Even as a good portion of the United States is buried in snow, experiencing an icy mix or other inclement weather, intelligence agencies have been accused of wanting to weaponize the weather.
We’re not talking about chemtrails, HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) or other weather warfare that has been featured in science fiction movies; the concerns were raised not a conspiracy theorist, but by climate scientist, geoengineering specialist and Rutgers University Professor Alan Robock. He “called on secretive government agencies to be open about their interest in radical work that explores how to alter the world’s climate.” If emerging climate-altering technologies can effectively alter the weather, Robock is “worried about who would control such climate-altering technologies.”
Robock seems especially worried about intelligence agencies weaponizing the weather since climate control is "a potential tool of international conflict.” Examples of using weather as a weapon included:
Some countries might try to create clouds and send them toward an enemy, for example. Or there may be disputes over the "right" temperature, setting off what's been dubbed "the Thermostat Wars" -- if Indonesia wants cooling to avoid sea level rise and Russia wants warming to increase agricultural production, for instance.
Geoengineering has the potential to change the climate such as by blocking the sun’s rays or by sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. In San Jose on Saturday, a panel of experts at an American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting suggested that it’s time to move past computer modeling geoengineering studies; “it's time to do real-world testing.”
If a geoengineering test went whacko, it could potentially affect billions of people since we all share this beautiful planet. Since geoengineering is not currently regulated, "If some nations decide this year to embark on a crude untested experimental attempt to do it, we cannot prevent it." US scientists are “calling for a strong, international authority to regulate man-made interventions meant to combat global warming amid fears that the technology could be harmful to the environment.”
Climate change as a national security issue
“The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it,” President Obama said in his State of the Union address. Climate change as a national security issue has been a hotly debated topic in the past. Yet the “Pentagon manages more than 555,000 facilities and 28 million acres of land — virtually all of which will be impacted by climate change in some way,” states a Rolling Stone magazine article about “how deniers put national security at risk.” The “Pentagon is examining its 704 coastal installations and sites in a big study to try to figure out which bases are most at risk. Eventually some tough decisions will have to be made about which ones to close, relocate or protect.”
The National Academy of Sciences recently published climate intervention reports; one report suggested a solution of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and another report (pdf) focused on ways to reflect sunlight to cool the Earth. Due to “cost and lack of technical maturity,” removing carbon dioxide is not currently a viable option; even if it was it “would work slowly to reduce global temperatures.” Albedo “is the technical term for the proportion of sunlight that Earth’s surface and atmosphere reflect back to space;” there are no federal laws or regulations specifically addressing albedo modification. That report states:
Given the enormous uncertainties associated with albedo modification, the current level of understanding of the climate system, and the alternatives available to slow or reverse the build-up of greenhouse gases, the Committee does not recommend climate-altering deployment of albedo modification at this time.
CIA curious if weaponized weather control could be detected
The $600,000 report was part-funded by the US intelligence services, but Robock said the CIA and other agencies had not fully explained their interest in the work.
“The CIA was a major funder of the National Academies report so that makes me really worried who is going to be in control,” he said. Other funders included NASA, the US Department of Energy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
"I got a phone call from two men who said we work as consultants for the CIA and we'd like to know if some other country was controlling our climate, would we know about it?," he said, during a debate on the use of geo-engineering to combat climate change, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Jose, California.
"I told them, after thinking a little bit, that we probably would because if you put enough material in the atmosphere to reflect sunlight we would be able to detect it and see the equipment that was putting it up there.
"At the same time I thought they were probably also interested in if we could control somebody else's climate, could they detect it?"
But wait, there’s more as Robock claimed the U.S. government has a history of using the weather in hostile ways, citing the seeding of clouds over Ho Chi Minh trail during the Vietnam War “to make the major supply route for North Vietnamese foot soldiers too muddy to pass” as well as over Cuba “to make it rain and ruin the sugar harvest.”
Robock added, “I think this research should be out in the open and it has to be international so there won’t be any question that this technology will used for hostile purposes.”
Weather is a great equalizer and nature is often scary, leaving people feeling helpless as a tornado or hurricane rips through. To people who believe weaponizing the weather is a good idea, I suggest you spend some time watching science fiction movies and disaster flicks because it usually doesn’t work out so well. And that's before considering if hackers could exploit any potentential vulnerabilities in technologies that could weild weather as a weapon.