of a new international order led by Russia. . . .

. . . However, as the revelations of weather modification expert Ben Livingston, a former Navy Physicist who briefed President Lyndon B. Johnson on the effectiveness of weather control back in the 1960′s during the Vietnam era, have documented, as far back as the early 1950′s the United States was funneling money into programs aimed at using the weather as a weapon during the cold war. It would be naive to think that the Russians weren’t engaged in similar research.

Moreover, in an April 1997 speech to the University of Georgia, Athens, then US Secretary of Defense William Cohen spoke of the threat of an “eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves.”

For many years, suspicions have circulated around the purpose of the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), an ionospheric research program jointly funded by the US Air Force, the US Navy, the University of Alaska and DARPA. In his underground bestseller Angels Don’t Play This HAARP, author Nick Begich summarizes the evidence that suggests HAARP is involved in weather control for nefarious purposes.

Scientists at NASA have discovered “A close link between electrical disturbances on the edge of our atmosphere and impending quakes on the ground below,” which has led to claims that earthquakes are being artificially induced as a form of modern warfare by HAARP.
The technology to which Zhirinovsky refers is rapidly moving out of the realms of science fiction and into scientific fact as we progress further into the 21st century.


12 comments for “Vladimir Zhirinovsky: Russia Can Use Environmental Weapons of Mass Destruction”

  1. Well, Dave, to be honest with you, since our little talk a couple of weeks back, I have done a bit of thinking concerning HAARP and weather control as of late……….
    I can now concede that a few indirect forms of weather control{like similar to cloud seeding, but done in a different manner}, may in fact be quite possible.{How about nullifying incoming weather systems to prevent rainfall, for example? I can see that as a very powerful tool.}

    However, though, I will have to say that DIRECT manipulation methods, such as steering hurricanes, manipulating Gulf moisture, or modifying individual supercells & creating and steering tornadoes, simply isn’t possible in this day and age, not only that, but is probably being used to cast a bad eye on legitimate researchers{and increasingly being used to try to discredit climate change research, it seems} and, as you so correctly forewarned in FTR #272, “Such thinking and action exhibits “conspiracy theory at its worst,” and plays in to the hand of cynical critics, in addition to obscuring real, substantive inquiries into the possible military application of environmental modifica­tion technologies.”.

    {Although, it can be granted that Eastlund’s technology could theoretically try to stop tornadoes from forming……..although you also pointed that many critics warned that it could actually backfire and make the weather even worse……..at least under the right conditions. However, though, I believe that would fall under the ‘indirect’ category.}

    In any case, please do forgive my previous hardcore skepticism, but there’s so much crap out there{you want a good example? Google the YouTube user by the name of Dutchsinse for starters}, it can sometimes be quite a pain in the @$$ to figure out what’s a crock of horse manure, and what’s actually possible.

    In any case, I did enjoy your latest FTR posting, and I hope to see a new FTR soon.

    Farewell for now, and please, do keep up the good work. =)

    Posted by Steven | June 1, 2011, 2:03 am
  2. What should be noted is the very fact that treaties have been drawn up regarding this issue. This suggests that weather manipulation technology is indeed possible. What the current state of the art is can only be conjecture by those not in the know. But it would be safe to say that it has gone several decades past seeding rain clouds with silver iodide.

    Posted by Bill Smith | June 2, 2011, 2:42 am
  3. I agree with steven. There is a lot of crap mixed with the genuine science in this field particularly, and the subject of HAARP specifically.

    I’ve come to see HAARD as a sort of “gateway topic” that, if one takes up, starts a rational person on a “slippery-slope” to becoming an expert on the undiscovered galactic tribes of the 18th federation of Prilosec.

    In fact Mr. Emory’s post above is the FIRST time I’ve ever seen HAARP discussed without it being used somehow, no matter how irrelevent or unrelated, as an opportunity to bring up the secret space aliens that our government knows all about and has since..
    ..ugh. forget it…you know what I mean.

    It’s not hard to understand though how lesser minds can get initially turned by this.

    Imagine getting to the end of Family Of Secrets and in the last chapter Russ Baker writes definitively about the Bushes relationship with the Grays.

    It’d be confusing wouldn’t it?

    Thanks Dave

    They live.

    Posted by Devil James | June 10, 2011, 3:25 am
  4. @Devil James: Thanks, man. =)

    Posted by Steven | June 10, 2011, 5:36 pm
  5. The interviews that Dave did with Dr. Nick Begich can be listened to starting with FTR #1. The research work that Dr Begich undertook on the HAARP project is surely the most comprehensive. No talk of beings from outer space or such. And not to lose sight of the fact that Newt Gingrich is a big supporter of the military applications of both the use of the various technologies against enemy combatants and for controlling the populace domestically and elsewhere.

    Posted by Sandra | June 13, 2011, 11:25 am
  6. Can we just say — it is after all 2011 — that any candidate whose name you could even know is by definition a rubber stamp for the most bloated military in history? Dems and Reps alike. They’re only distinguishable through the marketing plan.

    Posted by Rob Coogan | June 13, 2011, 5:12 pm
  7. @Sandra: True, but even a really intrepid honest researcher like Begich can get sucked in to some of the B.S.

    @Rob Coogan: That is true to a good extent, although I think Obama is being played by the establishment. Go back a little while in the archives and you should come across something called ‘Badjacketing Obama’.

    Posted by Steven | June 14, 2011, 1:51 am
  8. @Steven: Of course, Bad-jacketing is a key point. When the time comes (if it comes), it’s the “off” switch for any politician who might break a rule or think independently while in office. Obama’s “off” switch, or his being played by the establishment doesn’t change the fact that he is also 100% theirs from the start. They paid for him, after all. And they are reaping great rewards. (One could say this about any president.)

    Look at the wars (evelasting), the war spending (largest in history), the long-term policies and the (yes, it sounds cliché) corporate agenda. It’s not about parties or personalities, but about the function of the front-men and front-women who run for office, play their roles, and deliver the goods. The entire narrative-charade of electoral politics is bought and paid for by those who profit from it the most. (Centralized conglomerate ownership of media, etc., blah blah blah…)

    I’m describing something along the lines of what S. Zizek calls Post-Politics (surface), and what P.D. Scott calls Deep Politics (below the surface). If you see through the former, all there is that’s meaningful is the latter. Hence, FTR.

    Policy formation is ever and always out of the hands of the people governed. It is formed secretly, from the top down, whoever is in office. It requires a credulous will to go on believing there is any meaning in our political system, anything meaningful beyond cut-outs and front-men, as described. This is my humble opinion, of course, but what other conclusion is there to draw? See the latest Hirsch, for a fun example of policies no one can discuss in polite company.

    Posted by Rob Coogan | June 14, 2011, 10:13 am
  9. I suspect we’re going to see more hints at weather control technologies (like this) as the weather gets weirder and the public eventually starts clamoring for solutions. The “let’s geo-engineer the environment” solution is just too lucrative for the usual suspects to not cram it down our throats:

    Geo-engineering: a bad idea whose time has come?

    By Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent

    WASHINGTON | Fri Dec 9, 2011 3:32pm EST

    (Reuters) – The mainstream approach to climate change does not seem to be working so some scientists and policymakers say it may be time to look into something completely different: re-engineering Earth’s climate.

    Variously called geo-engineering, climate remediation and planet hacking, the idea is to do on purpose what industry and other human activities have done inadvertently, which is to change the amount of climate-warming greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and as a result, cool it down.

    The concept has been around for nearly a century, from about the same time scientists and engineers noted the warming effect carbon dioxide emissions had on climate. Until quite recently, the notion has been relegated to the fringes of debate. Global climate talks have focused instead on curbing future emissions of greenhouse gases, known as mitigation.

    But in the lead-up to the latest round of U.N. climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa, there have been serious examinations of what it might take to start countering the effects of increasing carbon dioxide in the air.

    And with severe water shortages looming over all these wonderful mega-cities and booming populations around the world, we might see a lot more unilateral geo-engineering like this in the not too distant future:

    Scientists Create 52 Artificial Rain Storms in Abu Dhabi Desert
    By Josh Sanburn | @joshsanburn | January 3, 2011

    Hail, lightning and gales came through the state’s eastern region this summer thanks to scientist-puppetmasters.

    As part of a secret program to control the weather in the Middle East, scientists working for the United Arab Emirates government artificially created rain where rain is generally nowhere to be found. The $11 million project, which began in July, put steel lampshade-looking ionizers in the desert to produce charged particles. The negatively charged ions rose with the hot air, attracting dust. Moisture then condensed around the dust and eventually produced a rain cloud. A bunch of rain clouds.

    On the 52 days it rained in the region throughout July and August, forecasters did not predict rain once.

    Huh, so ionizers in the desert catalyzed the droplet formation. Sounds familiar.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 15, 2011, 10:25 pm
  10. It looks like public support for Putin’s “United Russia” party is dropping and his response is to to order a significant change to the parliamentary rules that will allow his party to retain power more easily:

    Putin orders change in Russia’s parliamentary elections
    By David M. Herszenhorn
    | New York Times

    January 03, 2013

    MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a major change in the rules for parliamentary elections, a move that could help solidify his power and influence toward the end of his current term and insulate him from dwindling public support for United Russia, the party that nominated him and currently holds a majority in Parliament.

    At Putin’s direction, half of the 450 seats in the State ­Duma, the lower house of Parliament, would be filled using a proportional system based on votes for parties, with each party then filling its allotted seats.

    The other half would be filled by direct election of individual candidates, creating a potential opening for independent campaigns.

    The new system, which the Central Election Commission is expected to unveil in coming weeks, replaces a system of strict party-list voting. It would be the second major change to the parliamentary voting process in less than a decade and essentially amounts to a return to a system that had been in place until 2003. The proposal also comes just a year after allegations of fraud in the parliamentary elections in December 2011 set off a wave of huge street protests in Moscow.

    But while the prospect of individual candidacies suggests a liberalizing of a political system often criticized as heavily tilted in favor of Putin and the governing authorities, history shows that they can actually have the opposite effect.

    This is because individuals endorsed by the majority party tend to have an advantage in name recognition and resources in local races, and because candidates who run as independents can often be enticed to join the majority party when the new Parliament is formed, using perks offered by the presidential administration.

    In neighboring Ukraine, the adoption of a mixed electoral system like the one proposed by Putin helped President Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions win more seats in elections this fall, despite public opinion polls — and even election results — that showed support for the party had dropped.

    Putin’s authoritarian inclinations and deep ties to Russia’s intelligence and oligarchs communities have always left Russia’s future somewhat in doubt. And then there are the, um, ‘issues’ opposition leaders also have to work through that also leave Russia’s future somewhat in doubt. The far-right ‘nationalist’ contingent of the opposition teaming up with young idealist has a “Muslim Brotherhood is going to take over after the youth does the revolutionary groundwork” kind of feel to it. Hopefully some good can come from this new set rules and we’ll see a shifting of alliances that allows for an opposition coalition to emerge that has a real chance at giving Russia a non-fascist future. Of course, that also means the nationalists/fascists might start getting poached by “United Russia” in the new system and who knows how that kind of development could play out. Like “United Russia”, Russia’s per capita influence is elevated, to say the least. The country’s fate is poised impact the course of humanity over the next century so it’s always a troubling development when news like this gets reported.

    As a citizen of the US – another country that dramatically impacts the global community with an even higher per capita influence – all I can say is “Phew! Good thing crises contrived by far-right power networks using rigged voting systems could never happen here!”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 4, 2013, 12:14 am
  11. This is just historical reminder that our contemporary unrestrained carbon-based global economy is alarmingly similar to a 50’s-era doomsday attack:

    We tried to weaponize the weather
    Cold War secrets: Melting polar ice cap with nukes, changing the sea level, even LSD weapons were all on the table
    By Jacob Darwin Hamblin
    Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 02:00 PM CST

    Excerpted from “Arming Mother Nature: The Birth of Catastrophic Environmentalism”

    The years between the first hydrogen bomb tests and the Limited Test Ban Treaty in 1963 saw more than just increased anxiety about the efiects of nuclear testing on weather. They also saw increased interest in large-scale, purposeful environmental modification. Most climate modification enthusiasts spoke of increasing global temperatures, in the hopes that this would increase the quantity of cultivated land and make for fairer weather. Some suggested blackening deserts or snowy areas, to increase absorption of radiation. Covering large areas with carbon dust, so the theory went, would raise temperatures. Alternatively, if several hydrogen bombs were exploded underwater, they might evaporate seawater and create an ice cloud that would block the escape of radiation. Meteorologist Harry Wexler had little patience for those who wanted to add weather and climate modification to the set of tools in man’s possession. But by 1958 even he acknowledged that serious proposals for massive changes, using nuclear weapons as tools, were inevitable. Like most professional meteorologists, in the past he had dismissed the idea that hydrogen bombs had affected the weather. But with the prospect of determined experiments designed to bring about such changes, he warned of “the unhappy situation of the cure being worse than the ailment.”

    Whatever one might have thought about the wisdom of tinkering with the weather in peacetime, the manipulation of nature on a vast scale for military purposes seemed to be a perfectly legitimate application of scientific knowledge. While planning a total war against the Soviet Union, every avenue begged for exploration. Let’s explore how the scientific advisors of America’s key allies in NATO saw the alliance fighting in the future. Numerous ideas for creating catastrophic events through natural processes were presented, especially using hydrogen bombs as triggers. In these discussions, held as early as 1960, top scientists debated the fundamental environmental question — can humans have a long-term effect on the global environment?

    The desire for novel military technology seemed especially urgent by the early 1960s. Although oficially part of the International Geophysical Year, the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik in October 1957 had clear military ramifications. Not only did it begin the space race but it also took the arms race to a new stage that included communications satellites and intercontinental ballistic missiles. The launch of Sputnik made the world seem smaller and made the most far-fetched visions of the future seem possible. The gee-whiz, Buck Rogers feel of the immediate postwar years returned. But this wave of technological enthusiasm was darker, because instead of coming on the tide of a war victory, it came as a foreboding new competition. For years the Americans had been preparing for the missile age, gathering data on the atmosphere and on the earth’s gravity over the poles. The Soviets clearly had kept the pace. Sputnik served as a justification for a vast array of projects to use scientific knowledge to tamper with nature on a large scale.

    Reinforcing the sense of urgency, President Eisenhower’s special committee on weather modification submitted its final report in January 1958, just months after Sputnik’s launch. The committee’s chairman, retired Navy Captain Howard T. Orville, said at a press conference that he suspected that the Soviets already had begun a large, secret program on weather control. Despite routine dismissals of the idea throughout the decade by meteorologists, the high-level committee ranked weather control ahead of hydrogen bombs and satellites in military significance. Orville urged the government to support research on controlling large-scale weather systems, not just rainmaking. He further suggested that finding ways to manipulate the heat balance between the sun and earth might be the key to weather and climate control. The earth already had been heated up by man’s efforts, by introducing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels. This carbon dioxide helped to trap the heat and create, as the New York Times put it, a “greenhouse effect.” It might be possible to harness this greenhouse effect. “If such steps are feasible,” journalist John Finney reported, “then New York City might be put under a few hundred feet of ice or a few hundred feet of water depending on whether the temperature was raised or lowered.”

    Rumors spread quickly about scientists in the United States and Soviet Union experimenting with unprecedented tools for controlling nature. Were the Soviets planning to dam the Bering Strait? Were the Americans able to steer storms? Naysayers pointed out that meteorologists could not even predict naturally occurring weather, so how could anyone control it? One author opined in the New York Times, “For would it not be foolish for anyone to talk of controlling an intricate piece of apparatus until he knew precisely how it worked?” After the report of Eisenhower’s special committee was made public, scientists in allied countries received strange, sheepish letters from their defense establishments, asking if the latest rumors about American research could be true. For example, a British Air Ministry scientific advisor, E. V. Truefitt, presented his countryman, oceanographer George Deacon, with “one or two questions which have come up in odd conversations.” He called them “wild cat” ideas that he did not really take seriously, yet they appeared to be in discussion in the United States. Despite his instinct that they could not possibly be real, he felt obligated to run them by a competent man of science.

    One of the ideas was to melt the polar ice cap by exploding nuclear weapons on it, thus raising the global sea level. The Soviets might be considering it, so the rumor went, to drown cities in the United States and Western Europe. Another idea was to change ocean currents or temperatures to interfere with an enemy’s climate and food production. Truefitt had no idea how assess an ocean-initiated climate change, but he had made a rough calculation to determine what was needed to melt the polar ice cap. He believed that it would take about a million tons of fissile material to melt enough to raise sea level by 30 feet. “This is a large amount of fissile material whichever way you look at it,” he wrote to Deacon, “and consequently my guess is that it is not the kind of project that even the Americans would embark on under the in?uence of Sputniks.”

    Desperate to find “weapon of the future”

    The truth was that the immediate post-Sputnik years had a peculiar air, both of desperation and of opportunity. Doors were wide open to a range of technological possibilities. Nearly anything that was technically feasible made it to the highest levels of discussion. For starters, that meant revisiting the questions surrounding biological, chemical, and radiological weapons. But it also sparked discussion of the ambitious, the horrendous, and the quirky. Like wildcatters exploring for oil, American scientists grasped desperately around them, striving to find the next weapon of the future.

    There were several post-Sputnik e?orts to push the limits of the “possible,” to explore exotic ideas that might prove decisive 5, 10, or 20 years into the future. Some actions to direct this scientific work were high profile and public. President Eisenhower created a science advisory committee to guide the course of American technology and ensure that the Americans did not fall behind the Soviet Union. This President’s Science Advisory Committee (PSAC) also existed to rein in some of the wilder ideas, to avoid wasteful spending. Other brain trusts, often dominated by physicists with expertise in nuclear a?airs, sprang up behind closed doors to advise military establishments. One of these was “JASON,” an elite group of scientists who got together during the summer months to assess major scientific and technological problems of military significance. Paid by government contract through several difierent bodies throughout its existence, “the Jasons,” as they called themselves, were drawn from the cream of civilian academic science. Despite their outsider status, the Jasons gained the respect and trust of oficials in the Defense Department and the armed services, and their advice often revolutionized military thinking during the nuclear era.

    For many in NATO, looking at the world as a zero-sum game between the nuclear-armed United States and the Soviet Union, environmental warfare seemed like an ine?cient sideshow. As interesting as ocean manipulation and weather control might be, nuclear explosions would be required to produce them. In that case, presumably a real war would have begun, and the enemy could be bombed directly without resorting to exotic methods such as these. Even in the case of biological, radiological, and chemical weapons, changing the environment would be a more circuitous route than attacking directly.

    In trying to imagine uses of environmental weapons, military analysts working with NATO confronted the same question that has stood at the center of environmental issues ever since: can human actions have long-lasting, detrimental consequences upon the earth? As an advocate of peacetime nuclear testing, Teller had reason to minimize the long-term impacts of human action, particularly nuclear fallout. He spoke at length to the committee about how some scientists had exaggerated these e?ects, and his point of view prevailed. The NATO committee concluded that the danger of sickness and disease from contamination “are no worse than the other hazards which would have to be faced by the survivors of a nuclear war.” As for the long-term genetic e?ects upon future generations, the committee toed the protesting line that the ultimate e?ects on future generations could not be predicted with certainty.

    Nevertheless, some on the committee were convinced that humans were capable of making large alterations to the environment. Throughout the Von Kármán reports were repeated references to unpredictable consequences of human action on the atmosphere. Increasing or decreasing the ozone concentration in the atmosphere was certainly possible, altering the amount of ultraviolet light reaching the earth. Deliberate creation of an ozone hole might confuse surveillance systems; deteriorate aircraft materials such as rubber, plastic, glass; and harm humans and crops. Less purposeful might be the introduction of chemicals from rocket fuel or other sources, resulting in “large inadvertent changes” in atmospheric properties.

    NATO concluded its assessment of environmental warfare with a warning that major changes might already be under way. “Much of the military planning of today assumes that the earth’s atmosphere will remain substantially as it is,” it wrote.

    Reprinted from “Arming Mother Nature: The Birth of Catastrophic Environmentalism” with permission from Oxford University Press USA. Copyright © Oxford University Press 2013

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 2, 2013, 7:05 pm
  12. Lol, yeah, sure CIA, this study is just for looking at geoengineering ways to halt changes in the weather. Uh huh:

    Mother Jones
    CIA Backs $630,000 Scientific Study on Controlling Global Climate
    Conspiracy theorists, rejoice!

    —By Dana Liebelson and Chris Mooney
    | Wed Jul. 17, 2013 3:00 AM PDT

    The Central Intelligence Agency is funding a scientific study that will investigate whether humans could use geoengineering to alter Earth’s environment and stop climate change. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) will run the 21-month project, which is the first NAS geoengineering study financially supported by an intelligence agency. With the spooks’ money, scientists will study how humans might influence weather patterns, assess the potential dangers of messing with the climate, and investigate possible national security implications of geoengineering attempts.

    The total cost of the project is $630,000, which NAS is splitting with the CIA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NASA. The NAS website says that “the US intelligence community” is funding the project, and William Kearney, a spokesman for NAS, told Mother Jones that phrase refers to the CIA. Edward Price, a spokesman for the CIA, refused to confirm the agency’s role in the study, but said, “It’s natural that on a subject like climate change the Agency would work with scientists to better understand the phenomenon and its implications on national security.” The CIA reportedly closed its research center on climate change and national security last year, after GOP members of Congress argued that the CIA shouldn’t be looking at climate change.

    The goal of the CIA-backed NAS study is to conduct a “technical evaluation of a limited number of proposed geoengineering techniques,” according to the NAS website. Scientists will attempt to determine which geoengineering techniques are feasible and try to evaluate the impacts and risks of each (including “national security concerns”). One proposed geoengineering method the study will look at is solar radiation management—a fancy term for pumping particles into the stratosphere to reflect incoming sunlight away from the planet. In theory, solar radiation management could lead to a global cooling trend that might reverse, or at least slow down, global warming. The study will also investigate proposals for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

    The National Academies has held two previous workshops on geoengineering, but neither was funded by the intelligence community, says Edward Dunlea, the study director for the latest project. The CIA would not say why it had decided to fund the project at this time, but the US government’s apparent interest in altering the climate isn’t new. The first big use of weather modification as a military tactic came during the Vietnam War, when the Air Force engaged in a cloud seeding program to try to create rainfall and turn the Ho Chi Minh Trail into muck, and thereby gain tactical advantage. Between 1962 and 1983, other would-be weather engineers tried to change the behavior of hurricanes using silver iodide. That effort, dubbed Project Stormfury, was spearheaded by the Navy and the Commerce Department. China’s “Weather Modification Office” also controversially seeded clouds in advance of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, hoping to ensure rain would fall in the Beijing suburbs instead of over the Olympic stadiums.

    Although previous efforts to manipulate weather and climate have often been met with mockery, many geoengineering proposals “are fundamentally doable, relatively cheap, and do appear to be able to reduce climate risk significantly, but with risks,” explains David Keith, a Harvard researcher and top geoengineering proponent.

    But if geoengineering is cheap and “fundamentally doable,” as Keith claims, that suggests foreign countries, or even wealthy individuals, could mess with the climate to advance their own ends. “This whole issue of lone actors: Do we need to be concerned about China acting unilaterally? Is that just idle chatter, or is that something the US government should prepare for?” asks Ken Caldeira, a geoengineering researcher at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology and a member of the current National Academy of Sciences panel.

    At least one individual has already tried modifying the climate. Russ George, the former head of Planktos, a company that works to develop technology to deal with global warming, seeded the Pacific Ocean off western Canada with iron to generate a plankton bloom that, in turn, was supposed to suck up carbon dioxide from the air. George’s effort was widely condemned, but at present there’s little to stop other individuals or countries from trying it or something similar. That’s part of what has the US intelligence community interested.

    The CIA’s decision to fund scientific work on geoengineering will no doubt excite conspiracy theorists. The last time the government tried to do cutting-edge research related to the atmosphere—with the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), which aimed to protect satellites from nuclear blasts—people speculated that it might be a death ray, a mind control weapon, or, worst of all…a way to control the weather.

    Also, note that reports of HAARP’s shutdown appear to be premature. It just has new owners. And there are lots of other HAARP-like facilities around the world so it doesn’t really matter.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 17, 2013, 8:43 am

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